Khor Virap, Armenia, with Mount Ararat in the background. By Barb Hedges-Goettl, 2018.

If you are looking for some words (or images or music) to use for worship, or some inspiration for your own, here are some you can use or adapt, thanks to members of our RevGals community (and beyond). If you can please give credit in video descriptions or print versions, that would be great, though spoken verbal attribution is not necessary. (Note: Some resources have been gleaned from other sources and are used by permission of the author(s) listed.)

Opening Prayer for Lent by Sarah Erickson
To the One who accompanies all our days, we do not always know what is coming around the next curve. Make yourself known as the journey unfolds so that we may live through hopelessness into hope, knowing you are with us each step of the way. In Christ’s name through the power of the Holy Spirit we pray. Amen.

Opening Prayer (or Intercession) inspired by Luke 16:19-31 by Barb Hedges-Goettl
O God, send us your messenger from the dead
In the name of the finely dressed man
Who feasts sumptuously every day
Whose crumbs could satisfy the hungry
Whose dogs tend the wounds of the needy.

O God, send us your messenger from the dead
Send Lazarus, recipient of evil things,
Who was carried by angels to Abraham
Who has comforting water–and cool
Who can call the living back from their hell

O God, send us your messenger from the dead
The One who received evil things
The One who brings Living Water
The One who brings the living back from their hell

O God, send us your messenger from the dead
That we, who receive and do evil things,
May share living water, comforting and cool,
And bring back the living from their hell.
Amen.

Call to Worship (or Prayer of Thanksgiving) based on Psalm 107 by Barb Hedges-Goettl
Redeemed by the Lord from trouble, let us say so. We give thanks to the LORD, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Gathered in from all lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, We give thanks to the LORD, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.
As we cry to the Lord in our trouble, God saves us from our distress. We give thanks to the LORD, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.
God sends out God’s word and heals us, delivering us from destruction. We give thanks to the LORD, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.
We give thanks for the LORD’S steadfast love, For God’s wonderful works to humankind. We give thanks to the LORD, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Offer thanksgiving sacrifice, and tell of God’s deed with songs of joy. We give thanks to the LORD, for God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Prayer of Confession inspired by Numbers 21:4-9 by Barb Hedges-Goettl
O God, forgive us.
We are impatient.
We forget that you made us and that you call us.
You lead us–and you provide for us.

O God, forgive us.
We want what we want.
We act like we know ourselves better than you know us.
We pretend that we can take care of ourselves.

O God, forgive us.
We close our eyes to all that needs healing.
We do not recognize the powers of death and dying that need transformation.
We pretend there are no wrongs for you to overcome.

O God, forgive us.
We doubt your ability to transform.
We do not trust you to take that which is deadly
and turn it into the deliverer of salvation and hope.
O God, forgive us.

Silent Confession

Assurance: Even when we do not believe it, God brings about transformation, exchanging sin for forgiveness, trading wounds for healing, replacing fear with courage, converting falling down into rising up, and overcoming death with life. Thanks be to God

Prayer of Intercession (or Confession) by Barb Hedges-Goettl
A Sort of Anti-Confession, naming what we seek to do instead of what we have failed to do (or done wrongly). The categories are from Psalm 41:1-3 and represent the ways that God blesses those who remember the poor, recognizing them as ways that we can also bless others.
Lord, have mercy. Show us how to help those who are in trouble as you help us.
Lord, have mercy. Empower us to protect others, and preserve their lives, as you protect and preserve us.
Lord, have mercy. Enable us to bless others, sharing the blessings and joy you grant us.
Lord, have mercy. Embolden us to accompany people in the presence of their enemies, as you accompany us even in the valley of the shadow of death.
Lord, have mercy. Inspire us to serve and heal, as you are the servant and healer of all.
Lord, have mercy. Make us more and more your people, serving all as created in your image.
Amen.

Prayer of Intercession Trauma Prayer by Katy Stenta
Here is a prayer for the survivors, who were left by those who got sick and died.

A prayer for the workers who were deemed essential–and never got a break from the work, the breath, the spit, the talk, the-show-up-to-get-your-paycheck

Its a plea for those who were “let go” told that they weren’t important enough to keep getting paid

Its a recycled prayer for the homeless and the hungry, who are the same as ever, only worse

A love note for the queer fam, whose barriers only increase when people become stressed

Here’s a prayer for the black and brown people the Native Americans, the Asians, the Immigrants…the ignored and forgotten. The “inaccessible” for healthcare, the ones who always have to sit on the bottom, except for deaths in the pandemic where they ride high.

Here’s a chant for Black Lives Matter–words that start, but don’t do enough to create a structure for reparations

Here’s a prayer for the abused, alone and trapped.

A prayer for the addict, who is living the days, and the nights trying to figure out treatment in tough times.

This is a Cry for the lonely: the elderly, the singles, the handicapped, the sick. Lord, you know there are too many ways for us to feel lonely in ordinary times. Here’s an extra cry for them.

Here’s a prayer for a moment–for all those who are caretaking or parenting, those who have had not respite and no relief, for whom the to do list has lengthened and the how to list no longer exists.

This is a prayer for the children, who know in their bones what they are missing, even when they don’t know what they are missing.

We are praying for all of the world together–because this is our traumaversary–a moment when we look at the world that has ended, and has not yet a world to look towards.

We have to relive the trauma of the loss, and we still haven’t learned how to Cope with it Lord.

This is a prayer for me Lord,

Because I’m tired and lonely, and I don’t even know if I’m hungry or bored or just dealing with depression. This is a prayer for my family, because ok is all we can go for right now.

This is a prayer for the traumatized. Help us, we pray, Save us, we pray.

Amen.

(Trauma Anniversary Info: https://www.mentalhelp.net/ptsd/anniversary-reactions-to-a-traumatic-event/)

Pandemic Call to the Senses by Elsa Anders Cook Could be used as a reflection on a year of being online

Beloved, find yourself here with two feet planted on the ground. Take off your slippers or socks or whatever is covering your feet. This is holy ground right here in this place where two or three are gathered in worship and wonder.

Take a deep breath full of the dust of the ancestors and the lives lost this year. Feel the the presence of the whole cloud of witnesses here with us now. Breathe in and breathe out.

Look around this space where you have spent so many hours in this past year. Life has happened here. So much life had happened here. Notice five things that you can see from where you are sitting that remind you of what this life has felt like this year. (Long pause.) Breathe in and breathe out.

Reach from where you are sitting to touch four things that connect you to someone you have loved. (Long pause.) Breathe in and breathe out.

Notice in this space where you have lived abundantly three things you can hear. Listen for the hum of life that is in this place. (Long pause.) Breathe in and breathe out.

Call to your awareness two scents, aromas or smells that remind you that there is goodness here in this moment. (Long pause.) Breathe in and breathe out.

Notice what stirs on your tastebuds and excites you about the future and for now acknowledge one thing that you can taste. (Long pause.) Breathe in and breathe out.

For these things that you have tased, smelled, heard, touched and seen, we give thanks. We give thanks for the rich blessing of this life and for the ways that we seek to live into the days ahead. We give thanks for the life we have shared across internet connections and telephone wires. We give thanks and praise to God. Amen.

Hymn Dives and Lazarus British folk song
https://hymnary.org/hymn/CCNO1871/39 (public domain in the US)
To hear it, go to Maddy Prior performing ‘Dives & Lazarus’ from Nettlebed Folk Club on the ‘Seven For Old England’ tour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl3xFnoDZ (not for use in worship due to copyright)

Hymn; Tell me, Dear Tree (Ephesians 2:1-10) A Lenten hymn of sacrifice
Jesus’ suffering on the cross was a correct diagnosis and revelation of the human dilemma. It was an invitation to enter into solidarity with the pain of the world, and our own pain, instead of always resisting it, avoiding it, or denying it. Lady Julian of Norwich, my favorite Christian mystic, understood it so well, and she taught, in effect, that “There is only one suffering and we all share in it.” – Richard Rohr

Meter- 86.86 double (CMD)
Suggested tune: KINGSFOLD (United Methodist Hymnal #179)
Kingsfold is in the public domain in the US
See https://hymnary.org/tune/kingsfold_english

Tell me dear tree on which my Lord, my blessed Lord did hang,
How could you hold the spotless Lamb, be party with the gang?
That cheerless day, that shadowy hour, my blessed Savior died,
to free my soul for heavenly things, O tree, you must have cried.

Yes all your fibers must have screamed for you one time did live
a green and growing tree, alive, but your whole self did give
to be the instrument of death, to be the very tree
to be the place for Christ to die upon dark Calvary

Wait! Do I hear a shout of joy from somewhere deep within?
Your duty done; the battle won so all the world might win.
How beautiful your love for Him. He sewed it long ago
You bore the weight. You took the stain, and now the world must know

The tree of death felt every wound, felt all the pain and loss.
She loved her maker through it all, was glad to be His cross.
Teach me dear tree on which my Lord, My precious Lord did die
To treasure grueling duties done so Christ is lifted high

© 1992, revised 2009 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, Lisa has given written permission for this hymn to be shared with RevGalsBlogPals. You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to original music. Lisa blogs at revlisad.com The hymn is at https://revlisad.com/2015/04/03/tell-me-dear-tree-a-lenten-hymn-of-sacrifice-2/t t

Prayer of Response/Praise Prayer of reflection inspired by Ephesians 2: 1-10.

Reflection: Even then, grace
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which God loved us,
even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. – Ephesians 2.4-5a

Even when we were dead, Paul writes.
Even when we turned away from the One who had created us.
Even when we lived in the grip of what drew our gaze from God.
Even when we were oblivious.
Even when we followed a path fashioned of nothing
but our own desires.
Even when we wandered far and willfully away.
Even when we forgot to look past our own feet and to see
the wonders not of our making.
Even when we failed to stand in awe, to breathe thanks,
to lean into the love that had waited long for us.
Even when, Paul writes.
Even when,
even then:
grace.

~ written by Jan L. Richardson, The Painted Prayerbook. http://paintedprayerbook.com/ Jan’s blog includes not only prayers and meditations on the RCL passages, but also has RCL-related original artwork available for purchase/download. Jan said she’d be delighted for us to share this reflection on the RevGalBlogPals’ Worship Words page; she has appreciated the work of RevGals for many years and wishes us Lenten blessings.

Prayer of Response/Praise by Kathy Swaar
Prayer, based on Numbers 21:4-9 and Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

Lift us up, Holy One,
out of our despair, our frustration,
out of the messes of our own making,
and those beyond our control.

Lift us up when we lose patience, when we complain,
when we take for granted your gracious Providence.
Lift us out of our malaise, our resignation,
our complacency, and our fear.

Lift us up, Creator God, and
free us from all that keeps us from you.
Gather us in your gracious embrace,
and pour your healing love out on us.

Raise us up to praise your name,
to give thanks for your steadfast love,
to tell of your goodness and grace.


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.


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