Here we will provide resources and guides for house churches meeting Sunday, April 5.
We invite you to Participate in Zoom worship 10 am .
The liturgy will be broadcast within the Zoom worship service. For those who prefer, the liturgy and order of worship are available below.
House Church Order of Worship
For worship today, follow the worship order in this liturgy. You are encouraged to worship around your dining room table, similar to the way our Jewish brothers and sisters begin their Sabbath celebrations. Gathering the following items and assigning the following roles prior to beginning worship will allow for a smooth flow to the service.
• Items: homemade palm branches, pitcher of water and a bowl to pour into, candle and matches, bread and wine or juice
• Roles: liturgist, candle lighter, reader for the Passion narrative, a prayer leader, someone to set the table with communion elements, oldest and youngest readers in the household
Whether you are worshipping alone, with one or two others, or with several family members–know you are united in Christ with all who are worshipping this morning! Consider joining other COS members in time rather than space, by using this liturgy to worship at 10am on Sunday morning or by joining the members of COS in a Zoom worship service at 10am this Sunday.
You may also want a computer or smartphone available to access the links to various recordings throughout the service. Links to recordings of the music are provided, but if you have a musician in your household, you are encouraged to have the musician lead the songs.
The liturgy and music are comprised of material from our SES and BES Lenten liturgies, as well as our Children in Worship program. We hope this liturgy will give room for all members – young and old, native English speakers and ESL learners, brothers and sisters from many cultures – to participate fully in the worship of our Triune God. But we recognize that we are worshipping in very different circumstances. So please feel free to adapt this liturgy and use the pieces that work for your home worship.
Call to worship
please remain seated
Leader: This is the day the Lord has made;
People: let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Leader: Today we join Jesus in his final week of earthly ministry, from his triumphal entry to the last supper, crucifixion, and resurrection. The journey begins as Jesus enters Jerusalem. The Gospel of Matthew tells us Jesus’ disciples brought a donkey and a colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
People: “Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Processional Hymn (South Africa)
Please rise in body or in spirit
You are encouraged to wave any homemade palms you have. Children may wish to process around the house with their palms.
Please be seated
Leader: Jesus entered the temple courtyard. He began to drive out all those who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of the people who were exchanging money. He also turned over the benches of those who were selling doves. He said to them, “It is written that the Lord said, ‘My house will be called a house where people can pray.’ But you are making it ‘a den for robbers.’ ” Let us confess our sins.
People: Lord, our faith has become cluttered with the things of this world. Forgive our sins. Drive out all unrighteousness from the temples of our hearts.
A time for silent confession
We remember our baptism by pouring the water into a bowl.
Leader: Hear the good news: In Christ our sins are forgiven. Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Proclamation of the Law
Leader: As forgiven people let us hear the wisdom of God’s law:
People: Do not put any other gods in place of me. Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on the earth or in the waters. Do not worship them. Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God. Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Honor your father and mother. Do not commit murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not lie about your neighbor. Do not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Write your law upon our hearts, O God.
you may put your hand on your heart as you verbally pass the peace.
Leader: God has given us peace through Jesus Christ. Let us pass the peace of Christ to one another.
Prayer for illumination
please be seated.
If you have children in your group, invite them to lead the motions for this song that is sung weekly in Children’s Worship
Leader: We light the Christ candle to remind us that Christ is with us as we hear the word of God.
A member of the household lights the candle.
Leader: Living God, help us to hear your Word, understand your Word, believe your Word and follow your Word. In Jesus’ name we pray.
The Plot to Kill Jesus / Anointing at Bethany
Leader: 1When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2“You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” 3Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5But they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”
6Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? 9For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” 10But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. 11For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. 13Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus / Peter’s Denial Foretold
Leader: 14Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
31Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” 33Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.” 34Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” 35Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
Leader: 36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” 40Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
People sing: Go to dark Gethsemane, all who feel the tempter’s power; your Redeemer’s conflict see, watch with him one bitter hour: turn not from his griefs away— teach us, Lord, how we should pray.
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
Leader: 47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” 55At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
People sing: Follow to the judgment hall, view the Lord of life arraigned. Oh, the wormwood and the gall! Oh, the pangs his soul sustained! Shun not suffering, shame, or loss— help us, Lord, to bear our cross.
Jesus before the High Priest
Leader: 57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. 59Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, 60but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’” 62The high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” 63But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66What is your verdict?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, 68saying, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?”
Peter’s Denial of Jesus
Leader: 69Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” 73After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed. 75Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Leader sings: Bitter was the night, thought the cock would crow forever.
Bitter was the night before the break of day.
Saw you passing by, told them all I didn’t know you.
Bitter was the night before the break of day.
Told them all a lie, and I told it three times over.
Bitter was the night before the break of day.
Bitter was the night, thought there’d never be a morning.
Bitter was the night before the break of day.
Jesus Brought before Pilate / Pilate Questions Jesus
Leader: 1When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. 2They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor. 3When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4He said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. 6But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.” 7After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to
bury foreigners. 8For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, 10and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
11Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” 12But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. 13Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?” 14But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
15Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. 16At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. 17So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. 19While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.” 20Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. 21The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” 23Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” 24So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”
followed by a moment of silence
Hymn of Reflection
please rise in body or in spirit
please be seated
Affirmation of Faith
please rise in body or in spirit
Leader: Let us together affirm the faith of the church at all times and in all places.
People: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Preparing the Table
Leader: As the woman at Bethany anointed Jesus’ feet with costly oil to prepare his body for burial, so let us bring our best gifts and offer them at the table of our risen Lord.
You are welcome to give to the church online (https://www.coscrc/giving) or by mailing a check to the church office. During this worship service, you may place your offerings or tokens of your offerings on your table.
At this time you are also encouraged to set your table with the bread and wine you will use to celebrate communion.
Prayer of Great Thanksgiving…
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Leader: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right for us to give you thanks and praise.
…to God the Father
Leader: We thank you, Father, for the many gifts of creation. But we thank you most of all for the gift of your great love. We thank you for sending your Son to save us. We praise you with one voice saying together:
People: Holy, holy, holy are you, God of power and might; heaven and earth are full of your glory; hosanna in the highest.
…for the work of Jesus Christ
please be seated
Leader: Holy and gracious God, we come to this table to remember Christ’s death. We come to have fellowship with the resurrected Jesus. We come in hope that one day we will share this feast with you and one another in the new heavens and new earth. So we proclaim in faith:
People: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
…for the presence of the Holy Spirit
Leader: Living God, we pray that you would send your Holy Spirit on us. May this meal feed our bodies and our souls. Make us one with Jesus. Make us one family so we can pray as Jesus taught us:
People: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
Youngest at the table: Why have we come to this table?
Oldest at the table: We come to this table to remember the last supper that Jesus shared with his disciples. We come because Jesus tells us to eat this broken bread and to drink this cup in true faith until he comes again.
Youngest: How is this meal different from all others?
Oldest: In this supper God tells us that our sins have been completely forgiven through the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. God also tells us that the Holy Spirit makes us one with Christ, and in Christ one with all other Christians.
Youngest: Why do we eat the bread?
All others at the table: The bread that we break is our sharing in the body of Christ. We remember and believe that the body of our Lord Jesus Christ was given for complete forgiveness of all our sins.
(Pass the bread around the table)
Youngest: Why do we drink the cup?
All others at the table: The cup for which we give thanks is our sharing in the blood of Christ. We remember and believe that the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ was shed for the complete forgiveness of all our sins.
(Pass the wine or juice around the table)
Changing the Light
Leader: (pointing at the light of the candle) Look, the Light is all in one place now. We are going to change the Light so it is not just in one place anymore. It can be in many places at once.
Snuff the candle and watch the smoke curl in the air and spread throughout the room.
Leader: Now the Light of Christ that was just in one place at one time is in all places in all times. Go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.
People: We offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, to live to God’s will and die to our own.
Leader: In your journeys, may God direct you. In your times of pleasure, may God bless you. In your times of anxiety or trouble, may God sustain you. In your times of peril and danger, may God protect you.
People: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.
You can read announcements in this week’s bulletin found on our church website.
The Passion readings were taken from Matthew 26-27.
“Sanna, Sannanina” traditional South African, arr. Greg Scheer ©2012
“Glory to God” Text: from the Gloria in excelsis adapt. Greg Scheer; music: anonymous, from “Sanna, Sannanina”
“Jesus Priceless Treasure” Text: Johann Franck, tr.Catherine Winkworth; Music: Johann Crüger
“Stay with Me” Text: adapted from Matthew 26: 38, 41; music: Jacques Berthier, ©1991 Ateliers et Presses de Taizé.
“Go to Dark Gethsemane” Text: James Montgomery, alt.; music: Richard Redhead.
“Ah, Holy Jesus” Text: Johann Heermann, tr. Robert Bridges; music: Johann Crüger
“Bitter Was the Night” Text and music: Sydney Carter; ©1964 Stainer & Bell, Ltd., admin. Hope Publishing Co.
“O Sacred Head” Text: Latin, medieval; German tr. Paul Gerhardt, English tr. James W. Alexander; music: Hans Leo. Hassler, adapt. and harm. Johann S. Back in St. Matthew Passion
“O Christ, the Lamb of God” Text: Agnus Dei, based on John 1:29; tune: Kirchenordnung, Braunschweig, 1528; harm.: various sources.
“Thank You, Lord” trad. Black Gospel
“Lift High the Cross” Text: George W. Kitchin; rev. Michael R. Newbolt, alt.; tune: Sydney H. Nicholson; text and music ©1974 Hope Publishing Company.
Song permissions: One License.net #A703305
The cover art is by Virginia Wieringa based on Psalm 130, Out of the Depths. Of this piece of artwork, Virginia says, “This Psalm talks about being desperate and depressed. Our lives are lived in overlapping enigmas and labyrinths. There are valleys and dead ends. Only God sees the paths we take and how they will lead us to the place of redemption. The arrival of the morning sun brings hope and God’s love flowing into our lives.