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Fourth Sunday in Lent

This week is the fourth Sunday in Lent, also known as Laetare Sunday coming from the Latin word of “Rejoice.” Something noteworthy about the language here – in other seasons we would say, “The first Sunday of Advent,” but for Lent we say it is a Sunday in Lent. Sundays are in Lent, but not of Lent. That is because Sunday is always a feast day, even in the season of fasting. Sunday is always a celebration of the resurrection!

Liturgical Color – Purple / Rose

This color is used during the season of Lent for multiple reasons. The first being that Jesus was clothed in a purple robe during his passion. Purple cloth, due to its expensive nature, was reserved typically for royalty who could afford it. The color is also associated with the bruising and bleeding that Christ experienced during his passion and crucifixion. The purple used during this season reminds us that Christ is King and his Kingdom is unlike any the world had seen before as it is one of service, compassion, and love for others.

This Sunday, however, uses Rose (pink)as a sign of rejoicing and hope. Even in the midst of our penitential season we are to look forward to what is to come.

Call to Worship – Based on Psalm 107:1-3

One: Bless the Lord, who forgives all our sins. Many: His mercy endures forever. One: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Many: Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the land. One:  from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Many: Amen


Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Liturgy of the Table

(From Lift Up Your Hearts: Year B, OSL Publications) One: The Lord be with you. Many: And also with you. One: Lift up your hearts. Many: We lift them up to the Lord One: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. Many: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

One: It is right, and a good and joyful thing Always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth. You call us to make peace and justice for the other, inviting all into your glorious Kingdom. And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven, we praise your name and join in their unending hymn:

Many: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

One: Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ. Everywhere he went, He established justice, lifting the lowly and humbling the proud. Your Spirit anointed him to preach the good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to announce that the time had come when you would save your people. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and ate with sinners. By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection, you gave birth to your church, delivered us from slavery of sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

On the night in which he gave himself up for us he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. And he said “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” When the supper was over he took the cup, gave thanks, gave it to his disciples, and said “Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” And so, in remembrance of these mighty acts in Jesus Christ, We offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Many: Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

**Placing hands over the elements to consecrate them**

One: Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and cup. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood, for we are called to be saints and bring the world to Christ. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other and one in ministry to all the world. until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at the heavenly banquet. Through your Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty God, now and forever. Amen

And now with the confidence of children of God, let us pray: Many: Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven: Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil; For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

One: Come, receive the elements.

**Taking the bread**

One: Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. The bread which we break is a sharing in the body of Christ. Receive, and eat.

**Taking the Cup**

The cup over which we give thanks is a sharing in the blood of Christ. Receive, and drink.[Prayer After All Receive] Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery in which you have given yourself to us. Help us to build bigger tables, not walls. Grant that we may go into the world in the strength of your Spirit, to give ourselves for others. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. ☩ Amen.

Benediction One: Go, rejoicing in God’s love for the world! The light has come to the world, invite all to come in truth to it! In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit go in grace and peace to love and serve the Lord and neighbor. Many – Thanks be to God