Actions and rituals

On this page, there are a number of ideas for actions and rituals that could be used with, for example, the climate lament ideas on this site.

Please try to use materials with a view to their recyclability, compostability and sustainability.

Mourning Armbands. There is a long tradition -now largely only seen on sports’ teams when they are remembering the death of one of their own- of wearing a black armband to signal a bereavement and to show one is in mourning. So the basic idea is simply to wear one for extinct species or habitats. Make your own and customise it. https://www.ehow.com/how_5143632_make-armband.html. Suggestion: to add to it a simple symbol or a word or two to make it clearer what is being mourned. Further development of this idea: to have a making workshop with prayers for the activity and to ‘bless’ the wearing of the completed armbands. The activity of donning the armband can be a significant moment to reflect and hold before God the grieving and the cause of grieving.

Sackcloth and ashes. The biblical phrase “repent in sackcloth and ashes” is still sometimes in use as a byword for recognising one was wrong about something. It harks back to times when these things were part of rituals expressing grief and/or repentance. Sackcloth could then, be used as an armband (see the armband section). Smaller pieces could be used as badges to be added to a coat or jacket. It is simple to use a safety pin to hold it in place. The suggestions about armbands could be brought to bear in the making and ‘commissioning’. One of the things that could be added might be an ashen symbol (maybe a cross maybe something else). It might be helpful to use a mix of oil and ash ( https://www.ehow.com/how_7530818_mix-palm-ash-oil.html ) to make the symbol. Other materials could be used, of course.

Imposition of humus &/or ash. ‘Imposition’ is a traditional church term which means ‘putting on’ -usually a forehead or hands are in mind and it’s commonly used for the act of smearing ash-oil mix on a forehead on Ash Wednesday. This idea is development of that. Humus is, of course, the dark soil-building material (https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/humus/) rather than the chick-pea paste!

Anointing and smearing. See also the imposition of humus/ash section. Other materials -symbolic crude oil (apparently vegetable oil with red or dark food colouring can work for this). Symbolic blood has also been used. It can be applied to people or objects.

Prayer wall. For many people the go-to mental image of this might be the so-called Wailing Wall which is a foundation wall of what remains of the Temple in Jerusalem and is a place where Jewish pilgrims go to pray. One of the activities there is to place a written prayer into the cracks between the stones. Some places emulate this way of praying using small pieces of paper and a suitable wall (sometimes a pinboard or netting is used to ‘receive’ the paper).

Tears -symbolic the psalmist writes/recites of God storing our tears in a bottle. This could provide an action. An eye dropper is an effective way to deliver drops of water (symbolic tears) if some precision is needed about where they land. If not then fingers may well be suitable. Symbolic tears could be dropped into a bottle (try to find an attractive one which is transparent to allow the ‘tears’ to be seen. A flask or a caraffe might be suitable rather than a fairly standard thin-necked bottle. ‘Tears’ could be dropped onto objects or words or pictures as a way to specify symbolically the occasion of, or reason for, lament. People could be invited to moisten a cheek below their eye to symbolise tears. The dropping action could accompany particular words in a liturgy and be done in such a way as to be seen by most people present or it could be even more fully participatory and members of the congregation could be invited to come to where the tears may be dropped to drop them themselves.

Tolling a bell. Most people in western cultures would associate a single bell tolling slowly with an occasion of mourning, and this association is the basis for this symbolic suggestion. It could be done as a standalone action, perhaps with a symbolic number of rings. It could be done to accompany particular liturgical words.

Slow walk. Funeral processions often have a slow walk. This could be used and is most effective if done silently. It is probably most effective to be done with participants wearing sombre clothing and/or mourning armbands and with some people carrying some kind of symbolic object to make evident the occasion for mourning.

Penitential parade. This could be similar to the slow walk though there might be other actions accompanying it and perhaps a litany being recited as the walk takes place. It is recommended that if a litany is used, that the call and responses be clear and fairly succinct to enable onlookers and over-hearers to get a sense of what it is about. This might be an action that would suit a bell tolling or a unified action.

Cairn-raising. This is a traditional funereal practice in some parts of the world -placing small rocks and large stones over a body. The association with remembering and commemorating is widely understood and so inviting people to help to build a cairn to remember extinct species, for example, could be helpful.

Composting griefs. This in simple terms would involve writing griefs, words of lament onto a compostable material (using a non-toxic writing/drawing medium) and burying them or placing them into a compost bin or similar. The symbolism could be taken to be a recognition that our laments can become something that may in due course nourish life.

Earth Overshoot days

Earth Overshoot Day is the date in the year when humanity’s use of planetary resources and  ecological services in a given year exceeds what Earth's ecosystems can regenerate or replace in that year. In 2021, it falls on 29 July. Individual countries will also have different national dates most in the West will be well before July. The liturgy below is offered to be used in part or in whole for penitential-feeling gatherings for prayer. The materials are made available under Creative Commons licence to be freely used for non-profit purposes though please acknowledge the source with a link to this page and please put emendations and additions into the comments to share-alike. You can find ideas for symbolic Actions and rituals on another page on this site.

As we pray on this day when we recognise that we humans have collectively begun to use up more of the earth’s resources than can be replenished in a year, we gather in penitence. We recognise our greed, our pride and our selfishness. We recognise our lack of charity to our neighbours who consume so much less. We are appalled by the harms that we have built into our ways of life and infrastructure. We are penitent before our future selves, our children and their children.

Creator God, we are in awe of the cosmos you have made: its vastness, its minuteness, its beauty, its intricacy. You are Good:

Hallowed be your name

O God, how gracious you are -bestowing upon us good gifts we don’t even deserve. You are Good:

Hallowed be your name.

How merciful you are -overlooking our unwholesomeness to hold us in good relation with you. You are Good:

Hallowed be your name

Your compassion is wide and deep -slow to be offended and quick to mend our brokenness. You are Good:

Hallowed be your name

You delight in all you have made and generously invite us to share in your delight. You are Good:

Hallowed be your name

——————————-

Woe to us because humans are moving the created boundaries: exploiting natural systems faster than they can regenerate.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to us because human enterprise is financing its growth and development by liquidating the biophysical “capital” essential to our own existence.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to us because our lifeways are dumping waste faster than nature can absorb and recycle them.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to those who delay collective effort to reduce atmospheric carbon.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to those who overturn the godly wisdom of our forebears. O God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to those who harm their neighbours by unseen pollutants.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to those who take reward from injury to the integrity of nature.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to those who finance the extraction of fossil carbon and its emission into the air.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to those who take reward to foul the land or sea or air.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to those who take reward to mislead by greenwash and disinformation.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to those who devise and promulgate laws which harm God’s good earth and its living creatures.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

Woe to those who employ algorithm or trick of mind to delay our collective efforts to justly reach net zero.

God, be gracious:

Amen: save us and help us.

————————

As ecosystems fray and wither,

Our concerns grow

Like water in a rising tide.

As soils erode and become poorer,

Our concerns grow

Like water in a rising tide.

As poisons accumulate and pollutants spread,

Our concerns grow

Like water in a rising tide.

Knowing the frailty of the systems that bring us our daily bread

Our concerns grow

Like water in a rising tide.

As the air heats, the oceans warm and biomes move,

Our concerns grow

Like water in a rising tide.

As we observe the growth of deserts

Our concerns grow

Like water in a rising tide.

As we see the loss of glaciers and diminishment of polar ice,

Our concerns grow

Like water in a rising tide.

We cast our anxieties upon you, generous and faithful God

You open your hand:

supply us in season

Wise us up to respond

Grace us to share your provision

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
Into what will sustain earthly life, lead us

————————

Hearing again the woeful consequences as we err and stray from the ways of wisdom …

Mindful that tipping points into runaway environmental feedback effects glower above our heads…

let us throw ourselves upon the mercy and grace of God.

Bewailing and lamenting the saws at the trees, the fires of fossil carbon, the droughts ever more frequent and storms increasingly tempestuous, we return with anguish of heart to our Creator and Upholder.

Pause.

Who can we turn to for help but to you, O God -who shares our righteous indignation for these sins?

When we have followed too uncritically the habits of our nurture in housing and transport, diet and energy use:

Forgive us and make us afresh your true fellow-workers

when we continued complicity with financial and organisational failures to account for ecocidal business models:

Forgive us and make us afresh your true fellow-workers

when we have failed to push back against the influencers and greenwashers promoting and normalising unsustainable lifestyles and aspirations:

Forgive us and make us afresh your true fellow-workers

when we have unquestioningly accepted bad laws and have not pressed for better laws.

Forgive us and make us afresh your true fellow-workers

Blessed are they whom the Lord forgives, whom God softens with compassion and fiercens with boldness for the poor and the planet.

For they live in the kindom of God

Blessed are they who fend off apathy, censoriousness and hard-heartedness

For they live in the kindom of God

Blessed are they who pursue justice: the righting of wrongs; restoring true peace.

For they live in the kindom of God.

Blessed are they who nurture life and the relationships that support it

For they live in the kindom of God.

Blessed are they who consume as planetary good neighbours

For they live in the kindom of God

Blessed are they who reuse, recycle and reduce their consumption

For they live in the kindom of God

Blessed are they who pursue the way of the cross, the path of nonviolence.

For they live in the kindom of God

————————

Keep us, Creator of nature’s cycles, from wasteful habits, steer us from carbon fuel conformity, defend us from the wiles of adverts, deflect us from unsustainable choices.

Lead us into gracious and merciful living;
generous and respectful within all you have made.
As we contemplate your creation, O God,
we see wildness and order,
chance and necessity,
Freedom and limits.
Grant us to use lovingly our freedoms
to be wise in living the order of things
And wary of our vulnerability to misleadings.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory.
Now and forever, amen

Jesus comes to us and says, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
He breathes on us and says; “Receive the Holy Spirit”
       ….Pause, breathe in, recognising God’s Spirit is with us.
Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God
Who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Climate office

This was imagined originally to be used with online learning events and potentially at IRL events where concern for the climate emergency is in mind. It is envisaged that the first section of the order of prayer is used at the beginning and then the majority of the session takes place and in the last five minutes or so the final prayers would be used to round of the event.

We come with faith:

and we seek understanding.

We come with doubts:

and we seek understanding

We come with griefs:

and we seek understanding;

Of our own hearts and misdesirings:

we seek understanding.

Of your ways and will:

we seek understanding.

For pre-empting the dangers of this present darkness:

we seek understanding.

-scriptures, discussion, reflections …

The world is charged with your grandeur, O God:

It flames out, like shining from shook foil.

We lift our hearts:

For your Spirit is with us.

You remember we are but dust

Tenderly you hold us

You know us with compassion and mercy

Hallowed be your name.

We recall the glimpses of God’s goodness, grace and love

We grieve for fraying the web of life we love.

We rail at the losses we contemplate.

We place before God the losses and concerns of our hearts  …

Transform our prospects

Turn our grief to solidarity

Bringing to God the campaigns we hold dear. (For example: this prayer guide)

Still the Breath of Life over the bent world broods

with warm breast and bright wings

Holding before God the people who protest … (some information here)

The work before us is daunting and hard.

Provision us for the labour

As we set our hands to remedy human ill.

Considering before God what we need collectively & individually in seeking truth, justice and charity

Equip us and strengthen us

To lean into the flourishing of life on earth.

We long for words of comfort,

yet find them hard to hear.

Knowing we are emmeshed in the harming of your creation,

Redeem our failures

Bind up the wounds of past mistakes.

Recycle your forgiveness of us

Into our forgiveness of others.

Rework our anger as energy for repair of the world

Refashion our guilt as active love.

And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

Wherever we will tread is crammed with heaven

And every common bush afire with God.

(with acknowledgements to Gerard Manley Hopkins, Elizabeth Barret Browning and Common Worship)

Pray5-4-5 for #Thy Kingdom Come

During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, between 13 and 23 May 2021, we are being encouraged to pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus. Since the Lord’s prayer has five main sections we could use those five parts to pray for each of our five people. Underneath this introduction, there’s a set of prompts to assist you in using the Lord’s prayer structure as a way to pray for your people. Five phases of prayer for each of five people: 5-4-5.

In each section following there’s a short description of the kind of praying you might undertake in each phase of the prayer and then, in the section with the left-side stripe, an example of how that phase might look as prayer. To help keep it more personal-sounding, I’ve used a name -Kim- rather than put N or something like that. Kim is a name that could be male or female, so I’ve also used ‘their’ as the pronoun.

As you read the examples, you will probably -rightly- understand that praying like this will take some reflection and therefore time. The Lord’s prayer is a ‘we/us’ prayer, however it’s probably the case that you will mostly be praying when you’re on your own, so the examples reflect that in using mostly ‘I/me’ language.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Give thanks for your ‘prayee’ and especially for the ways that you see God at work in them.

I remember before you my friend Kim with thanks for their support and helpfulness to me. I praise you that where there is love, you are present and so I rejoice to see that. It’s great also to remember that their concern for the environment mirrors your own longing for the integrity of creation and nurture of all you have made. I’m grateful for our relationship.

God who loves us both deeply: hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Think about the person before God: what God might be doing in them next? -That’s your prayer.

As I reflect on Kim before you, I wonder whether their concern for the environment is seeded by your Spirit. So I ask that the eyes of their heart might be opened to begin to see us and the environment as your creation and you the wellspring of life. Help them to connect that passion in their own hearts with your heart.

Your kingdom come: your will be done in them.

Give us today our daily bread.

Ask God for the means to serve your prayee and for insight into how to relate the Good News to them.

Enable Kim and me to connect more deeply around environmental concern. Give me a deeper concern and understanding of your deep love for your wider creation and to learn to rejoice in what you have made. Grow wisdom in us to know how best to share that with Kim not to be off-putting but attractive.

Provide the means to do your will: give us our daily bread

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us

Confess any problematic thoughts, words or deeds towards them. Release any unworthy attitudes on your part.

I recognise that I have been dismissive of Kim’s concern and failed to recognise that you might have inspired it. I have been unheeding of that concern of yours in my own heart. Forgive me, turn me and I shall be turned. Forgive me too that I have thought of more of how I might give the gospel to Kim rather than how I might discover what you are doing in them and aligning with that, I’m sorry for the mistakes that has led me into with Kim. I also let go of the negative reaction I have had to Kim when we have argued partly as a result of that, I understand better now.

Your mission in love means forgiving: teach us both to receive and to pass it on.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Ask for God’s guidance and wisdom in relating well to them, and to help keep you from unhelpful ways of relating to them.

I recognise my temptation to avoid or dismiss Kim’s concerns. Help me to be aware of that and enable me to find ways to share Kim’s concerns with integrity. Help me to find you in those concerns. Steer me away from being silent when I should be sharing and from talking when I should be listening. Help me to know the difference.

Move us forward in your will: keep us from wrong turns and ending in bad places.

Then ‘rinse and repeat’ as they say; try the same process with each of those five you are praying for. And as you enter into the flow of using the shape of the Lord’s prayer for regular prayer, you might want to consider some of the forms of prayer elsewhere on this sight. God bless you as you pray.

Prayers from the pandemic

During the lockdown period, Green Christians had an online course ‘Radical Presence’ the sessions began and ended with prayers. These prayers are repro’d here.

Each session’s opening prayers were the same. The closing prayers varied slightly week to week according to the main topic and readings. The bold lines are to be said together. Italics generally give guidance. There is a ‘consolidated’ single version here.

Opening liturgy

Together with all in Christ, we wait
Come Holy Spirit; soak into our deepest being
We reflect together with all your people
Come Holy Spirit; breeze through our staleness
We will hear the scriptures together
Come Holy Spirit; fire up our imaginations for good
There follows a moment of quiet, and then Bible reading/s and reflection

A canticle may be said.

Forms for the different sessions follow.

Jordan | Kairos | Flesh | Contagion | Womb | Tomb | Emmaus

“Jordan” (Threshold of Freedom) Session

We did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves to fear
By your Spirit, You hold us as your children
God of compassion and all comfort
We rest in your loving-kindness, O God
Hallowed be your name in the Beloved, by the Spirit
As in the beginning so now and forever. Amen.

We ask for God’s eternal-life-giving to be known in our world in this
between-the-moments time, saying: Living God
change the world for good
For the unemployed and less-employed, provoke the breaking out of
means to live well; Living God
change the world for good
Among households, young and old, well and infirm together in unfamiliar
life patterns, inspire wisdom, forbearance and joy; Living God
change the world for good.
Strengthen the prophetic voices and embolden the visionaries of
business as better than we’re used-to; Living God
change the world for good.
Other biddings, out-loud or in heart-quiet, may be added here, ending
each
:
Living God
change the world for good
We desire courage of ourselves to wait and to face the future; Living
God
change the world for good
…Pause, holding before God our own needs …
O God, your unstinting providence sustains the world, our societies, our
living: Take care for us, and keep us ever mindful that our common weal
flows from each other’s toil and care. Amen.
Full-lively God, we come to you sorrowing for our weaknesses and
unbelief.
Recollection of what we need to confess.
We have failed to live the new life of Christ.
Merciful God, forgive us.
And restore us to life.
When we have laid others in the tomb of our unforgiveness.
Forgive them, Merciful God
And restore us to life-giving.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us God’s peace and forgiveness.
A moment for quiet reflection on our forgiveness.
Jesus comes to us and says, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent
me, so I send you.’
He breathes on us and says; ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’
….Pause to reflect on Christ’s presence and call before we return to
the rest of our lives.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God
Who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Kairos: Moment of truth -Session 2

We did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves to fear
By your Spirit, You hold us as your children
God of compassion and all comfort
We rest in your loving-kindness, O God
Hallowed be your name in the Beloved, by the Spirit
As in the beginning so now and forever. Amen.

We ask for God’s eternal-life-giving to be known in our world in this
between-the-moments time, saying: Living God
change the world for good
Bring to life the hope-bearing ideas that lie dormant in this time of
formless void; Living God
change the world for good
In our world’s global community, in our world’s living systems,
strengthen ecological resilience; Living God
change the world for good.
Among those who are alone, intimate your loving presence; Living God
change the world for good.
Other biddings, out-loud or in heart-quiet, may be added here, ending
each
:
Living God
change the world for good
In our needs and weakness in our provision and supply, Living God:
change the world for good.
… holding before God our own needs …
O God, your unstinting providence sustains the world, our societies, our
living: Take care for us, and keep us ever mindful that our common weal
flows from each other’s toil and care. Amen.
Full-lively God, we come to you sorrowing for our weaknesses and
unbelief.
Recollection of what we need to confess.
We have sheltered in the deathly hollows away from the opportune
moments that bring life.
Merciful God, forgive us.
And restore us to life.
Where we have held others in unforgiveness, withholding words of life.
Forgive them and us, Merciful God
And restore us to life-giving.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of
God.
A moment for quiet reflection on our forgiveness.
Jesus comes to us and says, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent
me, so I send you.’ He breathes on us and says; ‘Receive the Holy
Spirit
….Pause to reflect on Christ’s presence and call before we return to
the rest of our lives.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God
Who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Flesh: The vulnerable body of Christ -session 3

We did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves to fear
By your Spirit, You hold us as your children
God of compassion and all comfort
We rest in your loving-kindness, O God
Hallowed be your name in the Beloved, by the Spirit
As in the beginning so now and forever. Amen.

We ask for God’s eternal-life-giving to be known in our world in this
between-the-moments time, saying: Living God
change the world for good
In your church, waiting indoors in viral fear and for love of neighbour,
grow generous, articulate and timely witness; Living God
change the world for good
Among the infected, the exposed and the vulnerable; call up strength
and healing, support and protection; Living God
change the world for good
Let those who speak for health of planet and people be heard above the
din of commerce and the roar of industry; Living God
change the world for good
Other biddings, out-loud or in heart-quiet, may be added here, ending
each:

Living God
change the world for good
In our needs and weakness in our provision and supply, Living God:
change the world for good.
… holding before God our own needs …
O God, your unstinting providence sustains the world, our societies, our
living: Take care for us, and keep us ever mindful that our common weal
flows from each other’s toil and care. Amen.
God who shared our vulnerability, we are ashamed for our weaknesses
and unbelief.
Recollection of what we need to confess.
We have not well resisted the death-dealing systems of this present age,
and failed to enact ourselves in the life-giving lore of Christ.
Merciful God, forgive us.
And restore us to life.
When we have entombed others in unforgiveness, withholding words of
life.
Forgive them, Merciful God
And restore us to life-giving.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of
God.
A moment for quiet reflection on our forgiveness.
Jesus comes to us and says, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent
me, so I send you.’
He breathes on us and says; ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’
….Pause to reflect on Christ’s presence and call before we return to
the rest of our lives.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God
Who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Contagion: Curse or mercy? -Session 4

We did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves to fear
By your Spirit, You hold us as your children
God of compassion and all comfort
We rest in your loving-kindness, O God
Hallowed be your name in the Beloved, by the Spirit
As in the beginning so now and forever. Amen.

We ask for God’s eternal-life-giving to be known in our world in this
between-the-moments time, saying: Living God
change the world for good
Where there are people infected, exposed and vulnerable; mobilise
healing, support and protection; Living God
change the world for good
In deliberations of the powerful, amplify compassionate thinking and
wise discernment leading to courageous action; Living God
change the world for good.
Among essential workers, labouring with threat of illness, wrest for them
protection and continued provision; Living God
change the world for good.
For those whose home is not a place of safety, open up refuge and
security, Living God
change the world for good.
Other biddings, out-loud or in heart-quiet, may be added here, ending
each:

Living God
change the world for good
In our need and fearfulness, in our provision and comforting, Living
God:
change the world for good.

… holding before God our own needs …
O God, your unstinting providence sustains the world, our societies, our
living: Take care for us, and keep us ever mindful that our common weal
flows from each other’s toil and care. Amen.


Comapssionate God, we come to you desperate for your mercy.
Recollection of what we need to confess.
We have shied away from living the peace of the risen Christ.
Merciful God, forgive us.
And restore us to life.
Where we have enshrouded others and You in our spiritual distancing.
Forgive us, Merciful God
And restore us to life-giving.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of
God.
A moment for quiet reception of our forgiveness.
Jesus comes to us and says, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent
me, so I send you.’ He breathes on us and says; ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’
….Pause to reflect on Christ’s presence and call before we return to
the rest of our lives.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God
Who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Womb” session 5.

We did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves to fear
By your Spirit, You hold us as your children
God of compassion and all comfort
We rest in your loving-kindness, O God
Hallowed be your name in the Beloved, by the Spirit
As in the beginning so now and forever. Amen.

We ask for God’s eternal-life-giving to be known in our world in this
between-the-moments time, saying: Living God
change the world for good
As we wait indoors, gestate new life for future response and present
ministry; Living God
change the world for good
For the unemployed and less-employed, break out the means to live
well; Living God
change the world for good.
Where young and old, well and infirm are held together in unfamiliar life
patterns, inspire wisdom, forbearance and joy; Living God
change the world for good
Nurture among us the treasures of confinement, birth business not as
usual but as you shall see it on earth as in heaven; Living God
change the world for good.
Other biddings, out-loud or in heart-quiet, may be added here, ending
each:

Living God
change the world for good
In our vulnerability and dependence, Living God:
change the world for good.
… holding before God our own needs …
O God, your unstinting providence sustains the world, our societies, our
living: Take care for us, and keep us ever mindful that our common weal
flows from each other’s toil and care. Amen.
Full-lively God, we come to you for grace and mercy.
Recollection of what we need to confess.
We have railed against our confinements, so missing what you would
grow in us.
Merciful God, forgive us.
And restore us to life.
When we have resisted giving grace, though expecting it for ourselves.
Forgive us, Merciful God
And restore us to life-giving.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of
God.
A moment for quiet reflection on our forgiveness.

Jesus comes to us and says, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent
me, so I send you.’ He breathes on us and says; ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’
….Pause to reflect on Christ’s presence and call before we return to
the rest of our lives.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God
Who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tomb: awaiting resurrection -Session 6

We did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves to fear
By your Spirit, You hold us as your children
God of compassion and all comfort
We rest in your loving-kindness, O God
Hallowed be your name in the Beloved, by the Spirit
As in the beginning so now and forever. Amen.

We ask for God’s eternal-life-giving to be known in our world in this
between-the-moments time, saying: Living God
change the world for good.
When we come forth, unbind us and give us to our neighbours for
business not as usual but as you shall see it on earth as in heaven;
Living God
change the world for good.
Open us to the tears of the wider world, let them bring us to
compassionate service; Living God
change the world for good.
Wisen us to co-create fitting honours for those who have died and to
deepen capacity for collective lament; Living God
change the world for good.
Underline in hearts and minds the connections between this crisis and
the continued dying of the ecosystem; Living God
change the world for good.
Other biddings, out-loud or in heart-quiet, may be added here, ending
each:

Living God
change the world for good
In our seeming insufficiencies, in our finding provision, Living God:
change the world for good.
… holding before God our own needs …
O God, your unstinting providence sustains the world, our societies, our
living: Take care for us, and keep us ever mindful that our common weal
flows from each other’s toil and care. Amen.
Full-lively God, we come to you sorrowing for our weaknesses and
unbelief.
Recollection of what we need to confess.
We have colluded with sin and death, and failed to step out into risen
life.
Merciful God, forgive us.
And restore us to life.
Where we have been withholding from others mercy, grace and words
of life.
Forgive us, Merciful God
And restore us to life-giving.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of
God.
A moment for quiet reflection on our forgiveness.
Through our tears and our laughter, our fears and our hope; Living God
change the world for good.

Jesus comes to us and says, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent
me, so I send you.’
He breathes on us and says; ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’
….Pause to reflect on Christ’s presence and call before we return to
the rest of our lives
.
Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God
Who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Emmaus: distance and embrace -Session 7

We did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves to fear
By your Spirit, You hold us as your children
God of compassion and all comfort
We rest in your loving-kindness, O God
Hallowed be your name in the Beloved, by the Spirit
As in the beginning so now and forever. Amen.

We ask for God’s eternal-life-giving to be known in our world in this
between-the-moments time, saying: Living God
change the world for good
Foster discernment and provide the means to expose the false stories
that offer legitimacy to destructive practices and habits; Living God
change the world for good
Among all your people, warm the hearts of poets and fire up the zeal of
prophets to win minds and allegiances; Living God
change the world for good
Work healing into our atmosphere, seas and the living systems of the
world; Living God
change the world for good
Raise up solidarity, salve hurting minds and hearts and unseat the forces
arrayed against us; Living God
change the world for good.
Other biddings, out-loud or in heart-quiet, may be added here, ending
each
:
Living God
change the world for good
In our our needs, be our provider, Living God:
change the world for good.
… holding before God our own needs …
O God, your unstinting providence sustains the world, our societies, our
living: Take care for us, and keep us ever mindful that our common weal
flows from each other’s toil and care. Amen.
Full-lively God, we come to you sorrowing for our weaknesses and
unbelief.
Recollection of what we need to confess.
Where we have embraced deathliness, and distanced the new life of the
risen Christ.
Merciful God, forgive us.
And restore us to life.
Where we have distanced others by unforgiveness withholding the
embrace of grace.
Forgive us, Merciful God
And restore us to life-giving.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of
God.
A moment for quiet reflection on our forgiveness.

Jesus comes to us and says, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent
me, so I send you.’
He breathes on us and says; ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’
….Pause to reflect on Christ’s presence and call before we return to
the rest of our lives.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God
Who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Exodos

My soul magnifies Your name O Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
You have looked with favour on this lowly servant.
You have remembered your promise of mercy
… Songs and/or words of praise and thanksgiving could be shared here…
Almighty, you have done great things for us
and holy is your name.

Let us catch glimpses of heaven today; inspire us to  sense how your will may be transfused into our world’s life, as we pray now.
… concerns for the good of people and events are brought before God, silently or aloud 
Compassionate God, may your will be done:
on earth as in heaven.

We seek your kingdom and righteousness, give all things needful to us in our seeking
 sharing of needs in silence or aloud…
In our asking for your provision, Generous God, may your will be done:
on earth as in heaven

Just as the Lord has forgiven us, so we also must forgive.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Thanks be to God

 I will listen to what the Lord God will say
for God shall speak peace to his people
to the faithful shall God speak
that they do not turn again to folly
           [from Psalm 85:8].

One of the following scriptures is read

Matthew 11.28-30 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 6.21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 4.12 Jesus answered “It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

Matthew 10.32-33  “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

1 Corinthians 10.13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

       Time for reflection

The word that goes out from God’s mouth
shall not return empty,
it shall accomplish God’s purpose,
and succeed in what it is sent to do.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because God has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
God has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.
            [ Luke 4:17-19 and Isaiah 61:1-2 ]

As we seek to walk in the Spirit, let us pause before the likely events and involvements and the unpredictable happenings that face us.

Since we live by the Spirit,
let us keep in step with the Spirit.
           [Gal 5:25 ]
Now to you who by the power at work within us are able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to you be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
           [Eph.3:21]

Return

We did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves to fear
We received the Spirit of adoption
Your Spirit, O God, testifies with ours that we are your children:
By your Spirit we cry “Abba! Father”
Your Spirit hovered over the unformed creation, and overshadowed Mary as the Christ was enwombed, and now your Holy Spirit flares up among us assuring that we are your children, intimating at our core your delight in us,
Our God In heaven, father and mother to us:
Hallowed be your name!

In our world’s global community, in our world’s living systems;
Living God:
glorify your name.
In your church as we proclaim your new life in thought and word and deed;
Living God:
glorify your name.
Among all whose lives our lives touch, friends, colleagues and families;
Living God:
glorify your name.
In this world of sin and death, and yet of blessings and common grace;
Living God:
glorify your name.

In our laughter, and tears, in our fear and our hope;
Living God:
Glorify your name.
                                          [rewritten from a prayer in Patterns of Worship, 1995].

        Concerns for the life of the world may be voiced

 We will hear the scriptures together
Come Holy Spirit; fire up our imaginations for good

As we hear the scripture, change our hearts, correct our course and draw us into your counsel.
Ready us for service and steady us in wisdom,
Amen.

 One of the following scriptures is read

1 Corinthians 13.4-5 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

1 Corinthians 13.6-7 [ Love ] does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Matthew 7:1-3 “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?

Matthew 7:1-3 “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?

        Time for reflection

We confess with sorrow that we have collaborated with the fallen powers of this world knowingly or unwittingly deliberately or from fearful weakness. We have held others in the tomb of our unforgiveness. …
We are mortified.
We repent in dust and ashes.
We turn afresh to the way of Christ,
the way of the cross
the way of life-giving wisdom.
Heal us and we shall be healed.
Save us and we shall be saved.

Luke 5:20 When he saw their faith, Jesus said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”

Jesus comes to us and says,
‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’
He breathes on us and says; ‘Receive the Holy Spirit….’

       Pause to reflect on Christ’s risen presence with us and call to us

Let us bless the Lord
Thanks be to God
Who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.