The Time after Pentecost / Ordinary Time – Liturgical Text – 57.1

These liturgical texts are appropriate for use throughout the time after Pentecost and may be repeated from week to week.

Confession and Lament Sequences

Because we know that God has called us beloved
before our greatest accomplishments
and our worst failures,
we are set free to see the world as it is
and to see ourselves as we are,
without shame, with clarity and purpose.
In that clarity, let us lament the ways
that all is not as God wants it to be.

Faithful God,
we grieve with those who feel abandoned and lonely,
marginalized because of who they are,
poverty-stricken or unhoused,
left behind by systems of privilege and power.
We lament our attempts
to make you in our image
rather than seeking to reflect your love.
We confess forgetting
that we are all your beloved children.
We confess looking elsewhere
for the security that can come only from you,
and in so doing, causing others to face physical,
spiritual, and emotional violence.
We confess maintaining structures and systems
because they are convenient or we are tired.
May we find our identity in you,
and in that identity, find solidarity
with all those you love, O God.

Hope in God!
For with God there is steadfast love
and great power to redeem.
The God who knows our coming and our going
made us with love and loves us still;
God both forgives our failure to love
and desires love for each of us.
Thanks be to God.

With what can we compare God’s kin-dom?
It is unlike anything we could ever imagine.
God judges the world with righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
We approach God with trust,
for God will never forsake those who ask, seek, and knock.

God, we ask you to make clear to us
the ways greed, prejudice, and suspicion
shape our relationships.
We lament the ways our biases
and the systems they uphold
cause daily harm to our siblings.
Let us not obstruct the way of another.
O God, hear our prayer.

God, we seek your wisdom
for how to wield power in this world.
Some of us need your power
to lift the oppressive burden;
others need freedom from the kind of power
that corrupts and takes captive.
As we seek your liberation,
let us not neglect those most impacted
by the oppressions of our society,
for when they are free, we are all free.
O God, hear our prayer.

God, we knock and knock.
We are desperate and dismayed.
Some feel that you have turned your face
and forgotten them forever.
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O God, and be gracious.
Do not let us ignore each other’s cries
or disregard those who have suffered long,
even as we address those with more immediate need.
O God, hear our prayer.

We approach God with confidence,
for the love of Christ urges us on.
Christ died for all,
so that those who live
might live no longer for themselves
but for the one who for their sake died and was raised.
We thank you, O God, for your steadfast love
and your mighty works. Amen.

We turn to you for mercy, O God of our salvation.
Restore us again,
for we, your people, have turned away.
When you have sent prophets
to teach us your way,
to turn us from sin,
and to point us toward love,
we reject them, ignore them, and misinterpret them.
Sometimes we do this out of ignorance,
other times because we do not want to hear.

Some of us feel called to speak,
to give a word of correction and wisdom;
but instead of listening to you,
we are led by our own desires,
our own ambitions,
and our own biases.

Let us hear what you want to say, O God,
for you will speak peace to your people,
to those who turn to you in their hearts.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
O God, we long for your love and faithfulness;
teach us your way. Amen.

Blessed be the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing
and has chosen us in Christ,
before the foundation of the world,
before we could do or fail to do anything,
to be holy and blameless before God in love.
It is God who works in us
to will and to work for God’s good pleasure.
Thanks be to God.

Have mercy on us, O God,
according to your steadfast love.
Blot out our transgressions,
according to your abundant mercy.
The world is broken;
guilt and shame are woven into every aspect of our lives.
You desire restoration and joy,
so let us be truthful; let us lament.

O God, the world is full,
yet all too often we feel empty.
Some of us feel empty
because we have been told that we are not enough or do not have enough.
We believed the lie.
Some of us feel empty
because the little that we have keeps getting taken.
We acknowledge, O God,
our participation in systems that are designed to leave people behind.
You call us to care for the good of all.
Forgive us for ignoring our vocation.
Your wisdom is foolishness
to the systems of gnawing consumption that rule our lives.
Forgive us for hoarding and wasting our daily bread
and abandoning you, the bread of life,
in pursuit of what cannot satisfy.
Give us delight in the goodness of all that you have created,
delight that spills over into generosity,
compelling our hears to abide in you.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
God is ready to provide, even before we ask;
love, nourishment, mercy—God gives in abundance.

God lived among us—eating, sleeping, and praying—embodied in Jesus Christ.
As we seek to embody God’s love,
we acknowledge the times we don’t get it right.
Trusting in God’s promise to be with us yet,
let us join in a responsive prayer of confession:
Leaders might consider prompting congregants to touch, gesture toward, or focus their attention on each body part as it is named.

Ever present God,
You call us to be your hands in this world.
Forgive us for the times we have been afraid
to reach out toward those left out or kept away.
Help us to recognize the harm we have done
in our actions and inactions,
and lead us to work toward a different way.

You call us to be your feet in this world.
Forgive us for the times we have not tread lightly.
Guide us to live in harmony with Earth
that gives us life
instead of treating it as something to be conquered.

You call us to live in this world with open hearts.
Forgive us for the ways we have closed ourselves off from you.
Remind us of your expansive love,
that we might recognize your presence everywhere we go. Amen.

The good news is that God knows
how messy it is to be human
and still offers us grace over and over again.
In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!

We hear about God’s abundance,
but through the ups and downs of life
it can be hard to trust that we will have enough.
Acknowledging our failures and God’s grace,
let us join in confessing our sins, praying together,

Holy One,
as we seek to provide stability or comfort for
ourselves or our families,
the line between enough and excess can blur.
We hesitate to offer support to strangers—
what if we need it more one day?
We choose convenience so often
and create mountains of waste as a result.
Forgive us, Lord.
Help us to recognize when enough really is enough,
and lead us to a balanced and generous life
in harmony with you, our neighbors,
and the creation of which we are a part. Amen.

Friends, every one of us is a work in progress,
but the good news is that our God
will keep showing up again and again.
Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace.

This liturgy invites congregants to use paper and writing utensils as part of prayer. The materials you provide can take many forms, but you might consider printing paper in the shape of a candle. These pieces of paper can be placed in pews or chairs ahead of time or may be included with a printed bulletin. The liturgy also requires three candles set out in a visible location and a way to light them when indicated.

More than mild disappointment or moderate sadness,
lament is the space God gives us
when our hearts feel the heaviest.
May we feel free to lament
without fear of being alone in the reality of our grief.
In each brief time of silence,
offer the sorrows of your own heart
by praying silently or in writing
using words, doodles, or other marks.
Following each time of silence,
we will join in the responsive refrain:
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayers.

Holy God,
we trust that you are with us,
and we seek to be our whole, authentic selves before you.
We lift up to you what weighs heavy on our hearts.

(Light candle)
We lament with those who have been victims
of violence or disaster,
both natural and human made.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayers.

(Light candle)
We lament the ways we ourselves have participated
in systems designed for the flourishing of some
over others.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayers.

(Light candle)
We grieve with those who deeply desire
the companionship of a friend, partner, or child and
with those who have experienced the loss of one.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayers.

Loving God,
we carry the laments we’ve written on paper
and the ones that still rest silently on our hearts.
May these flickering lights remind us
that you hold our prayers in your hands.
We are not alone.
In the sureness of your presence,
nudge us towards peace,
even if it does not come easily.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayers.

It seems that the life of faith reveals a pattern:
God shows us what it means to follow.
We mess up.
God shows up for us again.
Trusting God’s faithfulness,
we join together to confess our sins.

Merciful God,
you call us to love our neighbors
and the planet that you have entrusted to our care,
but we do not always follow.
You call us to love you with everything we have,
but our attention drifts.
You know what these confessions mean for each of us.
Forgive us, Holy One, and refocus us.
Draw us back to you.
(Moments for silent confession)

Friends, the good news is that despite our part in the pattern,
God remains faithful.
God loves us and will not forsake us.
Hallelujah! We are forgiven!

Invitations to Discipleship

God invites us to find our identity
in God’s wild holiness.

Will you embody reckless love,
for all people and all creation;
will you practice the grateful rest
of those who have been set free,
in order to set others free;
and will you keep watch
for God’s unexpected redemption
and unprecedented grace?

God invites us to set aside our preconceptions
about the kind of life to which God call us.

Will you commit
to regard others from God’s point of view
instead of relying on
what you think you know about them;
to use the power that you have
in ways that uplift all who have been brought low;
and to trust that God’s unexpected response
to your prayers
emerges from God’s steadfast love?

God says: “Rise, and I will speak with you.”

Will we put aside our preconceptions
about how God speaks to us
so that we might hear God’s voice afresh?

The God who provided manna in the wilderness
and a single snack to feed thousands
calls us to rely on God’s wisdom, presence, and provision
in times of plenty and times of want.

Are we willing to receive
what God has provided for us
and resist taking what we think we need or deserve?


Each of the following invitations to discipleship includes a breath prayer which gives language meant to be repeated silently while focusing on the breath. When leading a breath prayer, a leader may say, “Breathe in,” pause, and say the phrase that follows, then say, “Breathe out,” pause, and the phrase that follows, so that congregants have time to breathe in and out accordingly. While breath prayers can be prayed in as little as one inhale and exhale, they tend to be most meaningful when repeated for some time. In a worship setting, a leader might speak the prompts four to five times to guide the congregation in their breathing, then leave silence to allow congregants to continue the prayer on their own for a period of time.

Many of us carry doubts and questions.
Sometimes answers do not come as quickly
or as clearly as we would like.
Even so, God knows us and calls us to offer our whole selves.
Remember that there is room in this place for your I don’t knows.
God invites us to follow in the way of wonder,
the path of discipleship.

Breathe in: Search me, O God,
Breathe out: and know my heart.
(Psalm 139)

The psalmist speaks of roaring waters
and trembling mountains,
yet we hear:
The Lord is with us. God is our refuge.
The news speaks of nations in an uproar,
yet we hear:
The Lord is with us. God is our refuge.
Whatever the coming days might bring,
listen for God’s next call,
and wherever it may lead,
be encouraged by God’s presence.

Breathe in God’s words: Be still,
Breathe out: and know that I am God.
(Psalm 46)

God appeared to Moses in a burning bush,
and Moses said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3)
God called Isaiah to speak truth to the people,
and Isaiah said, “Here I am.” (Isaiah 6)
God speaks to us in flashes of wonder
through prophets of our time,
inviting us to join in the work
of bringing God’s kingdom to life here and now.
Listen for God’s invitation to you this day.

Breathe in: Here I am.
Breathe out: Here I am.

With each breath that fills your lungs,
may you remember the same breath, wind, spirit,
that called creation into being.
May you recognize the image of God in every person
and allow that recognition to deepen your compassion and understanding
for all those with whom we share this home.

Breathe in God’s love.
Breathe out God’s love to others.