Worship for Easter Sunday 2024, by Rev. Joy Rulton

Call to worship:

Christ is risen! Alleluia!
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

The tomb is empty. Alleluia!
God is with us and within us. Alleluia!
We are an Easter people. Alleluia!

Christ is risen! Alleluia!
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Hymn: Christ the Lord is risen today

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia,
our triumphant holy day; alleluia,
who did once upon the cross; alleluia,
suffer to redeem our loss; alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing; Alleluia,
unto Christ our heavenly king; alleluia,
who endured the cross and grave; alleluia,
sinners to redeem and save: alleluia!

But the pains which he endured; Alleluia,
our salvation have procured; alleluia,
now above the sky he’s King; alleluia,
where the angels ever sing: alleluia!

Prayer of adoration

Living Lord Jesus,
we come to worship in gratitude and joy.
Come to us, dwell with us.
Be with us as we explore the joy
that the story of your risen life brings.

Adoration is on our lips and in our hearts as we worship on this very special day.
Adoration of our God, our risen Lord, our King and our redeemer is in our hearts.
Adoration of the risen Christ shines from within us and fills our worship –
adoration that God is in our midst, always and everywhere, now and forever.
Almighty God, Risen Christ, we adore you.

In the midst of our joys and delight:
In the midst of suffering and pain:
God is with us, God within us.
Alleluia, alleluia,

we give thanks to our risen Lord.

and confession…..

Forgive us, Lord, when we are afraid to witness
to your risen presence in our world today.
Where we are reluctant, make us resolute;
and where we are daunted, make us daring,
that we would leave behind the tomb
of comfort and complacency
and follow you on an Easter adventure.


Acts 4:32-35

32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35 They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

John 20:1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.

11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.


There is something wonderful about being on top of a hill on Easter morning waiting for the sunrise. You see everything around you in a different way.

When we look at ourselves here today, and the world of which we are a part, what do we see around us? I see a mix of despair and hope, darkness and light. We find ourselves asking how and why things happen as they do. Sometimes the problems that we see, the difficulties we face, seem overwhelming, insurmountable.

The resurrection puts our life experience within the context of God’s wider purpose for us. He creates, redeems and saves. He is light in our darkness, hope in our despair.

The first disciples were not expecting the resurrection. They were overwhelmed by Jesus’ death and although he had hinted at the future they were not prepared for the disaster of the crucifixion. Jesus died a cruel and humiliating death, his claim to be the Messiah having been interpreted as blasphemous. To the disciples and followers of Jesus the events they’d witnessed leading up to Easter spoke only of sorrow and disaster. They had nothing left to hope for, no reason to expect any change in their situation. They didn’t yet understand. To them it seemed the end of three years’ work, hopes and expectations. Their adventure of faith was over and all their dreams with it. They shut themselves away, afraid. When times are hard it can be difficult to see what God is doing. Even within death itself God is at work. He is so much bigger than anything we go through.

In the resurrection, God’s loving purposes are revealed. The empty tomb is for us a symbol of God’s triumph over sin and death. We can hope now to spend eternity in the presence of God. Death is not the final defeat that people fear because it is swallowed up in victory. There is hope for the future. On that first Easter Sunday, life won. The resurrection of Jesus affirms that love will always be victorious in the end, love that can transform our lives.

The Archbishop of Canterbury once said, “Easter invites us to enter into that overwhelming of God when we realise, perhaps for the very first time, that Easter is not the celebration of a cosy myth or an annual ‘rite of passage’ which we have to endure to enjoy a holiday – but a real event.” Through it, God has restored our relationship with himself through his Son. “I am the resurrection and the life.” That’s what Jesus told his followers. And that’s what he tells us now. Darkness is defeated by the light of the resurrection.”

The living Lord calls us to newness of life – to live as Easter people, people of faith prepared to go out to love and serve and risk and dream. Why? Because Christ is risen. Alleluia!

Hymn:  See what a morning

See, what a morning, gloriously bright
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem
Folded the graveclothes, tomb filled with light
As the angels announce, “Christ is risen!”

See God’s salvation plan
Wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

See Mary weeping, “Where is He laid?”
As in sorrow, she turns from the empty tomb
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name
It’s the Master, the Lord raised to life again!

This voice that spans the years
Speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us
Will sound ’til He appears
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

One with the Father, Ancient of Days
Through the Spirit who clothes faith with certainty
Honour and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned with power and authority!

And we are raised with Him
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered
And we shall reign with Him
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

C: 2003 ThankYou Music

Prayer of intercession

Let us pray:
for those who know it is Easter, but do not join in the celebration;
for those who walk in the sunshine, but cannot feel the warmth;
for those who see the flowers, but fail to appreciate their beauty.
We pray for all those in need of joy this day.

We pray:
for those who see the joy in others, but look away;
for those who mourn what might have been;
for those who spoil the good things in life.
We pray for all those in need of love this day.

We pray:
for those who long to step out into the daylight;
for those who want to dance in the rain;
for those who want release from their captivity.
We pray for all those in need of hope this day.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father …

Hymn:  Thine be the glory

Thine be the glory risen conquering Son
Endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won

Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away
Kept the folded grave clothes where Thy body lay

Thine be the glory
Risen conquering Son
Endless is the victory
Thou o’er death hast won

Lo! Jesus meets us risen from the tomb
Lovingly, He greets us scatters fear and gloom

Let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing
For her Lord now liveth death hath lost its sting

Thine be the glory
Risen conquering Son
Endless is the victory
Thou o’er death hast won

No more we doubt Thee glorious Prince of life
Life is naught without Thee aid us in our strife

Make us more than conquerors through Thy deathless love
Bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above

Thine be the glory
Risen conquering Son
Endless is the victory
Thou o’er death hast won


God the Father,

by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,

strengthen us to walk with him in his risen life;

and may almighty God bless us,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.



Go in joy and peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Alleluia!

Song:   Forever,  Kari Jobe

The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Saviour of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse upon Him

One final breath He gave
As Heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged

The power of hell forever broken

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting

Our resurrected King
Has rendered you defeated
Forever, He is glorified

Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen

He is alive
He is alive

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected King
Has rendered you defeated

Forever, He is glorified
Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen
He is alive
He is alive

Your love
Your love……….

Forever, He is glorified
Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen
He is alive
He is alive

Songwriters: Brian Johnson / Joel Taylor / Jenn Johnson / Gabriel Wilson / Christa Black Gifford / Kari Brooke Jobe

Forever lyrics © Worship Together Music, Christajoy Music, Bethel Music Publishing, Kari Jobe Carnes Music, Bethel Worship Publishing

Some prayers adapted from Rootsontheweb