celtic preayers

Prayers on a Theme of Easter

Resurrection

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Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival, and the one celebrated with the greatest joy. Without Easter there would be no Christianity. Without Jesus' suffering, his execution and subsequent resurrection there would be no Christianity, for however terrible the suffering was, it was part of God's plan for the salvation of humankind.

In Western Christianity, Easter marks the end of Lent, a period of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, which begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts forty days (not counting Sundays).

The week before Easter, known as Holy Week, is very special in the Christian tradition. The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday and the last three days before Easter are Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (sometimes referred to as Silent Saturday). Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday respectively commemorate Jesus' entry in Jerusalem, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion.

 

"Christ the Lord is risen to-day,"
Sons of men and angels say.
Raise your joys and triumphs high;
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply.
(Charles Wesley)

 

Prayers for Easter

 

Would we be counted
among the doubters
hiding in the shadow
cast by that cruel cross?
Or, when challenged,
like Peter
openly deny you?
There are times, Lord
when doubts assail
and the distance between us
seems to increase.
There are times, Lord
when sin has its hold,
like a barrier between us
that will not move.
Who is there we can turn to
when we feel so overwhelmed?
Who can roll away the stone
and reveal the empty tomb?
No-one but you, Jesus,
no-one but you!






Love poured out
on that cruel cross,
a blood offering
so we might go free.

(Pause)

Love poured out,
infusing this world
with rivers of grace
and hope of rebirth.

(Pause)

Love poured out,
and into these hearts,
who drink from a stream
that never runs dry







Halleluia!
Jesus is risen!
He is risen indeed!

May this declaration
resound not only in these walls
but touch the lives
of all we meet
and forever be
the truth of which we speak.
Your love,
once sown within a garden,
tended for your own people,
neglected and rejected,
now spreads its sweet perfume
in this place
and wherever it is shown.

Halleluia!
Jesus is risen!
He is risen indeed!






When our faith
stands at the grave,
grieving
for a stone that's rolled away,
forgive us.

When our faith
is short of
understanding
though the truth is there to see,
forgive us.

When our faith,
beset by doubt, sees
no further
than an empty tomb today,
forgive us.

Bring to mind
the cry of Mary,
‘I have seen the Lord!'
and grant us faith to believe!







We thank you
that Easter is not about
a people,
but all people,
that your love
and your Salvation
are for all who confess
with voices, hearts and lives
that the tomb is empty
because Jesus is risen,
that we might know
forgiveness,
that lives might be
reborn
and your name
glorified
now and for eternity.



 

 

From the darkness of the grave
Blood poured out, a crown of thorns
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
ALL: Alleluia!

From the triumph that is won
Over the power and fear of death
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
ALL: Alleluia!

Walking from the empty tomb
Opening wide the gates of life
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
ALL: Alleluia!

Lord of life
You defeated death
To show that we can rise
From all that binds us to the world
Pride, envy, anger, fear
The debt of sin that holds us here
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
ALL: Alleluia!

Lord of life
You defeated death
To demonstrate a love that is
Beyond our understanding
That reaches out even to me
Saving Grace to all who hear
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
ALL: Alleluia!


Lord of life
We pray for all who bring your word of life
As a light to those in darkness
For those who bring your word of peace
To those enslaved by fear
For those who bring your word of love
To those in need of comfort
Lord of love and Lord of peace
Lord of resurrection life
Be known
Through our lives
and through your power
Christ the Lord is risen to-day
ALL: Alleluia!



 

Rejoice!
The stone is rolled away,
grave clothes neatly folded,
no more the smell of death,
behold the empty tomb!
Halleluia! (He is risen!)

Rejoice!
Scripture has been fulfilled,
the sting of death is gone,
the victory has been won,
behold the risen Christ!
Halleluia! (He is risen!)

Rejoice!
The curtain’s torn in two,
our God invites us in,
Christ’s sacrifice enough
to wash away our sins!
Halleluia! (He is risen!)







Easter reminds us
that each time
we deny you, Lord,
another nail is sharpened;
and each time
we defy you, Lord,
into your hand it’s hammered.
When faith is weak,
temptation strong
and courage fails,
forgive us, Lord
and once again
become that risen presence
within our hearts. Amen





We give thanks to you, Lord,
for you have done marvellous things!

When we were walking in darkness
you were there, you were there,
when we were kneeling in weakness
you were there, you were there,
when we drew near feeling worthless
you were there, you were there,
when we were needing forgiveness
you were there, you were there,
when we were searching for your grace
you were there, you were there.

We give thanks to you, Lord,
for you have done marvellous things!





God of Promise and God of Hope,
who through your great mercy
have granted us new birth
through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,
we praise your wonderful name!
God of Glory and God of Might
who through your great power
have granted us new strength
to endure all things through faith in Christ our risen King,
we praise your wonderful name!





We are often not the Easter People
that we should be,
living in the certain knowledge
of your great mercy and love.
Distracted by the world around us
we fail to hear your voice,
or hide when faith is challenged
as we wander off the path.
Forgive us, we pray;
restore the love that we first had,
a faith that can endure.
We will keep our eyes fixed on you, Lord,
and with you at our right hand
we shall not be shaken.





It was always your will
that Israel should find,
in Jesus Christ,
the one who would bring them home,
lost sheep returning
to the Shepherd who is their King.
And to that fold
would come others,
from every nation upon earth,
as prophets had foretold,
including those gathered here today
to honour your name.
Gracious God, we praise you
for the promise of Scripture,
the depth of your love
and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.





 

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

 


 

 

From the beginning
you knew the final outcome
watched as the jigsaw pieces
were slotted into place
saw the significance of every moment.
As your body was anointed with oil
at the table of Simon the Leper
the picture was becoming clearer
not only in your eyes
but to an unknown woman
and one of your closest friends.
Judas sensed that this was his moment
sacrificing trust
that had been so freely given
on the altar of selfish gain
for his fifteen allotted minutes of fame
and thirty pieces of silver
The woman recognised the moment.
She gave generously
unselfishly
a costly gift, freely offered.
A fragrant sacrifice of perfume and love
remembered forever in your heart.
And as Judas slipped away unnoticed
your disciples saw none of this
failed to see the significance of the moment.
Two sacrifices, one of trust
and one of love.
But you noticed, Lord
as you notice each day
our sacrificial offering
and betrayal

 


 

 

How often when weary
do we sigh 'The spirit is willing,
but the body is weak.'
How often when in prayer
are thoughts distracted by
sounds or circumstance
or prayers diverted
by trivial concerns.
Baggage carried with us
rather than left at your feet.
How often do we find ourselves
apologising to you
for our abbreviated prayer life.
And yet you draw us still
to be in your presence
as you did the disciples at Gethsemene
You want us to share in your life
to play our part.
You told your disciples to watch and pray
so that they might not fall into temptation
Do you ask the same of us
and do we also fail you
each time we whisper
'The spirit is willing,
but the body is weak.'
Grant us the strength, Lord
of body and of spirit
to offer you the sacrifice
of our lives

 


 

 

Three times
the cock crowed
and by the third
the whole world knew
that Peter had denied his Lord
The echo of that moment
can still be heard today
each time we hide our face
afraid not of death
but a mild rebuke
or at the worst
a little ridicule
the world may never know
our silent denial
for as yet, Lord
it has not known
our silent faith

 


 

 

Lamb of God, you shed for me
Your life upon a blood stained tree,
Your life for mine, love re-defined
An offering, a ransom, release
You gave so much, O Lamb of God
ALL: Just as I am, I come

The doubts I have, the pain I feel
When at your feet I humbly kneel
You take it all, both great and small
Give freedom, forgiveness and peace
I have the choice, O Lamb of God
ALL: Just as I am, I come

Lamb of God, I hear your voice,
And hearing know I have a choice
To make a start, within my heart
A willingness, to journey by faith
You ask no more, O Lamb of God
ALL: Just as I am, I come

By waters still, through fire and storm
Your love continues to transform
And with that call, you welcome all
No barriers now, no limits, just grace
No more excuses Lamb of God
ALL: Just as I am, I come

 

Easter Prayers from other sources

 

Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen
Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty
Christ is Risen indeed from the dead,
the first of the sleepers,
Glory and power are his forever and ever

St. Hippolytus (AD 190-236)

 


 

O Jesus, King,
receive my supplication,
and consider my supplication,
as a pledge to You.
For you, O living King,
have gone forth and gone up,
out of Hell,
as Conqueror.

Woe to those who have rejected you;
For, to evil spirits and demons,
You are sorrow,
to Satan and to Death,
You are pain,
To Sin and Hell,
You are mourning.

Yet, joy has come today,
for those who are born anew.
On this great day therefore,
We give great glory to You,
who died and is now alive,
that to all you may give
life and resurrection!

Adapted by David Bennett from Nisibene Hymn 36:17,18, by St. Ephrem the Syrian

 



It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father
and Your Only-begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Dear Father, by Your wondrous
condescension of loving-kindness toward us,
Your servants, You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam
for us to the Eternal Father by
Your Blood poured
fourth in loving-kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
By Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of eternal happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness
of Your love!

Saint Gregory the Great's Easter Prayer

 


 

 

EASTER PROCLAMATION: THE EXULTET

The "Exultet" is an ancient hymn of the church, an Easter proclamation which recounts the saving acts of God in the Old and New Testaments. Historically, the Exultet was sung only once each year at the beginning of the Paschal (Easter) Vigil Service. That service began on Saturday night in darkness and ended on Easter Sunday morning in the light. (source Reformed Worship)

Rejoice, heavenly choirs of angels.
Rejoice, all creation around God's throne.

Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation.

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
Radiant in the brightness of your King.

Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever.

This is our Passover feast when Christ,
the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates
the homes of all believers.

This is the night when you, Lord our God,
first saved our ancestors in the faith;
you delivered the people of Israel
from their salvery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night when Christ broke
the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.
This is the night truly blessed, when heaven is wedded to earth,
and all creation is reconciled with God.

Therefore, Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our sacrifice of praise and
thanksgiving.
Let us sing with joy,
joining the mighty chorus
of all God's people!

Hymn: Alleluia! Alleluia!

1 Alleluia, alleluia!
Hearts to heaven and voices raise.
Sing to God a hymn of gladness,
sing to God a hymn of praise.
He who on the cross a victim
for the world's salvation bled,
Jesus Christ, the king of glory,
now is risen from the dead.

2 Alleluia, Christ is risen!
Death at last has met defeat.
See the ancient powers of evil
in confusion and retreat.
Once he died and once was buried;
now he lives forevermore—
Jesus Christ, the world's Redeemer,
whom we worship and adore.

3 Christ is risen, Christ and firstfruits
of the holy harvest field,
which will all its full abundance
at his second coming yield.
Then the golden ears of harvest
will their heads before him wave,
ripened by his glorious sunshine
from the furrows of the grave.

4 Alleluia, alleluia!
Glory be to God on high;
alleluia! to the Savior,
who has won the victory;
alleluia! to the Spirit,
fount of love and sanctity:
alleluia, alleluia!
to the triune Majesty.

 

 


 


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.

 

 


 

God, give us eyes to see
the beauty of the Spring,
And to behold Your majesty
in every living thing -
And may we see in lacy leaves
and every budding flower
The Hand that rules the universe
with gentleness and power -
And may this Easter grandeur
that Spring lavishly imparts
Awaken faded flowers of faith
lying dormant in our hearts,
And give us ears to hear, dear God,
the Springtime song of birds
With messages more meaningful
than man's often empty words
Telling harried human beings
who are lost in dark despair -
'Be like us and do not worry
for God has you in His care.

Helen Steiner Rice

 


 

 

Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen
Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty
Christ is Risen indeed from the dead,
the first of the sleepers,
Glory and power are his forever and ever

St. Hippolytus of Rome (AD 190-236)

 

 


 

 

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As once you ransomed your people from Egypt
and led them to freedom in the promised land,
so now you have delivered us from the dominion of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your risen Son.
May we, the first fruits of your new creation,
rejoice in this new day you have made,
and praise you for your mighty acts.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Common Worship

 

 


 

 

O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

 


 

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord's resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



 

 

God our Father,
by raising Christ your Son
you conquered the power of death
and opened for us the way to eternal life.
Let our celebration today
raise us up and renew our lives
by the Spirit that is within us.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 


 

Lord,
the resurrection of Your Son
has given us new life and renewed hope.
Help us to live as new people
in pursuit of the Christian ideal.
Grant us wisdom to know what we must do,
the will to want to do it,
the courage to undertake it,
the perseverance to continue to do it,
and the strength to complete it.


New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book


 

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
though your people walk in the valley of darkness,
no evil should they fear;
for they follow in faith the call of the shepherd
whom you have sent for their hope and strength.
Attune our minds to the sound of his voice,
lead our steps in the path he has shown,
that we may know the strength of his outstretched arm
and enjoy the light of your presence for ever.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Alternate Catholic Collect for the 4th Sunday of Easter


 

God our Father,
may we look forward with hope
to our resurrection,
for you have made us your sons and daughters,
and restored the joy of our youth.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Catholic Opening Prayer for the 3rd Sunday of Easter



Almighty and ever-living God,
give us new strength
from the courage of Christ our shepherd,
and lead us to join the saints in heaven,
where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Catholic Opening Prayer for the 4th Sunday of Easter

 


 

God of mercy,
you wash away our sins in water,
you give us a new birth in the Spirit,
and redeem us in the blood of Christ.
As we celebrate Christ's resurrection,
increase our awareness of these blessings,
and renew your gift of life within us.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Catholic Collect for the 2nd Sunday of Easter

 


 

Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In His great mercy
He has given us a new birth
to a living hope through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead
and to an inheritance
that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.
It is reserved in heaven for you,
who because of your faith in God
are being protected by His power
until the salvation
that is ready to be revealed at the end of time.

New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

 


 

 

Almighty God,
who hast given thine only Son
to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin,
and also an ensample of godly life;
Give us grace that we may always
most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit,
and also daily endeavour ourselves
to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Almighty Father,
who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples
with the sight of the risen Lord:
Give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened
and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Living God,
your Son made himself known to his disciples
in the breaking of bread.
Open the eyes of our faith,
that we may see him in all his redeeming work;
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

 

Collect
Almighty Father,
you have given your only Son to die for our sins
and to rise again for our justification:
grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness
that we may always serve you
in pureness of living and truth;
through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Post Communion
Lord God our Father,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ
you have assured your children of eternal life
and in baptism have made us one with him:
deliver us from the death of sin
and raise us to new life in your love,
in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

From the Church of Ireland


 

 

O most loving Trinity, and most worthy of all love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, my God, I adore Thee. Behold this wretched creature at Thy feet, who desires to make his peace with Thee by means of a good Confession. But since, O my God, without Thy help I can do nothing but evil, I beseech of Thee, by the bowels of Thy compassion, to grant me light, that I may recollect all my sins; make me to perceive the hideousness and the enormity of sin, so that I may abhor and detest it with all my heart.

O my Jesus, Fountain of pity, I draw near to Thee that Thou mayest wash and cleanse me of my filth. O Sun of justice, illuminate this poor blind creature. O Divine Physician, heal this poor sick man. O infinite Love, inflame this soul with Thy love, so that it may break down and dissolve in tears of grief. And may this my confession be such that I may now in earnest change my life, and never again find myself separated from Thee, my God my hope, my love, the salvation, life, and peace of my poor soul!

St. Leonard’s Prayer Before Confession

 


 

Pleading

O remember what my substance is; that I am:
dust and ashes, grass and a flower,
flesh and a wind that passeth away,
corruption and a worm,
like a stranger and a sojourner,
dwelling in a house of clay,
days few and evil, today and not tomorrow,
in the morning and not so long as till evening,
now and not presently,
in a body of death,
in a world of corruption,
lying in wickedness.
Remember this.

 

Petition for Mercy

Have mercy,
Look upon me and be merciful forsake me not,
remember mercy,
have mercy upon us and that soon;
be not wroth,
regard not my sins neither have indignation;
forgive,
refrain wrath: put off wrath,
lay not to charge,
impute not,
remember not,
be not extreme to mark,
enter not into judgment,
despise not,
cast not away from thy presence.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord we ask. Amen.

 

A Prayer of Penitence from the Preces Privatae of Lancelot Andrewes

(see also http://anglicanprayer.wordpress.com/category/anglican-heritage/collects-and-traditional-prayers/ )

 


 

See Lent Resource - Bible Study based upon Isaac Watt's hymn 'When I survey the wondrous Cross'

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