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Shepherd Liturgy
for use on Easter 4
or Occasional Services for Bishops

by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The Shepherd Liturgy was originally written for the occasion of the final Eucharist of the retiring Bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, the Rev. Bishop Ralph A. Kempski, in 1998.  However, the service is also appropriate for both Good Shepherd Sunday (Easter 4) as well as other occasions or celebrations for Bishops and Pastors.

 

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GATHERING

Prelude

Entrance Hymn

 

Dialog of the Shepherd:

A. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!

C. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth!

 

A. Before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh,

C. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

 

A. Shepherd your people with your staff, O Lord;

C. The flock that belongs to you.

 

A. For thus says the Lord God:

C. I myself will search for my sheep.

 

A. I will seek the lost and bring back the strayed.

C. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.

 

A. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them.

C. They shall not fear any longer or be dismayed.

 

A. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!

C. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth!

 

Hymn of Praise:  "This is the Feast"  or  "From All That Dwell Below the Skies"

 

Apostolic Greeting

Prayer of the Day  (Prayer for Easter 4 or for Installation of a Bishop Occ. Serv. #543)

 

 

WORD

First Lesson

Psalm 23 (sung)

Second Lesson

Verse:  Alleluia

Gospel

Sermon

Hymn of the Day    "The Lord's My Shepherd"

Nicene Creed

Prayer of the Church

Peace

 

MEAL

Offering

Special Music or

Hymn During the Offering:    "Beautiful Savior"

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Offertory Prayer:

A. Let us pray.  Great Shepherd of the sheep,

C. we are your flock, and we bring to you gifts and offerings from our hearts and lives.  Be our Shepherd always, and send us forth, that we might bring to other sheep the message of your love.  Amen

 

Great Thanksgiving

Preface for Easter or Apostles (i.e., Bishops)

Holy, Holy, Holy

 

Eucharistic Prayer of the Good Shepherd

P. Great Shepherd of the world, you are indeed holy, and great is the majesty of your glory. You created all things and showered blessings and loving care upon all that you created. You formed Israel as your chosen flock, and made them to lie down in green pasture. And when they turned from you, you did not spurn them, but sent forth another shepherd, your only Son, to seek out the lost sheep of Israel and of all the world and call them to himself by name.

C. Christ the Lord is our good shepherd.

 

P. In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

    Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.

    For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup, we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

C. Christ has died, Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

 

P. And so, holy Father, with this bread and cup, we remember the life of Christ our shepherd and the covenant he made with us. We remember his seeking of the lost, the outcast, the sinner, and we remember his loving example as a shepherd among us. But especially we remember his own willingness to lay down his shepherd's staff and become the Lamb who was slain on the cross for our sins. As you raised him from death to life, so send him again in our days to raise us up and gather us as his flock around your eternal throne.

C. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

P. Send now, we pray, your Holy Spirit, that this bread and this cup might be the body and blood of our shepherd Christ, that we might be renewed in spirit and find our fellowship among the saved.

C. Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.

 

P. With loving hand and guiding staff, keep us all on the path to righteousness until we are joined as one heavenly flock with the saints and angels of glory, where we will sing eternal praises in the presence of Christ our good shepherd. Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and forever.

C. Amen

 

Our Father

 

At the Breaking of Bread:

P. This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper.

C. O Christ, our Good Shepherd, be among us this day in the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup.

 

Communion

    Hymns as desired

 

After Communion:

A. Let us pray.  O God, we thank you that you have fed us with the gift of your Son, the Good Shepherd, Jesus our Savior.  May his body and blood strengthen and unite us as one flock under one shepherd as he guides us all our days, even to the gates of heaven;  through the same Lord Jesus Christ.

C. Amen

 

 

SENDING

 

P. (sing) May almighty God, the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.

C. (sing on one tone) Amen

 

A. Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

C. Thanks be to God.

 

Closing Hymn

Postlude