If you need some liturgical inspiration for this season, here’s some from your fellow RevGals — feel free to use or adapt or simply be inspired to write your own (and if that happens, we hope you’ll share!). Please give credit in print and video descriptions, but verbal attribution is not necessary.
Call to Worship by Teri Peterson (based on 1 Samuel 17)
Some problems are so giant, all we can do is stand and look, talking it over again and again.
We feel so small in the face of it all.
Some ideas are so out there, all we can do is scoff and laugh, brushing off that naive silliness.
We feel so helpless it makes us certain nothing can work.
Some encounters are so important, all we can do is take off the armour and be our full selves.
We feel so vulnerable, we understand true power.
Whatever we see through our eyes, the truth is that God looks on the heart,
and nothing is impossible with God.
Whether we are quaking in our boots or standing tall in the Spirit’s courage,
we trust God’s promise to make small offerings into great things.
So let us bring ourselves to worship, and be transformed.
Call to Confession by Sarah Erickson
If we say we have no sin – we are simply not telling the truth. We are telling the truth when we admit that we regularly take part in systems that separate us from one another, and commit individual acts that do not reflect the lessons of the Gospel. Join me now in sharing these confessions, so that we can begin anew, again, today.
Two Confessions by Barb Hedges-Goettl
Call to Confession
God knows all about us—God knows when we are hurting and when we hurt others. Let us confess our need for God’s healing.
Prayer of Confession
When we do not do the work needed for healing, forgive us.
When we refuse the help you give, forgive us.
God, when we see only our own point of view, forgive us.
When we expect others to know how we feel, forgive us.
When our assumptions blind us to who people are and what they need, forgive us.
When, instead of listening, we tell our own tale of woe, forgive us.
When we want credit for our intent, but do not give this credit to others, forgive us.
When we make excuses instead of apologies, forgive us.
Assurance of Forgiveness
God shows us how to love and forgive by loving and forgiving us! Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
Call to Confession
Honestly naming our need is the first step in that need being answered. We are in need of God’s presence, forgiveness, and grace, and so we join together in the prayer of confession.
Prayer of Confession
God, help us to be more honest about what we need—and what we don’t need.
We need to be heard. We need to hear. We need to be silent.
We need love. We need you. We need each other.
We need help. We need strength. We need forgiveness.
We need to help. We need to share. We need to be your people.
Forgive us, O God, as renew us by your presence and your love.
Assurance of Forgiveness
The Lord will rescue us from all evil and take us safely into his heavenly Kingdom. To God be the glory forever and ever! Let us declare to one another the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
Confession of Faith adapted from the inclusive version of the Confession of 1967 by Barb Hedges-Goettl
To be reconciled to God means to be sent into the world as God’s reconciling community. This community, the church universal, is entrusted with God’s message of reconciliation. As the church, we share God’s healing of the hurts that separate us from God and from each other. As the church, we are called to this mission and given the gift of the Holy Spirit. As the church, we continue the work of the people of God by faithfully obeying God’s call. Jesus’s life of service and healing commits us to work for every form of human well-being. Jesus’s suffering makes us sensitive to all human suffering. We see the face of Christ in the faces of persons in every kind of need. Jesus’s crucifixion discloses to us God judgment on the inhumanity marking human relationships. The crucifixion reveals the awful consequences of the church’s own participation in injustice. In the power of the risen Christ, and the hope of his coming, we see God’s renew al human life and God’s victory over all wrong. We pattern ourselves after Jesus. We live and serve following the form of life and the actions of Christ. So to live and serve is to confess Christ as Lord not only in word, but in deed. May God make us faithful to this call. Amen.
Confession of Faith (adapted from the Accompanying Letter to the Confession of Belhar by Barb Hedges-Goettl)
We know that we can be deceived by our good intentions and our held convictions. We are not liberated by the seriousness, sincerity, or intensity of our certainties. We are liberated only by the truth in the Son. In our church and in our land, we have an intense need of such liberation. We then speak pleadingly rather than accusingly. We plead for reconciliation, the true reconciliation which follows on conversion. We plead for changes of attitudes and structures. And we admit that none of us can throw the first stone. We admit that we each have a beam in our own eye. We admit that the attitudes and conduct which work against the gospel are present in all of us–and we know they will continue to be present.
We commit ourselves to the continuous process of soul searching together. We commit to a joint wrestling with the issues. We commit to a readiness to repent in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in a broken world. We know that the work and process of reconciliation will necessarily involve much pain and sadness. We open ourselves to the pain of repentance, remorse, and confession. We open ourselves to the pain of individual and collective renewal. We open ourselves to the pain of a changed way of life. We place ourselves on a road whose end we cannot foresee. We place ourselves on a road we cannot manipulate to our own desire. We open ourselves to unavoidable, intense growing pains while we struggle to conquer alienation, bitterness, irreconciliation, and fear. O God, enable us to know and encounter both ourselves and others in new ways. Amen.
As more congregations begin gathering in person, it may be time to train new people for various roles. Here is a lovely liturgy for Commissioning for the Ministry of Acolyte, written by Rev. Dr. Kori Phillips McMurtry
One: God created the whole world and everyone in it—
All: Lord, You made the day and the night, creating light and fire that our eyes might see the beauty of your creation.
One: Jesus once said—
All: ‘You are the light of the world, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.’
One: The Holy Spirit came to the disciples in fire—
All: Giving courage, words of wisdom, and strengthening faith.
One: Through this Church—
All: Help our faith to grow as we shine your light of love, grace and hope in the world. As our acolytes carry the light into this sacred space and back out again remind us that each one of us carries your light into this world for all to see what a great God of love you are. Amen.
Pastor: Do you _______ accept the role and responsibility of Acolyte, helper and bearer of light. Carrying the light into this scared space and out again?
If so please say, I Do.
Pastor: Do we, members of _______ Church confirm _______ as Acolyte, chosen by God to serve as helper and light bearer, leading the people in worship as he/she/they serves, reminding us that we are called to carry the light of God with us as we come in and as we go out. If so please say, We do. We do.
Give acolyte pin to Acolyte
One: Let us pray, faithful God, We thank you for _______ and his/her/their ministry of helper and Acolyte. We thank you for all those who have brought light into this sanctuary in so many ways, over so many years. Guide _______, and all of us, that he/she/they and we may grow in faith, hope and love and be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be honor and glory now and forever. Amen.
Pastor to Newly Commissioned Acolyte: _______, you are now commissioned to service as Acolyte. Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of Jesus, the light of the world, giving thanks to God through 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. We are looking for contributions!
image from Unsplash