How is it June? Time during a pandemic is so strange. As different parts of the world are having very different experiences just now, it becomes ever more complex to figure out what to do, liturgically. Responses? Singing? Prerecorded online only? hybrid? zooming from the sanctuary with a live-in-person congregation at the same time? live streaming? Some combination of all of these, which takes a million hours a week? How do we write liturgy that can be the work of the people in these times?
Here is some help for this week. Feel free to use, or adapt, or simply use a phrase as a starting point for your own work. If you do use these, please give credit in print/video descriptions, though verbal attribution is not necessary. Happy worship planning!
Call to Worship by Teri Peterson (based on Psalm 138 — this may be responsive or led by one person)
Let your heart sing God’s praise,
give thanks with all your being!
Though our voices may be still, our spirits shout out!
Let the world see the greatness of God —
We must proclaim grace and goodness with our lives,
not only our words.
God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is from everlasting to everlasting,
and so we will worship in spirit and in truth.
Confession by Teri Peterson (based on 1 Samuel 8 and 2 Corinthians 4)
Holy God, Breath of Life, you are nearer to us than we can even sense. You offer yourself to us, and for us, if only we will pay attention and follow your way. We confess that we are often determined to go our own way, regardless of what you say to us. We hear your truth spoken by your prophets and we decide not to listen, allowing their words to float away on the wind so that we can have what we want. And we admit that our desires are mostly based on what we see other people doing. We want to have what they have, do what they do, be like them. Forgive us, God, for wanting to be more like other people instead of wanting to be more like you. Forgive us for following voices that are not your Spirit, and for following in footsteps that are not Christ’s. Give us courage to look for your eternal way rather than the easy way. Renew us, inside and out, that we may live in your grace, for your glory. Amen.
Confession by Leah Fowler
Call to Confession:
The shame of sin can make us blame. It can make us hide. It can make us fear. But the mercy of God as we know in Christ frees us from shame and calls us to new life.
Let God hear our voices. May God’s ears be attentive to our supplications!
Prayer of Confession:
We confess, O God, that if there are times we sense you with the evening breeze, we are more likely to hide from you than to come out and join you in a moment of peaceful union. You ask us, “Where are you?” and our excuses that keep us away from you become more important to us than the simple fact that you long to be with us. We allow the kings of today, or our need to blame others, or demons, or shame– sometimes, even our own family members– come in the way of our connection with you. Help us recognize that you can see us truthfully, and we do not need to hide. Let us come out from the bushes of our own making, and share in the simple joy of walking with you.
Assurance of Pardon:
If God would mark our shortcomings, who could stand? But there is forgiveness in God, so let us have hope in this word: for with Adonai there is steadfast love, and with the God we know through Jesus Christ, there is great power to redeem.
Family of God Litany, for Pride Month (or anytime) by Teri Peterson (for 2 leaders and congregation, or can be read by one voice alone)
1: Jesus says: “my family is those who do the will of God.”
All: And what is the will of God?
2: Jesus says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbour as yourself.”
All: And who is my neighbour?
1: Jesus says: “the one who showed mercy — go and do likewise.”
All: So how do we know who to exclude?
2: Jesus says: “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
All: We are called into the family of all God’s people. We are called the Body of Christ.
1: It is the Holy Spirit who brings us together,
2: and it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the gift of faith.
All: Who are we to deny the Spirit’s work?
1: United by the power of the Spirit, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we commit to doing the will of God, and proclaiming the truth of the good news:
2: That there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love.
All: Love is love is love.
Teri Peterson is a minister in the Church of Scotland, where she ministers to a fantastic congregation in the most beautiful place, and lives in perhaps the nation’s best manse with the best view and a 15 year old cat who is the actual pickiest eater in the universe. She is the liturgy writer for the BibleWorm podcast, blogs (very) occasionally at CleverTitleHere, co-authored the book Who’s Got Time: Spirituality for a Busy Generation, and serves on the RevGalBlogPals board.
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. We are looking for contributions!