Who Will Roll the Stone Away? - Mark 16

A service plan for Easter planned around Mark 16:3. This service is part of "Questions of the Last Week," a series of Lent service plans.

Worship Service
Also in this Series

Questions of the Last Week

This Lent series is titled "Questions of the Last Week." Each of the questions comes from the narratives of the week before Christ's resurrection. It is our hope and prayer that these series will provide you with variety, thoughtful content, and an excellent opportunity to enrich the spiritual journey of worshipers of all ages.

Theme of the Service

Since this worship service is designed for Easter Sunday morning, its theme is obviously a joyful and praise-filled celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whereas the previous questions of this series have all included probing questions to direct our reflection and self-examination, this one is a question that begins with the normal skepticism about how a resurrection can be possible, implicitly includes the fear that we are without hope if it did not happen, and celebrates the fervent hope we have because God did, indeed, raise Christ from the dead!

* * * * *

WE GATHER WITH JOY BEFORE GOD

Prelude [see music notes]

The Easter Proclamation: [see liturgy notes]

Voice One: Hear the Word of the Lord, "For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raise on the third day in accordance with the scripture."

Voice Two: "Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain."

Voice Three: "We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ .."

Voice Two: "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins."

Voice Three: "Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied."

All Readers in unison: "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being: for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ." (from 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 12-22, NRSV)

*God's Greeting and Congregational Amen!

*Worshipers Greet One Another [see liturgy notes]

*Songs of Celebration [see music notes]

The Children's Moment [see liturgy notes]

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH HIS WORD

The Prayer for Illumination

The Reading of Scripture: Mark 16:1-8
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Sermon: "Who Will Roll the Stone Away?"
Questions of the Last Week 8
Text: Mark 16:3

The Prayer of Application

WE RESPOND WITH JOY TO GOD'S WORD

*Song of Praise [see music notes]

Anthem [see music notes]

*Our Profession of Faith: [see liturgy notes]
As our substitute
he suffered all his years on earth,
especially in the horrible torture of the cross.
He carried God's judgment on our sin;
his sacrifice removes our guilt.
He walked out of the grave, the Lord of life!
He conquered sin and death.
We are set right with God,
we are given new life,
and called to walk with him
in freedom from sin's dominion. ("Our World Belongs to God", art.27)

*Song [see music notes]

The Morning Prayer

The Offertory
The Offering of Music [see music notes]
We Offer Our Gifts for..

WE GO OUT WITH JOY

*Song [see music notes]

*The Sending and the Benediction:
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
We are sent in the power of Christ's resurrection. Alleluia!
The blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with your always.
Amen, Alleluia!

*Song: "The Hallelujah Chorus," G. F. Handel [see music notes]

Postlude: "Fanfare," Lemmens
or: "Toccata from Symphony No. 5," Widor [see music notes]

* You are invited to stand.

* * * * *

Sermon Notes

It is necessary this year to be aware that Easter is being celebrated in the context of great public awareness of both Da Vinci Code and new claims that the burial ossuaries discovered in the Middle East may possibly contain the bones of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and perhaps their child. Should we be afraid of these claims? Can they be substantiated, or do they represent attempts to discredit the core of the Christian faith? Our faith stands or falls with the credibility of the bodily resurrection of Christ (as 1 Corinthians 15 makes clear); thus, we can expect that there will be many attempts to discredit our claim. We should not be surprised, nor shaken. This great truth is the foundation of our hope, and we can expect that it will be attacked by forces that hope to destroy the gospel.

William Willimon explains one way to look at our confidence in the resurrection in the March-April issue ofPreaching: "That first Easter, nobody actually saw Jesus rise from the dead. They saw Him afterwards. They didn't appear to Him; He appeared to them. Us. In the Bible, the 'proof' of the resurrection is not the absence of Jesus' body from the tomb; it's the presence of Jesus to His followers. The message of the resurrection is not first, "Though we die, we shall one day return to life." It is, 'Though we were dead, Jesus returned to us.' If it was difficult to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead; it must have been almost impossible to believe that He was raised and returned to us. The result of Easter, the product of the Resurrection of Christ is the church-a community of people with nothing more to convene us than that the risen Christ came back to us. That's our only claim, our only hope." ("He Came Back," W. Willimon, Preaching, March-April, 2007, p.48)

The two Scripture passages included in this worship service need to be woven together as we consider the resurrection of Christ. When the women went to the tomb early Sunday morning, their intent was to continue the embalming process that was left incomplete on Friday evening when he was buried, but they also came asking who would roll the stone away. Their question was a very practical one: for if the stone were not rolled away (and they surely would not be up to this strenuous task!), they would not be able to enter the tomb and anoint Jesus' body with spices. Even though they didn't know it, their practical question was also a deeply theological question. The world needed to see that the tomb was empty! A forever closed tomb would destroy the hope of the Christian faith. They could not have anticipated the miracle that was happening.

Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 15 ask the same question as the women at the tomb. He sets forth the evidence for the resurrection of Christ in verses 3-8 and supplements it with his own experience in verses 9-11. Notice Paul's emphasis is not only that Christ arose, but that he came to us (as Willlimon says above). Then in verses 12-18 he logically and methodically explores the tragedy that would result if the stone were never rolled away and we could not know that Christ was raised: our preaching would be useless (v.14), your faith would be useless (v.14), we would all be called false witnesses (v.15), our faith would be futile (v.17), we would still be in our sins (v.17), those who have died in faith would be lost (v.18), and we should be pitied more than all people because we would no hope beyond this life (v.19). After letting his readers consider how utterly devastating this would be to our hope and faith, he boldly and clearly proclaims the FACT of Christ's resurrection in verses 20-22. A silently locked tomb would not only interfere with the women's embalming intent, but would destroy the hope of the Christian faith!

Music Notes:
Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations:
PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
SFL Songs for LiFE (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church,
Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SWM Sing With Me (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America; Great
Commission Publications)
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)

The resources for the music within this service is presented here as a master list of suggestions. Every congregation has its own personality and culture, its own styles of music and Easter hymns which are favorite "must-haves." We suggest you make your selections with your congregation in mind. We also would suggest that you incorporate much congregational singing through this service, alternating congregational song with anthem or responsorial anthems both at the opening of the service and following the sermon.

A Baker's Dozen Choral Anthem Suggestions:
Bunjes, Paul. I Know That My Redeemer Lives. Concordia 98-1462 [1958]
(SATB, congregation with organ; E-M)
Carter, John. Easter Alleluia. Beckenhorst BP1046 [1977]
(canon for four voice groups, any combination with piano & opt. flute and drum; E-M)
Courtney, Craig. I Know That My Redeemer Lives. Beckenhorst BP1563 [1999]
(SATB and keyboard; E-M)
Fedak, Alfred. Christus Paradox. GIA G-5463 [2000]
(SATB and organ; M)
Handel, G. F. Since By Man Came Death from Messiah
(SATB and keyboard; E-M)
Hairston, Jester. Angels Rolled De Stone Away. Bourne B200543-358 [1949]
(SSATB and piano; Easter; E-M)
Haugen, Marty. Halle, Halle, Halle. GIA G3961 [1993]
(SATB, cantor, congregation, guitar and keyboard; E-M)
Hopson, Hal H. Concertato on "We Know That Christ Is Raised." H. W. Grey GCMRO3566
[1989] (SATB, congregation, organ, opt. brass and handbells; E-M)
McChesney, Kevin. Now the Green Blade Riseth. Hope C 5161 [2002]
(SSATB with keyboard and/or 3-5 octaves handbells; E-M)
Nagy, Russell. Jesus Is Risen! Alleluia! High Street JH524 [1992]
(unison with keyboard; E)
Nagy, Russell. He Is Not Here! High Street Music JH538 [1994]
(SATB, keyboard and opt. brass quartet; M)
Pethel, Stan. Hallelujah, Christ is Risen. Coronet Press 392-4162 [1990]
(SATB and keyboard; E-M)
Roberts, Leon C. He Has the Power. GIA G2476 [1981]
(SATB and Piano; M)

A Baker's Dozen Congregational Song and Service Music Suggestions:

CHRIST AROSE ["Low in the Grave Christ Lay"]

Organ:
Ferguson, John. Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)
Ferguson, John. Three Nineteenth Century Revival Hymns. Augsburg 11-10976 [1999] (E-M)
Spong, Jon. Partita on "Christ Arose". Egan EO-159 [1993] (E-M)

DEXTER/EARTH AND ALL STARS ["Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen!"]

Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. Praise and Thanksgiving, set 2. Morningstar MSM-10-752 [1989] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Interpretations, bk. 3. AMSI OR-6 [1983] (M)
Kolander, Keith. Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)
Leavitt, John. With High Delight. Concordia 97-6845 [2000] (E-M)
Powell, Robert J. Sing a New Song. Augsburg 11-10766 [1996] (E-M)
Wallace, Sue Mitchell. Hymn Prisms. Hope 270 [1985] (E-M)
Wold, Wayne L. Augsburg Organ Library - Autumn. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7579-7 [2003]
(E-M)
Wyton, Alec. Variants on Earth and All Stars. Augsburg 11-0849 [1973] (M)

Piano:
David, Anne Marie. Here I Am, Lord. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7566-5 [2002] (E-M)
Organ, Anne Krentz. On Eagle's Wings. Augsburg 11-10711 [1996] (M)

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Eggert, John. Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ, vol. 2. CPH97-6851 [2000]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

DIADEMATA ["Crown Him with Many Crowns"]

Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. Five Easter Season Hymn Improvisations. Morningstar MSM-10-403
[1990] (E-M)
Callahan, Charles. Partita on Diademata. Morningstar MSM 10-409 [1991] (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Hymn Preludes for the Pentecost Season. Concordia 97-5517 [1979] (E-M)
Lutkin, Peter. Christian Hymn Tune Transcriptions. H. W. Grey [1908] (E-M)

Piano:
Boertje, Barbara. Piano Improvisations for the Church Year. Unity 70/1194U [1998] (E-M)
Organ, Anne Krentz. Piano Reflections for the Church Year. Augsburg Fortress 11-11209
[2001] (M)

Handbells:
Keller, Michael R. Alleluia, He Is Risen. Agape 1221 [1986] (3-5 octaves, M)

Choral Resource:
Pelz, Walter L. Crown Him With Many Crowns. Augsburg 11-9093 [1963]
(SATB, congregation, organ and trumpets; E-M)

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 1. Ludwig O-05 [1975]
Wood, Dale. New Settings of Twenty Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9292 [1968]

EASTER HYMN ["Christ the Lord Is Risen Today"]

Organ:
Bish, Diane. Toccata on Christ the Lord Is Risen Today. Fred Bock B-G0634 [1982] (M)
Diemer, Emma Lou. Suite on Easter Hymns. SMP KK322 [1984] (E-M)
Haan, Raymond H. Fantasy on Jesus Christ is Risen Today. Concordia 97-5936 [1987] (E-M)
Goemanne Noël. (1971-Presser) Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000]
(M)
Held, Wilbur. Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol. 4. Concordia 97-7032 [2005] (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Six Preludes on Easter Hymns. Concordia 97-4649 [1975] (E)
Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice, vol. 1. SMP KK234 [1978] (adaptable for piano; E)
Lutkin, Peter. Christian Hymn Tune Transcriptions. H. W. Grey [1908] (M)
Manz, Paul. God of Grace. Morningstar MSM-10-599 [2004] (E)
Page, Anna Laura. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Boardman 4570-46 [1981] (E-M)
Powell, Robert J. (1993) Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)

Piano:
Boertje, Barbara. Piano Improvisations for the Church Year. Unity 70/1194U [1998] (M)
Hamilton, Gregory. As the Grains of Wheat. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7577-0 [2003] (M)

Handbells:
Danner, David. Christ The Lord Is Risen Today. Triune HB146 [1985] (3 octaves /flute, E-M)
Honoré, Jeffrey. Alleluia Passacaglia. Agape 1552 [1992] (3-5 octaves, E-M)
Keller, Michael R. Alleluia, He Is Risen. Agape 1221 [1986] (3-5 octaves, M)

Choral Resource:
Wolff, S. Drummond. Jesus Christ Is Risen Today Alleluia. Concordia 98-2050 [1969]
(SATB, two trumpets, organ and congregation; E-M)

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 2. Ludwig O-07 [1983]
Wood, Dale. New Settings of Twenty Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9292 [1968]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Pam Gervais. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

EBENEZER/TON-Y-BOTEL ["Alleluia! Alleluia!"]

Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. Seven Hymn Improvisations and Free Accompaniments, set 1. Morningstar
MSM-10-847 [1992] (E-M)
Hildebrand, Kevin. Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol 3. Concordia 97-7052 [2004] (E-M)
Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice, vol. 3. SMP KK278 [1983] (adaptable for piano; E)
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 8. Concordia 97-5342 [1979] (M)
Miller, Aaron David. Augsburg Organ Library - Epiphany. Augsburg 11-11073 [2001] (M)
Purvis, Richard. Seven Chorale Preludes. Fischer 0 3450 [1949] (POP; M)
Willan, Healy. Ten Hymn Preludes, set 2. Peters 6012 [1957] (M)

Piano:
Medema, Ken. Sanctuary. Genevox 4181-16 [1989] (M)
Shackley, Larry. Celtic Hymn Settings for Piano. Hope 8117 [2001] (E-M)
Wilhelmi, Teresa. Hymns.Light Jazz Style. Word 301 0136 315 [1997] (M)

Handbells:
McChesney, Kevin. Once to Every Man and Nation. Alfred 18556 [1999] (3-5 octaves, level 3)

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Cherwien, David. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

GELOBT SEI GOTT ["Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing"]

Organ:
Holman, Derek. Postlude on a Melody by Melchior Vulpius. Jaymar [1993] (D)
Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice, vol. 1. SMP KK234 [1978] (adaptable for piano, E)
Leavitt, John. (1991) Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 5. Concordia 97-5257 [1974] (E-M)
Martin, Gilbert M. The Bristol Collection, vol. 2. Flammer HF-5078 [1975] (M)
Peterson, Lynn L. Organ Music for the Seasons, vol. 2. Augsburg 11-11010 [1999] (E-M)
Willan, Healy. Six Chorale Preludes, set 1. Concordia 97-3903 [1950] (E-M)

Handbells:
Keller, Michael R. Alleluia, He Is Risen. Agape 1221 [1986] (3-5 octaves, M)

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 2. Ludwig O-07 [1983]
Johnson, David N. Free Harmonizations of Twelve Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9190 [1964]
Wood, Dale. New Settings of Twenty Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9292 [1968]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Maynard, Lynette. Let It Rip! At the Piano, vol. 2. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]

HALLE, HALLE ["Halle, Halle, Hallelujah!"]

Organ:
Behnke, John A. Three Global Songs. Hope 8057 [1999] (E-M)

Piano:
Carter, John. Contemporary Hymns & Songs for Piano/4 Hands. Hope 8087 [2000] (E-M)
Kolander, Keith. When Our Song Says Peace. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-2345-2 [2006]
(E-M)

JESUS, MEINE ZUVERSICHT ["Jesus Lives and So Do We"]

Organ:
Bender, Jan. Five Festive Preludes on Easter Hymns. Concordia 97-5495 [1979] (M)
Cherwien, David. Interpretations, bk. 8. AMSI SP-105 [1991] (M)
Leupold, A. W. An Organ Book. Chantry Music Press [1960] (E-M)
Leupold, Anton Wilhelm. (1960-Chantry) Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075
[2000] (E-M)
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 5. Concordia 97-5257 [1974] (M)

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Frahm, Frederick. Let It Rip! At the Piano, vol. 2. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]

O FILII ET FILIAE ["O Sons and Daughters"]

Organ:
Dandrieu, Jean-François. Music for a Celebration, set 4. Morningstar MSM-10-579
[2005] (M)
Dandrieu, Jean-François. The Biggs Book of Organ Music. H. W. Grey GB645 [1979] (M)
Guilmant, Alexandre. The Practical Organist, vol. 1. Schirmer (M)
Held, Wilbur. (1964) Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol. 4. Concordia 97-7032 [2005] (E-M)
Johnson, David N. Easy Trios. Augsburg 11-9291 [1969] (E)
Willan, Healy. Ten Hymn Preludes, set 1. Peters 6011 [1956] (M)

Handbells:
Nelson, Susan. Easter Alleluia. Choristers Guild CGB216 [1999] (3-5 octaves, level 2)

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar MSM-10-555 [2001]
Eggert, John. Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ, vol. 2. CPH 97-6851 [2000]
Goode, Jack C. Thirty-four Changes on Hymn Tunes. H W Grey GB 644 [1978]

ST. KEVIN ["Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain"]

Organ:
Jordan, Alice. A Season and A Time. Broadman 4570-37 [1977] (E-M)
Whitford, Homer. Five Choral Paraphrases. set 1 H. W. Grey. [1941] (E-M)
Young, Gordon. Eight Voluntaries. Presser 413-41034-30 [1961] (E-M)

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Goode, Jack C. Thirty-four Changes on Hymn Tunes. H W Grey GB 644 [1978]

UPP, MIN TUNGA ["Praise the Savior Now and Ever"]

Organ:
Haan, Raymond H. Four Hymns of Rejoicing. Morningstar MSM-10-518 [1998] (E-M)

VICTORY/PALESTRINA ["The Strife Is O'er, the Battle Done"]

Organ:
Held, Wilbur. Six Preludes on Easter Hymns. Concordia 97-4649 [1975] (E-M)
Helman, Michael. Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)
Johnson, David N. Easy Trios. Augsburg 11-9291 [1969] (E)
Linker, Janet. Suite for Holy Week. Beckenhorst OC5 [1989] (E-M)
Shoemaker-Lohmeyer, Lisa. The Strife is O'er. Morningstar MSM-10-418 [1997] (M)
Young, Gordon. Eight Voluntaries. Presser 413-41034-30 [1961] (E-M)

Piano:
Hamilton, Gregory. As the Grains of Wheat. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7577-0 [2003] (M-D)

Handbells:
Sherman, Arnold B. The Strife Is O'er. Agape 1847 [1996] (3-5 octaves, level 3)
Zabel, Albert. The Strife Is O'er. Augsburg Fortress 11-10989 [1999] (3-5 octaves, level 3)

VRUECHTEN ["This Joyful Eastertide"]

Organ:
Beck, Theodore. Five Hymn Preludes. Concordia 97-5391 [1976] (M)
Bender, Jan. Five Festive Preludes on Easter Hymns. Concordia 97-5495 [1979] (M)
Bouman, Paul. Partita on This Joyful Eastertide. Concordia 97-6060 [1990] (E-M)
Burkhardt, Michael. Five Easter Season Hymn Improvisations. Morningstar MSM-10-403 [1990]
(E-M)
Burkhardt, Michael. This Joyful Eastertide. Morningstar MSM-10-401 [1993] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Seasonal Interpretations Lent-Easter. Summa SP-112 [1998] (E-M)
Clarke, Andrew. Easter Triology, set 2. Morningstar MSM-10-405 [1991] (M)
Diemer, Emma Lou. Suite on Easter Hymns. SMP KK322 [1984] (M)
Hildebrand, Kevin. Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol. 3. Concordia 97-7052 [2004] (E-M)
Kolander, Keith. (1998) Augsburg Organ Library - Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)

Handbells:
Tucker, Margaret R. This Joyful Eastertide. Morningstar MSM-30-400 [1988] (3 octaves, E-M)
Tucker, Sondra K. This Joyful Eastertide. Choristers Guild CGB341 [2003] (4-5 octaves,
level 3)

The "Hallelujah Chorus" can be sung chorally or congregationally. If the congregation is included in the singing, you will need to provide music for them. It can be secured from Fred Bock Music Company B-G0745 [1984].

The postlude could include a piece listed above in the master list of hymn-based resources, or it could be a free piece such as the following:

Organ:
Lemmens, J. Fanfare in D. Fischer P2319 (E-M), also found in Davis, Roger.
The Organists' Manual. W.W. Norton [1985]
Widor, Charles Marie. Toccata found in Fifth Symphony. Marks [1936] (M-D)

Liturgy Notes

1. This worship service opens with readings from 1 Corinthians 15 so that Easter worship is clearly a response to God's proclamation of the resurrection of Christ. God calls us to worship because he raised Christ. We have structured this reading for three voices, but you may choose to structure it differently, with more or less readers. The readers should stand together in front of the congregation, should read firmly and with authority, and should have rehearsed it together so that it flows smoothly and firmly. The concluding unison reading should be clear and distinct.

2. After the pastor brings God's greeting, encourage the worshipers to greet one another, not with the normal "Good Morning," but with a distinctively Easter greeting such as "Christ Is Risen!" Please remember that Easter Sunday morning often involves more guests and seekers than usual. Therefore, let the firm Easter greeting be prominent. In all of the activities and worship of this morning, let hospitality and a warm welcome come through clearly.

3. The Children's Message on Easter morning requires special thought and skill. It must be prepared for the level of a child's understanding but should warmly steer them away from Easter bunnies to the reality of Christ's resurrection. Don't worry that a child's mind cannot comprehend a bodily resurrection (adults can't either!).

4. The Profession of Faith takes words from the Contemporary Testimony of the Christian Reformed Church ("Our World Belongs to God") and puts them on our lips so that as the body of Christ we respond to the Word of God by exclaiming the powerful words, ".he walked out of the grave, the Lord of life!" To reprint for personal use, a ministry setting, or classroom us, include this credit line: © 1987, CRC Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. www.crcna.org . Reprinted with permission.

5. Some churches have developed the tradition of concluding both Christmas and Easter services with the "Hallelujah Chorus" by Handel. It's a beautiful way to exclaim our joy!

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