Monthly Archives: March 2019

Welcome to Vigil

The following was used as the opening to a Vigil held at Zion Lutheran Church in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

Our community was distressed by the slaughter of innocent worshippers in Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand, and we felt the need to gather and express our grief and anger publicly.

Our vigil was held two days after the attacks, and involved people of different faith traditions and no faith tradition.

It was a holy time.

We began with lighting a candle, and then reading this responsively.

May you find it helpful.

(Permission is granted to use this in any kind of similar gathering. I only ask that you let me know. Thanks.)

===========================================

Welcome

L – Welcome, all who mourn the senseless slaughter of innocent people.

C – We come with tears.

L – Welcome, all who are angry at platitudes and intentional inaction.

C – We come with rage.

L – Welcome, all who feel helpless in the face of such hatred.

C – We come with emptiness.

L – Welcome, all who insist that something must be done.

C – We come with determination.

L – Welcome, all who care so much it hurts.

C – We come with grief.

L – Welcome, all who who are numb.

C – We come desiring life.

L – Whatever you feel, whatever you think, whatever you believe, whoever you are, you are welcome here.

C – All are welcome.

Advertisements

Prayers of the People for Lent 1, 2019

The season of Lent invites us to go deep.  We respond to this invitation, in part, by offering our prayers for the world, the church, and all in need.

[Pause]

Loving God, you free us.  Through the gift of creation, you provide a place for us, and a way to participate in your on-going work.  Open our ears to hear.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

Loving God, you free us.  Through the coming of Jesus, through his faithfulness to your call, you point us to your welcome for all.  May we hear what you are saying to us.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

Loving God, you free us.  Through your grace you open us to the whole world.  Enable us to let go of fear, that we may embrace whatever, and whoever, comes.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

Loving God, you free us.  Drive your church into the wilderness of love for our neighbours.  Make us available to all whom we encounter.  May we not be afraid to fail.  May we trust your presence with us all.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

Loving God, you free us.  Inspire us to reach out to those in any need: the poor, the lonely, the depressed and the sick, especially [NAMES, AND] those we name before you.
[Long silence]
God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

Loving God, you free us.  Fire us with your love; motivate us by your Spirit; communicate your love through our lives.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

We ask all this in the name of the one who welcomes all voices, who is behind all our stories, Jesus the Christ.
Amen.

Prayers for Ash Wednesday

The season of Lent invites us to go deep.  We respond to this invitation, in part, by offering our prayers for the world, the church, and all in need.

[Pause]

God of the few, you speak to the world through those who are outnumbered.  Open the ears of your church to hear the stories coming from those who are considered unimportant.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of misfits, you speak to societies through those who don’t fit in.  May we set aside our expectations of how others are supposed to be.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of outsiders, you speak to us through those who are different.  Keep us open to your surprising presence in those who are not like us.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of the powerless, you speak through the the weak, the poor, the sick and isolated.  Enable us to listen to those who are hurting, that all may come to know your companionship.  We especially pray for those we name before you.
[Long silence]
God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

God of the silenced, you speak to your world through those who are intentionally ignored and shut out.  Open our ears to those without power; make us hear the uncomfortable cries of the angry; help us respond with your love.  God who speaks,
Help us hear your voice.

We ask all this in the name of the one who welcomes all voices, who is behind all our stories, Jesus the Christ.
Amen.