Easter Sunday Worship Service

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April 9, 2023

Theme of the Day

Today we celebrate the festival of the Resurrection of our Lord. Jesus truly died. But he also truly rose bodily from the dead. This fact of history assures us that our sins are forgiven, that we too will rise from the dead, and that Jesus’ Word can be trusted. May we be strengthened in our Christian faith as we worship our risen Savior!

Pastor Westendorf’s Welcome

Adult Choir – We Welcome Glad Easter

Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands – CW 440

1 Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands
    for our offenses given;
but now at God’s right hand he stands
    and brings us life from heaven.
Therefore let us joyful be
and sing to God right thankfully
    loud songs of alleluia!
    Alleluia, alleluia!

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law,
So that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law;
Rather through the law we become conscious of sin.

There is no difference, for all have sinned
And fall short of the glory of God.

Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin,
And in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.

Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands – CW 440

2 No son of man could conquer death,
    such ruin sin had wrought us.
No innocence was found on earth,
    and therefore death had brought us
into bondage from of old
and ever grew more strong and bold
    and held us as its captive.
    Alleluia, alleluia!

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known,
To which the Law and Prophets testify.

Just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people
So also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.

Christ Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins
And was raised to life for our justification.

As a called servant of Christ, and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins. In him you are justified, declared “not guilty,” before God.
Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, just as sin reigned in death,
Now grace reigns through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands – CW 440

3 Christ Jesus, God’s own Son, came down,
    his people to deliver;
destroying sin, he took the crown
    from death’s pale brow forever.
Stripped of pow’r, no more it reigns;
an empty form alone remains;
    its sting is lost forever.
    Alleluia, alleluia!

4 It was a strange and dreadful strife
    when life and death contended.
The victory remained with life,
    the reign of death was ended.
Holy Scripture plainly saith
that death is swallowed up by death;
    disgraced, it lies defeated.
    Alleluia, alleluia!

5 Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
    whom God so freely gave us;
he died on the accursèd tree –
    so strong his love – to save us.
See, his blood now marks our door;
faith points to it; death passes o’er,
    and Satan cannot harm us.
    Alleluia, alleluia!

What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning that grace may increase?
By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God –
This is our true and proper worship.

Let us offer ourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life.
Let us offer every part of ourselves as instruments of righteousness!

For sin is no longer our master,
Because we are not under the law, but under grace!

Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands – CW 440

6 So let us keep the festival
    to which the Lord invites us;
Christ is himself the joy of all,
    the sun that warms and lights us.
Now his grace to us imparts
eternal sunshine to our hearts;
    the night of sin is ended.
    Alleluia, alleluia!

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, by the glorious resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, you conquered death and opened the gate to eternal life. Grant that we, who have been raised with him through Baptism, may walk in newness of life and ever rejoice in the hope of sharing his glory; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be dominion and praise now and forever.

Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands – CW 440

7 Then let us feast this Easter Day
    on Christ, the bread of heaven;
the Word of grace has purged away
    the old and evil leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed;
he is our meat and drink indeed;
    faith lives upon no other!
    Alleluia, alleluia!

Meditation – The Stone of Jesus’ Grave is Rolled Away

Reading – Mark 16:2-6

  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
  “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.

Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia – CW 466


Meditation – The Stone of Sin is Rolled Away

Reading – Romans 4:25

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Jesus Christ Is Risen Today – CW 438

1 Jesus Christ is ris’n today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

2 Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
unto Christ, our heav’nly King, Alleluia!
who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

3 But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
our salvation have procured; Alleluia!
now above the sky he’s King, Alleluia!
where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Meditation – The Stone of Sorrow is Rolled Away

Reading – John 20:10-18

  Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
  Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
  They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
  “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
  He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
  Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
  Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
  She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
  Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
  Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

This Joyful Eastertide – CW 449

1 This joyful Eastertide
    away with sin and sorrow!
My love, the Crucified,
    has sprung to life this morrow. (Refrain)

Had Christ, who once was slain,
    not burst his three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain:
    but now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen;
    but now has Christ arisen!

2 Death’s flood has lost its chill
    since Jesus crossed the river.
Lover of souls, from ill
    my passing soul deliver. (Refrain)

3 My flesh in hope shall rest
    and for a season slumber
till trump from east to west
    shall wake the dead in number. (Refrain)

Meditation – The Stone of Fear is Rolled Away

Reading – Matthew 28:1-10

  After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
  There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
  The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
  So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

I Know That My Redeemer Lives – CW 441

1 I know that my Redeemer lives!
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead;
he lives, my everliving head!

4 He lives to grant me rich supply;
he lives to guide me with his eye;
he lives to comfort me when faint;
he lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

5 He lives to silence all my fears;
he lives to wipe away my tears;
he lives to calm my troubled heart;
he lives all blessings to impart.

6 He lives, my kind, wise, heav’nly friend;
he lives and loves me to the end;
he lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing;
he lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.

7 He lives and grants me daily breath;
he lives, and I shall conquer death;
he lives my mansion to prepare;
he lives to bring me safely there.

Meditation – The Stone of Death is Rolled Away

Reading – 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

  “Where, O death, is your victory?
  Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Adult Choir – Thanks Be To God


Lord of life, fill our hearts with joy this day, for you have risen and conquered the grave. Imprint the message of victory on our hearts and implant it in our minds. Through the good news of your resurrection renew our hope and revive our faith. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

By baptizing us into your name, you have connected us to your death and rising. You have put our sin to death and have given us a new life. Enable us each day to think of ourselves as dead to sin and alive to you, so that we may walk in newness of life in all we do. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

In this fallen world, death and sorrow surround us. Touch the hearts of those who grieve the loss of a Christian they love. Direct their eyes to your empty tomb and ease their pain by reminding them that their loved ones will one day rise again. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, many people grieve without hope. Let the message of resurrection reach them and awaken faith in their hearts. Use us as your instruments to bring the word of life to their souls and the message of hope to their hearts. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Stay by the side of all who are suffering. In your wise mercy, heal those who are sick, receiving treatment for illness, recovering from illness or surgery, or hurting in body or mind. Remind them that your victory over death is a fact, and comfort them with your promise to raise them and give them and all believers new, glorified bodies like yours. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Hear us, Lord, as we pray in silence.

Silent prayer

Risen Savior, feed our faith with the message of your resurrection. Come to us in your Word and in the feast of your Sacrament to sustain and strengthen us until we feast with you in eternal glory. 

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be done
        on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
    as we forgive those
    who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
    and the glory are yours
    now and forever. Amen.


The Lord bless you and keep you.
  The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
    The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.

Crown Him with Many Crowns – CW 511

1 Crown him with many crowns,
    the Lamb upon his throne;
hark how the heav’nly anthem drowns
    all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
    of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
    thro’ all eternity.

2 Crown him the Lord of love –
    behold his hands and side,
rich wounds, yet visible above,
    in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky
    can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends his wond’ring eye
    at mysteries so bright.

3 Crown him the Lord of life,
    who triumphed o’er the grave
and rose victorious in the strife
    for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing
    who died and rose on high,
who died eternal life to bring
    and lives that death may die.

4 Crown him the Lord of heav’n,
    enthroned in worlds above;
crown him the King to whom is giv’n
    the wondrous name of Love.
Crown him with many crowns
    as thrones before him fall;
crown him, ye kings, with many crowns
    for he is King of all.

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