Worship Resources

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Please see the set of collects below that speaks to the violence in Charleston this week. There is also a litany that speaks to larger justice themes. You might use one or the other of these resources for Sunday worship, or other occasions, as we respond in our churches to the tragedy of violence in Charleston, South Carolina, and in our own lives and communities.

By naming the victims of the shooting in your worship, we provide a context for the grief that we feel when faced with yet another visceral example of the racism, violence, and trauma in our culture. Let us honor these people, and our own parishioners, by praying by name for:

Cynthia Hurd, 54, branch manager for the Charleston County Library System
Susie Jackson, 87, longtime church member
Ethel Lance, 70, employee of Emanuel AME Church for 30 years
The Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49, admissions counselor of Southern Wesleyan University
The Honorable Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41, state senator, Pastor of Emanuel AME Church
Tywanza Sanders, 26, earned business administration degree from Allen University
The Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74, retired pastor (died at MUSC)
The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45, track coach at Goose Creek High School
Myra Thompson, 59, church member

Please use the prayers below in a way that fits your context. These were drawn from the Book of Common Prayer, and modified to fit this current situation. The litany was originally produced by The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations, and modified to fit this occasion.

Faithfully in Christ,
Andrea+
The Rev. Canon Andrea McMillin
Canon to the Ordinary


 

   

“Making Disciples, Raising up Saints & Transforming Communities for Christ”


Collects

The Deacon bids the prayers: Brothers and Sisters: God commands us through Jesus Christ to love one another. In baptism, we promise to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves and to strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being.” Let us now honor those vows and pray for our church and the world in this time of violence and despair.

We pray for those who were murdered within the walls of sanctuary:

O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of your servants Cynthia, Susie, Ethel, Depayne, Clementa, Tywanza, Daniel, Sharonda, Myra, and grant them an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Most merciful God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding, deal graciously with the families of those who were killed, and the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church community in their grief. Surround them with your love, that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your goodness, and strength to meet the days to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

We reaffirm our Baptismal vow to "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being," and we pray,

Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For law enforcement and the military, we pray,

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping the men and women summoned to serve and protect us in times of conflict. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be. Uphold, guide and protect them. Make them wise in the exercise of their authority, correct them in any error, protect them from danger, and make them instruments of peace. Amen.

We commit the church, and ourselves, to remember our past: to regard the victimization, fear, and helplessness fueled in communities by violence and racism, and to stand boldly even though we may have failed to do so before, in this continued call to the difficult work of confronting oppression and racism, and so we pray,

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In response to the culture of racism and prejudice resulting in headline after headline of another American lying dead in neighborhood streets, and now in our churches, we commit ourselves to telling the truth. We commit ourselves to be the prophetic voice of The Episcopal Church and to speak against the legacy of institutionalized racism in the United States and across our world, and we pray,

Almighty God, we beseech thee to look with loving-kindness on the people of our nation, as we struggle to live our lives in this time of great uncertainty and fear. Grant that we may recover from the rubble of our past mistakes and current fears, find hope in shared goals of reconciliation, and put our trust in you. Help us also to turn to one another, so in these times of trouble all people of every faith, race and ethnicity may be drawn yet more closely in bonds of shared amity, respect, and purpose, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Presider/Celebrant concludes:

Heavenly God, you have promised to hear what we ask in the Name of your Son: Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our
sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Litany

The Deacon bids the prayers: Brothers and Sisters: God commands us through Jesus Christ to love one another. In baptism, we promise to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves and to strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being.” Let us now honor those vows and pray for our church and the world in this time of violence and despair.

We pray for those who were murdered in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston South Carolina. We pray for an end to all violence and warfare around the world. We commit ourselves and our actions to promote justice in our own community.

God of peace and justice,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the strength of heart and mind to look beyond ourselves and address the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the world; for the rural and urban poor; for the rebuilding of our communities; and for an end to the cycles of violence that threaten our future.

God of generosity and compassion,
Hear our prayer.

We pray that the Holy Spirit may embrace the most vulnerable members of our society; we pray also for an end to the growing disparity between the rich and poor; and for the grace and courage to strive for economic justice.

God of all gifts and blessings,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for an end to prejudice throughout our country and the world; that we will respect all people as precious children of God. We will work until racism, sexism, and all forms of prejudice will be forever banished from our hearts, our society, and our laws.

God of fellowship and equality,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for a reverence of creation; that we will have the tools and the will to conserve it; that we will use its bountiful resources in the service of others; and that we will become better stewards of all that has been entrusted to us.

God of nature and the universe,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all immigrants, refugees, and pilgrims from around the world, that they may be welcomed in our midst and be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect.

God of outcasts and wanderers,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the sick, the aged and the infirm; for those with physical or mental disabilities; that all may have access to proper health care; and that God’s loving embrace may be felt by all who suffer.

God of comfort and healing,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all prisoners and captives; that a spirit of forgiveness may replace vengeance and retribution; and that we, with all the destitute, lonely, and oppressed, may be restored to the fullness of God’s grace.

God of absolution and mercy,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all children and families, and particularly for the orphaned, neglected, abused, and those who live in fear of violence or disease; that they may be relieved and protected.

God of children and families,
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all who have died as a result of violence, war, disease or famine, especially those who died because of human blindness, neglect, racism, or hardness of heart.

God of eternal life and resurrecting love,
Hear our prayer.

Presider/Celebrant concludes:

Heavenly God, you have promised to hear what we ask in
the Name of your Son: Accept and fulfill our petitions, we
pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our
sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

AMEN.

 

Click here to view and download these resources.

© 2013 The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.

Designed by: Element Fusion