a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: limited love

Holy Love, first and last, you offer yourself to us completely and call us to your life. Yet we are afraid, for your Way demands much of us. We confess that we are often quick to judge and slow to forgive. We confess that we choose that which does not satisfy, even as you offer us abundant life. When our fear overrides your call, forgive us. When we act from our own limited love rather than your expansive grace, forgive us. Reach down to us again, lift us up as a mother lifts a child to her cheek. Cast out our fear and fill us with the breath of your Spirit, that we may live the love we see in your Son, Jesus the Christ, in whose perfect name we pray. Amen.

POP–come quickly

My God, my God, come close to your people!

You come to us to rescue us from powers that are too great for us.

Come to the help of all who face trouble or danger today.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, you bind us together as brothers and sisters, beloved in Christ.

Fill our hearts, our lives, and our voices with your praise,

and make us bold to proclaim your name to all people.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we lift up those who are close to us who face trouble,

especially those who are sick, sorrowing, or confused.

Send forth your healing and restoring love.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we pray for those who are poor, hungry, or homeless,

who are closer to us than many of us realize.

Open our hands to share what we have,

and open our hearts to share in relationship.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we pray for all who are entrusted with power

over nations, corporations, and the powers of the world,

that their decisions might honor you and seek the welfare of all people.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

O Lord, we pray for all the generations:

with thanksgiving for those who have gone before us and enjoy your eternal rest;

and with hope for those who will follow us, to whom we must still proclaim your salvation.

Keep your church faithful in every age.

O Lord our help,

come quickly to our aid!

 

Keep us faithful to you, O Lord,

and teach us to serve you,

as we pray together with Jesus, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

 

Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids IA

confession and assurance: love one another

Prayer of Confession

God of compassion and mercy, you sent us your Son as the savior of the world, and told us to love one another as much as you loved us.  Yet, we struggle to love each other.  We have a hard time loving those who are not like us, who disagree with us, or who ask us to face the truths about ourselves.  You told us to love one another, because love is from God.  And we often do not love those we think are dirty, hungry, lost, or undesirable.  It is written that perfect love casts out fear, and yet we are afraid.  Afraid for our safety, our wallets, and how others perceive us.  Forgive us, God, and show us how to love thy way you command us to love.  Release us from our judgment and our fear.  Open our hearts so that they might receive your perfect love for us, and offer it to the world.

(Silent Confession)

Assurance of Forgiveness

Friends, the good news is this: love is from God, and we are loved by God. God sent Christ into the world to atone for our sins, and in him we are forgiven.

Submitted by Rev. Julie Jensen, First Presbyterian Church, Cartersville, GA

confession and pardon: pruning

Call to Confession

There are many things that can cut us off from the One True Vine. Our sins are like so much dead wood. When we confess the dead places in our lives, God offers us the forgiveness we need to prune them away and allow us to thrive once more. We come now to confess the parts of our lives that do not bear fruit…

Prayer of Confession

Gracious God, we confess that we each have places in our lives that could use some pruning. Our words do not always give grace to those who hear, our actions do not always witness to our baptism in your name. We have ignored those who need our help the most and focused on hoarding more for ourselves. Our selfish desires only serve to wither us and turn us into dying branches. Forgive us, and prune away our dead places so that we may bear fruit generously in your name…

…moment of silent confession…

Assurance of Forgiveness

We are grafted into the Living Vine. The Vinegrower has tended to us and removed our sinful and withered ways. We are given another chance to live and bear fruit. For these gifts of love and life, let us stand and sing praise!

This confession would be appropriately followed by a Gloria of some sort.

Submitted by Rev. Rebecca Page Lesley, Suffolk Presbyterian Church, Suffolk, VA

confession and pardon: fears like pocket lint

Call to Reconciliation
There come those moments when we stand exposed, our failings, our hurtful words, our harmful ways open for all to see. But God takes these moments, and these sins, redeeming them through compassionate love, making us new people, children of the Living God. Let us come, in these moments, with our prayers to the One who waits to forgive us and make us whole. Please join me as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer of Confession
We carry our fears around with us like so much pocket lint, Compassionate Heart, when you would take them and toss them aside, spent and useless. You invite us to sit and chat with someone who wants to know more about you, but we are busy running errands. You give us a simple command  –  to love, and we complicate it with rules, worries, and doubts.

Forgive us, Vine Grower.  You have planted those seeds of mercy, of hope, of grace deep within us, so we might bear rich and nourishing fruit for others. May we not get in the way of your Gardener, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, who will use the Holy Spirit to bring forth an abundant crop.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
God abides in you! God is breathing, living, forgiving, restoring you in this moment, and in the days to come. This is the good news for us!
As God is in us, so we can live, work, care for others, so that love, hope and joy might touch all people. Thanks be to God, we are forgiven. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

CTW: this place, these people, these gifts

We come to this place where God pours out love on us,
we join our voices in praise, as our fears are left behind.
We gather with these people, those who seek to follow Jesus,
so we might walk the paths of service hand in hand.
We open our hearts to the gifts of the Spirit,
so that grace and peace might be the fruit we bear.

 

Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.

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!