If you’ve struggled to find liturgical language adequate to this moment (pandemic, political crises, civil unrest, widely publicised injustices, and so much more), you’re not alone. By this point in 2020, with a seemingly endless journey ahead too, many of us are a little low on creativity. Here we have some contributions from our RevGals community to help — feel free to use as-is, adapt, or use for inspiration. If you use them in printed materials, please note the author and revgalblogpals.org. If you use them in online worship and it is possible to give credit in video descriptions, that is sufficient (no need for verbal attribution). Thanks!

Call to Worship by Joanna Harader, based on Psalm 23

In the darkest valley,
at the banquet table;
in the hard work of life,
at the moments of ease;
in our day-to-day reality,
at times set aside–
like this time, now–
for worship, for listening, for paying attention;
with every step we take:
goodness and mercy follow us;
our cups overflow.

Confession and Assurance by Kathy Swaar Alludes to Psalm 106:1-6, Exodus 21:1-14, Philippians 4:1-9

Your steadfast love endures forever, Holy God,
Your faithfulness everlasting.
Ours, we confess, is not.

Finite creatures, we view the world in finite terms.
We measure and parse,
compare and compartmentalize, judge by appearance.

We draw clear, solid boundaries between
me and mine, you and yours, us and them,
and betray ourselves in the process.

No divisions in your kingdom,
there is no “us and them.”
Only us. All of us.

Forgive us, Father and Mother of Mercy,
for all the ways we exclude,
in the very name of keeping the faith.

Forgive us for assuming ours
is the only “right” way,
that we have somehow secured a patent on Truth.

Forgive us for our shortsightedness; for how quickly
we turn not just our backs, but our very hearts
away from you and your people.

Pardon, forgive, and restore us,
Author of life, for like our ancestors in faith,
we have sinned, fallen short, missed the mark.

Turn our hearts to what is true, honest, just,
what is commendable, excellent, praiseworthy,
and may those things fill our minds.

silent prayers of personal confession may be offered here.

Assurance of Pardon:
Rejoice in the Lord always;
again, I will say, Rejoice.
The steadfast love of the Lord
is from everlasting to everlasting,
and in him is grace and welcome,
forgiveness and freedom, balm and blessing.
Friends: believe the Good News of the Gospel and be at peace.
In Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

In case you are working a week ahead, here are two pieces for Ordinary 29 (October 18):

Prayer for the Church by Elsa Cook, Inspired by 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
We always give thanks
for all of you
gathered together
by so many screens
to be the church.
Each of you has prayed
and donated and imagined
what good news looks like
in these pandemic days.

Beloved of God, we have been chosen
to dream of a future from this moment
when nothing is certain. We choose hope and
faith. We will lean into love and not forget that
the good news of Jesus Christ will not always
make us comfortable but will always
seek greater good for the widow, the orphan,
the immigrant and stranger. Jesus Christ
calls for more justice for black bodies
and brown bodies and bodies
hooked up to ventilators in ICU wards.

Sisters and brothers, and all folx,
we cannot know where we are going
but thank God we are partners
in ministry together. We pray
to receive a word of joy by the Holy Spirit
as we dare to believe that
the future of our church will
be full of so much joy. Amen.

Prayers of the People by Elsa Cook, Inspired by Exodus 33:12-23

Glory is what
we imagine to be
out there somewhere
in the beyond,
but you, O God,
brush us up against
such wonder.
We pray that we
might find such
glory in all things.
We pray, Show us your glory.

Show us, O God, your glory in
the justice that might come
for black and brown people,
for immigrants and asylum seekers.
We pray, Show us your glory.

Show us, O God, your glory in
all that we know and all that we
cannot yet understand about
the coronavirus.
We pray, Show us your glory.

Show us, O God, your glory in
those we have called to lead
in government and in our church.
We pray, Show us your glory.

Glory is what we
hope that sick, bereaved and
dying will soon find.
We pray, Show us your glory.

Glory is what we
hope will come close to
this earth with its rising temps
and raging fires.
We pray, Show us your glory.

Bring all your goodness
into those silent prayers
so close to our hearts
that we aren’t sure
what goodness can come
but we hope, O God,
we hope for your goodness.

{silence}

O God, be gracious to us.
Show us your mercy
in all of your glory.
Amen.

Benediction slide by Joanna Harader

Musical ideas are provided for inspiration — please note we don’t own these, if you want to use the video you’ll need to contact the creators of the video, and if you want to use the songs yourself you’ll need to be sure you have the correct licensing.


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com. For Worship Words, you may use or adapt what you find here, but please credit the author in printed orders of service/web publications and in public video descriptions if possible.

If you have written words for worship in this strange new world that you are willing to share, please send us an email: revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

3 thoughts on “Worship Words: Steadfast

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