April 28, 2024 – Fifth Sunday of Easter

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Acts 8:26–40
Philip meets an Ethiopian eunuch, who asks to be baptized.

Psalm 22:25–31
In the great congregation I will praise the Lord, my deliverer.

1 John 4:7–21
Let us love one another; we love because God first loved us.

John 15:1–8
Jesus says: I am the vine, you are the branches; abide in me.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

We come to worship with joy,
trusting God’s holy word will inspire us.
We lean into God for understanding,
anticipating the Spirit’s blessing.
May God hear our praise!
May we be counted among the great congregation.
May the words of our mouths
and the meditations of our hearts
be acceptable to God.

Prayer of the Day

Holy One,
we thank you for your gift of guidance.
Jesus taught us the blessed lesson
that to dwell with you is not an obligation.
It is a joy.
We abide in you by striving to live in love.
May we be the bounty of the fruit of the vine
to feed your people with righteousness and justice.
May we bring to the world
the grace afforded unto us. Amen.

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the new life you raise up in us
through the mystery of our baptism—
the sorrow of the heavy cross,
the surprise of the empty tomb,
the love that death could not destroy.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
fill us with the joy of resurrection,
so that we may be a living sign
of your new heaven and new earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
The Spirit of God helps us in our weakness,
interceding with sighs too deep for words.
Romans 8:26

Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sin.

O Christ, you are the true vine,
and you have made us your branches.
In your grace, we find strength,
and in your love, we are set free.
Forgive us, O God, when we do not live
as people who have been freed,
when we act as if the Easter story
did not turn the world upside down.
Forgive us, O God, when we do not live
as people who are your branches,
when we forget that we are rooted in you
and bound to one another by your spirit.
Forgive us, O Christ, our one true vine,
and teach us to abide in you.

Lifting water from the font:
Hear the good news of God’s promise:
I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved.
Acts 2:17, 21

In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Thanks be to God.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Living God, with joy we celebrate
the presence of your risen Word.
Enliven our hearts by your Holy Spirit
so that we may proclaim the good news
of eternal and abundant life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
O dry bones,
hear the world of the Lord.
Ezekiel 37:4

After the readings:
This is the good news
which we have received,
in which we stand,
and by which we are saved.
Thanks be to God.
1 Corinthians 15:1–2


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
All authority and power and dominion
to the name that is above all names—
Jesus Christ our Lord—
now and in the age to come. Amen.
Ephesians 1:21

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

Season of Easter, Ascension of the Lord
New life in Christ takes shape in a community
in which people know
that God loves and accepts them
in spite of what they are.
They therefore accept themselves
and love others,
knowing that no one has any ground
on which to stand,
except God’s grace.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.22

Prayers of the People

In the blessed hope of the resurrection,
we pray to the Lord of endless life, saying:
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for the church . . .
Help us to abide in Christ, like branches of a vine.
Fill us with your power and prune away our sin,
so that we may bear good fruit, giving glory to you.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for the world . . .
Let all the ends of the earth remember your love,
lifting up the lowly, feeding those who hunger,
until all peoples know your saving strength.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for this community . . .
Open our doors to seekers and strangers;
let all who have been cut off and cast aside
be welcomed into the covenant of your care.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for loved ones . . .
Reveal your love in the lives of those who suffer.
Confirm their faith and cast out their fear.
Abide in them, that they may abide in you.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Eternal God, show forth in us and in our world
the good news of your saving power and love,
so that all may believe and have life in you;
through Jesus Christ, who is risen indeed. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
How does God’s love abide in anyone
who has the world’s goods
yet refuses to help a sister or brother in need?
Remembering God’s great love for the world,
let us offer our lives to the Lord.
1 John 3:16–17

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
Eternal God, take and use these gifts
for your purpose in the world—
giving food to the hungry,
hope to the despairing,
and new life to the dead.
Teach us to live each day for you,
so that future generations
will know your goodness
and praise your glory;
in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.
Psalm 22:25–31

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
All the ends of the earth turn to you and worship you, O Lord.
The poor eat, and they are satisfied; those who seek you praise your name.
Even those who sleep in the dust bow down before you.
Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Christ is the true vine, and you, O God, are the vine grower.
He is the vine, and we are the branches.
In Christ, we bear fruit; apart from him, we can do nothing.
The words of institution are included here.
Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation (e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood
of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let us love one another, for love is from you, O God; you are love.
Fill us with your perfect love that casts out all fear,
so that we may love all people, just as you have first loved us.
Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer

Breaking the Bread

Communion of the People

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Prayer after Communion

At the communion table:
Thank you, O God, for giving us communion
with our risen and glorious Lord.
Now send us out to be a sign
of the new life that has come into the world;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the love of the holy triune God—
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—
abide with you forever. Alleluia!
1 John 4:13–16

Now go forth in Jesus’ name,
remembering his new commandment
to love one another,
just as he has loved us. Amen.
1 John 3:23

In the Vineyard

Jean François Millet, 1852

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • God of the Sparrow (E) ROEDER GTG 22
  • Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (EG) HYMN TO JOY GTG 611
  • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (E) HYRFRYDOL GTG 366
  • We Know That Christ Is Raised (A) ENGELBERG GTG 485


  • For the Fruit of All Creation (G) AR HYD Y NOS GTG 36
  • Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song (G) BRIDEGROOM GTG 285
  • Take Me to the Water (A) TAKE ME TO THE WATER GTG 480
  • There Is in Every Person (E) CAPACITIES
  • Adam Tice, Claim the Mystery, GIA


  • Holy Spirit, Come to Us (G) (Tui amoris ignem) TUI AMORIS IGNEM GTG 284
  • In Remembrance of Me (EG) RED GTG 521
  • Your Only Son (Lamb of God) (A) LAMB OF GOD GTG 518
  • Where Charity and Love Prevail (E) TWENTY-FOURTH GTG 316


  • Be Thou My Vision (G) SLANE GTG 450
  • Heaven Is Singing for Joy (El cielo canta alegría) (E) ALEGRÍA GTG 382
  • Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ (G) LINSTEAD GTG 526
  • We Are One in the Spirit (They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love) (E) THEY’LL KNOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS GTG 300

Psalms and Canticles


  • In the Presence of Your People [CELEBRATION]; GTG 631, PAS 22F
  • Amid the Thronging Worshipers [BOVINA]; PAS 22E, LUYH 511, SGP 31 (setting 2, with additional stanza)


  • All the Ends of the Earth; PAS 22D (alt. refrain)
  • Lord, in You I Trust [MORNING SONG]; PP 38

    Organ Music

    • “Earth and All Stars,” Augsburg Organ Library: Easter, Keith Kolander, AF (M)
    • “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus,” God of Grace, Paul Manz, MSM (M)
    • “Variations on ‘Ode to Joy,’” House of Love, Angela Kraft Cross, LOR (A)
    • “When in Our Music God Is Glorified,” When Morning Gilds the Skies, Anne Laura Page, LOR (ME)

    Anthems for Adult Choirs

    • “I Am the Vine,” Allen Pote, HIN, SATB, pno (E)
    • “I Am the Vine,” Carlton Young, ABP, SATB (M)
    • “Love One Another,” John Bell, GIA, SATB acap (E)
    • “Ubi Caritas,” Maurice Duruflé, arr. Baker, HAL, SATB, acap (A)
    • “Beloved, Let Us Love One Another,” Three Short Anthems, Jean Langlais, HIN, uni (M)
    • “Will You Come and Follow Me,” Tom Trenney, MSM, SATB, pno, cong (E)

    Handbell Music

    • “God of the Sparrow,” Kyle Webber, 3–5 oct, opt hc, HOPE, 2993, Level 1
    • “Hymn to Joy,” Kerry Johnston, 3–5 oct, BP, HB710, Level 3
    • “They’ll Know We Are Christians,” Bill Ingram, 3–5 oct, opt hc, opt vc, ROP, 3316, Level 2


    • Baptism of the Eunuch, Rembrandt van Rijn (VDL)
    • Jesus as the True Vine, Eastern Orthodox Icon, Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens (VDL)
    • In the Vineyard, Jean François Millet (VDL)