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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 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!

A Call to Worship from Sarah Erickson
One: Lord, as we gather in worship, make your presence known to us.
Many: Show us your glory, light the way for us.
One: Lord, grant us grace and mercy today and in the days to come.
Many: Show us your glory, light the way for us.
ALL: Go with us, Lord, light the way for us! Let us worship God.

Prayer for Illumination, or adaptable for a prayer after the Proclamation of the Word from Sarah Erickson
As this Word is read, and the words are said, open our ears to hear the message of the gospel not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit with full conviction. In so hearing, inspire us to respond as living examples of the persons you call us to be before you and all the world. Amen.

A Lament for the Extended City (a work in progress, written by a church school class at North Decatur Presbyterian Church using P Lynn Miller’s 2020-21 PW/Horizons Bible Study, Into the Light: Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament)

Lament for our Extended City October 11, 2020

Remember, O God, what has become of our city:
We are divided by race, income and resources.
We are unable to find a way to create equity.
We are separated while living right next to one another.
We do not know our neighbors.

The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning, our hearts are sick.

We ask that you:
Open our eyes and our hearts to the City, to the way that cities are struggling.
Commit our hearts to doing better.
Open our minds and hearts to the struggles that people have in cities.
Help us find places we can make a difference.
Lead us to take the first steps, and to keep going.
Restore us to yourself, O God, that we may be restored.

‘Come, Spirit, come near’ by Sarah Agnew
Lament in a pandemic 
How long, Holy One? How long
till we find a cure
till we can stop its spread
till we can be protected
till it causes no more death –
how long, Holy One? How long?

How long, Holy One? How long
will we remain bound
will life be unwound
is work to be suspended,
learning upended – 
how long, Holy One? How long?

Come, Holy Spirit, meet us here,
in turmoil, in fear,
come Spirit, come near. 

How long, Holy One? 
How long will we hold 
to the wisdom we have gained
the presence, the simplicity,
the compassion and kindness –
Holy One, help us to hold on.

How long, Holy One? 
How long will we remember 
the stories and songs? 
Help us not to forget
the poems and pictures 
that held us in our need, 
but to carry them and remember
the better story we sought to live. 

Come, Holy Spirit, meet us here,
in hope, in yearning,
come Spirit, come near. 

Prayer of Confession, alludes to Exodus 33:12-23 from Kathy Swaar
Show us, Holy One.
Show us the Way.
Show us the Truth.
Show us your face.  
We are, we confess, lost.

Wandering in a wilderness of competing voices,
we get sidetracked; 
sucked into the Babel.  
Conversations become arguments.
Compassion comes with conditions.
Uncertainty dogs our thoughts, 
drains our spirits.  

Like our ancestor in faith Moses, 
we come to you.
Show us, we beg. 
We want to know.  
Forgive us for our lack of honesty. 
Because that request for knowledge is really a plea for relationship:
to be heard and understood, accepted and loved.  
Forgive us for substituting human certainty for trust in you, 
and open our hearts that we may walk with you in newness of life.  

Silent prayers of confession may be offered here.  

Assurance of Pardon:
Regardless of the road in front of us, we do not travel alone.
The Presence, grace, and mercy of God are ever-present;
the protection and provision of the Holy One surrounds us always.
Believe this good news and be at peace. 
In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

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.

One thought on “Worship Words for 18 October 2020

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