Worship in the Home: May 16, 2021

Posted on May 11, 2021 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B
May 16, 2021

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.

Find a peaceful place to pray, perhaps a table. You may wish to light a candle and place a bowl of water in remembrance of your baptism. One person may lead this acclamation and then pray the Prayer of the Day.

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

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Gracious and glorious God, you have chosen us as your own, and by the powerful name of Christ you protect us from evil. By your Spirit transform us and your beloved world, that we may find our joy in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


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

First Reading: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

15In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred and twenty persons) and said, 16“Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus—17for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.

21“So one of the men who have accompanied us during the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John until the day when Jesus was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” 23So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

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


The Psalm may be sung or read in response to the First Reading.

Psalm 1

1Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel | of the wicked,
nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seats | of the scornful!
2Their delight is in the law | of the LORD,
and they meditate on God’s teaching | day and night.
3They are like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season,
with leaves that | do not wither;
everything they | do shall prosper.
4It is not so | with the wicked;
they are like chaff which the wind | blows away.
5Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when | judgment comes,
nor the sinner in the council | of the righteous.
6For the LORD knows the way | of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked shall | be destroyed.


Second Reading: 1 John 5:9-13

9If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that God has testified to the Son. 10Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made God a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning the Son. 11And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in the Son of God. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

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


Gospel: John 17:6-19

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

[Jesus prayed:] 6 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they may be sanctified in truth.”

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



Having read these readings, think on this:

Every year, on the Seventh Sunday of Easter, we read a passage from the long prayer of Jesus that John’s Gospel situates on the eve of the crucifixion. With its simple religious language, the prayer proclaims the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection. But we easily misunderstand: while we should indeed seek to keep God’s word and to unite with all Christians, this text is not about that. Nor is it about us trying to avoid the world. Rather, in this text the word of God keeps us. The name of God already holds us in unity. And among the words that Jesus has given us is this: God loves the world. In John’s Gospel, the “world” is a name for all things organized as if there were no God. But Jesus Christ has been sent into that world, and his cross has marked all things with God’s saving love. Now, in the power of the Spirit and with the Apostle Matthias, we too are sent as witnesses to that love. With the First Letter of John we know that this love of God gives us eternal life already now. Eternal life does not wait until after death, but is the joyful communal sharing of Christ’s truth now.


If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Son of God, Eternal Savior” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 655), Rise, O Sun of Righteousness” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 657). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Son of God, Eternal Savior


Then pray these intercessions:

On this seventh Sunday of Easter, let us pray for all who are in need, responding to each petition with the words “Give us life in your name.”

A brief silence.

For the church we pray, O God: that you raise up the next generation of pastors, deacons, and musicians to serve your people; that you protect believers wherever danger threatens; and that you grant Christians a spirit of unity with all the baptized.

A brief silence.

Hear us, God, holy father.
Give us life in your name.

For the earth we pray: that you safeguard the trees and all streams of water; that you preserve the ice at the north and south poles; and that you instruct us in repairing what in your creation we have broken.

A brief silence.

Hear us, God, plenteous giver.
Give us life in your name.

For peace and justice, we pray: that leaders of nations act with integrity in their decisions; that the poor be respected and supported; that prejudice against people of different color or language or ethnicity be ended; and that our government use wisely the tax money it gathers.

A brief silence.

Hear us, God, righteous ruler.
Give us life in your name.

For families, we pray: that families under any stress be strengthened; that immigrant families find acceptance in their new home; that people forced to live away from their families be comforted; and that family members increase in forbearance with one another.

A brief silence.

Hear us, God, bond of blessing.
Give us life in your name.

For all the sick and suffering, we pray: that you give medical care to all with COVID; that you visit with compassion the people of India; that you sustain those with life-long disability; and that you embrace those we name before you. . . .

A brief silence.

Hear us, God, physician and nurse.
Give us life in your name.

For all graduates, we pray, that opportunities for appropriate employment or further education be open to them. For all who cannot benefit from such schooling, especially for women where their education is forbidden, we pray, that you show them a worthy way forward.

A brief silence.

Hear us, God, teacher of truth.
Give us life in your name.

For ourselves we pray, that despite sorrow or setbacks, we yield the fruitfulness that you intend from us; and that you receive the prayers of our hearts.

A longer period of silence.

Hear us, God, source of peace.
Give us life in your name.

For all who have died in the faith of Christ, we praise you. For Erik of Sweden and for Queen Helena, we thank you. That at our end we join with all the saints in your eternal presence,

A brief silence.

Hear us, God, life everlasting.
Give us life in your name.

In the joy of the resurrection, in hope for the gift of your Spirit, we raise these prayers to you, trusting in your mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.



If you have a hymnal, you may now sing or read “Come Now, O Prince of Peace” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 247), Blest Be the Tie that Binds” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 656). Selected hymns are provided below for those without a hymnal at home.

Blest Be the Tie That Binds


Then conclude with these prayers:

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Holy, living, and loving God, we praise you for creating an earth of splendor
and for making us into a people of your own.
With all the saints who have received your Word
we worship you, holy God.
We worship you, holy God.

We praise you for your eternal Word,
for conquering the force of death,
and for raising us up through the resurrection of our Lord.
For your Word alive among us,
we praise you, living God.
We praise you, living God.

Breathe the Spirit of the risen Christ on us,
that led by your Word
we may honor your earth and its many peoples
and serve all who are in need.
For your Word animating our Easter life,
we bless you, loving God.
We bless you, loving God.

All worship, praise, and blessing be to you,
Source of life, Ruler of life, and Power of life, today and forever.


Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us:
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.


Then speak the Blessing:

May our glorious God grant us a spirit of wisdom
to know and to love the risen Lord Jesus.

The God of life,
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:Come, My Way, My Truth;” “The Fullness of God;” “Creating God, Your Fingers Trace.”


Readings for the Week:
Monday Psalm 115. Tuesday (commemoration of Erik, King of Sweden, martyr, 1160) Titus 1:1-9. Wednesday John 16:16-24. Thursday Psalm 33:12-22. Friday (commemoration of Helena, mother of Constantine, c. 330) 1 Corinthians 15:50-57. Saturday (Vigil of Pentecost) Romans 8:14-17, 22-27. Day of Pentecost Acts 2:1-21 or Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Romans 8:22-27 or Acts 2:1-21; John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15.

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

Due to copyright restrictions, we are only able to provide downloadable hymns that are in the public domain and selected hymns for limited use. To purchase copies of Evangelical Lutheran Worship and All Creation Sings for the home, visit the Augsburg Fortress website or call 1-800-328-4648. Selected hymns from All Creation Sings will be provided for limited use.

Reflection text: Gordon Lathrop. Intercessory Prayer: Gail Ramshaw.

Portions from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, All Creation Sings, and sundaysandseasons.com © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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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