Psalm 118 - A Psalm of Thanksgiving

An order of worship planned around Psalm 118, originally held at the Calvin Symposium on Worship.

Worship Service

Theme of the Service

Gathering

Gathering music will be chosen from songs listed at the end of the service.

(All who are able rise)

Minister:
Blessed is the kingdom of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever, world without end.

People:
Amen.

Minister:
Lord, our God, you are very great.

People sing:
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Minister:
You are clothed with splendor and majesty
and wrapped in light as with a garment.

People sing:
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Minister:
You have made the winds your messengers
and flames of fire your servants.

People sing:
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Minister:
You water the fields and shelter the birds;
you bring forth bread and wine to fill our hearts.

People sing:
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Minister:
How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.

People:
You open your hand and give us all good things.
Send us your Spirit, create in us a new heart,
and renew the face of the earth.

Minister:
Lord, may your glory endure forever.
We will sing praise to you as long as we live.

People sing:
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Minister:
In peace let us pray to the Lord.

People sing:
Lord, have mercy.

Minister:
For the peace from on high, and for the
salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

People sing:
Lord, have mercy.

Minister:
For the peace and union of the whole world,
and for the protection of the holy churches of God,
let us pray to the Lord.

People sing:
Lord, have mercy.

Minister:
Sovereign Lord, you promise to create
new heavens and a new earth.

People sing:
Hear us, O Lord.

Minister:
You are the Lord who is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in love.

People sing:
Hear us, O Lord.

Minister:
You promise to forget all our offenses
and to remove the sound of weeping from our ears.

People sing:
Hear us, O Lord.

Minister:
You are the Lord who accepts our prayers;
hear now our cry for mercy.

People:
Compassionate God,
when you called, we did not answer;
when you spoke, we did not listen.
We have not heard the cries of the poor,
have not answered the needs of our neighbors,
have not loved you as you love us.
We confess that we have done evil in
your sight.
We are truly sorry and come to repent.
Take away all our sins, heal our
wounded souls,
and fill us with your holiness.

(We remember our baptism as the water is
poured.)

Minister:
God promises: I will forgive you.
I will give you peace like a flowing river.
As a mother comforts her child,
so I will comfort you.
I will gather you from all nations,
and you will be my people.
Let your hearts rejoice and be glad.

People sing:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Minister:
Knowing that we are healed, that we are
truly forgiven and gathered into the very
peace of Christ, let us offer this peace to each other.

(People pass the peace to each other, saying,
"May the peace of Christ be always with you,"
or other appropriate words.)

(people seated)

Service of the Word

Cantor: [first four lines of "God of the Word"]

People sing: [last four lines of "God of the Word"]

Text and music: Ken Medema (b. 1943)
© 1993, Ken Medema Music/ASCAP/Brier Patch Music.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord from Ezekiel 12:21-28:

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.

People:
Thanks be to God.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord from Psalm 118:

Reader 1: O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever!
Let Israel say,
All: 'His steadfast love endures for ever.'
Reader 2: Let the house of Aaron say,
All: 'His steadfast love endures for ever.'
Reader 3: Let those who fear the LORD say,
All: 'His steadfast love endures for ever .'

Readers: Out of my distress I called on the LORD . . . ;
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to put confidence in princes.

Reader 4: All nations surrounded me;
All: in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
Reader 3: They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
All: in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
Reader 2: They surrounded me like bees;
they blazed like a fire of thorns;
All: in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
Reader 1: I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
All: but the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.

Reader 1: There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
Men: 'The right hand of the LORD does valiantly;
Women: the right hand of the LORD is exalted;
Men: the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.'

Reader 1: I shall not die, but I shall live . . . ,
Reader 4: Open to me the gates of righteousness
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the LORD.

All: This is the gate of the LORD;
the righteous shall enter through it.

Reader 3: I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
Reader 2: The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.

Readers: This is the LORD's doing; (repeated)
All: it is marvelous in our eyes.

Women: This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Men: Save us, we beseech you, O LORD!
O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!

Reader 2: Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD.
All: We bless you from the house of the LORD.
Reader 3: The LORD is God,
and he has given us light.
All: Bind the festal procession with branches,
up to the horns of the altar.

Readers: You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; (repeated)
you are my God, I will extol you. (repeated)

All: O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.

People:
Thanks be to God.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord from 1 Peter 2:4-10:

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.

People:
Thanks be to God.

Sermon
Rev. Fleming Rutledge

(followed by a moment of silence)

People sing:
In the Lord, I'll Be Ever Thankful

Text: The Community of Taizé; Sp. tr. Alejandro Pimentel (b. 1960)
Music: Jacques Berthier (1923-1994)
Eng. text and musiccopyright © 1991, Les Presses de Taizé (France), admin. GIA Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sp. tr. © 2001, CRC Publications.

Prayers of Intercession

(people stand)

Minister:
And now, with the Church at all times and in all places, let us affirm our faith.

All:
We believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

The Lord's Supper

Professing members in good standing of a church in which Jesus Christ is professed as Lord and Savior are warmly invited to join with us in the celebration of the Lord's Supper.

Minister:
Come, Jesus, come; stand in our midst
as you stood in the midst of your disciples.
As you received the tears of Mary Magdalene,
the hospitality of Zacchaeus,
and small coins from the widow,
accept our earthly gifts and make them holy.
Give us your heavenly food,
and make us worthy to be your servants.

People sing:

Take, O Take Me as I Am (as bread and cup are brought forward)

Text and music: John Bell (b. 1949)
Copyright © WGRG/Iona Community, Scotland, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

Minister:
The Lord be with you.

People:
And also with you.

Minister:
Lift up your hearts.

People:
We lift them up to the Lord.

Minister:
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People:
It is fitting for us to give thanks.
It is right and fitting, our joy and our salvation,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks to you, almighty, everlasting God,
through Christ our Lord.

Minister:
We thank you for the Spirit, the Lord among us;
always with your people,
hovering over your creation,
like a mother above the crib.
When could we say, "God has forgotten us"?
How could we ever doubt your presence?

People:
You come to those who cry to you.
You come to those who need but do not expect.
You help the poor
and appear at the door of the shut-in, bearing food.
You promise the earth to the meek.
You invite forgotten prisoners to sit at the head table of heaven.

All:
So with the poor, the lame, the foolish,
the orphaned, and the forgotten,
we sing of your loving-kindness, with wonder and joy:

People sing:

Holy, Holy, Holy, My Heart (sung in language of your choice)

Text and music: Spanish traditional; Eng. tr. Sing! A New Creation (2001); Dutch tr. Robert Demoor (b. 1950); Fr. tr. Otto Selles (b. 1964); Korean tr. In Soon Gho (b. 1964); arr. Jorge Lockward (b. 1965)
Tr. © 2001, CRC Publications; arr. © 2000, Jorge Lockard.

(people seated)

Minister:
We give thanks to God that our Savior Jesus Christ, before suffering, gave us this memorial of his sacrifice until his coming again. On the night of his arrest Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, and broke it, saying, "This is my body, given for you; do this to remember me."
Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and offered it to them, saying, "This is the blood of the new covenant which is poured out for many. Whenever you drink it, do this to remember me."

All:
Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your resurrection we declare.
Your coming we await.
Glory be to you, O Lord.

Minister:
Send your Spirit, Lord, to make a place for you,
among and within us.
May our receiving of the bread and wine
be our receiving of you.

People:
Send us your Spirit, O God.

Minister:
The bread which we break,
is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?

People:
We who are many are one body,
for we all share the one loaf.

Minister:
The cup for which we give thanks,
is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ?

People:
Christ is the vine, and we are the branches,
for we all drink of one cup.

Minister:
Lord God, rend the heavens and come down.
Send the Spirit of Jesus upon us,
that we may be moved to oneness with each other
and with all those who suffer.
As Moses raised the serpent, and as you raised Christ,
so raise us up, that seeing our love,
all may find the Prince of Peace and the Joy of the World.

People:
Send us your Spirit, O God.

Minister:
For the peace of the earth, for the reconciliation of nation with nation, race with race, male with female, we pray to you, O Lord. May this bread and wine be the sign of life which flows from you through us to all creation.

People:
Send us your Spirit, O God.

(people stand)

Minister:
Congregation of Jesus Christ, our Lord has prepared this table for all who love and trust in him for their salvation. All who are truly sorry for their sins, who sincerely believe in Jesus as their Savior, and who desire to live in obedience, are now invited to come with gladness to this holy meal.

People:
We long for your healing presence.
We trust in you.
We offer ourselves,
alive to your will, dead to our own.
We shall eat the bread of affliction and of life,
we shall drink the cup of sorrow and of blessing, O risen Lord.

Minister:
Come, then, the table is ready.
The gifts of God for the people of God.

(Here the people come forward in groups as indicated by the ushers, forming a large circle around the communion table. Communicants pass the bread and cup to each other, dipping bread in the cup, and saying "the body of Christ for you" and "the blood of Christ for you," or other appropriate words. Throughout, hymns are sung.)

"Come, Let Us Eat"

Text: Sts. 1-3, Billema Kwillia, 1970; tr. Margaret D. Miller. St. 4, C. Michael Hawn, 1998
Music: A va de, Billema Kwillia, Liberia, 1970
Tr. sts. 1-3 and music © Lutheran World Federation.
St. 4 text © 1999 Choristers Guild.

"Taste and See" (cantor will sing verses)

Text: Psalm 34:8; James E. Moore, Jr. (b. 1951)
Music: James E. Moore, Jr.
Copyright © 1983, GIA Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

"Somos pueblo que camina/We Are People on a Journey"

Text and music: Somos pueblos; La Misa Popular Nicaragense (20th c.); tr. Carolyn Jennings (b. 1936)
Tr. copyright © 1993, The Pilgrim Press. All rights reserved.

"I Love the Lord" (choir only), Richard Smallwood

"Bless the Lord, My Soul" (cantor will sing verses)

Text: from Psalm 103; para. Robert Batastini (b. 1942) and The Community of Taizé
Music: Jacques Berthier (1923-1994)
Copyright © Les Presses de Taizé (France), admin. GIA Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

"Shall We Gather at the River"

Text: based on Rev. 22:1-5; Robert Lowry, 1864
Music: Hanson Place, Robert Lowry, 1864

Minister:
Since the Lord has fed us at his table,
let us praise his name with thanksgiving.

People sing:
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Minister:
And all that is within me, bless God's holy name.

People sing:
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Minister:
May the glory of the Lord endure forever.
May the Lord rejoice over all creation.

People sing:
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Minister:
I will sing to the Lord all my life.
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

People sing:
Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Minister:

Remember that the harvest of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The Spirit is our source of life.

People sing:
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Minister:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and
peace in believing, so that by the power of the
Holy Spirit you overflow with love and hope.

People:
Alleluia! Amen.

Thank-offering and Recessional Singing

We leave with joyful singing (as instructed) and grateful giving. The practice of a thanksgiving offering at Lord's Supper services, which has a long history in the Reformed tradition, accents the eucharistic or gratitude-centered nature of the Lord's Supper, and intimate connection between worship and grateful Christian living.

Our offerings are designated for the tsunami relief efforts of International Aid and the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (checks payable to Calvin College). Please place your gifts in the baskets near each exit door.

We are grateful that tonight's service is hosted by Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church (www.churchoftheservantcrc.org). Liturgy adapted from Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, MI. This liturgy for Pentecost season was inspired by the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, celebrated by Orthodox Christians since the fifth century. Service music by Coni Huisman (© 1989, 1991). Used by permission.

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Additional music (for gathering time)

"Dios está aquí/God Is Here Today"
Text: From Mexico, tr. C. Michael Hawn, 1998
Music: From Mexico, arr. C. Michael Hawn and Arturo González, 1999
Trans. and arr. copyright © Choristers Guild.

"You Are Holy"
Text and music: Du ar helig; Per Harling (b. 1945) copyright © 1991, Per Harling, admin. by Augsburg Fortress.

"Ana fathili za milele/Psalm 136" (C. Michael Hawn) from Kenya; taught aurally

"Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona/Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises"
Text and music: South African Spiritual. This Arrangement Copyright © 1984 by Utryck. All Rights Administered by Walton Music Corporation.

"This Is the Feast of Victory"
Text: Revelation 6:12-14; para. John W. Arthur (1922-1980)
Music: Festival Canticle; Richard Hillert (b. 1923)
Text and music © 1978, Lutheran Book of Worship, Augsburg Fortress.

"For the Fruit of All Creation"
Text: Fred Pratt Green (1903-2000), alt.
Music: Ar hyd y nos, Welsh melody; harm. Luther O. Emerson (1820-1915)
Text copyright © Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

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