Worship Service for April 9, 2023

April 9, 2023 – Easter Sunday

A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, April 9, at 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time. A video recording of the live stream will be available on our YouTube channel from 6:00 PM EDT on Sunday, April 9.


Prelude – The Bells of Guildwood

To God Be the Glory”. Music (first published 1875; tune: “To God Be the Glory”) by American manufacturer, hymnwriter and philanthropist William Howard Doane (1832–1915). Arrangement (1995) by American composer and arranger Kevin McChesney (1963–). Music public domain. Arrangement copyright © 1995 Lorenz Music Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

Call to Worship

L: Christ is risen!
P: He is risen indeed!

L: The tomb is empty.
P: Life has defeated death!

L: Rising from the grave, Jesus brings life to all the wrong places.
P: Christ lives where death has ruled.

L: Rising from the grave, Jesus brings life to all the wrong people.
P: Christ welcomes those who are often overlooked.

L: Christ’s resurrection means that we are no longer lost in the wilderness.
P: He provides us with a living hope and travels with us to places where death had once prevailed.

L: The world has been turned upside down.

P: Life has defeated death! Hope has overwhelmed despair! Joy has conquered gloom!

Lighting of the Christ Candle

This is the Christ Candle. We light the candle to help us remember that Jesus Christ, the light of the world, is with us in every place and every time.

Opening Hymn

“The day of resurrection” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 249). Original Greek words by St. John of Damascus (675/676–749); English free translation (1862) by English priest and hymnwriter John Mason Neale (1818–1866). Music (tune: “Ellacombe”) first published in the Gesangbuch der Herzoglichen Hofkapelle, Würtemberg, in 1784. Words, translation and music in the public domain.

Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)

God of resurrecting power, we are caught up in the joy of Easter and your love fills us with expectation. Death will never overcome the life, and the powers of chaos will never overcome your loving intentions for the cosmos. Just as Jesus spoke to Mary in the garden that first Easter day, you call each of us by name because you love us. So we praise you for the hope you have given us, your powerful love and your promise of new life in Christ. So may we live our love for you gladly, today and every day, as we sing with our hearts full of praise:

God of tender mercy, we confess that faith doesn’t come easy every Easter. When we face loss in our own lives, sorrow can weigh us down. Our challenges can feel like a stone too heavy to roll away. Forgive us, O God. Let the hope of new life in Christ assure us that the power of your love that raised Jesus will never let us go.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Declaration of Pardon

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Dear friends, Christ has laid down his life for us and invites us to love one another as he has loved us. Let us rejoice in his redeeming, resurrecting love (as we sing with grateful hearts):

Thanks be to God!

The Peace

One: The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
All: And also with you.

Guildwood Senior Choir presents

“Hallelujah Chorus” from the oratorio “Messiah” (1741) by George Frideric Handel (1685–1759). This arrangement (1922) by Paul Bliss. Words, music and arrangement public domain.

Fun with the young at heart (children’s story)

(Practicing faith)

The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)

The Bells of Guildwood

Crown Him with Many Crowns”. Words (1851) by British-Canadian hymnwriter Matthew Bridges (1800–1894) and Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter Godfrey Thring (1823–1903). Music (1868; tune “Diademata”) by English composer and organist Sir George Elvey (1816–1893). This arrangement (1990) by American composer and arranger Cynthia Dobrinski (1950–2021). Words and music public domain. This arrangement copyright © 1990 Lake State Publications.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 28: 1–10  <– this links to on-line text of the NRSV bible

Click here for additional scripture readings from today’s lectionary. Links courtesy of the Revised Common Lectionary, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library.

28 After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers and sisters to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The scripture reading is followed by:

One: The Word of God.
People: Thanks be to God.


Clair de lune”, third movement from the “Suite bergamasque” (1890–1905) by French composer Claude Debussy (1862–1918). Music public domain.

Musical Reflection


We remind everyone that we must continue to pay our bills; in the absence of being present at Sunday worship, you may sign up for pre-authorized remittance (PAR), donate online, or drop off your offering envelope in the mailbox at the church. Do not leave a cash donation unattended in the mailbox; instead, please call the office (416.261.4037) to ensure someone will be there to receive it. The building will be checked daily for mail and phone messages. If you are not comfortable leaving an envelope, you are welcome to contact the office (once again, 416.261.4037) and someone will pick up your offering.

Dedication of our Gifts

Doxology 306

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 306) Based on the tune “Old 100th” with words (1989) by English hymnwriter Brian A. Wren (1936–). Words copyright © 1989 Hope Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. Music public domain.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
praise God all creatures high and low;
praise God in Jesus fully known,
Creator Word and Spirit One.

Prayer of dedication

Generous God, this day we recognize how much you have given us in Christ Jesus, and what that gift has cost. Bless these gifts so they may offer the hope and joy we feel today to the world you love so dearly. In the name of your greatest gift, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.


I danced in the morning / Lord of the dance” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 250). Music (tune: “Lord of the Dance”) and words (both 1963) by English poet, songwriter and musician Sydney Carter (1915–2004). Melody from the American Shaker song “Simple Gifts”. Words and music copyright © 1963 Stainer & Bell Ltd; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

Affirmation of Baptism: A Public Profession of Faith

The Presentation

Renunciation and Affirmation (the Apostle’s Creed)

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again 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.

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession

The Blessing

Closing Hymn

Jesus Christ is risen today” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 243). Originally written as the Latin hymn “Surrexit Christus hodie” by an anonymous author in Bohemia in the 14th century. First English translation (1708) by Irish cleric John Baptist Walsh (c. 1750–1825) for his hymn collection “Lyra Davidica”; verses revised by John Arnold in 1749; alternate verse 4 written in 1740 by English Methodist leader Charles Wesley (1707–1788) was later adopted into the hymn. Music (1708; tune: “Easter Hymn”) from the “Lyra Davidica”. Words and music in the public domain.

Changing the Light

Now, it is time to change the light. The light that was in one place can now be in every place and every time going with you wherever you go.


May God who raised Jesus from the dead bless you and by the power of the Holy Spirit raise you with Him in glory.

Choral Amen

“The Lord bless you and keep you”. Words from the Aaronic Blessing. Music by English composer John Rutter (1945–). Words public domain. Music copyright © 1981, 2015 Oxford University Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.


Christ the Lord is risen today”. Music (1708; tune: “Easter Hymn”) from the “Lyra Davidica”. Arrangement (2012) by American composer and arranger Robert D. Vandall (1944–2017). Music public domain. Arrangement copyright © 2012 Alfred Music Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

Copyright © 2023 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church

Last updated 2023-04-10 22:15 – Added information about Bells of Guildwood pieces, Musical Reflection, and Postlude.