31 March 2024


Easter Day, Resurrection of the Lord

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Cristo vive/Christ Is Living


Additional Scriptures

Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Mark 16:1-8;John 20:1-18; Doctrine and Covenants 163:9



Refer to the Toronto Centre Place, online church, for a listing of hymns that are available on YouTube. This can provide accompaniment for hymns.

For the Sending Forth reading, secure a copy of Circle of Grace, a book by Jan Richardson from Wanton Gospeller Press, ISBN 978-0-9778162-7-9

Invite someone from the congregation to prepare to respond to each verse of the hymn, “Woman, Weeping in the Garden,” with a dramatic reading, adapted from John 20:1-18. Use a soloist for the stanzas or spend time with the congregation to help them be secure with this song.

For Focus Moment, prepare plastic Easter eggs, construction paper hearts, pen or pencil for each participant. Consider creating workstations around the worship space. You may want soft music playing during this activity.

Have copies printed of the cross found at the end of the service to be used during the labyrinth meditation.

If your congregation has an Easter Choir, include a ministry of their music.




This is the day that the Lord has made! 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Praise Hymn 

“Christ Is Alive!”                                                                                                       CCS 473

OR “Lift Your Glad Voices”                                                                                      CCS 475 

Call to Worship

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9


Christ is Risen! We are an Easter people…believing that God is God of life, not of death. In Christ, God’s love finally will overcome all that demeans and degrades the creation, even death itself. Easter also gives us hope that the tragic suffering and death of victims, throughout history, is not the last word. We believe the Holy Spirit will transform all creation to share in the glory of God.

                        —“We Share Basic Beliefs,” Sharing in Community of Christ

Herald Publishing House, page 38, adapted


“Now the Green Blade Rises”
CCS 482

OR “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”
CCS 476         


Prayer for Peace

Light the Peace Candle.


Resurrected God,

Would we recognize you?  Would we understand the incredible power you have over death?

Grant us the peace that was present in the garden in those moments before your resurrection, and may we spread that peace as women who first saw you alive spread the news of your resurrection!

Help us to recognize opportunities for peace that once seemed extinguished now as new soil for growing peace.

Clear away our doubts that peace may not come to pass and show us how to work to create peace in places across the world. Amen.        

—Tiffany and Caleb Brian

Someone dressed like Mary Magdalene takes their place during the next hymn so that the congregation will be able to see them and hear their voice, telling the story of their encounter with Jesus in the garden.

Ministry of Music OR Congregational Hymn

“Woman, Weeping in the Garden”    Stanza 1 
CCS 478

Response by Mary Magdalene

It was early on the first day of the week and there was still darkness at this time of day, as I walked to the tomb…the sun was just rising. There was also a darkness in my very soul as I mourned the loss of my friend, my Lord. When I arrived in the garden, the large stone which had sealed the tomb where his body lay was moved away! And he was gone! How could this be? Who would have taken him? I ran to Simon Peter and his friend to share my despair. They hurried to return to the tomb and were witnesses to the linens that had wrapped Jesus, lying on the ground. Not knowing, not understanding... they returned to their homes.

Ministry of Music OR Congregational Hymn

“Woman, Weeping in the Garden”      Stanza 2
CCS 478

Response by Mary Magdalene

I felt such despair…and yet I peered inside the tomb in search of my Lord.

And inside the tomb I saw two angels dressed in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been…one sitting where his head had lain, one at his feet. This cannot be…I was trembling in fear and my tears overcame me.

Ministry of Music OR Congregational Hymn

 “Woman, Weeping in the Garden”    Stanza 3 
CCS 478

Response by Mary Magdalene

Through my tears, I looked outside the tomb and saw the gardener....and he asked me why I was weeping and who I was looking for. I pleaded with him to tell me if he had taken the body of Jesus away and where had he lain him? I needed to go to him...

Ministry of Music OR Congregational Hymn

“Woman, Weeping in the Garden”    Stanza 4
 CCS 478

Response by Mary Magdalene

And then I heard him so tenderly speak my name…“Mary”…and in that moment, I knew…and turned to him with so much love…“Rabboni!”

Ministry of Music OR Congregational Hymn 

“Woman, Weeping in the Garden”  Stanza 5
CCS 478

Response by Mary Magdalene

I wanted to embrace Jesus, but he said, “no”…he had not ascended. And he asked me to go to his brothers and tell them he was preparing to ascend to his God…our God. And so I ran to them and told them I had seen our Lord and all was just as he had promised…Jesus is alive! Death has been defeated! The Resurrected Christ is in our midst! He called my name!

                                    —John 20:1-18, adapted

Proclamation of the Word

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Focus Moment

Today is Easter Sunday! On Easter Sunday we celebrate Jesus’s return to life. The people that crucified Jesus were trying to show how powerful they were by using violence to keep control. When Jesus rose, he showed everyone that there was nothing more powerful than God’s love.

Today, I am going to give you each an Easter egg to hide somewhere in our space. Instead of having candy or a prize inside though, I would like each of you to write or draw a message of love on this heart and place it inside the egg. This way, when someone finds your egg, they will open it to find a message of love that will remind them they are loved and called to love others as Jesus did.

Once you have your message written and placed inside your egg, you may go find a place in our space to hide it and then head back to your seat.

  —Sacred Space, Year B, Easter

Easter Message

Based on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 


Halle, Halle, Hallelujah”        Sing several times
CCS 86

OR “Beneath the Cross of Jesus
CCS 206

OR “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
CCS 457


Labyrinth Meditation

See pattern at the end of the service.

Begin meditation music.

You have been given a picture of a cross that we will use today in our spiritual practice of “walking” the labyrinth. Use your finger to enter the path and follow it to the center. Our intention is to slow ourselves and reflect on who the Living Christ is calling us to be today.

As you enter the sacred space of your labyrinth, quiet your mind and allow yourself to let go of whatever needs to be released.

Spend a few extra moments at the center of the labyrinth. This is the time to meditate, pray and listen to God speaking to your heart. Receive Spirit through meditation and prayer.

You may hear Jesus speaking your name. Who is the resurrected Christ to you?

When you are ready to leave the center, follow the path outward and reflect upon whathas been awakened in your heart and what you bring back to this world.

Ordinary eyes may see this cross and say this represents the end. Let your eyes of faith look at this cross and say this is the beginning of your discipleship.

End meditation music.

Disciples’ Generous Response

Scripture Reading: Doctrine and Covenants 163:9


During the Disciples’ Generous Response, we focus on aligning our heart with God’s heart. Our offerings are more than meeting budgets or funding mission. Through our offerings we join in making God’s work visible in the world.  

As we share our mission tithes either by placing money in the plates or through eTithing, use this time to thank God for the many gifts received in life. Our hearts grow aligned with God’s when we gratefully receive and faithfully respond by living Christ’s mission. 

If your congregation is meeting online, remind participants they can give through CofChrist.org/give or through eTithing.org (consider showing these URLs on screen).

Blessing and Receiving of Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes 


That Easter Morn, at Break of Day
CCS 480

OR “Christ Is Living/Cristo vive
CCS 481

Encourage participants to sing in a language other than their own.

OR “Alleluia” Sing several times
CCS 116                     


Sending Forth Reading

“Seen” for Easter Day by Jan Richardson, Circle of Grace, page 154

OR “I Know That My Redeemer Lives!”
CCS 34

Postlude and Recessional Activity

As the Postlude plays, invite participants to search for a hidden Easter egg to take home (one per person). Spend the week pondering and praying over the message of love inside.




Year B—Letters

Easter Day, Resurrection of the Lord

1 Corinthians 15:1–11


Exploring the Scripture

Chapter 15 of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians begins with a recitation of creedal statements. Familiar principles of faith ground and connect the young church of new disciples in Corinth to the earliest Christian testimonies of Jesus. Paul also frames it in language that speaks to the heart of the Jesus experience and the gospel’s good news. As Paul recounts how he, the people of Corinth, and others received the gospel, he shines a light on the transformation that “the grace of God that is with me” brings to all people who receive the gospel found in Jesus Christ, the Risen One (v. 10).

For Paul, it is a journey of discovery, a new way of living and seeing the world. It goes beyond a set of belief statements. It becomes life in action, embodying enduring principles and proclaiming to all who will listen to the power found in the death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s gift of grace. It is also a holy rhythm of receiving and proclaiming—passing along the gospel—so others might experience “being saved [and] hold firmly to the message…” (v. 2).

This way of being is integrally connected with how Paul experiences the designation of an apostle. He does not understand it as an office of the ecclesiastically elite, but instead as a function of whole-life discipleship as a missionary commissioned to share the transforming power of Christ who “died for our sins” (v. 3). Christ’s death was not as ransom, but to set the world free from the violence of tyranny. Love overcomes hate, greed, and the powers wreaking havoc, destruction, and desolation in countless lives through the resurrection. Hope is born.

Telling the sacred story, handed down from the prophets of old, fulfilled through the life and resurrection of Jesus Emmanuel, God with us, and in the spirit of Paul’s words to the Corinthians, calls us still. As disciples and as the church, every generation stands as witnesses who have received the gospel sent to proclaim and share as living witnesses of Jesus, the Peaceable One, Jesus, the Risen One.

Each time the people of God gather in worship, fellowship, breaking bread, and drinking wine, the gospel story is lived and shared. As we go into the world, Christ lives in and through us in the settings of our everyday lives. The old story becomes ever new and expressed in changing times through diverse peoples, cultures, and spaces. The freeing truths of the gospel take shape and form, and, like Paul, a new generation of disciples say, “by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain” (v. 10).

Central Ideas

  1. For Paul, the gospel is a new way of living and seeing the world.
  2. Hold firm to the gospel message and witness the living, risen Christ.
  3. Receive and proclaim the good news of the gospel so others may come to believe and truly live.

Questions for the Speaker

  1. How have you witnessed the risen Christ on your journey of life and faith?
  2. How have the testimonies of others brought you closer to knowing and experiencing Christ and deepening your faith? Through these testimonies, how do you feel connected to past, present, and future generations?
  3. How do the message and living presence of Jesus Christ challenge you or your congregation to be proclaimers of Jesus Christ in the world today?
  4. How are you being called to be agents of change and transformation?



Year B Letters

Easter Sunday

1 Corinthians 15:1–11 NRSVUE




Easter is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is the most important day in the Christian calendar as we rejoice in his eternal presence with us. Hallelujah!

Prayer for Peace

Ring a bell or chime three times slowly.

Light the peace candle.

Resurrected God, would we recognize you? Would we understand the incredible power you have over death? Grant us the peace that was present in the garden in those moments before your resurrection. May we spread that peace just as the women who first saw you alive spread the news of your resurrection! Help us to recognize opportunities for peace that once seemed extinguished. Now they’re new soil for growing peace. Clear away our doubts that peace may not come and show us how to work to create peace in places across the world. Amen.

Spiritual Practice

Centering Prayer

Centering prayer is a method of meditation used by Christians to sit in silence with God. This prayer helps us experience God’s presence within us.

This Easter Day we will focus on the word rejoice.

Slowly read the following instructions:

Sit with relaxed posture and close your eyes. We will spend three minutes in centering prayer.

Breathe in a regular, natural rhythm. As you breathe in and out, say the word peace in your mind.

Breathe in and out, focusing only on your word.

When we are done, we will sit for two minutes in silence, eyes closed, listening to the silence.

When time is up, share these closing instructions:

Offer a brief word of thanks to God, take a deep breath, and open your eyes when you are ready.

Sharing Around the Table

1 Corinthians 15:1–11 NRSVUE

Now I want you to understand, brothers and sisters, the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures and that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you believed.

The glory of Easter morning is captured in the Gospels, each treating and focusing on different aspects of the event. These stories hold tremendous power. They can bring people to faith and foster a resurgence of faith in those who are wandering.

Traditionally a Gospel is used on resurrection Sunday accompanied by glorious hymns and images of empty tombs and men and women dashing to and fro to tell what has happened.

Paul knows these stories. Most still were being told in the oral tradition at the time of Paul’s writing, but they were foundational for followers of The Way.

Paul acknowledges the first witness of the resurrection and proclaims that he, the least of God’s servants, was the last to meet the Living Christ. But did he mean that no one else would encounter the Living Christ after him, or did he simply mean that his last example of a living witness would be him?

The Corinthians are amid conflict within the community. Paul wants to remind them of their foundations: the resurrection of Jesus and how that significantly has changed their lives. He urges them to remember that it is in Jesus that they are being saved, and that they stand. He is trying to impress on them that what they stand for and how they think make a difference in how they act toward each other and their neighbors.

The text today conveys the real power and meaning of the resurrection: Lives change when people reconcile to God and each other. A condition that leads to justice and peace because of The Way influences behavior and relationships.


  1. Recall the stories of Easter morning. Do these stories restore in you a sense of belonging or perhaps a sense of purpose?
  2. Have you experienced a time when going back to foundational beliefs has helped you find your way into the future? Foundational belief means the place where you started. Looking at the starting point often can help us find the ways that we have followed Jesus and how our faith and beliefs have deepened, matured, and borne fruit. Paul calls this “being saved.”
  3. Paul shares with Corinthians that he is the least of God’s servants, unfit to be called an apostle. He then shares how God has used him in the saving work of Christ. If Paul is unfit and does so much, what implications does that have for our witness? Is everyone, therefore, able to share “the hope that is in you?”


Generosity Statement

Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed.

—Doctrine and Covenants 165:6a

The offering basket is available if you would like to support ongoing, small-group ministries as part of your generous response.

This offering prayer for the Easter season is adapted from A Disciple’s Generous Response:

God of rejoicing, we share our gifts joyfully and with thanksgiving in response to the generous gifts you have given us. May the offerings we share bring joy, hope, love, and peace into the lives of others so they might experience your mercy and grace. Amen.

Invitation to Next Meeting

Closing Hymn

Community of Christ Sings 473, “Christ Is Alive!”

Closing Prayer

Optional Additions Depending on Group

  • Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
  • Thoughts for Children

Thoughts for Children

Today is Easter Sunday! I want you all to help me with a team scavenger hunt. I will ask you to find certain things, and I want you to work together to find something that fits my description. Then bring it back to me. Once we have found all the items, we will talk about how each can remind us of important things about Easter.

Use the list below to send participants on the scavenger hunt. Although this is a group scavenger hunt, it is OK if you have more than one of each item on the list.

Say: First, I need you to find three of the same thing. It doesn’t matter what you find; you just need to make sure there are three of them.

Now, I need you to find something heavy.

Next, I need you to find something that is empty.

Now, I need you to find something shaped like a heart.

Finally, find something that you could use to share information.

Thank you all so much for your great searching! Each object you found can remind us something important about Easter.

As you explain what we can remember about Easter, share what object/objects participants found to represent each memory.

First, I asked you to find me three of something. Do you know why I would ask for three of something? I needed three of something because that reminds us that Jesus rose on the third day.

Next, I asked you to find me something heavy. Why do you think I needed something heavy? It’s because it reminds us of the stone that was rolled away from Jesus’s tomb. This reminds us that nothing is strong enough to stop the power of God’s love.

Next, I asked you to find something empty. Do you know why? I needed something empty because Jesus’s followers found his tomb empty when they went to find him. They discovered he had risen.

Next, I asked you to find something heart-shaped. Do you know why? I needed something heart-shaped because it helps us remember that Jesus lives in our hearts.

Finally, I asked you to find something that you could use to share information. Why do you think I wanted you to find this? It’s because when the women discovered Jesus’s tomb was empty and that he had risen, they went and shared the good news. We, too, can share this good news through our words and actions. In doing so, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Thank every person for helping. Give all participants one of the objects to put away while returning to their seat.

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