The service may begin with a Chorale, an Introit, a. Processional Hymn, or Opening Sentences.
SENTENCES, one or more to be read by the Minister.
O bless our God, ye peoples,
And make the voice of his praise to be heard;
Which holdeth our soul in life,
And suffereth not our feet to be moved. Psalm LXVI: 8-9.
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
And no torment shall touch them.
They are in peace,
And their hope is full of immortality. Wisdom III: 1. 3, 4.
To know thee is perfect righteousness:
Yea, to know thy power is the root of immortality. Wisdom XV: 3.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm XXIII: 6.
I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the Lord. Psalm CXVIII: 17.
God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. Wisdom II: 23.
We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. I Cor. II: 9-10.
Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead,
And Christ shall give thee light. Ephesians V: 14.
Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit, for the spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. I Cor II: 9-10.
INVOCATION, by the Minister.
Let us pray.
O Lord and giver of life, who dost renew the face of the earth with singing and joyful loveliness, renew in our hearts an unconquered faith in the power of righteousness. Even as the spirit of Christ rose triumphant over the bitter pain of the cross and the darkness of the tomb, enable us to look beyond the things of earth which pass away and to find our joy and peace in thine infinite and eternal love. Give us such trust and confidence in thy love that we may know ourselves to be ever in thy hand, and uplift our souls to worship thee in spirit and in truth, at one in heart and voice with the great company of those who have walked in thy light and who stand in joy before thee. Amen.
Prayer to be said by the Minister and people.
We rejoice this day in the unquenchable and eternal light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. In that fight we are ashamed of those greeds within us that have darkened our own souls, and those selfish customs among us that have shadowed the lives and spirits of others. We seek thy presence here, O Thou Most High, not alone for our joy today, but to illumine the ways of all our doings until every child of man shall be brought out of darkness into thy marvelous light. Amen.
Then may be said the Lord’s Prayer, the people joining.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who 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.
O Lord, open thou our lips.
And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.
Praise ye the Lord.
The Lord’s name be praised.
HYMN, CANTICLE or ANTHEM
ASCRIPTION, to be said or sung.
Blessed be the Lord, our God; who only do-eth won-drous things.
And blessed be his glo-rious name, Forever and ev-er. A-men.
CHANT or ANTHEM
SECOND LESSON, if desired.
The Minister may then say,
Here endeth the reading of the lesson.
The Lord be with you
And with thy spirit.
Let us pray. O Lord show thy mercy upon us.
And grant us thy Salvation.
O God, make clean our hearts within us.
And take not thy holy Spirit from us.
Then may follow a period of silent meditation, after which the Minister may read the Litany, the people responding, and one or more of the following or other suitable prayers, or may offer prayer in his own words.
Almighty and Eternal God, before whom stand the spirits of the living
and the dead, we praise thee for all who have witnessed a good
confession for thy glory and the welfare of the world; patriarchs,
prophets and apostles: the wise of every land and age, and all teachers
We praise thee, O God.
For the martyrs and faithful witnesses of Christ of whom the world was not worthy; and for all who have resisted falsehood and wrong unto suffering and death:
We praise thee, O God.
For all who have labored and suffered for freedom, good government, and just laws; for all who have sought to lighten the dark places of the earth; and for all who have given their lives for their country:
We praise thee, O God.
For those who have been tender and true and brave in all times and places; who in the world’s common ways have lived upright and helpful lives; and for all who have been one with thee in the communion of Christ’s spirit and in the strength of his love:
We give thanks unto thee, O God.
For the dear friends and kindred of our homes whose faces we see no more, but whose love is with us forever; for the teachers and companions of our childhood and youth, and the members of our household of faith who worshipped with us here:
We give thanks unto thee, O God.
We pray that we may hold them in continual remembrance; that the sanctity of their wisdom and goodness may rest upon our earthly days; and that we may prepare ourselves to follow them in their upward way:
Grant this, our prayer, O God:
That we may have a hope beyond this world for all thy children, even for wanderers who must be sought and brought home; that we may be comforted and sustained by the promlse of a time when none shall be strangers and exiles from the household of God:
Grant this, our prayer, O God.
In the fellowship of thy Spirit and the communion of thy saints; with the faithful and true of all ages and climes; with our beloved dead who dwell in thy presence and peace;
Minister and People:
We who now live and labor on earth unite in ascribing unto thee, O Lord our God, all honor, dominion and power, world without end. Amen.
O Lord of life, who dwellest in eternity, and who hast planted in our hearts the desire for a new and better country, even a heavenly, we give thanks to thee this day for the bright shining of immortal light in Jesus Christ. As he showed us the blessedness of heaven on earth, and has called us into a kingdom not of this world, so may we be raised up in the power of his spirit, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness. Striving to follow him in the path of duty and love in which he walked on earth, we may be prepared to follow him, in hope and trust, through the shadow of death into the world of light whither he has led the way. And, when our spirits shrink before the mysteries of life and death, may we be comforted by the thought of that immortal love which knows no change, and feel that, whether we live or die, we are forever thine. Amen.
O Thou who makest the stars, and turnest the shadow of death into the morning: on this day of days we meet to render thee the tribute of our thanksgiving. We praise thee for the resurrection of the spring-time, for the everlasting hopes that rise within the human heart, and for the gospel which hath brought life and immortality to light. Receive our thanksgiving, reveal thy presence, and send into our hearts the spirit of the risen Christ. Amen.
Infinite Spirit of Life, who art seen in the beauty of bud and blossom in the renewing year, and in the beauty of pure desire and holy aspirations in human souls: make us now to feel the thrill of abundant life that comes to all earth’s creatures in the spring. Let the Sun of Righteousness melt the frost of indifference in our hearts; strengthen and revive the barren branches of our lives; cause us to send out buds of confidence and blossoms of cheer; give us to bear the fruitage of service, and the yield of kindly deeds; and in thine own good time ripen thou the harvest for the blessing of all mankind. And when the chill storms come, strengthen us in the assurance that, beyond the time of withering and decay, there await our spirits other seasons of blossoming and fruitage, in other fields and gardens of thine infinite dominion as yet unknown, but certain as thy springtide in our souls. Amen.
O Lord, the eternal Life-giver, who liftest out of death and shame all faithful sufferers for the truth, setting their humanity on high, and making it glorious in the might of thy Spirit; give us grace always to contend for the right, and, if need be, to suffer for it; and give us not over to the death of the soul, but raise us up into newness of life, that we may abide in thy love forever. Amen.
We thank thee, O God, for the endless renewing of life. Open our eyes to receive new light, and our ears to hear the voices that are calling to us to make the world new by love. Show us how to help men and women to be more truly and fearlessly themselves. Teach us to enter humbly into the heritage of truth won for us by saints and martyrs of old, that their sacrifice may not have been in vain, but that they, being perfected in us, may be glad after all their griefs. Fit us for the life that is awaiting us in the kingdom of heaven upon earth that is at hand, wherein all shall be the people of God. Amen.
O Thou who hast raised up prophets and apostles to be mighty fore-runners in all the blessed privileges of a heavenly inheritance, draw us unto thyself by the same uplifting power, that our feet stumble not on the dark mountains, nor falter in the valley of the shadow of death. Be thou our strength and stay in all times of trial, and keep us in fellowship with those who while on earth strive to make firm and sure thy righteous rule. So may we, having done thy will, be given part in that heavenly heritage wherein peace and love are made perfect and thou art all in all. Amen.
Almighty God, thine is the wisdom of saint and seer, thine the light shining in the eyes of holy prophets, and thine the love that answereth and filleth every prayerful spirit. We bless thee for all the holy souls that reveal thee; for all unknown and lowly people whose daily lives are offerings heroic, sweet, and beautiful to thee. Renew thy call to us and lift us into the liberty and joy of thy faithful children. Amen.
Then may follow a period of silence, on organ interlude, or the following chant.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts:
Heaven and earth are full of thy glory.
Glory be to thee, O Lord most high. Amen.
OFFERTORY, during which an anthem may be sung.