A FESTIVAL OF SPRING
The service may begin with a Chorale, an Introit, a Processional Hymn, or Opening Sentences.
SENTENCES, one or more to be read by the Minister.
Lo, the winter is past; The rain is over and gone;
The ﬂowers appear on the earth; The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land. Song of Songs II: 11, 12.
As the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so righteousness and truth shall spring forth among all nations. Isaiah LXI: 11.
Ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing,
And all the trees of the ﬁeld shall clap their hands. Isaiah LV: 12.
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Romans VII: 6.
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light. 1 John III: 14; II:10.
PRAYER OF ASPIRATION, by the Minister
At this season when the cold winds cease and the gentle sunshine wakens the earth, when ﬁeld and forest are clothed in new radiance, we would keep our mind and heart open to the beauty of nature and the splendor of the spirit. As winter yields to spring, so may the coldness of our hearts yield to the gladness of the world, and the new life of earth ﬁnd response in the renewal of our human lives. Thus shall we become worthy participants in the great life which out of the old eternally brings forth the new. Amen.
Peace be with you.
And with all mankind.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up in joy and praise.
HYMN, or the following Song of Exaltation.
From all that dwell below the skies,
Let faith with hope and joy arise;
Let beauty, truth and good be sung,
Through every land, by every tongue. Amen.
CHANT, if desired.
SECOND LESSON, if desired.
The Minister may then say,
Here endeth the reading of the lesson.
Bright Joy, Bright Joy: the joy of ﬂowers and shining sun, the joy of
smiles and play and dancing.
We rejoice in the good of nature.
Lovely Things, Beautiful Shapes and sounds: the shapes of houses and carven stones, the shapes of words together, the sounds of songs and sounds of many woven voices, winding, rhythmic.
We rejoice in the artifice of man.
Darkness and Night: the dark of pain, the fret of baffling malady, the last dark, the dark of death.
We know the perils and pains of nature’s body.
Gloom and Deeper Gloom: the dim dark of knowledge never known, of spirits unillumined, the darker gloom of light denied, the dark of mercy quenched and fellowman contemned.
We acknowledge the shame of evil within.
Mighty Man, Inventive Man: the man of tools and wheels, the man of dynamos and wings, the man of computation.
We rejoice in the masteries of man.
Noble Man, Stately Man: the man of order and device, man painting designs of thought, man welding citizen hearts in the state.
We rejoice in the order that is, and nobler orders dreamed.
Folly, Wasteful Folly: the folly of war and greed, the ruin of bodies, the waste of brains, the folly of riches that stiﬂe alike him who has not and him who has.
We acknowledge our share of guilt in the wastage of life.
Feeble Life, Futile Life; the life of pride, pride of place and pride of learning, life falsely free that draws away from common songs and common prayers.
We seek the fellowships that order all men’s hopes.
Man Generous, Man Uplifted: man that lays down his life for his friends, man giving his body to the tomb that new spirit may rise on the world.
We also would walk in newness of life.
Sublime Truth, Healing Truth: light that is light, and darkness turned to light, joy that is joy, and sorrow turned to joy.
We seek this truth for ourselves, that pain and loss may yet be turned to grace and good.
Life Before, Life Beyond and Life Within: man of spirit overcoming — and the fountain forces whence he came; man of earth hoping, daring — and range on range of life beyond his power.
We rejoice in wondrous good received and good performed, and we commit ourselves with trust and zeal to that enfolding life that holds us all.
OFFERTORY, during which an anthem may be sung.