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Prayers and Readings For Easter
From sources sacred and secular

How Blessed Is The Day

How blessed is this day, when earth and heaven are joined and humankind is reconciled to God!

May the light of Jesus shine continually to drive away all darkness. May Christ, the Morning Star who knows no setting, find his light ever burning in our hearts—he who gives his light to all creation, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

-- adapted from the Book of Common Prayer -1979, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

A Prayer for Easter Morning

0 Lord Jesus Christ, who upon this day did conquer death and rise from the dead,
and who are alive for ever more, help us never to forget your Risen Presence forever with us.

Help us to remember,

That you are with us in every time of perplexity to guide and to direct;
That you are with us in every time of sorrow to comfort and console;
That you are with us in every time of temptation to strengthen and to inspire;
That you are with us in every time of loneliness to cheer and befriend;
That you are with us even in death to bring us to the glory of your side.

Make us to be certain that there is nothing in time or in eternity which can separate us from you,so that in your presence we may meet life with gallantry and death without fear.

You turn our darkness into light, in your light we shall see light.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Christ the Lord is risen today!
ALLELUIA

-- Adapted from ThisIsChurch.com

A Litany For Easter

Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us a little child
one of us, flesh and blood to share in our humanity
For God so loved the world
ALL: That all might have eternal life

Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as carpenter
and yet in whose creative hands a world was fashioned
For God so loved the world
ALL: That all might have eternal life

Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as fisherman
and yet pointed to a harvest that was yet to come
For God so loved the world
ALL: That all might have eternal life

Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as teacher
and opened eyes to truths that only
the poor could understand
For God so loved the world
ALL: That all might have eternal life

Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as healer
and opened hearts to the reality of wholeness
For God so loved the world
ALL: That all might have eternal life

Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as prophet, priest and king
and yet humbled himself
to take our place upon the cross
For God so loved the world
ALL: That all might have eternal life

Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as servant
and revealed to us the extent of his Father's love
for human kind
For God so loved the world
ALL: That all might have eternal life

Blest are you, Lord Jesus, who rose
from the ignominy of a sinner's death
to the triumph of a Saviour's resurrection
For God so loved the world
ALL: That all might have eternal life

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son
for the sake of me
and you
and other sinners too
God so loved the world
Blest are you Lord Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer

-- John Birch www.faithandworship.com

EASTER

Break the box and shed the nard;
Stop not now to count the cost;
Hither bring pearl, opal, sard;
Reck not what the poor have lost;
Upon Christ throw all away:
Know ye, this is Easter Day.

Build His church and deck His shrine;
Empty though it be on earth;
Ye have kept your choicest wine-
Let it flow for heavenly mirth;
Pluck the harp and breathe the horn:
Know ye not 'tis Easter mom?

Gather gladness from the skies;
Take a lesson from the ground;
Flowers do ope their heavenward eyes
And a Spring-time joy have found;
Earth throws Winter's robes away,
Decks herself for Easter Day.
Beauty now for ashes wear,
Perfumes for the garb of woe.
Chaplets for dishevelled hair,
Dances for sad footsteps slow;
Open wide your hearts that they
Let in joy this Easter Day.

Seek God's house in happy throng;
Crowded let His table be;
Mingle praises, prayer and song,
Singing to the Trinity.
Henceforth let your souls alway
Make each morn an Easter Day.

-- Gerald Manley Hopkins

GOD'S GRANDEUR

THE world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

-- Gerald Manley Hopkins

Death Be Not Proud

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

-- John Donne

For more about Easter

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Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
  CrossCurrents.
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).  
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here.
God and Science (Hypertext Edition, 2005).
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion:
Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).

Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.
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