March 17, 2024 – Fifth Sunday in Lent

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

Lectionary Readings

Jeremiah 31:31–34
God says: I will make a new covenant, writing my law in your heart.

Psalm 51:1–12
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new spirit within me.

or Psalm 119:9–16
I seek you, O Lord, with my whole heart; I treasure your word.

Hebrews 5:5–10
Jesus Christ, our high priest, is the source of eternal salvation.

John 12:20–33
Jesus says: Now I will be glorified; I will die and be lifted up.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

Let us join our voices with the saints whose lives inspire.
We are here today, aspiring to claim the life of faith with courage.
We are ready to worship and give thanks
for whose we are.
In our worship, we share God’s message with the world.

Prayer of the Day

O Lord, please hear our prayer.
As we start the climb down the mountain with Jesus
after these forty days and forty nights,
we pray that we will be ready for what comes next.
As the ministry of Jesus began
after a season of prayer,
so does ours.
We give thanks for the promise
that you will be with us
as we continue to spread the gospel to the world.
May your will be done through us,
on earth as it is in heaven. 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 mercy you so freely offer us
through the grace of our baptism—
safe passage through the sea,
justice rolling down like water,
deliverance from sin and death forever.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
teach us to love and serve you faithfully
and reconcile us to you and to one another
as members of one, living body;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
In the name of Christ, I urge you:
Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20

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

Through the season of Lent, O God,
we have prayed for clean hearts and right spirits.
Forgive us, O Lord, if we have prayed with our words
but failed to pray with our actions.
Forgive us of what we have done
that has contributed to the suffering of another,
and forgive us of what we have failed to do
that could have lightened a neighbor’s burden.
Forgive us, O God, and wash us in your mercy.
Forgive us, O God, and free us to try again.

Lifting water from the font:
Listen, the time has come at last.
Look, now is the day of salvation!
2 Corinthians 6:2

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

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Gracious God, our way in the wilderness,
guide us by your Word through these forty days,
and minister to us with your Holy Spirit,
so that we may reformed,
restored, and renewed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
Psalm 51:15

After the readings:
We proclaim Christ crucified—
the wisdom and power of God.
Thanks be to God.
1 Corinthians 1:23–25


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
we bend our knees
and lift up our hearts,
giving glory to God forever. Amen.
Philippians 2:9–11

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

Season of Lent
To be reconciled to God
is to be sent into the world
as God’s reconciling community.
This community, the church universal,
is entrusted with God’s message of reconciliation
and shares God’s labor of healing the enmities
which separate people from God
and from each other.
Christ has called the church to this mission
and given it the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The church maintains continuity
with the apostles and with Israel
by faithful obedience to his call.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.31

Prayers of the People

Out of the ashes, up from the dust
we bring our prayers to God, saying:
In your steadfast love, O Lord, have mercy on us.

God of all mercy, we pray for the church . . .
Teach us to treasure your word of grace
and to live faithfully as your people,
so that all may know that you are our God.
In your steadfast love, O Lord, have mercy on us.

God of all mercy, we pray for the world . . .
Drive out false leaders and wicked rulers;
draw all people to your way of truth and life,
bringing justice and peace to every land.
In your steadfast love, O Lord, have mercy on us.

God of all mercy, we pray for this community . . .
Hasten the coming of that great day
when all people—from the greatest to the least—
will know the promise of your holy realm.
In your steadfast love, O Lord, have mercy on us.

God of all mercy, we pray for loved ones . . .
Hear the prayers and tears of all who suffer.
By the saving power of Christ Jesus
deliver them from sickness, sin, and death.
In your steadfast love, O Lord, have mercy on us.

Restore in us, O God, the joy of your salvation;
renew and sustain our spirits,
so that we may live according to your will;
through Jesus Christ, our hope and strength. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
Jesus says: Where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
Matthew 6:21

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
You have shown us, O God,
the sacrifice that you desire.
Now use these gifts—
and use our lives—
to liberate the oppressed,
to break the bonds of injustice,
to feed the hungry,
welcome the poor,
and unite the human family;
all in the name and for the sake
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Isaiah 58:6–7

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:
You have made a new covenant with your people,
remembering our sin no more, and writing your law within our hearts,
so that all might know you, from the greatest to the least.
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:
When the hour came for Christ to be glorified
you lifted him up—upon a cross—
so that all the earth might see, and believe in him.
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.
Hear all of our prayers and supplications
through Jesus Christ, our high priest, your beloved Son,
who is the source of eternal salvation for all who follow him.
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:
Holy God, we give you thanks
that you have claimed us as your own
and nourished us in this meal
as members of Christ’s body.
By the work of your Spirit within us
give us the grace to glorify you
as one, living body in the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1 Corinthians 6:15–20

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the steadfast love of God,
the abundant grace of Jesus Christ,
and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit
be with you this day and always. Amen.
Psalm 51:1, 11

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
If any wish to be my disciples
let them take up the cross
and follow me. Amen.
Mark 8:34

Grain Fields

Edwin Evans, 1890

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Here in This Place (Gather Us In) (E) GATHER US IN GTG 401
  • Lift High the Cross (G) CRUCIFER GTG 826
  • O God, Who Gives Us Life (O) NOEL GTG 53
  • Womb of Life and Source of Being (E) RAQUEL GTG 3


  • Go to Dark Gethsemane (E) REDHEAD 76 GTG 220
  • O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go (O) ST. MARGARET GTG 833
  • Spirit, Open My Heart (O) WILD MOUNTAIN THYME GTG 692
  • The Word of God Is Source and Seed (G) GAUDEAMUS DOMINO ELW 506


  • Eat This Bread (G) BERTHIER GTG 527
  • My Song Is Love Unknown (E) LOVE UNKNOWN GTG 209
  • Seed, Scattered and Sown (G) SEED SCATTERED GTG 531
  • When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (E) HAMBURG GTG 223, ROCKINGHAM GTG 224


  • At the Name of Jesus (E) KING’S WESTON GTG 264
  • Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun (EG) DUKE STREET GTG 265
  • I, the Lord of Sea and Sky (Here I Am, Lord) (O) HERE I AM (Schutte) GTG 69
  • O Jesus, I Have Promised (G) ANGEL’S STORY GTG 724, NYLAND GTG 725

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 51:1–12

  • Have Mercy, God, upon My Life [IRISH]; GTG 421
  • Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God [SARADAY]; GTG 423, PAS 51H
  • God, Be Merciful to Me [GOD BE MERCIFUL, REDHEAD 76]; LUYH 622, PAS 51N, SSS 509 (with Spanish translation)
  • Ten piedad de mí / Lord, Have Mercy on Me [TEN PIEDAD DE MÍ]; PAS 51E, SSS 520
  • Have Mercy on Us, Living Lord [PTOMEY, CM]; PH 195, SGP 81
  • The Sacrifice You Accept, O God; PSA 48, PH 196, PAS 51G
  • Have Mercy on Me; PSA 47
  • Have Mercy on Us; OLOF 677
  • Misericordia, Señor / Be Merciful, O Lord; PAS 51M
  • Be Merciful, O Lord, for We Have Sinned; SFTS2 6
  • Have Mercy on Me, O Lord; PND 20
  • Create in Me a Clean Heart [EVENTIDE]; HTP1 54

Psalm 119:9–16

  • How Shall the Young Direct Their Way [ST. CRISPIN, BROOKSIDE]; PAS 119B, LUYH 721, PSH 584
  • Through Faith, O God, the Young and Old [LM]; PCW 119b
  • I Long for Your Commandments [WOHL DENEN, DIE DA WANDELN]; GTG 64
  • Blest Are the Uncorrupt in Heart [RICHMOND, CM]; PH 233, SGP 178
  • All Your Commandments, Father Almighty [KANCIONAL NEW]; PAS 119 O
  • Order My Steps [IN YOUR WORD]; PAS 119 I
  • O Lord, You Have the Words [LEONI/YIGDAL]; PP 230

Organ Music

  • “Fanfare on DUKE STREET,” Let the Organ Sound! John Dixon, LOR (ME)
  • “Pastorale on ‘My God, Thy Table Now Is Spread,’” Communion Canticles, Franklin D. Ashdown, LOR (ME)
  • “Fantasy on ‘Forty Days and Forty Nights,’” The Sacred Organ Library, vol. 2, Matthew McConnell, LOR (ME)
  • “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” Through Darkness to Light Eternal, Robert Lau, LOR (ME)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “In the Midst of New Dimensions,” arr. Jeremy Backson, MSM, SATB, brass, perc, org (E)
  • “Create in Me,” Michael Larkin, MSM, SATB, pno (M)
  • “A Covenant Prayer,” Dan Forrest, HIN, SATB, org (A)
  • “Have Mercy, Lord, on Me,” Bennett Swaffield/ed. Burkhard, MSM, SATB, org (M)
  • “Seek the Lord,” Three Songs of Isaiah, Julian Watchner, ECS, SATB, acap (A)
  • “A Covenant Prayer,” Karen Marrolli, MSM, SATB, pno (E)

Handbell Music

  • “Glorify Thy Name,” Linda Lamb, 3–5 oct, opt hc, HOPE, 2661, Level 3-
  • “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” Cynthia Dobrinski, 3–5 oct, HOPE, 1742, Level 3
  • “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” Patricia Hurlbutt, 3–5 oct, opt hc, BP, HB664, Level 2


  • Seed Resurrection, Frank Wesley (VDL)
  • And Cleanse Me, Jan Richardson (JR)
  • Grain Fields, Edwin Evans, (VDL)
  • Anticipate Resurrection, Jan Richardson (JR)