March 30, 2025 – Fourth Sunday in Lent

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

Lectionary Readings

Joshua 5:9–12
The Israelites keep Passover at Gilgal; God rolls away their disgrace.

Psalm 32
Happy are those whose sin is forgiven; be glad, rejoice in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:16–21
In Christ there is a new creation; everything old has passed away.

Luke 15:1–3, 11b–32
The parable of the Prodigal Son; he was lost and has been found.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

Happy are those who are honest with God.
Happy are those whose sin is forgiven.
Therefore, let all who are faithful
offer prayer to the Lord in times of distress.
For God is our refuge
and protects us in times of trouble.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice!
Let us shout for joy! Let us worship God!

Prayer of the Day

Loving God,
like the prodigal son,
we have recognized the error of our ways.
In this season of Lent,
we have reflected on our deep need for you,
and we are seeking to return to you.
We give thanks that you run out to meet us
as a loving parent would.
Help us to trust your love enough
to continue returning. 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.
God of ancient covenants,
who never breaks trust,
we thank you for baptismal waters
that pour out your steadfast love
for all creation.
Thank you for the salvation promise
you have kept.
In the name of Jesus,
the Living Water, we pray. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
If we keep silent,
our sin will flourish,
and we will groan all day long.
Therefore, let all who are faithful
acknowledge our sin
and hide our transgression no more.
In faith and with courage
let us confess our sin to God.

Holy God, we confess
that we keep silent when we should speak.
We see iniquity and the injustices of the world,
yet are content not to call them out.
We withhold kind words,
yet are quick to speak in judgment.
Forgive us, O God.
Direct the way we should go
and help us to use our voices
to spread your grace and truth.

Lifting water from the font:
Happy are those whose sin is forgiven.
Be glad and rejoice,
for in Christ, we are a new creation.
Thanks be to God!

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
O Lord of light and salvation,
let these words of Scripture
live not only in our mouths,
but in our hearts,
that we will embody your truth
and confess with our lives
that Jesus is Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
The Word is near to us, 
on our lips and in our hearts. 
Romans 10:8

After the readings:
This is the Word of faith 
that we proclaim. 
Thanks be to God.
Romans 10:8


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
Let every tongue confess 
that Jesus Christ is Lord. Amen.
Philippians 2:11

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

The reconciling work of Jesus
was the supreme crisis in the life of humankind.
His cross and resurrection become personal crisis
and present hope for women and men
when the gospel is proclaimed and believed.
In this experience,
the Spirit brings God’s forgiveness to all,
moves people to respond in faith,
repentance, and obedience,
and initiates the new life in Christ.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.21

Prayers of Intercession

Let us have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus

as we pray for the world he came to save,

saying: Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.


We pray for the church . . .

Make us ambassadors for your reconciling work.

Let your church be a sign of the new creation

that has come into the world through Christ.  

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.


We pray for the world . . .

Roll away the stones that hold people captive

in poverty and hunger, death and disgrace. 

Welcome all to your land of promise and plenty.

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.


We pray for this community . . .

Help us to be better stewards of your gifts,

so that all people might have an equal share

in the basic necessities of human life.

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.


We pray for loved ones . . .

Bring healing and peace to all who suffer,

especially to families that are divided.

Watch over those who are far from home.

Have mercy, O God; hear our prayer.


As we pour out our hearts in prayer, O God,

lead us to pour out our lives in service to you—

ever seeking your will, ever following your way;

all in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
Through the grace of God,
we have gifts in abundance
and pour them out
like perfume from a flask,
not for our sakes,
but to worship the One who
lavishes love on the world.

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:
For forty years, you fed us
with the bread of heaven in the wilderness.
Now we stand on the edge of the promised land, giving thanks that you have rolled away
the heavy stone of our shame.

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:
Jesus came to seek the lost
and restore the dead to life.
Though we have lived wastefully,
squandering our inheritance,
by his grace we are your beloved children.

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.

Make us a new creation in Christ;
reconcile us to yourself,
so that we may bear your message of reconciliation to all the world.
Let us be ambassadors for Christ,
ministers of your grace and peace.

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:
Giving God, living Lord,
you have fed us with your body.
You have poured out your life that we might live.
We thank you,
for we have tasted your goodness in this meal.
Fed, we are strengthened;
filled, we are renewed
to share the abundance of your love
with a hungry world. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church: 
May the Spirit of the triune God 
strengthen and sustain you, 
all throughout these forty days 
and into the life that is to come. Amen.
Luke 4:1–2

Go in peace, 
proclaiming the message of reconciliation 
God has entrusted to us. Amen.
2 Corinthians 5:19

Forgiving Father

Frank Wesley

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Just As I Am, without One Plea (OEG) WOODWORTH GTG 442, PH 370

  • Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing (OEG) NETTLETON GTG 475, PH 356

  • God Welcomes All (EG) THEMBA AMEN GTG 399


  • There Is Now a New Creation (EG) STUTTGART GTG 774

  • Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling (G) SOFTLY AND TENDERLY GTG 418

  • I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry (G) WATERLIFE GTG 488, STF 2051

  • How Blest, Those Whose Transgressions (O) MEIRIONYDD GTG 446

  • You Are My Hiding Place (O) HIDING PLACE LUYH 412

  • New Earth, Heavens New (E) ALEXANDRA VT 377


  • All Who Hunger, Gather Gladly (OG) HOLY MANNA GTG 509, STF 2126

  • Amazing Grace (EG) AMAZING GRACE GTG 649, PH 280

  • Now the Silence (G) NOW GTG 534


  • When God Restored Our Common Life (OEG) RESIGNATION GTG 74, STF 2182

  • What Is the World Like (EG) NEW WORLD GTG 771

  • Everyone Who Longs for the Boundless Love of God (G) EVERYONE WHO LONGS GTG 849

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 32

  • How Blest, Those Whose Transgressions (How Blest Are They Whose Trespass)[MEIRIONYDD, RUTHERFORD, ES FLOG EIN KLEINS WALDVÖGELEIN]; GTG 446, PAS 32A, LUYH 669, PH 184, SGP 51 (altered)

  • While I Keep Silence [SILENCE]; PAS 32C


  • You Are My Hiding Place; PAS 32B, LUYH 412

  • God Is Kind and Gracious [SCARBOROUGH FAIR]; PP 62

Organ Music

  • “The Prodigal Son,” ST. COLUMBA, Three Gospel Scenes Quoting Familiar Hymns, James Biery, MSM (M)

  • “Variations on NEW WORLD, ‘What Is the World Like,’” Preludes on Hymn Tunes by Sally Ann Morris, William McNair, GIA (ME)

  • THIRD MODE MELODY, Augsburg Organ Library: Lent II, Gerald Near, AF (M)

  • Chorale Prelude on TERRA BEATA, Chris Kovarik, SMP (A)

  • Chorale Prelude on RESIGNATION, Chris Kovarik, SMP (M)

Piano Music

  • “A Quiet Moment, with Amazing Grace,” NEW BRITAIN, Wonderful Hymns of Life, Mary McDonald, LOR (M)

  • “Softly and Tenderly, with Draw Me Close,” THOMPSON / DRAW ME CLOSE, Medleys for Blended Worship, Carol Tornquist, ALF (M)

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “Prayer for This House,” Jennifer Klein, HAL, SATB, pno, opt ob (M)

  • “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” arr. Braeden Ayes, Musicspoke, SATB, acap (M)

  • “Umoja Tunaiba (United We Sing),” Victor C. Johnson, HOPE, opt pno, opt perc (ME)

  • “At This Table,” arr. Audrey Synder, HAL, SAB, pno (E)

  • “My Song Is Love Unknown,” arr. Molly Ijames, BP, SATB, pno (ME)


  • Prodigal Son, Athanasios Clark, Orthodox icon, 2016 (EYE)

  • The Prodigal Son, Edward Riojas, 2016 (EYE)

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17–19, Timothy R. Botts, 2016 (EYE)

  • Formation of a Prodigal Son, S. Jayaraj, 2021 (VCS)

  • Forgiving Father, Frank Wesley, 20th century (VCS)

  • Prodigal Son, John August Swanson, 1984 (VDL)