Pentecost (Year C): Litany for Oneness

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The Day of Pentecost in the Church Calendar marks the beginning of a new season: The season of Pentecost. From Eastertide and resurrection, to Ascension (the feast of Ascension was this past week), and now to the revealing (in a more public way than was revealed in John 20) of the Spirit and the spirit's loving essence of inclusion and enfolding of many into divine Oneness. Just exactly as Jesus had prayed in last week's Lectionary Gospel passage: "that they may be one."

This litany is drawn from John 14 and Psalm 104, Lectionary selections for Pentecost, Year C.

God, you have always been showing us what Oneness looks like
First in Nature.
Then in Christ.
Now in the Spirit. 

Litany for Re-Birth

This litany is based upon the Gospel reading for Trinity Sunday, Year B, the story of Nicodemus and his nighttime run on enlightenment. If you're looking for a litany more specifically geared toward Trinitarian themes, please see this one.

 

Christ, we hate to admit that we can identify with Nicodemus,
Who had a reputation to uphold;
So he came to visit you at night, through the back door; (1)
Burning with curiosity,
Hoping for enlightenment on the sly.
You know how secretly needy we are.

You are a leader of rascals and rebels,
Keeper of mysteries,
Able to reach over the laws of nature
And grab hold of the miraculous,
Pulling it into our here and now:
Miracles of healing and transcendence.

We are fascinated by you,
And a little confused.
We are humbled by you.
You teach us how little we know.

You are like a telescope,
Showing us the mysteries of heaven.
You are like a mirror,
Showing us our potential.

You seem to speak to us in riddles: To get to the end,
We must go back to the beginning.
To get to the Community of God
We must be re-born. (2)

Well, birth is a messy business,
A rite of passage for all.
Grant that we may participate in this mystery:
To be born of spirit
From the womb of heaven
Into the arms of heaven.

Amen

1) John 3:2
2) John 3:3

Pentecost (Year B): Litany for Walking in Spirit

This Litany for Pentecost Sunday is taken from a reading of the Lectionary passages for the day.

 

God, let us walk in the persuasive love and power of your Spirit,
Seeing with your vision,
Dreaming with your creativity,
Speaking the universal language of love. (1)

You are making yourself available to us:
Through Christ and his communion,
You are making yourself known to us,
Through Spirit and her presence.

Grant that we may cast off our old prejudices:
    Regarding gender,
    Regarding race,
    Regarding qualifications;
And that we may follow the wind of your spirit
Wherever it goes,
Listening to the whispering rustle of your voice, (2)
Wherever we hear it.

The energy of your spirit
Is the energy we need
To power our good works,
To fuel our imaginations.

Pour out your Spirit upon us,
That we may speak to death and bring forth life, (3)
Embody your ways,
And create with you your city of light.
Amen



1) Acts 2:6
2) Acts 2:2
3) Ezekiel 37:9
 

Litany for Hagar

This week's Old Testament Lectionary passage is the story of Hagar, whom Abraham cast out into the desert along with her son. But God sneakily rescued her; even though she was a slave and a woman, the lowliest of the low, God valued her and protected her.

 

Creator, Protector of the Lowly
Defender of the Weak:
You do not despise the needy;
You do not cast out those without status.
Your eye is always on the underdog,
And you care for those on the margins.

You rescued the lowly servant girl Hagar
Who had no power, no authority to choose a life for herself.
She served Abraham to the utmost, even bearing him a child.
Abraham cast her out; but you, God, rescued her.
You gave her water in the desert and preserved her life.
Her child grew into a father of nations. (1)

Your ways are not our ways:
     Social Status
     Breeding or family line
     Material wealth
     Race
     Gender
The world categorizes and assigns value to people according to these things,
But you, God, see beyond, to the inner person.

(All:) Hallelujah!

Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me,
For I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life,
For I am devoted to you;
Save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God. (2)

Amen

(1) Genesis 21:8-21
(2) Psalm 86:1,2

Pentecost 3 (Year A): Litany for Wonders

The Old Testament text for this third week of Pentecost is Genesis 18, the account of messengers coming to Abraham and Sarah and informing them that Sarah will give birth to a child in her old age. When Sarah hears this, she sees the irony and humor of it - Now? After I’m old and gray and spent my youth hoping and praying for a child? Now? I imagine she laughed for joy and irony and disbelief and the ignorance of men. I imagine if she’d been texting her sister in that moment she’d be like IDK IF THESE OLD DUDES KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WOMEN. WE ARE NOT ETERNALLY FERTILE. LOL!

But the Lord responds: Is anything too wonderful for me?

And so, old Sarah gets knocked up, gives birth, and names her kid “Laughter.” Wonders never cease.


 

Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? (1)
Nothing is too wonderful for you.
You make wonders bloom from your hands,
And from your imagination spring amazing things.

Your wonders will never cease.
Your wonders will never cease.

Old women bear children. (2)
Trees bear fruit out of season.
Rocks give forth springs of water. (3)
Seas part. (4)
Storms are stilled. (5)
Sickness and disease are cured. (6)
Whole nations are brought out of bondage. (7)
Crowds are fed from your hand. (8)
Dry bones are enlivened. (9)
The dead are raised to life. (10)

Your wonders will never cease.
Your wonders will never cease.

We enter your presence with thanksgiving,
And your courts with praise.
We give thanks to you,
We bless your name.
For you are good; your steadfast love endures forever,
and your faithfulness to all generations. (11)

Amen

(1) Genesis 18:14
(2) Genesis 21:2
(3) Numbers 20:11
(4) Exodus 14:21
(5) Matthew 8, Mark 4
(6) Matthew 10:8
(7) Exodus 20
(8) Matthew 14, 15, John 6, Mark 8
(9) Ezekiel 37
(10) John 11, Mark 5, Luke 8, 1 Kings 17, 2 Kings 4, and many more
(11) Psalm 100:4,5

Trinity Sunday (Year A): Litany for Holy Trinities

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
The love of Yahweh,
And the communion of the Holy Spirit
Surround us. (1)

On all sides we are surrounded
By a trinity of grace, mercy and love.
Just as Creator, Son, and Spirit
Live in harmony together.
So do Truth, Beauty, and Righteousness
Live in harmony together.

Things we never thought could come together
Have joined in communion.
    Body and Blood have allied with Healing.
    Pain and Brokenness have become Teachers.
    Love and Mercy have fulfilled Justice.
    Servanthood and Kindness have completed Authority.
    Last and First have re-imagined Heirarchy.
    Questions and Freedom have informed Certainty.
    Dirt and Spit have alchemized Life.
    Body and Mind have been enlivened by Spirit.
    Light and Darkness have given shape to Vision.
    Resurrection and Ascension have made way for Presence.
   
Seemingly unrelated, incomplete ideas have been made whole
Holy Trinities abound on this earth, doing good work:
    Bad made good
    Last made first,
    Servant made ruler
    Poor made rich.
    Ordinary made sacred;
In the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Thanks be to God
For the Gift of the Spirit
Which completes and gives life to all things:
Thanks be to God.

Amen

 

(1) 2 Corinthians 13:!3

 

Litany for Spiritual Growth

After writing Litany for Spiritual Power, and Litany for Spiritual Gifts, I felt like they needed at least one more companion prayer, perhaps more. Here's one for ya.

Creator, when we walk with you,
Connected to you,
Plugged in to your love and your life
    Our hearts expand
    Our consciousness expands
    Our perspective expands
    Our reality expands
    Our capacity for love expands.

We admit that we tend to become complacent
And stagnant in our imaginations.
We succumb to inertia
And allow our dreams to wither.

Awaken us now to what is inside us;
Awaken us to the authority you’ve given us;
Awaken us to the potential inside our situations;
Awaken us to the power we can access.

Thank you for the gifts you give us:
The talents, guidance, and purposes,
The grace, freedom, forgiveness, and mercy,
And our unique combinations of strengths and weakness.

Your love is better than life.
Your love is life.
Your highest good is beyond what we can imagine.
Help us to grow into our highest good.

Amen

 

Pentecost: Litany for Spiritual Gifts

Pentecost is the day on the liturgical calendar in which we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, as recorded in Acts 2, and predicted earlier by Jesus. I've drawn from the Lectionary texts for this week, specifically Acts 2 and John 7, for this piece.

Divine Being,
From whom every miracle has come,
Every artifact and invention of creation,
Every living thing from your imagination:

Pour out your Spirit upon us
That we may dream dreams
See visions
And speak with prophetic imagination*. (1)

Pour out your Spirit upon us,
That we may have the gift of faith,
Rivers of living water
Flowing from our hearts. (2)

Pour out your Spirit upon us
That we may bring your ways here to Earth
Live out the compassion of Christ,
And embody your kingdom.

Pour out your Spirit upon us,
That we may speak to all in ways they can understand
Of your lovingkindness --
The great lengths to which you’ve gone to draw us close.

Pour out your Spirit upon us,
That the world in which we live might be changed
That heaven might be found here
And that hope and life may be realized by all people.

Amen

(1) Acts 2:17
(2) John 7:38

*Prophetic Imagination is Brueggemann’s term, not mine.