Worship Service for March 31, 2024

March 31, 2024 – Easter Sunday

A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, March 31, at 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. A video recording of the live stream will be available on our YouTube channel from 6:00 PM EST on Sunday, March 31.

Previous livestreams and other worship and musical content is available on our YouTube channel. You can also check out our entire worship services archive. Our SoundCloud channel has yet more music and worship content.



Bells of Guildwood: “Now the green blade riseth”.
As found for example in the Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 256. Words by English Anglican priest and poet John Macleod Campbell Crum (1872–1958). Music (tune: “French Carol”) is a traditional French carol “Noël nouvellet”; harmony by English composer and conductor Martin Shaw (1875–1958). Words, music and harmony in the public domain.

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.

Call to Worship

From the PSW&D Liturgy.

One: Christ is risen!
All: He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

One: The stone had been rolled back and the tomb was empty. The angel told the faithful women,  “He has been raised. He is not here.”
All: And so we have hope — a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “May the God of hope go with us every day.”

Opening Hymn

Thine be the glory” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 258). Original French words written in 1884 by Swiss Protestant minister and hymnwriter Edmond Louis Budry (1854–1932) as “À toi la gloire”; English translation (1923) by English pastor Richard Birch Hoyle (1875–1939). Music set by Budry to the tune of the chorus “See, the Conqu’ring hero comes” from the 1746 oratorio “Judas Maccabaeus” by George Frideric Handel (1685–1759). Words and music in the public domain.

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

God of Resurrecting power,
you lift our hearts with joy when we see the tomb is empty. God of Resurrecting hope, you fill us with excitement when we hear that Christ is risen. God of Resurrecting love, you embrace us with courage when we trust in the power of new life that you promise in the Risen Christ. We offer you all glory, honour and praise with hearts overflowing in Jesus’ name.

God of Resurrecting joy,
we confess it’s not easy to sustain Easter hope. We let discouragement, fear and frustration to settle in and we let anger and anxiety turn our hearts away from you. Resentment and disappointment cling to us and we forget your great mercy and love. Forgive us. Restore within us the joy and hope you promise us in Christ, our Risen Lord.

We pray in Jesus’ name, and continue to pray as he taught:

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

Hear the good news! Who is in a position to condemn us? Only Christ – and Christ died for us; Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. Believe the good news of the gospel. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and set free for new life by God’s resurrecting grace.

All: Thanks be to God!

The Peace

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

The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)

Scripture Reading

Mark 16:1–8  <– 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.

Mark 16:1–8

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.


In the Beginning Was the Word

Narration 1

God’s Holy Lamb

Narration 2

You Are the Bread

Narration 3

King of Tears

Narration 4

Three Crosses of Shame

Narration 5

Praise the God of Resurrection!


May we present our gifts to God in response to what we have received from God?

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

Our offering will now be received.

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

God of Resurrecting Grace, we offer our gifts with grateful hearts, recognizing how much you have given us in Christ, and what that gift has cost. Empower these gifts to spread the hope and joy we feel today in the world you love, in the name of your greatest gift, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Profession of Faith: Steven Szeto

Affirmation of Baptism: A Public Profession of Faith

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 the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ (the risen Christ), the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you always. AMEN.


Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” – Bells of Guildwood, Senior Choir, congregation, organ.
As found for example in the Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 410. Words (1907) by Henry van Dyke Jr. (1852–1933). Music (composed between 1822 and 1824; tune: “Hymn to joy”) is the Ode to Joy tune from the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Arrangement by English organist and composer Edward Hodges (1796–1867). Words, music and arrangement public domain.


Copyright © 2024 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church