Category Archives: Liturgies / Worship Services

From last Sunday’s worship: We together are God’s temple

God's temple
1 Corinthians 3:16

 

From last Sunday’s worship:

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

— 1 Corinthians 3:16 (TNIV)
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The Great O Antiphons

O Antiphons (all)The great O antiphons:

December 17 — O SAPIENTIA: O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High and, reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly. Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

December 18 — O ADONAI: O Adonai and Ruler of the House of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave him your law. Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us.

December 19 — O RADIX JESSE: O Root of Jesse, you stand as a sign for the peoples; before you kings shall keep silence and to you all nations shall have recourse. Come, save us, and do not delay.

December 20 — O CLAVIS DAVID: O Key of David and Scepter of the House of Israel; you open and no one closes; you close and no one opens. Come, and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 21 — O ORIENS: O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice: come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 22 — O REX GENTIUM: O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come, and save humanity which you fashioned out of clay.

December 23 — O EMMANUEL: O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Expected of the nations and their Savior. Come and save us, O Lord our God.

For more on the O Antiphons, see this post from last advent.

O Holy One, bless our pride, our celebration, our laughter, those who oppose us, our differences, those for whom it takes great courage to be here, our calls for equity and freedom, each one of us… O Holy One

A prayer for worship, June 10th, in celebration of Pridetide:

O Holy One, known to us in many ways, be present with us now. We ask for your blessings as we rejoice as a community this day. Bless our pride that it be a humble reflection of gratitude for who it is you have created us to be. Bless our celebration that it be an expression of our joy in love and in health. Bless our laughter that it herald the building of friendships and relationships. Bless those who may come to oppose us that our happiness may be contagious. Bless our differences as a source of our strength and a sign of our respect for one another. Bless those for whom it takes great courage to be here that they may feel the abundance of life. Bless our calls for equity and freedom that we may both speak and hear your vision of justice and of peace. Bless each one of us here today with your presence and our presence, one with another. All this we ask of you, O Holy One, for you are ever faithful to us. Rejoice with us today! Amen.

we claim the promise of the rainbow (a litany for June 10th)

A Litany of Freedom

All: We, as gay and lesbian people of faith, claim the promise of the rainbow, the promise of Creation’s sustaining love.

Reader 1: From the Hebrew Scriptures, we read: This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living thing.

All: We proclaim our pride. (Lighting of the Red Candle)

Reader 2: It is much easier for society and homophobic religion to tolerate a sad and pitiful homosexual than a proud and creative gay man or lesbian. May we march with pride and creativity in our whole lives.

All: We proclaim our bold intentions. (Lighting of the Orange Candle)

Reader 3: With Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we remember that the oppressed set both the time table and the agenda for liberation. If we say now is the time, then now is the time. May wisdom sustain us.

All: We remember that we are not isolated or alone in either our oppression or our struggle. (Lighting of the Yellow Candle)

Reader 4: May our pride and our quest for freedom light a flame within us that is a passion for justice for all who are disregarded, overlooked, or oppressed: native peoples, African-Americans, women, the poor in the United States and throughout the world, those with disabilities, our elders. May we realize our own participation in fear and denial, in injustice and lovelessness, and do what we can each day to live in equity and love.

All: We proclaim ourselves as people of faith, living for right relation in our world. (Lighting of the Green Candle)

Reader 5: May we become the bread of life, the wine of forgiveness and reconciliation as we break and pour ourselves out in the struggle against oppression and hopelessness.

All: We proclaim our vision of diversity and hope and our responsibility to share this vision. (Lighting of the Blue Candle)

Reader 6: May we join with one another and the spirit to follow in the way of the Hebrew prophet Isaiah by bringing good news to the oppressed, binding up the broken-hearted, comforting all who mourn, offering the oil of gladness and lasting joy. (Lighting of the Purple Candle)

Our funeral for Jesus: Our God, our God, why have you forsaken us?

Coffin (funeral for Jesus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We held a funeral for Jesus tonight, as our Palm Sunday service. And it was a moving experience, especially when Rev. Jane invited us to partake of the bread and wine, one by one, up at the coffin, as a way to “pay our respects” to Jesus and to sup with him for the last time.

It was a service like none of us have ever been to before. It was new to all of us, including Rev. Jane. But it was our effort to get in touch with just how much our relationship with Jesus means to us — by getting in touch with what it would be like to lose him, to mourn his death… to try to imagine life without him.

We borrowed a coffin from a local mortuary. We began the service by processing around the building, carrying the coffin and singing “When the Saints Come Marching In” (in New Orleans style). We sang hymns, read and reflected on Psalm 22. Rev. Jane gave the eulogy, and we prayed for ourselves and for all people mourning Jesus’ death. Some of us spoke of our fondest memories of Jesus, what he’s done for us, and how hard it will be to live life without him. We ended by commending Jesus’ spirit unto God.

During this service, we were in a suspended time, as it were. We were pre-resurrection friends and disciples of Jesus. We comforted ourselves that Jesus our Master himself had had faith that God would in the end come to Jesus’ and our rescue. We realized that we don’t know what that help might look like. So while we grieved, we also held on to a hope that God would do something to make it all come out right. Jesus had this hope, so we will try to, too.

Our days will be sterile and dark now, without Jesus. But we have faith that we are living as if inside Psalm 22, waiting between verses 21 and 22… waiting for God to act.

Communion on Jesus’ Coffin

Here’s a copy of Jesus son of Joseph’s obituary (our Palm Sunday service will be a Memorial to Jesus)

Jesus Obituary

God in the moment-by-moment possibilities (prayer of confession for Jan 28)

the prayer of confession from Sunday night’s worship: 

O Holy One, we call to you and name you as eternal, ever-present, and boundless in love. Yet there are times, O God, when we fail to recognize you in the dailyness of our lives. Sometimes shame clenches tightly around our hearts, and we hide our true feelings. Sometimes fear makes us small, and we miss the chance to speak from our strength. Sometimes doubt invades our hopefulness, and we degrade our own wisdom.

Holy God, in the daily round from sunrise to sunset, remind us again of your holy presence hovering near us and in us. Free us from shame and self-doubt. Help us to see you in the moment-by-moment possibilities to live honestly, to act courageously, and to speak from our wisdom.

fill this sacred space (call to worship for Jan 28th)

the call to worship from Sunday night’s worship service:

Fold up the newspaper. Turn off the kettle. Close up your diary already filled with dates, and times, and people, and places that claim you. This congregation is ready for you to fill this sacred space, to create its spirit, to generate its warmth, to kindle its light. (Adapted/David Blanchard)

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life in the presentness of God.

Lighting of candle: Divine spark from sacred dark, Symbol of our holy intent, illuminate this hour. (Kathy Huff)

AMEN

Breathing in, breathing out, God patiently shapes our fragile, earthen vessels into members of the eternal, grace-filled Body of Christ.

the call to worship from last night’s worship service:

Breathing in, breathing out, the Spirit of God calls us to this time and place.

Breathing in, breathing out, we practice living in the presence of God.

Breathing in, breathing out, we practice loving as God loves the world.

Breathing in, breathing out, God patiently shapes our fragile, earthen vessels into members of the eternal, grace-filled Body of Christ.

Welcome to the season of Epiphany!

P.S. The air-wind-breath imagery of this call to worship was especially appropriate last night. First, we worshipped in the main sanctuary due to a gas and/or heating issue in our sanctuary (I arrived late, so I’m not exactly up on what the problem was.) And then, while we worshipped, the wind outside squeeeeeealed and rattled the stained-glass windows. I took it all as God’s way of helping me remember to relax into the Holy Spirit, to relax into the Power of God, God’s Wind, God’s Breath.

Spirit of God, send forth your light, your flame, your healing, and your strength

the call to worship from last night’s worship service:

facing East: Spirit of God, who in the beginning of time moved upon the face of the waters, we call upon you, wind of east, of the air, creative source, golden eagle of the dawn, whirlwind, star-abiding one, rising sun: come by the air that is your breath. . . send forth your light. . . be among us now.

facing South: Spirit of God, who frees us and calls us to the continuing task of liberation, we call upon you, wind of the south, wind of fire, flaming one, summer warmth, spark of life, wind of change and hope, come by the fire that is your power. . . send forth your flame. . . be among us now.

facing West: Spirit of God, who gives us birth, who nurtures and sustains us, we call upon you, wind of the west, wind of water, rain maker, grey robed twilight, evening star, gentle breeze, touch of compassion, come by the water of birth and renewal, send forth your healing. . . be among us now.

facing North: Spirit of God, in whom we live and move and have our being, we call upon you, wind of the north, wind of earth, cornerstone of all power, stone, mountain, fertile field, north star, center of the whirling midnight sky, come by the earth that is your body. . . send forth your strength. . . be among us now.

All: Spirit of God, of creation, of liberation, of healing, of strength, we seek you beyond the borders of time, where night and day, birth and death, joy and sorrow meet as one. Come, be among us now.

Lord Jesus be born in us tonight

Eucharist image the communion liturgy from our Christmas eve service:

Let us affirm the love that God has for us — a love that was not, and cannot, be hindered.
We thank God for coming unto us; we praise God for Christ’s birth into our world.
It was cold and Mary and Joseph were fearful.
But that did not stop the birth.
They had no place fitting for their child.
But that did not stop the birth.
And today we are still sometimes cold and fearful, certainly poor in many ways.
We often feel that we have no place and are unclear about what God wants of us.
But these things did not stop the birth of Jesus then, nor will they do it now. To all who are open to God’s leading, God comes.
Lord Jesus be born in us tonight.

love was visible in a child

Chi Ro Rainbowthe call to worship from our Christmas Eve service (shared with the Unitarians):

On this day new joy entered our world.
May we try by our lives to share joy with others each day.
On this day fresh hope entered our world.
May we bring hope to those who are heavily burdened.
On this day love was visible in a child;
May we show our love for others in concrete ways of friendship and service.
On this day the promise of peace on earth was proclaimed.
May we be lovers of peace and demonstrate this love by reflective responses to life’s challenges and trials.
Son of God, light that shines in the dark, child of joy and peace, help us to come to you and be born anew this holy night.

Welcome to the season of Christmas!