Exterior detail shot of Catonsville Presbyterian Church, showing roofline, decorative window, and steeple.


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Event Series Event Series: Worship (In Person and Online)
Choir members singing in red robes

Easter Sunday and Resurrection of the Lord

  • Date: Sunday, March 31, 2024
  • Time: 10:30am11:30am
  • Location: Sanctuary

Order of Worship

Service for the Lord’s Day

Gathering around the word


Joyful Eastertide, arr. Charles Evans

Canzon Septimi Toni No. 2, Giovanni Gabrieli, Arr. Nate Hepler for brass quartet and organ

† Call to Worship

Beloved church,
behold the victory of our God:
Jesus, our Lord, has conquered the grave.

Christ is risen!
He is risen, indeed!

Sin and death shall reign no more.
Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Let this space resound with joy.
Christ is risen!

Come, let us worship God!

† Processional: hymn #232                                  “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”

† Prayer of Adoration

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

Lord Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit
we have been raised from the waters of baptism
to share in your glorious resurrection.

We have not lived as Easter people.

We are unsure of your promise, confused about your will for our lives,
often afraid in the face of danger, and reluctant to trust the good news as good.

Keep our minds on your reconciling love.

Whenever we are overwhelmed by the power of evil,
reveal again to us your triumph over the destructive power of oppression.

Forgive us our sin and let our lives be a testimony to your grace.

Fill us again with the joy of your salvation.

Silent prayers are offered.

Assurance of Pardon

Listen, church:
God who raised Jesus from the dead has not given us over to death.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Thanks be to God!                                                                                                        

† Response of praise: Hymn #246 (verses 1 & 5)           “Christ Is Alive!”

Life in Community

Proclaiming the Word

Children’s Message

Anthem                                                                    Festival Anthem on ELLACOMBE, Arr. David Lantz III

The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from this world to the sky,
Our Christ has brought us over with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light.
And, list’ning to His accents, May hear, so calm and plain,
His own “All hail!” And, hearing, May raise the victor strain.

Congregation & Choir:
Now let the heavens be joyful, Let earth the song begin, 
Let the round world keep triumph, And all that is therein; 
Let all things seen and unseen their notes of gladness blend, 
For Christ the Lord is risen, Our joy that has no end.  

Choir: Amen!

Prayer for Illumination

Scripture                                                                                                   John 20:1-18

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Sermon                                                                          “Always Beyond Our Grasp” Kenneth Kovacs

Responding to the Word

† Affirmation of Faith                                                         The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn #257                                                                                       “The Risen Christ”

Call to Offering

Offering of Tithes and Gifts

Offertory                                                Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen! David N. Johnson, Arr. Hal H. Hopson

Alleluia! Jesus is risen! Trumpets resounding in glorious light!
Splendor, the Lamb, heaven forever! Oh, what a miracle God has in sight!

Refrain (sing after each stanza):
Jesus is risen and we shall arise
Give God the glory! Alleluia!

Walking the way, Christ in the center telling the story to open our eyes;
Breaking our bread, giving us glory: Jesus our blessing, our constant surprise.

Jesus the vine, we are the branches; life in the Spirit the fruit of the tree;
heaven to earth, Christ to the people, gift of the future now flowing to me.

Weeping, be gone; sorrow be silent: death put asunder, and Easter is bright.
Cherubim sing: O grave, be open! Clothe us in wonder, adorn us in light.

City of God, Easter forever, golden Jerusalem, Jesus the Lamb,
River of life, saints and archangels, sing with creation to God the I AM!

† Doxology #607                              “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Christ, all people here below;
Praise Holy Spirit evermore;
Praise Triune God, whom we adore. Amen.

† Prayer of Dedication

God of the empty tomb, your grace astounds us, your generosity fills us to overflowing. Accept these offerings as signs of our gratitude and bless our work on Christ’s behalf. May we love as Christ loved. May we serve as Christ served. Call us forth into your world, guided by Christ’s spirit. Amen.

Hymn #428 (seated)                                         “Before I Take the Body of My Lord”

The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

Invitation to the Table

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving and the Lord’s Prayer

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

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

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Holy God, Holy One, Holy Three!
Creator of the cosmos,
Breath of heaven,
Lover of us all, you are our praise, our life, our joy.

You are there through desert wanderings and willful murmurings,
rebellious running and tears of complaint.

You are there when sorrow becomes our daily food;
you rescue us from ruin, anoint us with blessing, and make us whole.

You are the song our souls love to sing:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Hosanna in the highest.

Rising sun,
Soaring Spirit,
Radiant Lord,
you are there in stable and temple,
river and hillside, cross and tomb and even beyond the grave.

You are there in shining glory,
overcoming death and welcoming us to life.

You meet us in the breaking of bread,
you pour out the wine of salvation;
you feed us with grace and overwhelm us with love.

By your Spirit, make these gifts your body and blood.
By your Spirit, make us one with you and with each other.
By your Spirit, make us strong that we might share
your love with your blessed and broken world.

Fount of mercy,
source of justice,
dearest Friend,
bind us to you and send us out to seek and serve and sing your praise
until you gather us up in glory and bright unending song.

And hear us as we offer the ancient prayer that remains ever-new:

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 debts, as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory, forever. Amen.

Words of Institution

Sharing the Meal

The Lord’s Table is open to everyone. Jesus invites us to come in our faith and in our doubt to share in this joyful feast of the kingdom of God. Communion will be shared by intinction. Please approach the table down the center aisle and return to your seat by way of the side aisles.

As we approach the table, please join in these songs of praise:

Hymn #240: “Alleluia! Alleluia! Give Thanks”

Hymn #242: “Day of Delight and Beauty Unbounded”

Prayer of Gratitude

Passing of the Peace

All are invited to rise and greet each other, saying, “Peace be with you.”
An appropriate response is, “And also with you.”

† Hymn #238                                                                                     ”Thine Is the Glory”

† Charge & Benediction

Postlude                                         Toccata from Symphony 5, Charles-Marie Widor


Storytelling the Season: Covenant. Karen Ware Jackson. “When we learn in God’s story together, we grow in God’s story together.” —Heather Ruth Johnson.

Festival Anthem on ELLACOMBE from Gesangbuch der Herzogl, Wirtembergischen Katholischen Hofkapelle, 1784; alt. 1868, arr. David Lantz III

Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013).

Prayer of Dedication from Teri McDowell Ott, The Presbyterian Outlook (Louisville, KY: 2024).

Sanctus during Communion by James MacMillan, from St. Anne’s Mass, reprinted in Common Ground: A Songbook for All the Churches (St. Andrew’s Press).

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-734388; CCLI Copyright License B 20481088 + Streaming License B 481071


Matt Pisarcik

Davide Nekula

Daniel Sperlein

Patrick Crossland

Worship Participants

Dorothy Boulton
Associate Pastor

Keith and Kathy Glennan
A/V Production

David Hutton

Wendy Johnston
Organist and Assistant Director of Music

Greg Knauf
Director of Music

Kenneth Kovacs

Vickie Lord
Social media support 

Learning & Growing

Access the articles for Adult Education at catonsvillepres.org/belonging

Adult Education: Resurrection

Sunday, April 7 | 9 a.m. in the Library | Led by Ken Kovacs

In this season of Eastertide, we’ll put a spotlight on the apostle Paul’s sublime understanding of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:14). What is resurrection, and how did the early church understand it? We will focus on 1 Corinthians 15, contrasting the difference between “resurrection of the body” and “immortality of the soul.” And we’ll explore some of the themes we discussed in our Thursday morning Lenten series Toward a Theology of Death.

The Church and Refugees

Sunday, April 14 | 9 a.m. in the Library | Led by Susan Krehbiel and Rick Santos

Over the years, conflict, persecution, food insecurity, and the consequences of climate change have driven people from their homes and countries of origin. As of January 2024, the U.N. reported over 700,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers dwelling in Kenya alone. On April 14, we’ll hear about experiences in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, gain a better understanding of refugee trends across the globe, and unpack how Church World Service (CWS), Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), and CPC are working to support refugees. This will be led by Rick Santos, President and CEO of CWS, and Susan Krehbiel, Associate for Migration Accompaniment Ministries with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA).


Fellowship Hour

Thank you to Patricia Chao for hosting Fellowship Hour today!

Staff and Office Schedules

The church office will be closed on Monday, April 1, due to Easter. Ken Kovacs will be out of the office beginning Monday, April 1, and will return for worship on Sunday, April 7.

Earth Day and You

There are two upcoming opportunities to prepare for Earth Day. On Saturday April 6, you can join us in the woodlands for a workday and get your hands into the earth. In addition, pick up a copy of “22 Days to a More Meaningful Earth Day” calendar in the front or rear of the sanctuary to reflect on how you can help heal the Earth.

Contemplative Prayer & Meditation

On Easter Sunday, the Church celebrates resurrection and new life. On Monday, April 1, the Contemplative Prayer group will meet in-person in the France Room and online to practice opening ourselves to God’s transforming grace and gift of new life. This ancient and universal form of prayer begins by becoming still, breathing gently, and quieting our thoughts. It is a practice for realizing that our predominant way of thinking (that is often either/or, judgmental, etc.) is an obstacle to reaching a deeper inner sense of God’s presence. We pray in silence to find communion with God who says, “Be still and know that I am.”

April 1 at 7 p.m. provides an opportunity for anyone who wishes to experience the practice of contemplative prayer. Come, all are welcome. It is a practice for change into new life – a new way of being!

Night at the Yard

Back by popular demand, we’re planning another Night at the Yard! On May 17, we will watch the Orioles play the Mariners. Tickets are $16 per person. To reserve your tickets, please contact Stephanie Stevens (shfemrite@gmail.com) no later than April 10. Hope to see you there!

Iftar dinner

Please plan to join us for dinner in Fellowship Hall on Saturday, April 6th at 6:30 p.m. A breaking of the fast meal (Iftar), celebrating Ramadan, will be shared with our Muslim friends from Maryland Turkish American Inhabitants (MARTI). During the event, a freewill offering will be collected for World Central Kitchen, an NGO providing humanitarian aid to Gaza. Please register online at tinyurl.com/iftar-24 or contact the church office. Starting tomorrow, registration will open to other community members and friends of the church.

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