a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Advent 2013: The Path to the Holy Mountain

It’s hard to believe that Advent is just around the corner—but it is! I’ve started thinking a bit about the liturgy for the season, and with some help from my trusty LiturgyLink colleague Teri we’ve developed something that we’re happy to start sharing here! We welcome further feedback on it in the comments—and of course liturgy submissions around it! You’ll likely be seeing some things based on it here starting soon… Look over the whole outline after the break! [Read more…]

call for contributions: musical liturgy

It’s been a while since we on LiturgyLink have sent out a special call for contributions, but today brings an end to that! As a Presbyterian pastor, a music lover, and a connoisseur of congregational song, I’m looking forward to the upcoming release by the end of this month of Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal. While there’s been a bit of controversy over one song that was left out due to a copyright kerfluffle, the contents look to blend familiar favorites with new and innovative songs from close to home and around the world. Even if you’re not a Presbyterian, I hope you’re aware of this new resource, as there is an ecumenical edition too!

In celebration of the release of Glory to God, we’re looking to publish some liturgical resources that blend words and music in new and creative ways. Maybe you’ve created a response to the assurance of pardon that works well for a particular season. Maybe you’ve found a way to blend a song with words of liturgy to create space for congregational participation. Maybe you’ve even written a musical setting of some liturgical element that you would like to share. If you’ve done any of these or other things, we hope you’ll share them with the LiturgyLink community!

You can send your submissions for this project or any time to liturgylink@gmail.com. Due to copyright restrictions around words and music, we reserve the right to edit, reformat, or even set aside submissions. If you submit original work, please indicate any copyright restrictions that you might have on its use. Any questions, please let us know. And thanks as always for your submissions as we continue to create together!

CTW: pour out your peace

In the last days, when great wonders will occur, says God,
I will pour out my spirit on all people.

On the very first Pentecost, to begin my church, says God,
I will pour out my spirit on all people.

On this Pentecost, in this very church, says God,
I will pour out my spirit on all people.

Your Spirit is here among us, O God.
May we feel the spark of her fire, the rush of her wind.

May our visions and dreams be of justice and mercy for all your creation;
May we prophesy to your vision of a new heaven and a new earth.

Remove our anxious nerves that prevent our calling out your name.
Come, Holy Spirit, come! May you pour out your peace on all your people!


Based on Joel 2:28 and Acts 2
Submitted by Rev. Rebecca Page Lesley, Suffolk Presbyterian Church, Suffolk, VA

confession and assurance: not enough

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

We confess that we are no longer seeking anything because we believe we can longer be surprised.  As those who live in a place of security we do not understand what it means to faint or to thirst.   Have mercy on us.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

We have come into this sanctuary today with not enough reverence, not enough praise, and not enough awe for You.  Have mercy upon us.

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

We are afraid to make a spectacle of ourselves when we sing, or pray or praise You.  Our worship is too clean, organized and so stay an arm’s length away from You.  Have mercy on us.

But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword, they shall be prey for jackals.

We look for revenge, we gloat and we rejoice when some around us stumble or fall.   We have lost sight that we have participated in the destruction of life and are in danger of Your disappointment, wrath or anger.   Have mercy on us.

Silent Confession

Words of Assurance

O Lord, You have been our help.  In the shadow of Your wings we sing for joy.  Our souls cling to you.  Your hands hold onto us.  We are reminded of Your forgiveness and Your mercy.  We are reminded that in You we have new life.  Alleluia.  Amen.

Passing of the Peace

(Can be read responsively with the leader reading the scripture and then the Congregation responding, or by two voices, or by voices sprinkled throughout the Congregation.)


Submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ

Sunday’s Coming: working toward October 14

I always find the fall to be the toughest time of the year to be preaching the Lectionary. During the high liturgical seasons, there is an easy connection to something beyond the scripture, but by the time October rolls around, it so often feels like we’re stuck in a historical book of the Old Testament or in one of the boring parts of the gospels that just doesn’t connect to the world of today. Can’t we just get some Reformation or All Saints in here already??!

Nonetheless, Sunday keeps coming, and there’s liturgy to be prepared and a sermon to write. What are you thinking about this week? Are you working your way through Job, grieving with him the seeming absence of God that then gets highlighted again in Psalm 22? Or is your focus on the letter to the Hebrews, with its emphasis on the word of God and the high-priestliness of Jesus? Or are you taking on the rich young ruler from Mark, perhaps pairing it with the prophetic call to justice and righteousness from Amos?

Where are you leaning this week? What liturgical resources do you need, and what can you share? Any hymns in mind? Join the conversation in the comments, and let’s create together!

Sunday’s Coming: working toward June 17

We’re into that strange part of the year, at least in the congregation I serve. Ordinary Time is in full swing, and even though it is nice to have a break from all the festivals, it can be hard to get engaged in what is new and next. On top of that, summer isn’t fully here yet – at least not according to the seasonal calendar! – but things are really starting to slow down already in many ways. Plus, it is another civic holy day: Father’s Day. There is much going on, but it can be hard to celebrate any or all of these in worship.

So, how are you responding to all these things? Are you looking to the Lectionary, with its week-long reign of Saul that began last week already giving way to the anointing of David? Are you considering the possibilities of looking past a human point of view and into God’s new creation? Or are you beginning the inevitable descent into the parables that a summer in Mark holds?

Share your ideas for this week’s liturgy and sermons in the comments, and join the conversation!

Looking Ahead: Summer Worship

It’s only the beginning of May, but this means that summer is around the corner. WOW! Usually this means that life in the church slows down a bit, and worship often takes some different forms. Sometimes it means a special sermon series or even a very different structure for worship.

What are you thinking about for the summer? Do you have ideas to share to make worship more interesting and relevant through these quieter months? What about special liturgies that highlight the summer season? Share your thoughts, and let’s create together!

Sunday’s Coming: working toward May 6

We made it through the sheep and shepherds of Easter 4, so Easter 5 is upon us as fast as ever! We on LiturgyLink are running a little late this week due to some other commitments, but we’re still facing the relentless return of Sunday! Why not do it together with us??!

This week present some pretty wide options for us. We have Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch meeting up on the road to Gaza, John’s call for love to be perfected among us, and Jesus calling us to bear fruit amidst his vines and be faithful disciples. Are you thinking of tying these together in some way? Will you continue along as part of a previous series? Or are you going in another direction entirely?

Most importantly, what will you do with the liturgy for this Sunday? We’ve got a couple of submissions coming out soon, but don’t hesitate to share your general ideas in the comments and your specific writings with us at liturgylink@gmail.com.

Whatever you’re thinking about, add your voice here as our community creates together!

LiturgyLink has moved!

Welcome to the new LiturgyLink! We’re glad you’ve made it over to our new site. All our old content and comments are here, too – and anything missing will soon follow! We have some great ideas for new features and look forward to sharing them in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, we’re glad you’re here to be a part of this community creating for the relentless return of Sunday. If you’d like regular updates by email of our latest posts, you can subscribe here. (If you were subscribed on the old site, you need to re-subscribe here since we moved web hosting.) We welcome your submissions, too – we are a community creating together, after all! Send your submissions, questions, or suggestions to us at liturgylink@gmail.com, or give us feedback in the comments below.

See you along the way as we create together for Sunday!