Season of Creation 2017 — Series Overview

Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost, Year A

As Christians we have a paradoxical relationship with death. On the one hand, we, with our brother Paul, see death as an enemy whose destruction is already declared in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (I Corinthians 15:26). On the other hand, also with our brother Paul, we affirm that we are baptized into the death of Jesus, and only through experiencing a death like his in baptism are we promised the hope of a resurrection like his (Romans 6:4-8). So already, within some of the most famous passages from one early Christian writer’s most famous work we encounter death as at once enemy and portal to life.

Reading Notes

NRSV texts, artwork and Revised Common Lectionary Prayers for this service are available at the Vanderbilt Divinity Library.
Leccionario en Español, Leccionario Común Revisado: Consulta Sobre Textos Comunes.
Lectionnaire en français, Le Lectionnaire Œcuménique Révisé

Calendar Notes

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Season of Creation 2 — DEATH
The color from now until Advent is green, with two exceptions: All Saints Day or Sunday (November 1 or 5) and Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday (November 26).

For Your Planning Team: SEASON OF CREATION 2 — DEATH

In the Series and This Service: Continuing the Common Threads

As we’ve noted before, this is a “point by point” rather than a “step by step” series. Each service can stand on its own, and should be planned to do so. Yet there can and should be some common threads that weave throughout it, while keeping each service distinct.

We suggested four as part of the series opening last week.

Visually, use the same basic graphics template for slides, but add colors to the palette suggestive of the theme each week. The colors that speak of death may vary from culture to culture, so choose colors to add to the basic green palette that are most appropriate for your context.

Musically, open the service with selected verses of “All Creatures of Our God and King” (UMH 62, or CCLI #3608102). For this week, sing verses 1, 6, and 7.

Textually, include not just the scripture reading, but also the relevant stanza from Francis’s Praise of the Creatures. For this week, it is stanza 11, as quoted in the Sermon Notes. Consider incorporating this week’s reading into the singing of “All Creatures of Our God and King” in the opening. Sing stanza 1, read the relevant stanza over the music in the background, then continue with stanzas 6 and 7.

And as a practice, continue with the same form of intercession you began last week, this week giving a bit more time (but not overdoing it) to remembering those who have died.

Finally, if you celebrate Holy Communion today, use the same form with which you started the series, and continue using it each time you celebrate it during this series. This helps build not only series identity, but, more importantly, greater competence in the congregation in using this form of the Great Thanksgiving. This makes the prayer much more theirs, and increases their repertoire of forms of the Great Thanksgiving they can pray with confidence.

Additional Resources

2014 Planning Helps for these readings

Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: Ghana, Nigeria

In This Series...

Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost 2017 — Planning Notes