|Liturgy by TLW|
Dedication of a New Church Cross
for display outside of the church
by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
Entrance Hymn "In the Cross of Christ I Glory"
Dialog of the Holy Cross:
A. We praise the Lord for the cross of Christ!
C. We praise the Lord for Christ's willingness to bear it.
A. By the cross we are saved.
C. With the cross we are baptized.
A. Under the cross we live.
C. Because of the cross we are forgiven.
A. In the cross we glory.
C. Through the cross we come to eternal life.
A. Praise the Lord for the cross of Christ!
C. Let us take up the cross and follow him.
Hymn of Praise: This is the Feast
Prayer of the Day
Hymn of the Day "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"
Apostles’ Creed - optional
Litany on the Stations of the Cross:
A. Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." In the name of Jesus, we pray:
C. Lord, help us to take up our cross and follow you.
A. You stood before Pilate, your life condemned, your word rejected, your innocence ignored:
C. Keep us from rejecting your word of truth and salvation.
A. You carried your cross on the wounded stripes of your back, for love of us and for all the world.
C. Help us to bear our cross, for love of you and for love of others.
A. The weight of your cross was the weight of our sins which make us stumble and fall.
C. In our weakness, we turn to you for strength.
A. Although you suffered, you still reached out to care for your mother.
C. May our cross-bearing never keep us from caring for our families.
A. As you struggled to bear your cross to Calvary, a passerby was drafted to help you.
C. Make us as willing as Simon to bear the burdens of those in need.
A. Others also took risks to comfort you.
C. Strengthen our faith to take loving risks for our needy brothers and sisters.
A. Sin weighed heavily upon you as you stumbled along the way.
C. Forgive us, Lord, for the sins which make us fall.
A. Your suffering under the cross caused the women of Jerusalem to weep.
C. Make our suffering in life a share in your suffering.
A. The full burden of our sin crushed you mightily to the earth.
C. Do not forsake us in our falling, but bring us to repentance and faith.
A. Stripped and jeered, you endured humiliation without complaint.
C. Humble us in our work and daily lives.
A. Nailed to the cross, you took your place among the condemned.
C. Take your place beside us sinners, and bring us through faith to the Paradise of God.
A. When your sacrifice was complete, you handed your life to the Father, and he did not forsake you.
C. Keep us close to your cross and death, now and at the hour of our death.
A. Faithful friends and loving women took loving care of your lifeless body.
C. Turn the darkness of death into the brightness of day for those we love.
A. In the tomb you were laid, but from the tomb you arose.
C. Be the Lord of the resurrection for us and for all the baptized.
P. Loving Jesus, for the sake of your cross and passion, we are justified in faith, washed cleaned of our sins by baptism and repentance, and made one with God. We thank you for your cross and for the depths of your love for us. Help us to bear our cross in the world and follow you until you bring us into your heavenly kingdom; here you reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
A. Let us pray. O Lord, our God,
C. as servants of Christ, we bring our offerings and thanksgivings before you. And with these, we pledge to live under Christs cross throughout our lives, showing forth your infinite love through that saving cross. Accept our gifts for the sake of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
A. Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, you humbled yourself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. With your sacrifice, you have left us your living body and blood in the holy sacrament to strengthen our lives for bearing our own crosses. We thank you for this great gift in which we have partaken today, and we ask that you be with us always, even to the end of the world.
During the following hymn, all process outside for the dedication of the new cross.
Processional Hymn "Lift High the Cross"
P. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are here for the blessing of a new cross. Let us venerate in faith the eternal plan by which God has made the cross of Christ the pre-eminent sign of his mercy.
As we look upon the cross, let us call to mind that on it Christ brought to completion his life-giving love for us, for the Church, and for all people.
As we walk under the shadow of the cross, let us remember that in his own Blood Christ has removed all divisions and created one people out of the many nations.
As we pray beneath the cross, let us reflect that we are ourselves Christs disciples and must therefore follow him, willingly taking up our own cross each day.
A. Let us praise the Christ, the Son of God.
C. Let us praise the cross from which he reigns.
A. Let us glory in the cross whereon death and the devil were defeated.
C. Let us glory in the Christ who gave himself up to death.
A. Let us give thanks for the sins that were taken from us on that cross.
C. Let us give thanks to the Christ who bore our sins out of love for us.
P. Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Father all holy, for your boundless love. The tree, which once was the source of shame and death for humankind, has become the cross of our redemption and life.
When his hour had come to return to you in glory, the Lord Jesus, our King, our Priest, and our Teacher, freely mounted the scaffold of the cross and made it his royal throne, his altar of sacrifice, his pulpit of truth.
On the cross, lifted above the earth, he triumphed over our age-old enemy. Cloaked in his own blood, he drew all things to himself.
On the cross, he opened out his arms and offered you his life: the sacrifice of the New Law that gives to the sacraments their saving power.
On the cross, he proved what he had prophesied: that the grain of wheat must die to bring forth an abundant harvest.
Father, we honor this cross as the sign of our redemption, and we ask that you pour out + your blessings upon it that all might see its life-giving power. May we reap the harvest of salvation planted in pain by Christ Jesus. May our sins be nailed to his cross, the power of life released, pride conquered, and weakness turned to strength.
May the cross be our comfort in trouble, our refuge in the face of danger, our safeguard on lifes journey, until you welcome us to our heavenly home.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
P. And now, people of God, may you go forth into the world bearing your own crosses with the strength of Christs living presence in your lives, showing forth his love, his light and his truth for all to see.
And may almighty God, Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit bless you now and forever.
A. Go in peace. Serve the Lord.
C. Thanks be to God.
Closing Hymn: Doxology (print out in bulletin)
Portions of today’s liturgy were written by the Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel. The dedication and blessing of the cross were taken from the Book of Blessings, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN 1989, adapted by T.L. Weitzel for Lutheran use.