Epiphany

Epiphany Resource Kit Here we’ve provided an introduction to the season, suggested passages, and background information along with worship resources and lesson plans. Use these free resources as they are, or adjust them for your context! Compliments of the Miller Summer Youth Institute. PDF Download Epiphany Resource Kit
The Story of the Magi This lesson plan is meant accompany the video "The Story of the Magi." To get the most out of this lesson, you will need to show the video to your class. The video is available on YouTube. Compliments of the Miller Summer Youth Institute. Video, Audio and PDF

Access Video

Listen to Audio

Download The Story of the Magi PDF

What Child is This? Jeremy Fisher '11 performs "What Child Is This" on strings. Download the song, play it at the beginning of your service, have the congregation sing along, or push repeat and enjoy the beautiful melody again and again. Audio Listen to Audio
Sermon The Rev. Dr. John P. Burgess, James Henry Snowden Professor of Systematic Theology, preached the sermon "Light of Light" based on Ephesians 5:6-20. PDF Download Sermon
A Journey with the Magi The Magi as we find them in our nativity scenes are actually the result of centuries and centuries of artistic development. Everything from their posture to the style of their caps can be traced throughout the  centuries. In A Journey with the Magi, we look at the first 1,000 years of Christian art to understand this evolution. Compliments of the Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology. PDF Download PDF
What is Epiphany? This video asks the question, "What is Epiphany?" Consider using this with a small Bible study, youth or adult Sunday School class, or during your Sunday service. Video Watch Video
Sermon The Rev. Kendra Buckwalter Smith '12/'13, director of the worship program, preached the sermon "Epiphany Experience." Audio and PDF

Listen to Audio

Download PDF

Sermon "Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh" is a sermon by the Rev. Derek R. Davenport '05, co-director of the Miller Summer Youth Institute, based on Matthew 2:1-12. Audio Listen to Audio

Lent

Palm Sunday Sermon

Christians are called to be Christ’ presence in our world today. God is all-powerful, right? Jesus was able to do all things including healing the sick, and casting out demons, right? Then why would God need us to be his hands and feet? What we know from scripture is that Jesus himself chooses to use his disciples in order for him to accomplish his mission on this earth. The Rev. Bala Khyllep, associate director of the Seminary's World Mission Initiative, shares this Palm Sunday sermon based on Luke 19:29-44.

PDF Download PDF
Good Friday Meditation

Luke 23:26-47 tells the story of Jesus’ suffering as he hung on the cross. Though not to the degree of Jesus’ agony, last year the whole world experienced a kind of suffering unprecedented in our lifetime. As a result, this year Christians come to Good Friday with a more profound sense and understanding of suffering. The Rev. Carolyn Cranston '99 offers this Good Friday meditation. 

PDF Download PDF
Galilee to Golgotha Slideshow

Via captioned lantern slides from the Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology’s historic collection, this PowerPoint resource, compiled by alumnus the Rev. Richard Byerly ’07, follows the Gospel of Luke’s account in taking you on a visual trip of the journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, the city of Jesus’ Passion. Use this slideshow as the basis of a Sunday school class at the start of Passion Week.

PowerPoint

PDF

Download PowerPoint

Download PDF

Common Questions Kids Ask about Lent, Holy Week, and Easter—And How to Answer Them!

When kids ask questions about Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, you might find that you don’t really know how to answer them! Here you’ll find suggestions for what to say in response to some of those questions. You might even use them as the basis for a children’s sermon or Sunday school lesson, or for conversation at home around the dinner table.

PDF Download PDF
Old Testament Texts Elucidate New Testament Passages

As you move through Lent and celebrate Easter, learn from New Testament professor emerita Dr. Edith M. Humphrey how Old Testament texts elucidate New Testament passages on these themes via her blog and podcast, A Lamp for Today: Understanding the Old Testament with Jesus and the Apostles, which examines Scripture from an Eastern Christian perspective.

Lent: What about Melchizedek?

In this 15-minute talk, Dr. Humphrey considers the strange figure of Melchizedek in Hebrews 4:14-5:10 read in the light of Mark 8:27-9:1, Genesis 14, Isaiah 53, and Psalm 44/45. Why is the figure of Melchizedek compared with our Lord, and how must we go beyond this comparison to embrace the cross?

For a written version of Dr. Humphrey’s talk, with the same title, see her blog.

Easter: The Lightning of His Godhead

In this 15-minute talk, Dr. Humphrey considers the astonishing resurrectional hymns in the second tone and understands their dramatic language in the light of the book of Job, the prophecy of Isaiah, and the Transfiguration narratives.

For a written version of Dr. Humphrey’s talk, with the same title, see her blog.

Podcast

Blog

Access Melchizedek Podcast

Access Melchizedek Blog

Access Easter: The Lighting of His Godhead Podcast

Access Easter; The Lighting of His Godhead Blog

Sermon based on John 12:1-8

Consider the extravagant expression of gratitude shown in Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet in this 14-minute audio version of a chapel sermon by the Rev. Dr. Leanna Fuller, associate professor of pastoral care. 

Audio Listen to Audio
Worship Tuell-Kit

Old Testament professor emeritus the Rev. Dr. Steven Tuell provides a Lenten reflection, Palm Sunday Bible Study lesson, and Easter invitation to celebrate the Risen Lord in this “Tuell-kit” for Lenten worship.

PDF Download PDF
Coffee with the Dean The Dean sits down with members of the community to discuss themes related to Lent. Guests include faculty and program directors. Videos

Access 2016 Video Playlist

Access 2017 Video Playlist

Access 2018 Video Playlist

Access 2019 Video Playlist

Access 2020 Video Playlist

Access 2021 Video Playlist

Big Book of Lent Devotionals  The Seminary's “Big Book of Lent Devotionals” gives you a valuable resource for personal and corporate Spiritual formation during the Lent season. From Day 1 through Day 47 (Easter), each section includes multiple biblical passages from the daily Revised Common Lectionary, reflections based on those passages, and accompanying prayers based on each reflection. PDF

Download Year 1 (2022)

Download Year 2 (2021)

What is Lent? Share this video with your youth group, Bible study, or congregation to help answer the question "What is Lent?" Video Access Video
See My Hands This video looks at the stories related to Jesus' hands throughout the Gospels and could easily be used as a media presentation during a worship service, as part of a sunrise celebration, or as a jumping off point for an adult or youth education class. Be creative! This video comes with a lesson plan. Compliments of the Miller Summer Youth Institute. Video and PDF

Access Video

Download PDF

Psalm 131 - Original Liturgical Translation Jazz musician, Hebrew scholar, and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary graduate Jeremy Fisher set his original liturgical translation of Psalm 131 to music. Please share this with your church group during worship (lyrics provided) or use the lesson plan in an adult education class to compare the King James, Revised Standard, and this original version. Compliments of the Miller Summer Youth Institute. Audio and PDF

Listen to Audio

Download PDF

Download the Lyrics (PowerPoint)

E-book We hope that you’ll find these reflections by PTS faculty scholars to be helpful. Perhaps these sermons will inspire your own message, lead to a small group Bible study, or simply bring you closer to God—the One who in Christ has drawn close to us. "What Color is Lent?" Steven Tuell, Deut 7:6-11; "Trusting God in the Wilderness," Leanna Fuller, Luke 4:1-13; "Let Go of Jesus," John Burgess, Luke 24:13-35; "Twin Doubts," L. Roger Owens, John 20:24-31

PDF and Audio

Download PDF

 

Lenten Liturgy

The Rev. Smith and seminarians planned this Lenten worship service at PTS. Use this service of readings, songs, Scripture, and communion as a way to imagine what it must have been like to witness Christ' crucifixion. 

PDF Download Liturgy
Standing at this tomb of water . . .

This reflection on Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection by Old Testament and Hebrew professor the Rev. Dr. Steve Tuell gives food for thought—and hope!—especially on Holy Saturday as we contemplate Christ as he lay in the tomb.

Blog Read Blog
Don’t Be a Hero! And Other Guidelines for Choosing a Lenten Discipline

These insights by Christian spirituality and ministry professor the Rev. Dr. Roger Owens can aid you in forming Lenten disciplines that are helpful, realistic, and focused on honoring God, not yourself.

Blog Read Blog
Thoughts for Ash Wednesday on Fasting and Forgiveness Particularly appropriate for Ash Wednesday, this 20-minute audio by professor emerita Edith Humphrey relates the Old Testament’s teaching on fasting to the New Testament’s teaching on forgiveness.  Blog and Audio

Access Blog

Listen to Audio

Why and How do Christians Fast?  The Rev. Chris Brown ’08 helps us understand the reasons for and spiritual benefits of the practice of fasting and the ways Christians have practiced fasting in the past and the present.  PDF Download PDF
Jesus Fulfills the Meaning of His Names Professor emeritus Steven Tuell shows how Jesus the Christ, by his resurrection and ascension, completes the meaning of both of his names. He is Yeshua, our Savior, who destroys our death. He is Emmanuel, God with us, who makes us fully “at one” with God.  PDF Download PDF
Hymns for the Lenten Season The list of Lenten hymns includes both familiar and less familiar songs for enriching and expanding your congregation’s Lenten repertoire.  PDF Download PDF
Easter Breads - A Brief Overview and Sample Recipes

Special (mostly) sweet breads are traditional Holy Week and Easter fare from Great Britain eastward across Europe and through Russia, and also in the United States. Find out why, take a look at some recipes, and try out a few of them at home and/or your church for coffee hour—or Communion!

PDF Download PDF
Daily Lent Devotionals Signup to receive our daily Lent devotionals. Written each year by members of the PTS community, these daily messages are available online, via e-mail, on social media, and can be printed and shared. You can also access past years. PDF and Audio Signup for the next Lent Devotional

Pentecost

Pentecost Prayers in Multiple Languages (with English translations) 

Celebrate the Holy Spirit’s enabling people to hear the gospel in their own language by using one or several of these prayers, in 20 languages other than English, in your Pentecost worship service. PDF Download PDF
Babel Undone The Rev. Dr. Steven Tuell, James A. Kelso Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Old Testament, shares his insights on Pentecost’s undoing of the confusion at Babel for your use as the basis for a sermon, adult Sunday school class, or Bible study. PDF Download PDF

Holy Pentecost: Water, Light, and Living Words 

In this 19-minute podcast, Dr. Edith Humphrey, William F. Orr Professor of New Testament, explores the pairing of John 7:37-52; 8:12 and Acts 2:1-11 to show Jesus’ promise and the fulfillment of his words. She goes on to consider how Pentecost, a multi-sensory event, was the undoing of the confusion of Babel and the fulfillment of the words of Amos and Ezekiel, not only for Israel, but also for the whole human race.

Podcast and Blog

Access Podcast

Read Blog

Deeper Into the Truth Let this sermon by Board Member the Rev. Dr. David Hosick ’76 guide your thinking about Jesus as the truth and growing in God’s truth through the guidance of the Holy Spirit—God’s gift to us on Pentecost. PDF Download PDF

Notes on Pentecost for Preaching and Teaching

These thoughtful background notes on Pentecost from retired Director of Continuing Education the Rev. Dr. Jim Davison ’69 provide a practical and biblical basis for a Bible study, Sunday school lesson, or sermon. PDF Download PDF

Total Commitment: A Communion Meditation for Pentecost

Use this Communion meditation by President Emeritus Sam Calian to inspire your congregation or gathering to total commitment to Christ. PDF Download PDF
Pentecost Quiz Use this quiz to test your knowledge about Pentecost—and to learn more about it! PDF

Download Quiz

Download Answers

Hymns and Songs for Pentecost Wondering what hymn or song you should use in your Pentecost service? Consider these suggested from the Rev. Kendra Buckwalter Smith ’12/’13, director of the worship program. PDF Download PDF

Pentecost Activities for Kids

Consider incorporating these child-friendly activities, created by the Rev. Dr. Anita Stuart-Steva ’04/’13, in your Pentecost worship service or as your Pentecost children’s “sermon.” PDF Download PDF
What is Pentecost? Share this video with your congregation, youth group, or adult Bible study! Also, here's a great lesson plan to accompany the video that explores Pentecost. PDF and Video

Access Video

Download PDF

Pentecost Liturgy This Pentecost Liturgy resource was written by the Rev. Kendra Buckwalter Smith’12/’13, director of the Seminary’s worship program. We encourage you to use this liturgy in whole or part. PDF Download PDF
Art This painting was created by Robin Menard, marketing and communications specialist at Pittsburgh Seminary. The piece is also free to use in your Pentecost worship planning. JPG Download Image

Ordinary Time

What is Ordinary Time? Share this video with your congregation, youth group, or adult Bible study! Also, here's a great lesson plan to accompany the video that explores Ordinary Time. PDF and Video

Access Video

Download PDF

Worship Planning Workbook Year C The Worship Planning Workbook covers Pentecost Sunday through Christ the King Sunday. But, you can start anytime! The Planning Pages include the name of the Sunday, Scripture readings based on the Revised Common Lectionary Passages, some thoughts on one of the passages from a member of the PTS community or a historical figure, and a spot for a “To Do” worship planning list. There's also space for free writing. Compliments of the Miller Summer Youth Institute. PDF and WORD

Download PDF

Download WORD Doc

Advent

Worship Planning Calendar The Worship Planning Calendar covers the First Sunday of Advent through Epiphany. The Planning Pages include the name of the day, Scripture readings based on the Revised Common Lectionary Passages, some suggested themes and Scripture resources, as well as suggested hymns and prayers. There's also space for free writing. Compliments of the Miller Summer Youth Institute and the Seminary's Worship Program. PDF and WORD

Download PDF

Download Word Doc

O Come, O Come Emmanuel Study 

This well known Christmas hymn has a long and interesting past! Fully explore the song's history, meaning, and verses in this Advent study, perfect for small groups (think adult education during the Sundays in Advent), corporate worship (read the Scriptures and sing the verses), or personal devotions. This study is provided by the Seminary's Miller Summer Youth Institute

In addition, encourage the guitar players in your congregation to perform the song, thanks to sheet music provided in the Miller Summer Youth Institute Guitar Hymnal. You can even watch SYI musician teach folks to play the song on guitar in the YouTube video.

After clicking "Download the PowerPoint," be sure to "Save As" to enable editing and picture viewing.

PDF, PowerPoint,  and Video

Download Study PDF

Download Lyrics PowerPoint 

Download Lyrics PDF

Download the Lyrical Videos

Full Song (Hymnal Order)
Verse 1
Verse 2
Verse 3
Verse 4
Verse 5
Verse 6
Verse 7

Download the Music Tracks

Full Song (Hymnal Order)
Verse 1
Verse 2
Verse 3
Verse 4
Verse 5
Verse 6
Verse 7

Watch Video

Big Book of Advent Devotionals - Year 1 The Seminary's “Big Book of Advent Devotionals – Year 1” gives you a valuable resource for personal and corporate Spiritual formation during the Advent season. From Day 1 through Day 29 (Christmas), each section includes multiple biblical passages from the daily lectionary, reflections based on those passages, and accompanying prayers based on each reflection. PDF Download PDF
What is Advent? Share this video with your youth group, Bible study, or congregation to help answer the question "What is Advent?" Video

Access Video

 

Advent Song Suggestions

Here you will find suggested song selections related to the lectionary’s festival passages for each Sunday in Year 2, thanks to the Seminary's Worship program. PDF Download PDF
Advent Music for Guitar The SYI Guitar Hymnal is available for a wide range of guitar players and musical environments. This first iteration of the SYI Guitar Hymnal coordinates with the 1990 Presbyterian Hymnal. PDF Download PDF

Advent Service of Word and Song

Planning an Advent service of word and song at your church? Check out this bulletin from a 2016 service at Pittsburgh Seminary. The PDF provides song suggestions as well as prayers and background info about the Advent season. PDF Download PDF

Advent Sermon "Fulfilled"

This sermon by PTS’s vice president for seminary advancement, the Rev. Dr. Christine Chakoian, focuses on the Magnificat of Mary to demonstrate the reality that Christmas, though yet to be celebrated this Advent season, is already a “done deal.” PDF Download the PDF

Advent Reflections

Use these previously posted PTS blogs as sermon inspiration or illustrations. Professor John Burgess discusses fasting in Orthodox Russia. Director of the Church Planting Initiative Karen Rohrer reflects on the symbolism of candles and connection to new worshiping communities, and professor Roger Owens writes about ruptured relationships and God's restoration of all things. PDF

Download PDF - Burgess

Download PDF - Rohrer

Download PDF - Owens

Advent Prayer Book - Year C Written by members of the Seminary's faculty, the Advent prayer book offers Scripture passages (based on Year C) for the Sundays of Advent and accompanying prayers. PDF Download PDF

Cookie Activity for Kids

Everyone loves Christmas cookies—especially children! Make these holiday-titled recipes for your Sunday school students—or with them!—and tell the associated biblical stories as you share in sampling these sweets on Sunday morning—and throughout the Advent season. PDF Download PDF
The Twelve Questions of Advent Quiz Take this Advent Quiz with your family around the dinner table, give it to your high-school or adult Sunday school class, discuss it in your Bible Study group, or test your knowledge on your own and perhaps learn something new about this special time of the year. PDF

Download PDF Quiz

Download PDF Quiz and Answers

Daily Advent Devotionals Signup to receive our daily Advent devotionals. Written each year by members of the PTS community, these daily messages are available online, via e-mail, on social media, and can be printed and shared. You can also access past years. PDF and Audio Signup for the next Advent devotional

Return to the Digital Downloads categories to explore further options.

About Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Rooted in the Reformed tradition, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is committed to the formation of women and men for theologically reflective ministry and to scholarship in service to the global Church of Jesus Christ.

Become a Student

Certificate Programs

Special Programs

Faculty

In addition to their on-campus duties, our faculty are experts in their fields and are available to preach and teach. Learn more about their topics of research and writing and invite them to present at your congregation or gathering.

Events

The Seminary hosts a wide range of events—many of them free!—on topics of faith including church planting, mission, vocation, spiritual formation, pastoral care and counseling, archaeology, and many more. Visit our calendar often for a listing of upcoming events.

Visit PTS

Interested in the Seminary? Come visit us!

Stay in Touch with PTS

Sign-up to receive the Seminary's newsletters: Seminary News (monthly), Center for Adaptive and Innovative Ministry (monthly), Continuing Education (monthly), World Mission Initiative (monthly), Metro-Urban Institute (quarterly), and Kelso Museum. Alums, there's also one for you!