a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: songs of love

Let us pray to the Lord saying:
God of Melody, help us sing songs of love.

God who fills our hearts with song,
we give you thanks for our choir,
our organist, our minister of music,
and all the musicians who gift us with music.
The Psalms implore us to make a joyful noise to the Lord,
and we are grateful for the musical leaders among us.
God of Melody, help us sing songs of love.

God of Songs Old and New,
we give thank for the songs that have been gifted to us
by those who have joined the Church Triumphant,
for the melodies that were taught to us
by our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents.
We thank you for their truth and endurance.
We also give you thanks for new melodies and hymns,
for new hymnals that expand our repertoire of praise,
and address an ever-changing world
with theological language that challenges and compels us.
God of Melody, help us sing songs of love.

God of Praise,
we pray for those who are too comfortable among us,
who need to hear songs that confront and challenge;
we pray for those who are sick and weak,
who need to hear songs that heal and give peace;
we pray for those who are uncertain or scared,
who need to hear songs that uplift and empower;
we pray for those who are grieving,
who need to hear songs that give voice to their sorrow;
we pray for those who are happy,
who need to hear songs that exude unabashed joy;
we pray silently for those on our hearts this day
that they may hear and sing whatever song is needed…
God of Melody, help us sing songs of love.

Melodious God,
hear our prayers as we lift them up to you.
Come to us, as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…


Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

confession: all mortal flesh

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand.
We rest in your silence O God,
offering up our prayers from the depths
of our hearts.

(a time of silence is kept)

Handbells play Picardy

Help us, Oh Lord, set our minds on things eternal.
For with blessings in our hands
we worship the child born in Bethlehem,
and not any other earthly thing
that would command our homage.
Forgive us for believing that earthly powers
could save us.

(a time of silence is kept)

Handbells play Picardy

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
once upon the earth he stood;
Lord of lords, may we now perceive him
in the people we meet on this journey.
Forgive us for the time we have not
welcomed the stranger as
we would welcome your Son.
In this time of Advent waiting,
may we see our connectedness,
one to another.

(a time of silence is kept)

Handbells play Picardy

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand.

Call us back to you, again and again,
and in gratitude, with ceaseless voice we cry:
“Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, Lord Most High!” Amen


Submitted by Rev. Marci Glass, Southminster Presbyterian Church, Boise, ID. Italicized lines taken from the hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.”

illumination: in perfect rhythm

Composer of life,
may the words of Scripture serenade us
like lyrics begging for a response…
may the catchy melody of creation
ring through these words, inviting us into the dance of new life…
and may the beat of your heart
keeps us in perfect rhythm with your vision for the world.

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

CTW: the kingdom is at hand (a sung liturgy)

the congregational responses are from the hymns Rejoice, the Lord is King!  and Come Sing, O Church, in Joy! both to the tune Darwall’s 148th.

One:    Come, people of God! With open hearts and open hands, let us worship!
All sung: Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore!
            Rejoice, give thanks, and sing, and triumph evermore.
            Lift up your heart; lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say rejoice!
One:    We come, declaring our allegiance to Christ, praising our Lord with a loud voice.
We come, seeking God’s way and committing ourselves to Christ’s path.
We come, longing for the peace and justice of the Kingdom of God.
All sung: Long years have come and gone, and still God reigns supreme,
            empowering us to catch the vision, dream the dream!
            In bold accord, come celebrate the journey now and praise the Lord!
One:    God’s future is on its way, the kingdom is at hand, and God’s vision of hope is true!
Come, people of God! Let us worship!
All sung: Lift up your heart, lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, Rejoice!
One:    The Spirit is moving in this place, creating and re-creating the Body of Christ.
We come, eager to be transformed into citizens of God’s kingdom!
Let all the people say: Amen!


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

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!

prayer: concerto of creation

You raise your hand
and gently begin
the concerto of creation:
birds carry the melody
while stars keep the beat;
mountains dance in merriment
and little children clap
their hands with joy.
Love’s Composer,
our new songs are lifted to you.

The old, old song
is made new in our hearts:
Christ is Risen!
Sing Alleluia!
You invite us to sing to a world
deafened by despair
and haunted by the tunes of fear.
Lord of the Dance,
our new songs are lifted to you.

Believing we cannot
carry a tune,
we hesitate to join in
the chorus of praise
sung by all creation.
So, you softly and gently
hum the melody in our hearts
until they burst with you,
raising a rousing chorus
of Amazing Grace.
Music-making Spirit,
our new songs are lifted to you.

Every song, old and new, is offered to you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we lift the prayer Jesus teaches,
Our Father . . .


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