Easter, Year B

Musical Reflection
Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley

matthias-4

Invocation

Living Lord,
whose love displaced
the gravity of stone;
you entrusted women,
who loved beyond death,
with news of the resurrection:
we praise you for the open gospel
which ends where Easter faith begins;
accept our fear, our disbelief
and take us into this new world
led by the risen one;

God unlimited
by mortal fear
or tomb’s cold grip:
in the lingering dark
give us grace to know
your life triumphant
your love undimmed
in the face of Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the dead,
the firstborn from the dead.

Amen.
First Reading
Easter
by Jill Alexander Essbaum
is my season

of defeat.

Though all

is green

and death

is done,

I feel alone.

As if the stone

rolled off

from the head

of the tomb

is lodged

in the doorframe

of my room,

and everyone

I’ve ever loved

lives happily

just past

my able reach.

And each time

Jesus rises

I’m reminded

of this marble

fact:

they are not
coming back.
Second Reading
Paschal
by Robert Pinsky
Easter was the old North
Goddess of the dawn.
She rises daily in the East

And yearly in spring for the great

Paschal candle of the sun.
Her name lingers like a spot
Of gravy in the figured vestment

Of the language of the Britains.

Her totem the randy bunny.
Our very Thursdays and Wednesdays
Are stained by syllables of thunder

And Woden’s frenzy.

O my fellow-patriots loyal to this
Our modern world of high heels,
Vaccination, brain surgery—

May they pass over us, the old

Jovial raptors, Apollonian flayers,
Embodiments. Egg-hunt,
Crucifixion. Supper of encrypted

Dishes: bitter, unrisen, a platter

Compass of martyrdom,
Ground-up apples and walnuts
In sweet wine to embody mortar

Of affliction, babies for bricks.

Legible traces of the species
That devises the angel of death
Sailing over our doorpost
Smeared with sacrifice.

matthias-3

Gospel Reading 1
John 20:1-18

Early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him.” Peter and the other disciple left to go to the tomb. They were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. Bending down to take a look, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn’t go in. Following him, Simon Peter entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. He also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus’s head. It wasn’t with the other clothes but was folded up in its own place. Then the other disciple, the one who arrived at the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. They didn’t yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to the place where they were staying.

Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Parent. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Parent and your Parent, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.

Gospel Reading 2
Mark 16:1-8

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they could go and anoint Jesus’s dead body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb. They were saying to each other, “Who’s going to roll the stone away from the entrance for us?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. (And it was a very large stone!) Going into the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right side; and they were startled. But he said to them, “Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised. He isn’t here. Look, here’s the place where they laid him. Go, tell his disciples, especially Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.” Overcome with terror and dread, they fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

 Musical Reflection
Life is Life by Noah and the Whale

matthias-2
Easter Prayer
by Henry Van Dyke, adapted
Oh Christ,
the brightness of God’s glory and express image of God’s person, whom death could not conquer, nor the tomb imprison;
as you have shared our mortal frailty in the flesh, help us to share your immortal triumph in the spirit.
Let no shadow of the grave affright us and no fear of darkness turn our hearts from you.
Reveal yourself to us as the first and the last, the Living One, our immortal Saviour and Lord.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father/Mother/Parent,
who is in us here on earth,
holy is your name in the hungry who share their bread and their song.
Your Kindom come,
which is a generous land which flows with milk and honey.
Let us do your will,
standing up when all are sitting down,
and raising our voice when all are silent.
You are giving us our daily bread in the song of the bird and the miracle of the corn.
Forgive us for keeping silent in the face of injustice,
and for burying our dreams, for not sharing bread and wine, love and land, among us, now.
Don’t let us fall into the temptation of shutting the door through fear;
of resigning ourselves to hunger and injustice;
of taking up the same arms as the enemy.
But deliver us from evil.
Give us the perseverance and the solidarity to look for love,
even if the path has not yet been trodden,
even if we fail;
so we shall have known your Kindom which is being built forever and ever.
Amen.

Musical Reflection
He’s Alive by Dolly Parton


Blessing

May the cross be the sign
in which we begin again
to undo the cords of violence,
the misery of exclusion,
and proclaim the love
without conditions;

and the blessing of God,
the Rock, the Redeemer, and the Friend,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

matthias-1

Sources:

Artwork by Matthias Jung

Invocation and Blessing from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley

Poem Easter by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Poem Paschal by Robert Pinsky

Musical Reflection Life is Life by Noah and the Whale

Prayer by Henry Van Dyke

Lord’s Prayer Latin American Paraphrase

Musical Reflection He’s Alive by Dolly Parton

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