Wednesday, March 19, 2014

An Intergenerational Ash Wednesday Order of Worship

A friend sent me the order for Ash Wednesday Worship at First Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Children are included throughout as worshipers, ushers, communion servers and worship leaders.  I know it is too late for Ash Wednesday this year.  But, this is definitely a keeper for next year’s planning.  And, the ritual for Communion might suggest ideas for Lenten sacraments for this year.  In it the children take the role of the Jewish children posing questions at the Seder by asking questions about Communion.  With permission from Debbie MacVey, their Director of Children’s Education and Family Ministries, I am sharing the bulletin.  Before sharing, I deleted the copyrighted musical refrains which they printed with the music by permission and replaced them with blue print references that I hope will identify the music to you.  Also in the process of posting this, I lost much of the simple elegance with which the Ann Arbor order appeared on the page.  Still, with apologies for the formatting, I pass it on hoping it gives you ideas to work into your own services.  It is too good not to share.

                  First Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor, MI
                                      March 5, 2014

As you entered the Sanctuary you received a paper cross. Please think about a special commitment you can make or something you can do to share your faith during Lent. Here are some ideas: help an elderly neighbor, bring a friend to church, study more, volunteer with your family to help others, pick up your toys, or help a younger brother or sister. When you have chosen what you would like to do, write your commitment on your paper cross. During the worship service, you will be invited to come forward and hang your cross on the Lenten cross in front of the chancel steps.
The congregation speaks or sings those parts of the worship service in bold type.
* Please stand in body or spirit.
VOLUNTARY                                 Jesus Loves Me!                                                Robert Hobby
GATHERING PRAYER The congregation is invited to sing the refrain .                           
Guide Us, Lord                                                                             Mark Patterson
Guide us through these days, O Lord; help us to seek your way, trusting as you lead us with love, teach us again to pray. Refrain
Guide us through these days, O Lord; help us to seek your way,
Seeking wisdom from your word, strengthen our tender faith. Refrain
When we stray and fall to sin, help us find your path again; draw us closer in your fellowship of love. Refrain

The refrain "Help us know you more clearly, help us love you more dearly..." was printed.  The song is copyrighted by Choristers Guild in 2013

CALL TO WORSHIP                                                         Rev. Dr. Monnett
One: We come from many families to worship God as one family of God. 
All:  Remembering our covenant, we come in faithfulness.
One: We come to mark the beginning of the season of Lent. 
All:  We come to remember through ashes and prayer. 
One:  We come to break bread together.
   All:  We come to receive the cup in Christ’s name.
One: Come then, let us renew ourselves as we worship together. 
All:  Let us worship God!
HYMN                                        Sign Us with Ashes                                   phoenix
Please remain seated to sing the refrain when indicated.


PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION                                                                 
OLD TESTAMENT READING     Joel 2:12-13                   

PSALM                                            Psalm 51                                                        Jane Marshall
The psalm phrases “Create in me a clean heart, O God; Put a new and right spirit in me” are sung responsively by the congregation and the choir.  It is copyrighted by Choristers Guild in 2003.
NEW TESTAMENT READING     Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21                                        Rev. Riegel
           One:  The Word of the Lord.
           All:  Thanks be to God.
INVITATION TO LENT                                                                                                Rev. Conrad
LITANY OF CONFESSION                                                                          

One: For all the times we fail to do what we know is right,
All: we are sorry, Lord.
One: For all the times we do what we know is wrong,
All: we are sorry, Lord.
One” For all the times we fail to love each other,
All: we are sorry, Lord.
One: For all the times we fail to love you,

All: we are sorry, Lord.

You are invited to come forward to hang your cross on the cross and receive ashes. You may ask the ashes be placed on your forehead or on your hand. The ashes remind us that we belong to Jesus Christ.  
Confessional Psalm                        Psalm 51                                                     David Clark Isele  During the Imposition of Ashes, we will sing Psalm 51. Please sing the refrain when indicated.
The refrain is “The sacrifice you accept, O God, is a humble spirit.”  From GIA Publications
Holy God, you made us from dust.
Let these crosses remind us of Jesus.
Let these ashes tell us again how loved we are, now and forever.
O God, thank you for loving us so much. Amen.


SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION                                                               Rev. Dr. Fair
                                                                                                                                               Lal Rodawla

Invitation to the Lord’s Table
All:                  We come from the east and west.
                        We come from the north and south to feast at our Lord’s table.
Children:       Who can come to this table?
One:                 Jesus invites all those who trust him to come to this table.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving and the Lord's Prayer
One:     The Lord be with you.
All:     And also with you.
One:     Lift up your hearts.
All:     We lift them up to the Lord.
One:     Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All:     It is right to five our thanks and praise.

Children: Why do we give thanks at this table?
One:          We give thanks for God's creation,
                  for making us in God's image.
                 We give thanks because God never gave up on us
                    even though we were not faithful to God.
                 We give thanks because when it was time,
                 God sent Jesus, God's child, to show God's love for us.
Children:  How do we thank and praise God for all of this?
One:           With all the faithful people of every time and place in the world
                   we sing this song of God's glory.

Congregations sings “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord” by Pruner and Proulx (Choristers Guild) then prays:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
Words of Institution

Children:   What do we remember at this table?
One:            We remember Jesus, God's child:
All:             Jesus healed the sick and restored sight to the blind;
                   Jesus welcomed strangers and ate with outcasts.
                   Dying on the cross, Jesus saved us from our sin,
                   Risen from the dead, Jesus gives us new life. 
Children:   Why do we eat bread at this table?
One:             Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to his friends.
Children:    Why do we drink from the cup at this table?
One:             Jesus gave them the cup as the promise that our sins are forgiven.
                     He said, "This is my blood, poured out for you."
Children:    But this is just everyday bread and grape juice.
One:             Let us pray that the everyday bread and juice will become holy:
                     Gracious God, send your Holy Spirit to be with us and upon these
                     your gifts of bread and cup that the bread we break and the cup we
                     bless may bring us closer to Jesus and Jesus closer to us.  Amen.
All communion cups contain only non-alcoholic grape juice. Communion will be served by intinction. There are two stations at the chancel steps. Worshipers are invited to come forward by the center aisle to the station closest to them. Worshipers receive a wafer and dip it in the common cup, thus receiving both elements. Please return to the pews by a side aisle. Those unable to come forward will be served where they are seated. Gluten-free wafers are available.
      Communion Music
                                            Let Us Break Bread Together
                                            Lord, I Want to Be a Christian in My Heart
Please join in singing these spirituals.

     Prayer after Communion                      Psalm 103 
           One:  Bless the Lord, O my soul;
                   All:  and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name!
                   One: Bless the Lord, O my soul;
                   All:   and forget not all God’s blessings.


*Hymn 525                                                   Here I Am, Lord                                                     Please sing Stanza 1.
*Charge and Benediction
*Congregational Response
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard You calling in the night.            
I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart.
  Voluntary                                      Here I Am, Lord                                                Janet Linker
Continuing a long-standing tradition at First Pres, children and their parents are assisting in the serving of communion. The parents serving are all ordained elders or deacons. We rejoice that our children are part of the family of God. Participating in the service are communion servers Dianne and Jack Santinga, Nicki, Veronica and Stephanie Sorter, and Marty and Thomas Swindle; the Children’s Choir; Youth Choir ensemble; Clayton Farmer, soloist; Tom Granum, Director of Music Ministries; Doris Granum, Children’s Choir director; Rev. Dr. Fairfax F. Fair; Rev. Dr. Jim Monnett; Rev. Lindsay Conrad; Rev. Kristin Riegel; and Lal Rodawla, Resident Minister.
Portions of the communion liturgy are taken from Belonging to God, A Catechism Resource for Worship, Geneva Press.

Ushers are Cyndy Colton, Nicole Jolliet, and Len Rezmierski, captain.

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