On the first day of the week, Sunday, after our Lord’s crucifixion, Mary of Magdala and the other women came to the tomb of Jesus. “Mary of Magdala” was referred to in other texts as “Mary Magdalene” (Matt. 28.1; Mark 16.1, 9; Luke 24.10). She demonstrated a profound love for the Lord Jesus, undoubtedly flowing out of a deep gratitude for his deliverance from Satan (Luke 8.2). She saw the Lord’s death on the cross, and this morning, while it was dark, she was the first person at the grave, and stunned to find the stone taken from the tomb. She went and told Peter and John “the beloved disciple” (cf. John 19.26) who investigated it, and pondered its meaning after observing it.Mary looked into the tomb and saw two individuals who were angels, who asked her why she was weeping, and she replied that they had taken her Lord away, and she had no idea where they had placed him. Overwhelmed by shock and grief, Mary mistook Jesus for a gardener, and asked him where Jesus’ body was. Jesus announced himself to the stunned Mary by her name, who responded with “Rabboni,” “teacher.” Jesus told her not to cling to him, for he had not yet ascended to the Father. His charge to her was to go to his brothers (followers) that he was ascending to his Father and their Father, to his God and their God. Mary went and announced to the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had said these things to her.Mary’s love for the Lord was consuming, dramatic, and powerful. She did not care what anyone else said or thought; she loved her Lord, and that love made her focused, committed, determined. We ought to pursue the Lord with the same level of devotion, and let nothing hinder our heart’s pursuit of Christ and his glory.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Father, grant us the heart of Mary of Magdala, a follower of Jesus whose love for him made her unafraid and extreme in her pursuit of him. Deepen our heart, focus our love, and enable us to follow hard after him, like this dear sister who gave her all to know and serve our Lord. In Christ’s name, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father, And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, Is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in 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, for ever. Amen.
--Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Affirmation from the Psalms
But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!  Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!  Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!  I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:  You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!  For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.
~ Psalm 22.19-24
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus Christ, flood our hearts with the same love that Mary of Magdala devoted to you as your committed follower.