Human beings feast when they celebrate. Food is the essence of life for us. When we feast we celebrate life. We pray before we eat because we recognize that without food we would die, and so we thank God who “brings forth bread from the earth; who opens his hand and feeds all living things”. (Psalm 104:14- 15; 27-28) Easter is the Feast of Feasts. At Easter we celebrate that God has given us Christ, who “is the Bread of Life’. (St. John 6:35) That is why Christ gave us the Lord’s Supper. At the Table of the Lord, we receive Christ in his body and blood; food that nourishes us to eternal life. The brief liturgies that follow are to be prayed at the table. The first, before breakfast on Easter morning; the second, before Easter dinner. Both liturgies call for a candle, symbol of the Risen Christ (He is also the Light of the World.) to be lighted. The readings are included, so nothing else will be needed.
Prayers before Breakfast on Easter Morning
The Lord be with you. AND ALSO WITH YOU. A reading from the Gospel according to St. Matthew. After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightening, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised from the dead and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him. This is my message for you”. So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me. Here ends the reading.
St. Matthew 28:1-10 The Christ candle is lighted
Alleluia! The Lord is risen! INDEED, HE IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!
The hymn may be sung or read responsively.
Good Christians all, rejoice and sing! Now is the triumph of our King! To all the world glad news we bring: ALLEUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!
The Lord of life is risen today! Death’s mighty stone is rolled away. Let all the earth rejoice and say: ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!
YOUR NAME WE BLESS, O RISEN LORD, AND SING TODAY WITH ONE ACCORD THE LIFE LAID DOWN, THE LIFE RESTORED: ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!
Prayer of the Day Christ is in our midst! HE IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE! Let us pray. Glorious Lord of Life, by the mighty resurrection of your Son you overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him. Grant that we who celebrate with joy Christ’s rising from the dead may be raised from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.
Let us bless the Lord. THANKS BE TO GOD.
Prayers before Dinner on Easter Day
When the risen Lord was at table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and the recognized him….
St. Luke 24:30-31a The Christ candle is lighted.
The Lord be with you. AND ALSO WITH YOU. While the disciples were talking about the reports of his resurrection, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you”. They were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts”? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see, for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have”. And when he had said this he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and wondering, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat”? They gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it and ate it in their presence. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you. – that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled”. Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high”. Here ends the reading. St. Luke24:36-49
Spring bursts forth today; FOR CHRIST IS RISEN AND ALL THE EARTH’S AT PLAY!
Prayer of the Day Let us pray. O God, worker of wonders, you made this day for joy and gladness. Let the risen Christ abide with us this evening, opening the scriptures to us and breaking bread in our midst. Set our hearts aflame, and open our eyes that we may see in his sufferings all that the psalms and prophets foretold, and recognize him at this table as the Christ, now entered into his glory, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. AMEN.
Let us bless the Lord. THANKS BE TO GOD.