Easter, Year A

Musical Reflection
Waiting on an Angel by Ben Harper


God of new creation,
from the womb of earth
you raised the Lord of life:
may we receive the word of women
who braved the soldier’s spears
and met him in the dawning light;
may we live with morning joy
that love will never die,
through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life.

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 Christ,
the firstborn from the dead.

First Reading

The Longest Night
by Lorna Crozier

The stars go out,
the clouds like clouds
everywhere forget,
but the sky holds all
the heart can give it,
which is less
than light, which is more.

Second Reading
Excelsior Fashion Products, Easter
by D Nurkse

They pay us time and a half
and don’t dare catch us
drinking: we don’t insist,
don’t pass a bottle, but each sips
a private pint, all sitting
in the narrow room with our backs
to the center, each facing
his work—router, stain tray,
buffing wheel, drill press—
and with that sweet taste echoing
in our bones, we watch our hands
make what they always made
—rosewood handles—but now
we smile in delighted surprise
and Marchesi brings envelopes
that record a full day’s work
though it’s still noon,
processions still fill the streets,
choirs, loudspeakers bellowing
Hallelujah: and we change
into our finest clothes in the locker room,
admiring each other’s hat brims, passing bottles
freely until all are empty, and at last
we separate in the brilliant street, each
in the direction of a different tolling bell.
Gospel Reading 1
Matthew 28:1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb. Look, there was a great earthquake, for an angel from the Lord came down from heaven. Coming to the stone, he rolled it away and sat on it. Now his face was like lightning and his clothes as white as snow. The guards were so terrified of him that they shook with fear and became like dead people. But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him. Now hurry, go and tell his disciples, ‘He’s been raised from the dead. He’s going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ I’ve given the message to you.”

With great fear and excitement, they hurried away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. But Jesus met them and greeted them. They came and grabbed his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my siblings that I am going into Galilee. They will see me there.”

Gospel Reading 2
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, “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 Abba God. Go to my siblings and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Abba and Abba, 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.

Musical Reflection

Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford & Sons

by Harriet Tubman, adapted

We’re going to hold steady on you,
an’ you’ve got to see us through.


The Lord’s Prayer

God in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right; Do what’s best —
As above, so below.
Keep us alive.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.


Musical Reflection
So Tonight That I Might See by Mazzy Star

The Stranger’s Blessing

The Sacred Three be blessing us,
our tables and their stores.
The Sacred Three be blessing
all our loved ones evermore.

May the blessing of God – the Author, the Messenger, and the Word,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.


Artwork by Merce Cunningham

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Waiting on an Angel by Ben Harper

Poem The Longest Night by Lorna Crozier

Poem Excelsior Fashion Products, Easter by D Nurkse

Musical Reflection Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford & Sons

Prayer by Harriet Tubman

Lord’s Prayer from the Message, adapted

Musical Reflection So Tonight That I Might See by Mazzy Star

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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