Reverend Sarah Fanning's Blog

Prayers and Reflections for Maundy Thursday

Prayers and Reflections for Maundy Thursday: April 9, 2020

Call to Worship & Opening Prayer: [ Adapted from Gord Waldie ]

God is the light in our darkness. [ Light a candle]
As we gather for this meal, we light a flame to remind us of God’s presence,
to remind us that God is part of our circle, and part of our worship.
     May the flickering light of this flame
     sustain us as the story of our faith grows darker.
Let us pray:
     God of life, open our hearts to your love.
     Open our eyes to see the world around us as you see it.
     Open our souls that we would be willing
     to embrace the path of servanthood.
     We pray in the name of Jesus,
     who is our servant Lord. Amen.

Music for Singing or Listening:

Voices United # 593 Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love

Voices United # 948 O Lord, Hear My Prayer

Voices United # 130 An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare

Scripture Readings:

John 13:1-17, 31b-35

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Hand-washing Prayer: [ from Rabbi Joseph Meszler ]

Wash your hands, and as you do, say this prayer:

As I take up my hands to wash them and reassure my heart,
I pray for healing and wholeness for the whole world.
I remember that every life is unique and of infinite value:
from those living on the most remote part of the globe
to those in our cities, to our neighbors and family members.
Let me use my hands for good to help bring love
and compassion to others.
“Let us lift up our hearts and hands to the Eternal.” (Lam 3:41)

Poem:

Holy Thursday: Blessing You Cannot Turn Back

Meal:

As you eat your meal, do so remembering your friends, your family, and your
community of faith. Do so knowing that while we may physically be apart, we are
connected to one another through our love and service.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession: [ Adapted from www.pcusa.org ]

Loving, listening God, ever-attentive to the voices of those in need,
we call on your name: Holy God,
     hear our prayers.

For the church that bears Christ’s name, that the world may know we are his
disciples by the love that we have for one another. Holy God,
     hear our prayers.

For leaders of nations and all persons in positions of authority,
that their lives may be marked by Christ-like service and love. Holy God,
     hear our prayers.

For all who are oppressed and living in captivity,
that they may escape from evil and death
to find the land of freedom you have promised. Holy God,
     hear our prayers.

For those who are hungry and thirsty this day and for those who have too much,
that we may learn to share your generous gifts, Holy God,
     hear our prayers.

For those who are dealing with loss or facing death,
that the presence of Christ may bless and keep them. Holy God,
     hear our prayers.

The Lord’s Prayer:

Words only, Voices United # 921

Sung Version, Voices United # 959 The Lord's Prayer by David Haas

Closing

While we extinguish this candle,
we affirm that the light of Christ can never be put out.
May God’s love and grace be with us all.
Amen.

April 5 Worship from Home

Prayers and Reflections for Palm Sunday: April 5, 2020

[This may begin with the lighting of a Candle] Palm Frond to Colour & Cut Out

Call to Worship & Opening Prayer: [ Adapted from Seasons of the Spirit L/E 2011 ]

“Tell them that I need it,” Jesus said.
I need humble ones to carry my life,
to bring hope to the people.
Who will carry the Christ today?
     We will be love.
Who will bring hope to the people?
We will be love.
Stay beside me now as I travel,
for tomorrow the way may not be so welcoming.
     We will be love.
Let us pray:
     As we proclaim our Hosannas,
     and sing our praise,
     we join the stones that cry out in joy,
     the trees that wave their branches in delight,
     and the birds that burst into song.
     We remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem,
     and we give you thanks, O God,
     for you are among the people. Amen.

Music for Singing or Listening:

Voices United # 122 All Glory, Laud and Honour

Voices United # 123 Hosanna, Loud Hosanna

Voices United # 127 Ride On! Ride On in Majesty!

Voices United # 124 He Came Riding on a Donkey

Scripture Reading:

Matthew 21:1-11

Video Reflection:

No Wonder

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession:

[Adapted from Seasons of the Spirit L/E 2008 ]

Compassionate God,
we lift our palms of praise with those who first sang out,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
Like them, each hand that holds a palm has a heart that holds a story -
a story of pain, of disappointment, of sorrow.
We share those stories with you now...
We pray to you, O God,
     save us, O God.

Prince of Peace,
You came in humble obedience and walked the path of enduring love,
even in the face of violent rejection.
We confess that it is difficult to follow your path of peace
and the violent road of abuse and war
is all too familiar to us.
We long for your peace, O God...
We pray to you, O God,
     save us, O God.

Saving God,
we trust in your goodness and believe your desire
is for all of creation to be held in your redeeming love.
Use us, Holy One,
to bring comfort to those who mourn,
to share healing love to those who are sick,
and to work for justice for those who are oppressed.
We wait now for your Spirit...
We pray to you, O God,
     save us, O God.

The Lord’s Prayer:

Words only, Voices United # 921
Sung Version, Voices United # 959 The Lord's Prayer by David Haas

Closing

While we extinguish this candle,
we affirm that the light of Christ can never be put out.
May God’s love and grace be with us all.
Amen.

March 29 Worship from Home

Prayers and Reflections for March 29, 2020

[This may begin with the lighting of a Candle]

Call to Worship & Opening Prayer:

His friend, Lazarus, died.
And Jesus wept.
     He didn’t hide how he felt.
     He didn’t pretend that he wasn’t sad.
     Jesus wept.
Fred Rogers acted as Jesus did:
     reminding us that feelings are ‘okay’ -
     happy ones, sad ones,
     angry ones - all our feelings.
     No matter how we feel,
     we can share them.
Let us pray:
     Help us, O God, to express how we feel
     with honesty and respect;
     to cry when we are sad, to laugh when we are happy;
     to support one another with kindness and compassion.
     Walk with us on this Lenten journey
     and help us to become more like Jesus. Amen.

Music for Singing or Listening:

Voices United # 619 Healer of Our Every Ill
Voices United # 409 Morning Has Broken
Voices United # 352 I Danced in the Morning
Voices United # 382 Breathe on Me, Breath of God

Scripture Reading:

John 11:1-45

Video Reflection:

Life from Death

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession:

[Adapted from a prayer at: https://www.rca.org/]

O God, who always listens to us, who breathes new life into us,

    call us forward to resurrection.

We are surrounded by a world of dry bones,
a world of death and despair,
a world where it is easy to lose hope in our structures, ourselves, and you.
We pray for this world in need of your presence...

O God, who always listens to us, who breathes new life into us,
     call us forward to resurrection.

We are surrounded by people with dried up lives,
people unable to see your life past their tears.
We pray for this world in need of your healing presence:
for those who are imprisoned or alone, those ill, or grieving.
We remember those who are caring for others:
for doctors, nurses, and caregivers…
for grocery store and pharmacy staff...

O God, who always listens to us, who breathes new life into us,
     call us forward to resurrection.

We are spellbound by those dry bones,
terrified of the stink of death,
and often too dumbfounded to call forth life in your name.
We pray for the numerous communities of faith,
as well as for our governments as they seek to give leadership...

O God, who always listens to us, who breathes new life into us,
     call us forward to resurrection.

The Lord’s Prayer:

Words only, Voices United # 921

Sung Version, Voices United # 959 The Lord's Prayer by David Haas

Closing

While we extinguish this candle,
we affirm that the light of Christ can never be put out.
May God’s love and grace be with us all.
Amen.


 

March 22 Worship at Home

Prayers and Reflections for March 22, 2020

[This may begin with the lighting of a Candle]

Call to Worship & Opening Prayer:

Jesus healed the man born blind using the stuff of life:
dirt and spit, mixed with a blessing and a reminder to wash.
Those around him questioned the man,
blaming his lack of sight on some unknown sin
they felt he needed forgiveness for.

Fred Rogers acted as Jesus did:
modelling that there are times we need forgiveness -
for the times we’ve hurt one another;
for the times we’ve held grudges;
for the ways we hold on to our pain.

Let us pray:
Help us, O God, to let go of our hurts,
disappointments, and anger;
to forgive one another, and to forgive ourselves,
that we might experience healing in body and soul,
as the blind man did.
Walk with us on this Lenten journey
and help us to become more like Jesus. Amen.

Music for Singing or Listening:

Voices United # 619 Healer of Our Every Ill
Voices United # 605 Jesus, Teacher, Brave and Bold
Voices United # 266 Amazing Grace
Voices United # 642 Be Thou My Vision

Scripture Reading:

John 9:1-41

Video Reflection:

Dirt, Spit, and the Blessing in the Muck

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession:

[Written by Katherine L. Kussmaul as shared at www.liturgylink.net ]

Holy One, Bridger of Distance, Connector of Beings,
hear our prayer…

In the midst of non-stop news stories
about illness and scarcity, press conferences and cancellations…
grant us quiet in our minds.

In the midst of heightened anxiety
about caregivers and caregiving, about health and hygiene,
grant us calm in our hearts.

In the midst of opposing views:
close doors or stay open,reach out or hunker down…
grant us peace in our spirits.

In the midst of distance in our families, our faith communities,
in all our relationships with others…
grant us connection in our separation.

In the midst of our lives:
our gratitude and concerns, our hopes and longings…
grant us an abiding sense of Your Comfort.

[A silent prayer may be offered here]

The Lord’s Prayer:

Words only, Voices United # 921

Sung Version, Voices United # 959 The Lord's Prayer by David Haas

Closing

While we extinguish this candle,
we affirm that the light of Christ can never be put out.
May God’s love and grace be with us all.

Amen.