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!
A Prayer of Invocation by Cathy Kolwey
Gather us into your heart, O good and gracious God.
Gather us into this place called Love
Where we can witness the wholeness of your grace
Where we can embody the comfort of your mercy
As we worship you this day.
Gather us into your loving arms and pour your Spirit upon us. Amen.
Responsive Prayer, based on Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37, by Kathy Swaar
One: “Give thanks to the Lord, for God is Good.
Many: [God’s] steadfast love endures forever.”
One: For your saving grace,
for your help in time of need,
for the shelter of your wings, the refuge of our souls,
Many: We give thanks to the Lord.
One: Wandering in a wilderness of finger pointing and pointed words,
lost in a sea of broken promises,
starved for true communion and community,
Many: We cry to you, Holy One.
One: Deliver us from our distress.
Many: Reveal to us your path to wholeness and peace.
One: Feed us with your Word, the Bread of Life,
Many: Slake our thirst with the Cup of Salvation.
One: Turn our desert wastelands of discord
into streams running full with the life-giving waters of your Spirit.
Many: “Let us give thanks to the Lord, for God is good.
[God’s] steadfast love endures forever.”
A Prayer for Reconciliation by Cathy Kolwey
Forgive us, Holy One, for all that we have done, and all that we have left undone.
Forgive us for the times —
When walls have made us fail in loving our neighbor
And borders have kept us from welcoming the stranger,
When our limited perspective has kept us from loving our enemies.
And our fears have divided us and caused us to stumble on your path of love
Forgive us, Holy One for the times –
When we have stood quiet in the sight of injustice around us,
And been complacent at the signs of exploitation.
When we have put our own selfish wants before others’ desperate need,
When we have believed that we have the right to tell others what to do.
Forgive us for what we continue to do, and for what we continue to leave undone. For our action and our inactions leave us a broken people, and so we ask Holy God, that you forgive us this day. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
In the reconciliation of Christ, there is no longer East or West, no longer left or right, no North or South, no such division. We are one in the Spirit of Love when we proclaim together “we are forgiven.” Alleluia. Amen.
All Saints Communion Prayer by Teri Peterson
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe,
for you have created a community,
a people, and called it good.
You call out to us, in the voices of prophets,
in the voices of the poor,
in the voices of our friends and family,
and in the voice of Jesus.
Though we have often turned away,
believed our way was superior,
that we could do it on our own,
still you call us to be your body on earth.
Here at this table, remind us we are part of each other,
part of the whole world,
intertwined with your saints in many places and times.
Broaden our thinking,
stretch our imagination,
make us aware that in both giving and taking
we are part of the whole.
You have placed in our hands the ability
to destroy or build up.
You have placed in our hearts the longing for connection.
You have placed in our minds the certainty that we cannot understand it all.
Here at this table, surrounded by the whole cloud of witnesses,
give us the vision to see your kingdom feast,
table filled with all whom you love,
and always with room for more.
As we do here what you once did in an upper room,
send your spirit again to this place
to guide us in your way of life,
to breathe through our choices,
to hold us when the way is difficult.
Make us again into your body, doing your will,
loving and caring for the world.
We pray in the name of Christ,
who taught us to pray together…
If you’re trying to capture the uneasiness of the upcoming week (which will include the election in America, and still pandemic worldwide) …. this is “The Sunken Place” that captures that feeling well from operatic composer Joseph C. Phillips. It could be good as an interlude or a countdown song.
One thought for All Saints Sunday is this wonderful piece of music by Jonathan Rundman, which captures the “thread” of life that ties generation to generation…. good stuff:
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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.