Prepare for the Easter Season at Home

During the fifty days of the Easter season, the Church rejoices in the resurrected Lord and the new life He brings. This season includes three great feasts that we celebrate: the Feast of the Resurrection, the Feast of the Ascension, and the Feast of Pentecost. This year, the Easter season looks and feels different, as many churches are streaming worship online. As you prepare for upcoming services, use the hymns and suggestions below in preparation for worship throughout the Easter season.

The Feast of the Resurrection

On Easter Day, the whole Church rejoices with her risen Lord. Typically, on this festive occasion, many churches adorn the sanctuary with Easter lilies, special banners, and other decorations to highlight the celebration. This year, it’s likely that you celebrated Easter at home with your family, as did many other Christians all around the nation and the world. Although the actual calendar day for Easter has passed, the Church continues to celebrate the season of Easter for several more weeks. If you haven’t already, listen to an Easter hymn playlist, or follow along in the Lutheran Service Book during worship this Easter season.

The Feast of the Ascension

On The Ascension of Our Lord, the Church remembers Christ’s return to heaven, where He now sits at the Father’s right hand. This day and celebration provide an excellent opportunity to enhance worship through special music. One piece to use is CPH Music’s “Why Do You Peer into the Skies?” Read the text below as you listen to the hymn.

Why do you peer into the skies,
Staring with open, wond’ring eyes?
See and believe that Christ came down,
Now claims again His holy crown:
Dying that all should be fulfilled,
Living as God the Father willed.

Why are you waiting on this hill?
This is no time for standing still.
Soon to receive the Spirit’s pow’r,
Pray and prepare for that great hour.
Filled with the Word, go out and tell:
Jesus defeated death and hell.

The reign of Satan now dispelled,
The reign of God is still upheld.
Shout to the Lord great songs of joy;
Reaching new ears, all fears destroy.
When trumpets sound, the great surprise:
He will return, and we will rise.

Copyright © 2015 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The Feast of Pentecost

The final feast of the Easter season is Pentecost. During this feast, the Church remembers the outpouring of the Holy Spirit onto the disciples. In Lutheranism 101: Worship, Rev. Dr. Thomas Winger explains the scriptural foundation and historical significance of this day in the Church Year:

We celebrate Pentecost as the completion of the Easter season and the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that He will send the Holy Spirit to His Church (John 14:15–31; 16:5–7). Pentecost is a celebration of the Spirit’s work, particularly in creating faith in the heart through Holy Baptism and preaching (Acts 2:38). But the Spirit’s work is to point not to Himself, but to Jesus (John 15:26). So Pentecost is still a festival of Christ.

The Christian Church has celebrated Pentecost since at least the third century, perhaps already in apostolic times (Acts 20:16). The color of Pentecost is red, recalling the tongues of fire on the disciples (2:3). (p. 124)
Copyright © 2017 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

One hymn to reflect on during Pentecost is “O Holy Spirit, Enter In” (LSB 913). The lyrics of this hymn also act as a great prayer either in the morning or in the evening, as part of your daily devotions:

O Holy Spirit, enter in,
And in our hearts Your work begin,
Your dwelling place now make us.
Sun of the soul, O Light divine,
Around and in us brightly shine,
To joy and gladness wake us
That we may be
Truly living,
To you giving
Prayer unceasing
And in love be still increasing.

Give to Your Word impressive pow’r,
That in our hearts from this good hour
As fire it may be glowing,
That in true Christian unity
We faithful witnesses may be,
Your glory ever showing.
Hear us, cheer us
By Your teaching;
Let our preaching
And our labor
Praise You, Lord, and serve our neighbor.

O mighty Rock, O Source of life,
Let Your dear Word, in doubt and strife,
In us be strongly burning
That we be faithful unto death
And live in love and holy faith,
From You true wisdom learning.
Your grace and peace
On us shower;
By Your power
Christ confessing,
Let us see our Savior’s blessing.
Public domain

As you move through this Easter season, may God continue to bless you in your worship.

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