Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Liturgy: Lent 3, Matthew 12-13 (Lessons and Carols; March 12, 2023)

*You are welcome to use or adapt any of my resources for free, but I ask that you provide proper citation AND comment on this post to let me know.*

 (Lent 2 Liturgy here)

As we did last year, Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, ID, will spend this Lent reading straight through a gospel from beginning to end: this year, Matthew. We will NOT have sermons during Lent, instead structuring worship around a "lessons and carols" model. All hymns are from the PC(USA)'s "Glory to God" hymnal.

The theme that will accompany this project is "Unlocking Salvation". As we work our way through Matthew's gospel, we will make note of the things standing between God and humanity (and specifically each of us) and how Jesus "unlocks" the doors that separate us. 

I will post the liturgies for ensuing weeks as I write them. I'm happy for anyone to use any part(s) of this series in their own worship contexts with proper attribution, but I would request that you let me know in the comments that you're doing so.

*NB: If there is nothing written under the heading, it's a portion of worship that I do extemporaneously.*


Lent 3 Worship Service (Liturgy by Rev. Katey Schwind Williams)
(Bold words are to be read aloud in unison, * indicates an invitation to stand)

*Call to Worship (based on Matthew 12:16, 35)

Leader: Happy and blessed are eyes that see God’s kindom.
People: Open our eyes, Lord, that we might recognize your work.
Leader: Happy and blessed are ears that hear God’s Word.
People: Open our ears, Lord, that we might understand.
Leader: Christ declares what has been hidden since the beginning of the world.
People: Let those with eyes see and those with ears hear!
Leader: The Lord be with you!
People: And also with you!
Leader: Let us worship the Lord.

Hymn GTG #403, “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty” [v. 1 only]

Call to Confession (based on Matthew 12:38)

Leader: An evil and faithless generation asks for miracles, but the only proof the faithful require is the divine promise of resurrection. Let us confess our sin in grateful anticipation of the new Life given in Christ.

Unison Prayer of Confession (based on Matthew 13:11-15, 19-23)

People: God of wisdom, we believe ourselves to have received the secrets of your kindom, but there is much that we still don’t understand. You have revealed all things to us through Christ, yet our sin prevents us from hearing your Good News and sharing your vision. We long to be the good soil in which this Good News can grow and flourish, yet our hearts have become inhospitable to the Word you have planted there. Forgive us, O Lord, and open our hearts and minds to you. Grant us your wisdom so that your Word might bear fruit in us and in the world – thirtyfold, sixtyfold, even a hundredfold. In your mercy, hear our prayer… (Silent prayers of personal forgiveness)

Sung Response “O Lord, Hear My Prayer” (GTG Hymn #471)

Declaration of Forgiveness (based on Matthew 12:50)

Leader: Jesus declares all who do God’s will to be his family. In our repentance, we take the first step in aligning our own will with God’s and claiming our kinship with Christ. Hear the Good News: in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven! Thanks be to God!

The Peace

Leader: The Peace of Jesus Christ be with you all!
People: And also with you! [Please share the peace of Christ in person and by text]

Sung Response “Open the Eyes of My Heart” (GTG Hymn #452, 1st part)

In Other Words… [Children's Message]

[I have set up a row of six shoeboxes in the chancel designed to look like doors; I have also cut a large key out of cardboard and covered it with tin foil. Each week we will be opening a new one.]

This isn't a verbatim script, but an outline of what I said:
  • Today is the third Sunday in Lent
    • Things that stand between us and God as locked doors
    • What doors are Jesus unlocking?
  • This week we’re reading Matt. 12-13
    • Here’s ONE thing Jesus will help us understand today
  • [Unlock door – Mortarboard & Tassel]
    • It’s a special hat – when do you wear it? (Graduation)
    • What does graduation mean? (you have knowledge)
  • Chapter 13 is full of parables (stories meant to teach)
    • Jesus uses parables to help us understand what God’s kindom is like
    • Jesus explains 2, but leaves 5 unexplained
    • We have to figure them out ourselves!
  • Jesus doesn’t just GIVE us the knowledge
    • He unlocks it by giving us what we need to figure it out
    • When do you remember better: when someone tells you or you have to figure it out yourself?
  • Let’s try to figure out what Jesus is telling us about God’s kindom, and what else Jesus is “unlocking” 
    • Let’s pray...
[Children return to their seats and remain in worship]

Lessons and Carols

Lord of the Sabbath:                                Matthew 12:1-21
Hymn GTG #415,     “Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy” [vv. 1 & 3]

Accusations/Christ’s Family:                Matthew 12:22-50
Hymn GTG #300,               “We Are One In the Spirit” [vv. 1 & 2]

Parables: Part I:                                         Matthew 13:1-23
Hymn GTG #171,       “A Sower Came from Ancient Hills” [vv. 1 & 4]

Parables: Part II:                                      Matthew 13:24-43
Hymn GTG #342,    “Judge Eternal, Throned in Splendor” [vv. 1 & 3]

Parables: Part III/Jesus’ Hometown:  Matthew 13:44-58

Leader: This is the Word of the Lord!
People: Thanks be to God!

Hymn GTG #451, “Open My Eyes, That I May See” [v. 3 only]

*Affirmation of Faith: (Excerpts Adapted from the Heidelberg Catechism)

Leader: What are the keys of the kingdom?
People: The preaching of the holy gospel and repentance.
Leader: How does the holy gospel open the kingdom of heaven?
People: According to the command of Christ: The kingdom of heaven is opened by proclaiming and publicly declaring to all people, each and every one, that God, because of Christ’s merit, truly forgives all their sins. God’s judgment, both in this life and in the life to come, is based on this gospel testimony.
Leader: How is the kingdom of heaven opened by repentance?
People: According to the command of Christ: Those who, after repeated personal and loving admonitions, refuse to abandon their errors and evil ways are not able to enter the kingdom of Christ. Such persons, when promising and demonstrating genuine reform, are received again as members of Christ and of his Church.
Leader: What is involved in genuine repentance?
People: Two things: the dying-away of the old self, and the rising-to-life of the new.


Prayers of the People & The Lord’s Prayer

*Hymn GTG #373, “O Day of Peace”

Charge to the People & Benediction

No comments:

Post a Comment