The Tomb is Empty Easter 2018
Let the Alleluias echo throughout the land!
Introit: I have risen, and am present with thee, alleluia; thou hast laid thine hand upon me, alleluia; such knowledge is too wonderful for me, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. O Lord, thou hast searched me out and known me; thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising.
Processional Hymn: Jesus Christ is Risen Today
Celebrant: Alleluia Christ is Risen!
All: The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia; to him be glory and dominion forever, world without end. O sing unto the Lord a new song, for he hath done marvellous things.
Hymn: All Laud and Honor
Celebrant: The Lord is risen from the tomb, alleluia!
Who for our sake hung upon the tree, alleluia!
Celebrant: Let us pray.
Most gracious God, as we have been baptised into the death of thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ, grant in thy mercy that we, being dead to sin, may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass with him unto newness of life; for his sake, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Celebrant: Tell it out among the heathen, alleluia!
That the Lord hath reigned from the tree, alleluia.
Hymn: The Strife is O’er
Celebrant: Let Us Pray
O God, who for our redemption didst give thine only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through the same thy Son Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gloria in excelsis
Collect: Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by thy life-giving Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 25:6-9 ESV
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
7 And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.
9 It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the LORD; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
The Word of the Lord!
Psalm: 118: 1-2, 14-24 ESV
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the LORD exalts,
the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the LORD.
18 The LORD has disciplined me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.[a]
23 This is the LORD’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
A reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians: 15:1-11
Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
The Word of the Lord!
Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to John 20:1-18
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 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.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus'[a] head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one 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 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” 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 Aramaic,[b] “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for 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 that he had said these things to her.
The Gospel of the Lord Alleluia!
Hymn: Up from the Grave
The Tomb is Empty!
Bishop Edward L. Tatro, Jr.
Don’t be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand! Christ died on Calvary and was resurrected so we can have a firm foundation in Him! I am here to declare to you my brothers and sisters that the Tomb is empty, and the Victory won! Jesus our Christ is Risen! Jesus won the battle over sin and death, he is our Victor!
We all know that I’m a story teller and today will be no different. Today we will look at Easter through the eyes of a special 8-year-old. I want to tell the story of Phillip’s Egg.
Philip was born with Downs Syndrome. He was a pleasant child, happy it seemed, but increasingly aware of the difference between himself and other children. Philip went to Sunday School faithfully every week. He was in the third-grade class with nine other eight-year olds.
You know eight-year olds. And Philip, with his differences, was not readily accepted. But his teacher was sensitive to Philip and he helped this group of eight-year olds to love each other as best they could, under the circumstances. They learned, they laughed, they played together. And they really cared about one another, even though eight-year olds don’t say they care about one another out loud.
But don’t forget. There was an exception to all this. Philip was not really a part of the group. Philip did not choose, nor did he want to be different. He just was. And that was the way things were.
His teacher had a marvelous idea for his class for Easter. You know those things that pantyhose come in . . . the containers that look like great big eggs? The teacher collected ten of them. The children loved it when he brought them into the room and gave one to each child. It was a beautiful spring day, and the assignment was for each child to go outside, find the symbol for new life, put it into the egg, and bring it back to the classroom They would then open and share their new life symbols and surprises, one by one.
It was glorious. It was confusing. It was wild. They ran all around the church grounds, gathering their symbols, and returned to the classroom.
They put all the eggs on a table, and then the teacher began to open them. All the children gathered around the table. He opened one and there was a flower, and they ooh-ed and aah-ed. He opened another and there was a little butterfly. “Beautiful!” the girls all said, since it is hard for eight-year old boys to say ‘beautiful.’ He opened another and there was a rock. And as third-graders will, some laughed, and some said, “That’s crazy! How’s a rock supposed to be like new life?” But the smart little boy who’d put it in ther spoke up: “That’s mine. And I knew all of you would get flowers and buds and leaves and butterflies and stuff like that. So I got a rock because I wanted to be different. And for me, that’s new life.” They all laughed.
The teacher said something about the wisdom of eight-year olds and opened the next one. There was nothing inside. The children, as eight-year olds will, said, “That’s not fair. That’s stupid! Somebody didn’t do it right.”
Then the teacher felt a tug on his shirt, and he looked down. “It’s mine, Philip said. It’s mine.”
And the children said, “You don’t ever do things right, Philip. There’s nothing there!”
“I did so do it right!” Philip said. “I did do it right. The tomb is empty!”
There was silence, a very full silence. And for you people who don’t believe in miracles, I want to tell you that one happened that day. From that time on, it was different. Philip suddenly became a part of that group of eight-year old children. They took him in. He was set free from the tomb of his differentness.
Philip died last summer. His family had known since the time he was born that he wouldn’t live out a full life span. Many other things were wrong with his little body. And so, late last July, with an infection that most normal children could have quickly shrugged off, Philip died.
At his memorial service, nine eight-year old children marched up to the altar, not with flowers to cover over the stark reality of death . . . but nine eight-year olds, along with their Sunday School teacher, marched right up to that altar, and laid on it an empty egg . . . an empty, old, discarded pantyhose egg.
And the tomb is empty!
So, on this glorious and sacred Easter Morning I declare the Tomb Empty and that our Salvation is won! In the words of our special friend I say We did it! By merit of our Baptism and faith we survived our journey of Lent and have died on the cross on Holy Friday and today we Rose again with Jesus and our tomb is Empty!
And all God’s Victorious Church say:
Hymn: Onward Christian Solider
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Come ye sinners to the Holy Altar and confess your sins and prepare your hearts and souls to receive the Resurrected Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Holy Communion Hymn:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Post Communion Collect: We beseech thee, O Lord, pour into our hearts the love of thy Holy Spirit; that as thou hast now filled us with this Paschal Sacrament, so thou wouldst make us to grow in all godly concord; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Solemn Blessing: May Almighty God, who has redeemed us and made us his children through the resurrection of his Son our Lord, bestow upon you the riches of his blessing. Amen.
May God, who through the water of baptism has raised us from sin into newness of life, make you holy and worthy to be united with Christ forever. Amen.
May God, who has brought us out of bondage to sin into true and lasting freedom in the Redeemer, bring you to your eternal inheritance. Amen.
And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you, and remain with you forever . Amen.
Go now our Mass has ended rejoice in the risen Lord! Alleluia!