Photo by Tamar Dolev.
Sunset from Norfolk Island. Feel free to use it. If you want to know more about this beautiful island, then visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norfolk_Island

Are you looking for some liturgical language that helps express where we are in these days? Here are some offerings from around the RevGals community, for you to use or adapt. Please give credit in video descriptions or manuscripts, but no verbal attribution is necessary. 

TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY

Prayer: Glory, by Christine Jerrett, posted on Christine Jerrett: Reflections on being the Church in God’s new creation. (inspired by Matthew 17.1-8, Mark 9.2-9, Luke 9.28-36, 2 Peter 1.16-18)

We, who stumble and fall so often,
worship you,
longing for your light to shine upon us.
Dazzle us with your holy love,
draw us into your purifying presence,
speak to us your transforming truth.
Then, grant us grace
   to live every moment
  changed by such glory—
daring to live with hope and courage and love
reflecting the life of Jesus,
through whom your glory shines
in the most unexpected ways.  Amen.

You Come to Us in Broken Places, a prayer for Transfiguration Sunday by Christine Jerrett

God of glory,
you took your friends with you
when you went to pray on the mountain.
You revealed to them
the glory of Jesus,
your beloved Son,
on his way to the cross.
We do not live on mountaintops,
but we, too, would glimpse your glory
in the ordinary days of our lives,
and in the community of your Son
in which you have chosen to dwell.
We look for you among people who have
no power
no rights
no voice.
We look for you among those who
live on the streets of our city,
whose housing is inadequate,
whose homes are not safe.
We look for you among those who
grieve a past that is no more
and fear a future that seems full of loss.
God who meets us
in the broken places,
shine the light of Christ deep into our lives,
so we may carry that light into dark places
and point to the One
whose brokenness is our salvation.

Come to the mountaintop, Transfiguration Call to Worship by Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson

What will we find?
Jesus, the disciples’ teacher. The prophets who have gone before. God’s voice.
We want to worship. We want to hide.
Instead, give us the courage to rest in the mystery,
To reach toward the thin places
Where the in-breaking of the divine shakes us to the core.
Come to the mountaintop.
What will we find?
We will find Christ. In the rocks and the sky. In the clouds and wind. In all of creation. In each other. In ourselves.
Christ is with us! Let us greet one another and share the peace of Christ.

Reflection on the Gospel by Anne Osdieck (Center for Liturgy)
 (based on Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36 )

And he was transfigured before them….
In such blinding brightness,
his everyday clothes—
dazzling white
as no eyes
on earth
had ever seen.
Friends
caught a bewildered glimpse
of who he really
was.
O Christ,
take us to the mountain.
Transform
our humdrum lives,
all our doings—
and our very
being
into your
love.

Poem for Transfiguration by Joanna Harader

The mountain top
the shining face
the glowing clothes
the voice of God speaking from the cloud
the commandments etched in stone
Sometimes God shows up
in ways we cannot deny
in a place we can go
a light we can see
a voice we can hear
a stone we can touch
Sometimes
Sometimes
there is the veil
the overshadowing, terrifying cloud
the questions
the appearing and disappearing
the excitement
the wondering
the silence
Sometimes God shows up
in ways we cannot deny.
Always God shows up
somehow.
So we have shown up
here, now
May God give us eyes to see.

Confession by Dale Thandiwe-Ferguson

Christ, Brother, Teacher, Friend,
As we look upon your face transformed by the light of Love,
we confess that we have chosen to walk in the darkness of fear, prejudice, selfishness, shame and pride.
As we marvel at your ability to forgive and heal, reconcile and make new,
we confess that we have chosen to hold fast to anger and resentment,
to cling stubbornly to how things have always been.
As we prepare to come to the table to remember how you lived your life for others and to receive your gift of grace,
we confess that we allow greed and fear to drive our actions.
We pause in silence, for some of us need more time to stand, repentant, before you.
In your mercy, free us from the bonds of evil.
Liberate our minds from the shackles of insecurity and fear, hatred and greed.
Shine the light of your love upon us —
that by that light we may know we are already forgiven, called by name and beloved.

Prayer of Confession or Pastoral Prayer by Kathy Swaar based on II Kings 2:1-12, and Psalm 50:1-6, alludes to II Corinthians 4:3-6
We live in a whirlwind, Holy One,
constantly juggling responsibilities, keeping all the plates spinning:
Working to stay connected, as well as protected and socially distanced;
to keep our kids learning; to keep—and do our jobs—
keep food on the table, life and limb together.

But the losses keep creeping in, piling up.
Each day there’s another whisper of
someone or something else slipping away.
“Yes, I know,” we sigh wearily with Elisha.
“Keep silent.”

No offense, Holy One.
It isn’t personal.
In our defense, we do it in self-defense.
In the face of so much stress, upheaval, and loss,
full-frontal reality is sometimes just too much.

So we put the world on mute.
Tune it out.
“Keep silent,” in all its various variations
becomes our mantra.
“Be quiet. Pipe Down. Shut up. Stick a sock in it!”

Forgive us, Holy One.

In silencing the voices and whispers around us,
we also silence you.

For you come, the Psalmist reminds us,
and you do not keep silence.
You summon the world—
all things and all creatures—
and you speak in through them, now and forever.
You constantly call our names in every way imaginable:
In joyous song, compelling words, stunning art,
Painting the sky with dazzling beauty morning, noon, and night,
gifting us with dreams and visions of possibility,
offering us love, kindness, compassion and companionship.

In it all, through it all,
from the mountaintop to the valley,
in the rising and falling of
our spirits, the economy, the wind, the tide,
you speak.

Open our ears, our minds, our hearts,
to hear and follow your voice, Holy One.

Eucharistic Prayer by Barb Hedges-Goettl
‘God Almighty, we give you thanks for your creation and care,
for the words and witness of those who have gone before us,
and of those who live the Christian life alongside us.
We thank you for your steadfast, eternal presence,
even when we do not see, hear or follow you.

You sent your son Jesus to reveal you love.
Through his birth, life, death, and resurrection,
you reveal to us the way, the truth and the life–
not just at the Transfiguration on the mountain,
but in this very time and place
through the bread and cup you give us to share.
And so we praise and thank you
with these people in this place,
and with all your people across every time and place.

By the work of your Holy Spirit,
reveal to us that we eat together at the very table of Christ Jesus.
Make us one with you and with each other.

Through this holy meal,
teach us to know and follow your way.
Ground and settle us in your truth,
and make us sharers of your abundant and eternal life.

[Confirm what we know.
Reveal to us what we do not know.
Fill us up with whatever we lack.
Keep us faithfully in your service
until we feast together in your eternal kingdom.]

Following Christ Jesus, himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
we do what he commanded us to do:
Like him, we take bread, and having given thanks,
we break it and give it to the disciples, saying, as Christ Jesus did,
“Take, eat, this is my body broken for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
And, also like Jesus, we take the cup, saying
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Pastoral Prayer for Transfiguration by Rev. Abi (inspired by Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36)

Lord, you are the mighty one,
You created light;
you send your light around the world.

You sent your son into the world of darkness as the one true light,
the light that brings hope to all.
And yet we want to capture it like a firefly and keep it to ourselves
so that only we have the good feelings and experience.

At the same time there are those who would reject your light,
try to find any way imaginable to cover the light.
But God, you told us to be the light of the world and to let our light shine.

And so today as we pray,
we want to let our light shine for others whose light may have grown dim,
or has almost  gone out or yes even are in the dark.

We want to shine the light of hope to those who are discouraged,
dejected, desponded and disappointed.

We want to shine your light of love to those who are our enemies,
are hated, are bullies, abused, bullied, disenfranchised.

We want to shine your light of grace to those who have given up,
don’t believe God loves them,
and don’t feel wanted, lonely and needy.

We want to shine your light of faith,
for those who are hungry to believe yet are not sure,
those who have struggled a long time with chronic illnesses,
frustration, anger and disbelief.

Lord, we carry your light into this world for all to see
what a glorious and wonderful God you are.
Amen.

Benediction by Joanna Harader
In the coming week, may you experience the presence of God with joy.
May the holy cloud comfort you.
May the divine voice encourage you.
May the power of the Spirit transform you, transform us, transform our world. Amen.

 

Just because I can’t resist, here is a fascinating resource on the Luke 9:28-45 passage from the Narrative Lectionary Commentary by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome on Rafael’s painting Transfiguration on the possessed boy and the female figure depicted there! https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/lent/arts-and-faith-for-lent/cycle-a/arts-and-faith-week-2-of-lent-cycle-a/ in text or https://youtu.be/GYo5VyNv7fg in video. Ignatian prayer exercise to match the above art commentary /https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/arts-faith-lent-second-sunday-imaginative-prayer-exercise/

~~~~~

ASH WEDNESDAY

Psalm 147 by Amber Noel (2021)

God heals the broken-hearted,
and binds up all their wounds,
God fixes the number of the stars;
and calls each one by its name.

God of Israel, listen! Let me wag a bitter tongue.
How my desires cling to the dust! Would you
call it lame? Do you blame me for eating too much,
or for watching Netflix instead of your numbered stars?

Why do good, why licitly, innocently amuse
myself, without shared memory, progeny —
when people who don’t even bother
to seek you seem to do just fine?

Oy veh! You don’t even treat animals
this way, ask for patience, proper ceremony,
unbroken covenant from birds in pair,
from monkey troops grooming each other
in zoos, from does, each year their new fawn.

Or two!

You are not far off, O LORD. That is not
my problem. I make my complaint of the farness
of flesh, the inability to look your sweet eye
in the eye, in the eye of another, a human gaze.

You command not the deprivation of the senses,
O LORD, and we desire it not. I’ve said save me
from the lying tongue, the violent hand,
the turned-aside foot, the hopeless belly.

But for the hungers you have ordained,
which your very presence does not dampen
but stoke, not fair! What shall I ask? You give
the wine, the bread, the priestly hand
on palm and hair, the oil, the ash, the tears

Of saints falling, from me, (I think) from statues;
the friendship of children, too, animal comfort,
friendly embrace, my body bounding still free
through air or water on a summer’s day.

Are these enough? If I am honest with you
(petulance not having yet undone your love
some-thousand years and counting, I risk),
then no. No, your gifts are not enough…

My God,
have mercy.

Let those whom the generations yet unborn
praise, saying, “This will be my mother, and this
shall be my father,” stand in the gates and praise me also,
saying, “This is she who loved and loved, who prayed

For me on my sickbed, and I arose, who took
the LORD for her abode.” O LORD, comfort
the single, the childless woman! The one-bedroom
apartment, O God, I know you do not despise.

I look at the stars and see you have fixed
the number of the clusters, yet set between
each the expanse of your presence, like open
hands. It is in their aloneness you name them.
It is in their gatherings we do. Return, O God,

To count your modern does among the blessed,
maybe even the blessed few who wait with no proof
that your will will please. You do not reject the lonely,
nor cast out those who rule a small house.

Hallelujah! Bearing your name, I say,
let the Name of the LORD be praised.

Invocation: Drum-beat Prayer for Divine Rhythm

Might be used as an opening meditation  at a confessional reflective service such as Ash Wednesday or Good Friday.
Can be read by a single voice, multiple voices or responsively.
Start in Silence.
A drumbeat begins, getting louder than softer.
The drumbeat tapers off into a soft background beat for the prayer.

O Steady One,
we gather in this community of worship,
aware of how we often live out of sync
with the rhythm of your heart of love.
Realign the beat of our hearts with the steadfast truth of your word.
Guide our thoughts
with the pulse of your wisdom,
That we might set our rhythm to the steady beat of your enduring hope.

Ash Wednesday by Rev. M Barclay – from enfleshed (a non profit creating and facilitating resources or spiritual nourishment for collective liberation)

1 – When the garden was lush,
still brimming with life and beauty,
rich in nutrients and possibility,
God gathered the soil of the earth,
and breathed us into life.

Not a man – an Adamah.
Earth creature.
A being of the soil.
First a lonely one.
Then love called for two,
differentiated and distinct,
but also flesh of my flesh,
bone of my bone.
Both, soil of the earth,
Kin to all that lives.
Created very good, indeed.

From dust we were created,
And to dust we will return.

This refrain calls us back to our gritty and humble beginnings.
It jolts us awake by reminding us of death.
The inevitable returning home.

When the time comes,
the garden, the body of the earth that birthed us,
will welcome us back like the forgiveness of God,
embracing us in ways that will transform even the most cruel among us
into sources of nourishment for lives to come.

It doesn’t make sense, this grace.
For generations, some have worked feverishly to sever us from our family tree,
hacking over and over at the roots of finitude and flesh, destroying everything and everyone that tells the story
of who we really are –
vulnerable and precarious creatures,
hungry for relationship,
starved in isolation,
not set above our earthly kin,
but set within a delicate web of interconnection.
So much has been destroyed betraying this origin story.

From dust we were created,
and to dust we will return.
But we don’t have to wait.

We cannot evade death,
but we can choose life
in these fleeting precious days.
We can mend,
we can protect,
we can repent,
we can return.

If we just pay attention,
to our bodies,
each other,
the birds and the air,
we can recognize the holy groans
of the earth calling us home.

2 – It’s not at all about the need to think of ourselves as awful.
For many of us, that already comes too easy.
If you don’t need a smear across your forehead
because you wear it on your heart every day
hear these words:
You are not awful.
God doesn’t think you’re awful.
You were not created awful.
There’s nothing divine that is born from believing you are awful.
If this is hard for you to accept, to believe, to hold deeply in your smeared heart,
spend some time with that this season.
You have been lied to.
Heal.
Resist.
Unlearn those prayers that make you small.
Come alive again before you remember death.
But then, when you do,
when you remember you are good,
don’t settle for believing the journey is complete.
It was never only yours to begin with.
Let it lead you to questions of us:
Why do we,
so good,
turn on each other?
Why do we,
so good,
allow for evil to flourish
through white supremacy
or patriarchy
or poverty
or queer and transphobia?
Created good.
Created good.
Created good.
But collectively invested in evil.
In its stories.
In its profits.
In its familiar.
To re-member
is a collective occasion.
A communal acknowledgment
of the choices before us.
Let the remember-ing
that we are dust
and to dust we will return
be a reckoning with our inseparable lives and deaths
be an apology for all we have chosen instead of each other
be a grounding in the promise
that we come from holy soil.
Holy dirt.
Holy dust.
Created good.
In need of tending.
Rich with potential for beauty.
Hungry for nutrients.
Wild and unruly.
Vulnerable.
The dust births new life.
The dust receives the dead.
In the dust we find each other
today
or eventually.

Prayer of Confession (from Psalm 51:1-4, New Living Translation adapted by Barb Hedges-Goettl)
  
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Forgive me, O God.
In your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Forgive me, O God
Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Forgive me, O God
For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Forgive me, O God
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned. Forgive me, O God
I have done what is evil in your sight. Forgive me, O God

Opening Prayer/Confession of Faith by Barb Hedges-Goettl
We gather together as the church
When we can’t summon our “Jesus-loves-me” smiles
When we are not feeling happy or better
When traditions don’t seem to suffice
When we know all too well that we are ashes and dust
                    Then God calls us to return to God.
We gather together as the church
When we are not sure how to come before God
When we miss being in our building
When we miss being with our community
When all seems strange and uncertain           
          Then God calls us to return to God.
We gather together as the church
When we need to lament
When we are a grieving people, a weeping people,
When we are dependent on God for help and healing
When we seek God’s Kingdom until that Kingdom comes
          Then God calls us to return to God.
We gather together as the church
Because God creates in us a clean heart, a new and right spirit within us
Because God restores to us the joy of salvation, sustaining in us a willing spirit
Because God does not cast us away, or take God’s holy spirit from us
Because God restores to us the joy of God’s salvation, sustaining in us a willing spirit
 we gather together as the church. THANKS BE TO GOD!

Children’s sermon (good for grownups too!) by Katy Stenta

Children Ideas: Meditate on Dirt together (Ideally with dirt): What is dirt? 
Discuss God as creator and make clay/playdo people together,
Bury the Alleluias
(Post includes an image of Pigpen from Peanuts, with his quote about where his dirt has been before it landed on him!)


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: Transfiguration Sunday (2/14) and Ash Wednesday (2/17)

We hope you'll join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.