a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: least likely

Your faithfulness is from generation to generation, O God. When we have lost our way, or turned away, you have sought us out, in the least likely of places. We confess that sometimes we would prefer that you stayed in the box we built for you, keeping out of our affairs. The systems we have built work for us, and you disrupt them with your insistence on lifting up the lowly and filling the hungry while sending the rich away empty. Forgive our self-centered ways, our narrow vision of justice, and our restricted love. Show your strength and favor once again, and help us follow in your way, according to your promise. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Communion: Turning

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Then let us sing!

Canticle of the Turning v. 1-3

Mighty God, we rejoice with all who hunger,
for your Son Jesus, whose coming we proclaim,
spreads a table of blessing before us
and feeds us with his very presence.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this meal,
that we might be united with Jesus Christ,
and with all who magnify his name.
Sustain us with your presence
and keep us faithful to the end,
singing with joy and confidence:

Canticle of the Turning v. 4

We pray with the One whose life turns the world
and we say together:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

POP: restore and magnify

Let us pray to the Lord our God saying:
“Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.”:

Our souls magnify you, O Lord, and our Spirits rejoice in you, our Savior!
For you have looked upon the lowliness of your servants,
you have heard our cry and saved your people.
We shall be called blessed because we are called by you to be a blessing to others.
Your mercy is from generation to generation.
Your mercy called Adam and Eve into being.
Your mercy kept vengeance from taking Cain’s life.
Your mercy saved Noah and his family from the flood.
Your mercy caused Sarah’s womb to be fruitful.
Your mercy gave Joseph’s dreams the power to save a nation.
Your mercy heard the Israelites’ cry and called Moses to action.
Your mercy charged Mary with the most special of tasks.
Your mercy strengthened Joseph to care for her.
Your mercy creates Jesus, who has come to save us.
We give you thanks for your mercy; may it continue to shine upon us!

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

We remember this day those upon our hearts that crave your shining face,
who long for the light, who need your power to drive out the darkness:
for those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses,
for those who cannot bring themselves to forgive others,
for those who cannot forgive themselves,
for those who seek refuge, but have been denied shelter,
for those who seek shelter, but have been denied a home,
for those who have lost loved ones in the past year,
for those who have lost physical and mental abilities,
for those who care for aging spouses and loved ones,
for those who have been living with cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

We ask that you would strengthen us as a congregation:
as we seek to be the best stewards of the money with which we’ve been blessed,
as we struggle with the financial burden of an aging building,
as we search for the truth of your word and do our best to live it out in our lives,
as we hold in tension that which we have been with that which you call us to be,
as we serve one another and those with whom you called us into fellowship,
as we continue to grow together as a congregation in a period of transition,
as we wait, watch, and wonder in preparation of the coming of your Son.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

Gracious God,
as we finish this advent journey,
may we wait with Mary’s joyful anticipation
as we prepare to welcome your Son, our Savior,
into this broken world in need of his redeeming.
Gather us, guide us, and keep us as your people.
Send us into the world that Christ’s hands might be our own,
and his mind one with ours in all that you would have us do.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

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…]

a dramatic reading of the Magnificat, in three parts

All: And Mary said,
One: my soul magnifies the Lord,
Two: and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
Three: for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
One: Surely, from now on, all generations will call me
Two: blessed (reverently),
Three: blessed (surprised),
One: blessed (excited),
Two: for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
Three: and holy is God’s name.
One: God’s mercy is for those who fear God
Two: from generation to generation.
Three: God has shown strength with God’s arm;
One: God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
Two: God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
Three: and lifted up the lowly;
One: God has filled the hungry with good things,
Two: and sent the rich away empty.
Three: God has helped God’s servant Israel,
One: in remembrance of God’s mercy,
Two: according to the promise God made to our ancestors,
Three: to Abraham and his descendants
One: forever,
Two: forever (more intense),
Three: forever (even more intense).

Adapted from Luke 1:47-55.

Submitted by Rev. Daniel Hayward, Trinity Ingleside and Newington United Churches, South Stormont ON Canada. Written by Karen Boivin, Daniel Hayward and Maggie Melanson while MDiv students at Queen’s School of Religion, Kingston ON.

prayer of confession: greatness and glory

submitted by Eric Beene, Pastor, White Bluff Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia

Almighty God, we know that the things you have done for us are great.  The powerful cannot rule us, and the hungry are filled with good things.  We know the greatness of your strength, and we know the unexpectedness of your mercy.  So why do we try to make your coming into the world cute, cozy, and soft, like a fuzzy blanket on a cold night? Forgive us, O Lord, for the ways we reduce your glory into something easy.  Prepare us, O Lord, to stop what we are doing, to look, and to listen; to let our jaws drop and let chills run up our spines; to stare wide-eyed in wonder and awe at the glory of the Lord dwelling among us.  We pray in the name of Christ our Lord.  Amen.