Sunday, April 15, 2012

An Easter Sunset Service

I had never heard of an Easter Sunset Service, but our Family of Hope House Church just created and observed one, on the evening of the Orthodox Easter.

After a 5 pm indoor picnic at EMU's Discipleship Center on the hill above the campus, we used the following litany of scripture and music (singing from the Hymnal, a Worship Book) and had an anointing service for Rachel Stoltzfus, the beloved senior member of our congregation.

I wish I had brought a camera to catch the wonderful sunset we witnessed as we closed the service at 8, not unlike the one shown above that is on my realtor friend Kai Degner's website, taken by a friend of his.

Family of Hope House Church

Praise God and celebrate great light!

Genesis 1:1-5

# 652 The day you gave us, Lord, is ended
# 654 Sun of my soul

Responsive reading
The day has passed, and I give You thanks, Lord;

make the evening and the night free of sin,
I ask You, Savior, and save me.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit;
The day has ended, and I give You glory, Master,

make the evening and the night free of offense,
I ask You, Savior, and save me.

Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The day is over, and I give You praise, Holy One;

make the evening and the night free of evil designs,
I ask You, Savior, and save me.
Lord, have mercy...

Let my prayer come before You as incense,

the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice;
Lord hear me.

Orthodox Book of Prayers

Confess to God and experience full forgiveness! 

Gen. 3:8-9
# 658 All praise to thee, my God, this night

Prayer of Confession

If I have wounded any soul today,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,

If I have walked in my own willful way,
Dear Lord, forgive!

If I have uttered idle words or vain,
If I have turned aside from want or pain,

Lest I myself shall suffer through the strain,
Dear Lord, forgive!

If I have been perverse or hard, or cold,
If I have longed for shelter in Thy fold,

When Thou hast given me some fort to hold,
Dear Lord, forgive!

Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee;
Forgive the secret sins I do not see;

O guide me, love me and my keeper be,
Dear Lord, Amen.                

C. Maud Battersby

Reflect on God and gain new wisdom!

# 819 Psalm 90        # 653 Abide with me

May God support us all the day long,

till the shadows lengthen
and the evening comes
and the busy world is hushed

and the fever of life is over

and our work is done—
then in his mercy—

may he give us a safe lodging

and a holy rest and peace at the last.  Amen.

Attributed to Cardinal John Henry Newman, Prayer in All Things

Fellowship with God and find renewed faith!

John 20:19-31
# 570 We walk by faith

Christ with me sleeping,
Christ with me waking,
Christ with me watching,

every day and night,
every day and night.                  

Celtic prayer from Carmina Gadelica

Trust in God and experience deep healing! 

Luke 4:40, James 5:13-16 

At even, ere the sun was set,
The sick,
O Lord, around Thee lay;

O, with how many pains they met!

O, with what joy they went away!

Once more ’tis eventide, and we,

Oppressed with various ills, draw near;

What if Thyself we cannot see?

We know that Thou art ever near.

O Savior Christ, our woes dispel;

For some are sick, and some are sad;

And some have never loved Thee well,

And some have lost the love they had.

And some are pressed with worldly care

And some are tried with sinful doubt;

And some such grievous passions tear,

That only Thou canst cast them out.

And some have found the world is vain,

Yet from the world they break not free;

And some have friends who give them pain,

Yet have not sought a friend in Thee.

And none, O Lord, have perfect rest,

For none are wholly free from sin;

And they who fain would serve Thee best

Are conscious most of wrong within.

O Savior Christ, Thou too art man;

Thou has been troubled, tempted, tried;
Thy kind but searching glance can scan

The very wounds that shame would hide.

Thy touch has still its ancient power.

No word from Thee can fruitless fall;

Hear, in this solemn evening hour,

And in Thy mercy heal us all.                                     

Henry Twells, 1868

Go with God and be a great blessing!  

#655 Now on land and sea descending
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