Sunday, March 21, 2021 – Fifth Sunday in Lent


Confession and Forgiveness

P:         Blessed be the Holy Trinity, + one God, the keeper of the covenant, the source of steadfast love, our rock and our redeemer. Amen

God hears us when we cry, and draws us close in Jesus Christ.  Let us return to the one who is full of compassion.

Silence is kept for reflection

Fountain of living water,

Pour your mercy over us.  Our sin is heavy and we long to be free.  Rebuild what we have ruined and mend what we have torn.  Wash us in your cleansing flood of love and grace.  Make us alive in the Spirit to follow in the way of Jesus, as healers and restorers of the world you have made.  Amen

P:         Beloved, God’s word never fails.  The promise rests on grace: by the saving love of Jesus Christ, the wisdom and power of God, your sin is + forgiven.  Journey in the way of Jesus.


Adapted from Sundays & Seasons, © 2020 Augsburg Fortress

Gathering Song                      “Restore in Us, O God”                                   # 328      

1 Restore in us, O God, the splendor of your love;
renew your image in our hearts, and all our sins remove.

2 O Spirit, wake in us the wonder of your pow’r;
from fruitless fear unfurl our lives like springtime bud and flow’r.

3 Bring us, O Christ, to share the fullness of your joy;
baptize us in the risen life that death cannot destroy.

4 Three-personed God, fulfill the promise of your grace,
that we, when all our searching ends, may see you face to face.

Text: John MacLeod Campbell Crum, 1872-1958 © Oxford University Press.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-736296. All rights reserved.


P:         The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.

Prayer of the Day


A reading from the prophet Jeremiah, the 31st chapter.

The Judeans blamed their exile on their ancestors who had broken the covenant God had made with them at Mount Sinai after being made free from their slavery in Egypt.  Here, the prophet looks to a day when God will make a new covenant with the people, not written on stone tablets, but on their hearts.

The reading:  The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Word of God.  Word of Life. 

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 51:1-12

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
   and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
   and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
 and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
   and blameless when you pass judgement.
5 Indeed, I was born guilty,
   a sinner when my mother conceived me.

6 You desire truth in the inward being;
   therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
   let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
   and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
   and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
   and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Gospel Acclamation for Lent

Return to the Lord your God,

for God is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.


P:         The holy gospel according to John, the 12th chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.

27 ‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say? “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ 29The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ 30Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ 33He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

The gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


Hymn of the Day    “Seed That in Earth is Dying”                  # 330

1  Seed that in earth is dying grows into ears of grain.
Grapes that are crushed in the vessel turn into golden wine.
God, through this mystery grant us faith in our deepest darkness,
life in our night and death.

2  We were baptized in Jesus, into his death and grave,
to resurrection’s promise: praise and eternal life.
Heaven’s own praises begin here where you yourself are near us,
deep in our night and death.

3  Seed that in earth is dying rises to bear much fruit.
Christ, as we meet at your table, give us the bread of life.

Lord, we do thank and adore you! Unceasing praise of the ages
rises from night and death.

Text: Svein Ellingsen, b. 1929; translation Hedwig T. Durnbaugh, b. 1929.  English Text © Hedwig T. Durnbaugh, admin. Augsburg Fortress.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-736296. All rights reserved.


Hear us, O God.  Your mercy is great.

Sharing of the Peace


Offertory                             Now We Join in Celebration”                    # 462

Now we join in celebration at our Saviour’s invitation,

dressed no more in spirit somber, clothed instead in joy and wonder,

for the Lord of all existence, putting off divine transcendence,

stoops again in love to meet us, with his very life to feed us.

Lord, as round this feast we gather, fill our hearts with holy rapture!

For, this bread and cup of blessing, are for us the sure possessing

of your loving deed on Calvary, of your living self, our victory,

pledge of your unfailing presence, foretaste here of heavenly gladness.

Text: Joel W. Lundeen, 1918-1990 © Joel We. Lundeen, admin. Augsburg Fortress.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-736296. All rights reserved.

Offertory Prayer

The Great Thanksgiving

P:         The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Eucharistic Prayer

Holy God, our living Water and our merciful Guide,

together with rivers and seas, wells and springs, we bless and magnify you.

You led your people Israel through the desert, and provided them water from the rock.

We praise you for Christ, our Rock and our Water, who joined us in our desert, pouring out his life for the world.

A plate of bread in each home may be lifted up.

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

A cup of wine in each home may be lifted up.

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.

Remembering, therefore, his life, death, and resurrection, we await your salvation for all this thirsty world.

Pour out your Spirit on this holy food and on all who are gathered for this feast.  Wash away our sin, that we may be revived for our journey by the love of Christ,

through whom all glory and honour are yours, Almighty God, with the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and forever.  Amen

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen


If you are in a group, you may serve one another.  If you are alone, you may serve yourself.  All use these or similar words:

The body of Christ, given for you.

The blood of Christ, shed for you.


Post-Communion Canticle                     Now We Join in Celebration”  

Lord, we share in this communion as one family of God’s children,

reconciled through you our brother, one in you with God our Father.

Give us grace to live for others, servig all, both friends and strangers,

seeking justice, love, and mercy till you come in final glory.

Text: Joel W. Lundeen, 1918-1990 © Joel We. Lundeen, admin. Augsburg Fortress.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-736296. All rights reserved.

Post-Communion Prayer


Announcements may be made.


Sending Hymn     “Now the Green Blade Rises”        # 379

1 Now the green blade rises, from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again like wheat arising green.

2 In the grave they laid him, Love who had been slain,
Thinking that he never would awake again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again like wheat arising green.

3 When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
Jesus’ touch can call us back to life again,
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again like wheat arising green.

Text: John MacLeod Campbell Crum, 1872-1958 © Oxford University Press.  Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-736296. All rights reserved.


            A:         Go in peace.  Share the good news!

Thanks be to God!