Fifth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

Opening Sentences

  • Teach me your way O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    Give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
    I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.

    --Psalm 86: 11-12

Prayer of Confession

  • Almighty God,
    we come seeking your light and truth,
    yet scripture and experience teach us
    that we are people of darkness, prone to deceit.
    In the light of your holiness, help us to see ourselves as we are.
    Unmask our disguises; pierce our pretense.
    Help us to stand before you naked, but unafraid,
    trusting not in ourselves,
    but solely in the power of your love
    to cover all our offenses
    and to clothe us in the righteousness of Christ.

    (the prayer may continue in silence)
    from Pray to the Lord

Assurance of Pardon

  • Hear the good news!
    Who is in a position to condemn?
    Only Christ,
    and Christ died for us,
    Christ rose for us,
    Christ reigns in power for us,
    Christ prays for us.
    --Romans 8:34
  • Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation.
    The old has passed away; everything has become new!
    All this is from God
    who has reconciled us to himself through Christ.
    For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin,
    so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
    from 2 Corinthians 5:17-18a, 21
  • Believe the good news of the Gospel: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Sydney Carter's hymn, "Said Judas to Mary" (copyright, 1964, 1974, Stainer & Bell, Ltd.) imagines a dialogue between Mary, Judas and Jesus and is based on the gospel lesson for the day. It could be sung as a choir anthem or by solo voices. The hymn is published in The New Century Hymnal (The Pilgrim Press, 1995) and Worship: A Hymnal and Service Book for Roman Catholics (G.I.A. Publications, 1986.)

Written by John Paarlberg, pastor of First Church in Albany, New York

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