Worship in the Home: Sunday, April 19, 2020

Posted on April 14, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Second Sunday of Easter
April 19, 2020

In this time of world-wide crisis, congregations throughout this church are not able to gather for worship as the body of Christ. While you cannot be together in person, we can hear the word of God and hold each other in prayer. We offer this brief resource as an aid for prayer in the home. As with our prayers in the gathered assembly for worship, you are encouraged to prepare or adapt them locally for your context.


The Prayer of the Day may be prayed. 

Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God, the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who doubt, may we, who have not seen, have faith in you and receive the fullness of Christ’s blessing, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Then the readings for this Sunday may be read, as follows:

First Reading  Acts 2:14a, 22-32

14aPeter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed the people: 22“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know—23this Jesus, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. 25For David says concerning him,
‘I saw the Lord always before me,
who is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;
26therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
moreover my flesh will live in hope.
27For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One experience corruption.
28You have made known to me the ways of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
29“Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that God would put one of his descendants on his throne. 31Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,
‘He was not abandoned to Hades,
nor did his flesh experience corruption.’
32This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.”

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


Psalm  Psalm 16 may be sung or spoken in response to the First Reading.

1Protect me, O God, for I take ref- | uge in you;
I have said to the LORD, “You are my Lord, my good a- | bove all other.”
2All my delight is in the godly that are | in the land,
upon those who are noble a- | mong the people.
3But those who run after | other gods
shall have their troubles | multiplied.
4I will not pour out drink offerings | to such gods,
never take their names up- | on my lips.
5O LORD, you are my portion | and my cup;
it is you who up- | hold my lot.
6My boundaries enclose a | pleasant land;
indeed, I have a | rich inheritance.
7I will bless the LORD who | gives me counsel;
my heart teaches me night | after night.
8I have set the LORD al- | ways before me;
because God is at my right hand, I shall | not be shaken.
9My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spir- | it rejoices;
my body also shall | rest in hope.
10For you will not abandon me | to the grave,
nor let your holy one | see the pit.
11You will show me the | path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for- | evermore.


Second Reading  1 Peter 1:3-9

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whose great mercy we have been given a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


Gospel  John 20:19-31

The holy gospel according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Judeans, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


Having read these readings, think of this:

It is a week later and we are still mostly behind locked doors. We do not see and, at least sometimes, we certainly doubt.  But these texts are full of blessing on those who do not see. The Gospel according to John is written so that, though we do not see him, we may believe in the risen Christ. The Second Reading says rightly that though we do not see him, we love him. And today, this very Sunday, Christ comes to us, wherever we are sheltering, bringing peace, forgiveness, and the Spirit of life and hope. While we cannot reach out together to touch his body in the holy communion, with our ears and eyes we touch Christ’s wounds in the scripture itself. We are once again made witnesses to the resurrection for the sake of all our neighbors.

If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing.” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 386) Sing the Alleluia, then stanzas 1 and 5-8, then the Alleluia again.

O Sons and Daughters of the King 


Prayers of Intercession

Praying in our homes while gathered together in the Spirit of Christ, we ask God to bestow peace upon a needy world, using words from today’s psalm: Protect us, O God, for we take refuge in you.

A brief silence.

Faithful God, we pray for the church around the world. Enter into our countless separate houses with your gift of peace. Guard the health of our bishops, pastors, teachers, and musicians. As Christians around the globe are united in their suffering through the coronavirus, so unite us also in the hope of life in the Risen Christ.

A brief silence.

Protect the church, O God,
for we take refuge in you.

Creating God, we pray for the earth that you have given into our care. As human society is quieted by sickness, give your plants and animals, lands and seas, a time to renew and replenish themselves. Nurture the fields that will supply our food.

A brief silence.

Protect the earth, O God,
for we take refuge in you.

Righteous God, we pray for the nations. Give peace to our troubled world. Bless the efforts of the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Strengthen democracies. Bring an end to violence between nations, across borders, within countries, between gangs, and inside homes. Uphold the governors of our land. Bless our country with integrity in government, attention to the needy, persistence in facing the pandemic, and wisdom in proceeding into an unknown future.

A brief silence.

Protect the nations, O God,
for we take refuge in you.

Compassionate God, we pray for all in any need. Comfort the bereaved. Accompany the sick, especially the multitude who have contracted the coronavirus, and those we remember in our hearts (especially). Visit the homes of all who are isolated, and hold the lonely and fearful in your arms. Grant your peace to the millions of unemployed; give them food for today and hope for tomorrow. Help us find a home for refugees. Support medical care workers in their endless and sometimes fruitless tasks of attending to the pandemic patients. Provide needed medical supplies for hospitals.

A brief silence.

Protect the needy, O God,
for we take refuge in you.

Gracious God, we pray for children and youth. Shelter them from all sickness. Keep homebound children safe from hunger and abuse. Nurture teenagers with a vision of life beyond this pandemic. Give them assurance as they are separated physically from friends and mentors. Give to all children and youth forbearance beyond their years.

A brief silence.

Protect children and youth, O God,
for we take refuge in you.

Loving God, we pray for ourselves. Renew our spirits with the living hope of Christ’s resurrection, and hear also the private petitions of our hearts.

A longer period of silence.

Protect us, O God,
for we take refuge in you.

Eternal God, we praise you for the lives of all who have died in the faith, especially today the Petri brothers of Sweden and those we name here before you (especially). Sustained  by the promise of healing and resurrection, free us from the fear of death, and bring us at our end with all the saints into the joy of your presence.

A brief silence.

Protect your people, O God,
for we take refuge in you.

With bold confidence in your peace which passes human understanding, we offer these prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord, now and forever.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “Peace, to Soothe Our Bitter Woes” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 381) or “Thine Is the Glory” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 376).

Peace, to Soothe Our Bitter Woes

Thine Is the Glory

Then conclude with these Prayers:

Let us pray.

A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Almighty God, you give us the joy of celebrating our Lord’s resurrection. Give us also the joys of life in your service, and bring us at last to the full joy of life eternal, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


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.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.


Almighty God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us now and forever.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!



Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress, “We Walk by Faith,” “Lift Up Your Heads,”Good Christian Friends Rejoice and Sing.”


Readings for the Week:

Monday Psalm 114. Tuesday (commemoration of Anselm, Bishop of Canterbury, died 1109) 1 Corinthians 15:19-28. Wednesday Matthew 12:38-42. Thursday (commemoration of Toyohiko Kagawa, renewer of society, died 1960) Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19.  Friday Isaiah 26:1-4. Saturday (Mark, Evangelist) Mark 1:1-15. Third Sunday of Easter Acts 2:14a, 36-41; Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Luke 24:13-35.

Daily Prayer Resources are now available, including simple forms of Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer; Responsive Prayer; and prayers for mealtimes and other occasions.

Reflection material: Gordon Lathrop. Intercessory Prayer: Gail Ramshaw

Portions from Evangelical Lutheran Worship and sundaysandseasons.com, © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress.

Readings from Readings for the Assembly © 1995, 1996, 1997 Augsburg Fortress. Citations from the Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts. Scripture quotations from NRSV Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, adapted and edited with permission by Gordon Lathrop and Gail Ramshaw.


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