Easter Sunday (Year C): Litany for Resurrection Flow

Hello! I’m happy to be sharing my Easter Sunday, which I happen to really like this year. If you haven’t taken advantage of my Patreon, it’s easy to jump in. Thanks for reading. And may the Peace of
Christ be upon you this Holy Week.

Oh God, we can feel the joy and wonder of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary (1)
As they shared the story of the empty tomb.
We share in their excitement, not because of pious ideas about personal salvation,
But because the resurrection they preached is still happening now!

Easter 6 (Year B): Litany for Lasting Fruit

This litany is taken from a reading of John 15, which is part of the Lectionary selection for 5/6/18. In particular this verse:
"You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name." (John 15:16)

 

God, in Christ you let us in on your Grand Plan. (1)
You shared your heart with us,
And invited us in to be part of your agenda:
Part of the healing.

You didn’t set up barriers - not to baptism, nor the table, nor forgiveness, nor community
You tore them down!
You ripped down the temple dividers (2).
You flung open doors.
You set up a new paradigm for faith
And a new benchmark for success:

Which is love.
Always love. (3)

We want to do things for you:
Beautiful things.
We want to create things for you:
Things that last.

So help us, God, to do small things with great love (4),
And great things with great love;
And lasting things that create love,
And creative things that love well and long.

Amen
 

  1. John 15:9

  2. Matthew 27:51

  3. John 15:12

  4. From a quote attributed to Mother Teresa: 'Do small things with great love'

Easter 5 (Year B): Litany for Abiding in Love

This litany is based on a reading of the Lectionary selections for the Fifth Sunday in Easter.

 

God, you put us here on earth as embodied human beings,
For your glory and our learning.
We experience you in all kinds of ways:
    In nature,
    In relationships,
    In community,
    In silence,
    In sacredness.

You dropped a lot of hints about yourself along the way,
     From stone tablets to still, small voices,
     From prophets to angel messengers,
     From rainbows to rescues.
Then you sent Christ Jesus, the epitome of you, to teach us about yourself,
     About your love,
     About forgiveness,
     And about resurrection.

Let us love one another,
Because love is from God;
Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
God is Love. You are Love. (1)
As Christ abides in you, and we abide in Christ, ()
So we abide in Love.

We meditate on all we’ve learned of you,
And we meditate on the life and work of Christ;
Asking that we may know more deeply, more fully,
The Love in which we abide.
 

Amen

1) 1 John 4:7,8
2) John 15:4


 

Easter 4 (Year B): Litany for the Good Shepherd

This litany is taken from a reading of the Lectionary passages for the 4th week of Eastertide, Year B. You can also find Litany for Sheep here.


The Lord is our Shepherd
We lack for nothing. (1)
You are the Good Shepherd.
The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (2)

As Christ has laid down his life for us
So we ought to lay down our lives for one another (2).

Beloved, let us love, not in word or speech,
But in truth and action.
By this we will be reassured:
That we believe in Christ Jesus,
And that we love one another
Just as Christ has commanded.

For the Good Shepherd has taught us by his good example:
To share with those in need (3),
To bring the outsider in (4),
To abide in the Spirit (5),
To lay down our own agendas,
To take up Love’s agenda. (6)

Lead us, Good Shepherd,
Into green pastures,
Beside still waters;
And restore our souls to your peace. (7)

Amen


1) Psalm 23:1
2) 1 John 3:16-18
3) 1 John 3:17
4) John 10:16
5) 1 John 3:24
6) John 10:17
7) Psalm 23:1-3

 

Easter 3 (Year B): Litany for the Body of Christ

This litany is drawn from a reading of the Lectionary passages for the Third Sunday in Easter, Year B.

Resurrected Christ, you came to us after your journey through death,
Speaking peace,
Eating and drinking,
Embodied and whole.

And yet, your body still bore the scars of your acceptance,
The marks of your ordeal.
As we, too, bear the scars of our trauma
In this we find hope.

In your body you wear the full arc of humanity:
    It’s struggle and hope,
    It’s birth and death,
    It’s pain and redemption.
Also you carry the full spectrum of divinity:
    Creation’s origin,
    The seeds of the cosmos
    Love’s power.

And these are echoed within us, too:
In Spirit’s presence,
In DNA’s intertwined strands,
In Imago Dei. (1)

So we set out to echo, each day of our lives on this earth,
Your “Peace Be With You,” (2)
Your graceful mission,
Your healing presence,
Your hopeful faith,
Your unstoppable love.

Grant that we may reflect the fullness of your beauty
In all we are, all we say, and all we do.

Amen.



(1) Imago Dei is a latin term meaning "image of God" that applies to humans and refers to the relationship between Creator and created.
(2) Luke 24:36
 

Easter Week 2 (Year B): Litany for the Resurrected Christ

This litany follows along with the Lectionary Readings for the Second Sunday of Easter. For more litanies, consider becoming a patron.

Resurrected Christ, as you appeared to your apostles, speaking peace and showing them the evidence of your ordeal and victory,
Appear to us now.
Be with us and among us
As we learn to live resurrected lives.

We see now that you always lived as though resurrection were possible
Even before you had done that work.
Your every breath, step, and touch,
Was a testament to the newness of life.

Breathe on us, Resurrected Christ
That we may receive your spirit. (1)
Breathe on us, Resurrected Christ,
That we may receive your peace.
Breathe on us, Resurrected Christ,
That we may receive your life.
Breathe on us, Resurrected Christ,
That we may be of one heart and soul. (2)

Teach us how to live with the hope and assurance
That new life is just around the corner.
Teach us how to live with the peace and trust,
That what looks to us like death is resurrection’s first act.

And may we walk this earth,
Speaking peace,
Fostering healing,
And living out resurrection.

Amen

1) John 20:22
2) Acts 4:32

 

Easter Day (Year B): Litany for Christ’s Life

God, in human form you lived on the earth,
Doing ordinary things;
But also doing extraordinary things:
Preaching, teaching, healing, calling.
You proclaimed the Good News from a human mouth:
The Kingdom of God is here!

Your good work and proclamation drew the attention of worldly powers
Who perceived it as a threat,
Because it was: The kingdom of God undoes everything it touches
And builds it again newly.

And, by the power of human sin, violence, and confusion -
You were killed -
A fate you did not resist, but instead accepted -
You were buried -
So that you might shame the powers, and teach them a new way:
You were resurrected!

Hallelujah! This changes everything!
Hallelujah!
From the enemies we love, to the suffering we accept -
Hallelujah!
From the violence we reject, to the justice-mercy-healing work we do -
Hallelujah!
This Way-of-God-come-down-to-earth completely rearranges our perspective!
Hallelujah!

For Christ has torn the temple down
And rebuilt it.
The Way of God came down.
The Way of God lives on in us.

Amen

 

Ascension Day: Litany for Spiritual Power

This Sunday is Ascension Day, in which we remember the ascension of Christ into heaven. The week's Lectionary reading contained the word "power" 6 times. The word stuck out to me, and I was thinking about how the church calendar and Lectionary selections are leading up to the next BIG DAY, which is Pentecost. And about how mostly we go around completely forgetful that we have any access to spiritual power at all, that we have been shared power to change things, move mountains, bring healing and peace, offer forgiveness. Seems like a first step to tapping into that might be simply acknowledging it. Just speaking the word aloud seems to bring with it a new energy. So I invite you to pray this prayer with me, as we raise your awareness of our inheritance.

Sing praises, all the earth, sing praises!
Clap your hands, dance for joy, all you people! (1)
For the Holy One is ruler over all,
Overseeing with majesty, wisdom and love. (2)

The Christ has risen from the dead.
He has scoured hell and overcome it.
The Christ has appeared in life,
Proving himself and his word
The Resurrection and the Life, the Christ,
Has ascended into heaven and is seated at Yahweh’s right hand.
We, who look to Christ as our example and our teacher,
Wait upon his promise of power.

And indeed it has been given to us:
A spirit of wisdom and revelation as we come to know Christ (3)
That the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened
That we may know the hope to which we are called
And the riches of our glorious inheritance,
The immeasurable greatness of his power. (4)

Christ, Help us to know
Help us to listen and understand;
Give us courage to walk in the fullness
Of the power of Christ in us.

Amen

 

  1. Psalm 47:1

  2. Psalm 93:1

  3. Eph 1:17

  4. Eph 1:18-19




     

Easter 6 (Year A): Litany for Abiding Love

The Lectionary passages for the sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A) include Acts 17, John 14, and Psalm 66. I've been contemplating what it might mean to be powered by love, as if divine love were a battery that fuels us. Or as if, when we take the bread and the cup of Eucharist, we ingest love, it becomes part of us, and fuels our activity in the world. How might we train ourselves to run on love rather than on ego? How can we learn to operate on a new system? What spiritual practices might form that pathway in us?


Eternal Divine Love,
Creator and Parent of all,
Ruler of Heaven and Earth
We are your children, your offspring. (1)

You give to all mortals life and breath
And all things.
You allot the times of our existence
And the boundaries of our places. (2)

We confess our blindness to your presence.
Make us aware of you.
We confess the smallness of our concept of you.
Enlarge our knowing.
We confess our ego-driven tendencies.
Power us instead with Love.

We have searched and groped for you
Though you are not far from each one of us. (3)
We cried aloud to you
And you have heard our prayer. (4)
We bless you,
For you have not rejected us nor removed your steadfast Love from us. (5)

Help us to keep your commandments (6)
And to abide in your Love .(7)

Amen

 

(1) Acts 17:28
(2) Acts 17:25,26
(3) Acts 17:27
(4) Psalm 66:17,19
(5) Psalm 66:20
(6) John 14:15
(7) John 14:21

Litany for Knowing God, Even in Suffering

Here is this week's Lectionary-based litany, containing elements from Psalm 23, John 10, and 1 Peter 2. I threw in the Hosea cause I felt like it worked.

 

God, you are the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls (1)
We want to become more aware of you (2)

We hold as our example the Christ, who suffered
But did not threaten;
The Christ, who endured abuse,
But did not return abuse; (3)
The Christ, who bore pain -
By his wounds we are healed!... (4)

Because Christ revealed the heart of God.
You desire mercy not sacrifice (5).
Because Christ has shamed the principalities and powers.
You desire the knowledge of God, not offerings (5).
Because Christ has torn the veil and made way to the Holy of Holies (6)
You desire rich relationship with us, your creations.

Come, let us press on to know the Lord
His appearing is as sure as the dawn (7).
We hear your voice -
You call to us and lead us out (8).
Wherever we go, you are with us,
Comforting, loving, restoring, guiding (9).

Be near to us, Lord, in whatever darkness or suffering we must encounter in this life,
Help us to see every pain redeemed in the light of Christ’s love.

Amen
 

 

(1)1 Pet 2:25
(2) 1Pet 2:19
(3) 1 Pet 2:23
(4) 1 Pet 2:24
(5) Hosea 6:6
(6) Matthew 27:51
(7) Hosea 6:3
(8) John 10:3
(9) Psalm 23:4


 

 

Easter 3 (Year A): Litany for the Road to Emmaus

The Lectionary texts for the third week of Easter (Year A) include the account in Luke of Jesus walking with some disciples on the road to Emmaus. Shortly after Jesus' resurrection, they were walking along discussing all the things that had happened. Jesus joins them, but they don't recognize them, even though the "disappearance" of his body is what they're discussing. With a great deal of patience, Jesus walks along with them and expounds the whole story of how he got to be there, starting with Moses. But the disciples don't realize its him until dinnertime, after they've invited him in to eat, when he takes bread and breaks it and serves it to them - only then do they understand that it was him all along, explaining everything.

God, you are always being kind to us,
Always loving us toward yourself;
Just as Christ showed his wounds to doubting Thomas
With grace and kindness;
Just as Christ shared his story to the men walking the road to Emmaus
With patience and generosity.

It is this deep grace,
     This boundless giving,
     This patient character,
     This kind regard for all;
That inspires our hearts,
And by which we recognize you.

Relentlessly, you give of yourself
So that we might know and understand you.
Over and over again, you kindly explain the story
In words we can take in.
We know you instantly, the moment you break bread with us --
We can see you in your glorious reality.

Make our hearts ready for more:
     More understanding
     More responsibility
     More of your kingdom;
And graciously work with us where we are confused
So that we may see you in your full beauty.

Amen


 

Easter 2 (Year A): Litany for Fear

The Lectionary passage from the Gospels for the second Sunday in Eastertide is from John 20, in which Jesus appears to the disciples in the house where they are huddled up after the crucifixion, terrified for their lives, afraid the Jewish authorities will connect them with the rebel Jesus who was put to death over the weekend. The doors are locked, windows barred; I imagine everyone is tiptoeing trying to be quiet, trying not to need to use the outhouse.

Jesus, ignoring the locked doors, appears among them, right into the midst of their terror, offering them peace. He graciously lets them see his wounds. And then he breathes on them the gift of the Spirit. It's quite the entrance.



God, we are caught up in fears
Of things known and unknown
As the disciples huddled in a house, fearful after Christ’s death
So we tend to lock our doors.

We forget that when we lock our doors, nothing can enter
Neither the bad nor the good.
But Perfect Love doesn’t need a door -
Christ has appeared among us, even so!

Into our darkest, most fearful places
Jesus has walked right in!
Into our most doubtful moments
Jesus has spoken Peace. (1)
We saw in his wounds, the evidence of death and pain upon him,
Our worst fears realized in his flesh.

What we learned is that our worst fears are not the end:
Life has overcome death;
Joy has overcome pain;
Love has overcome fear. (2)
The one who went before us, straight into the heart of darkness --
The Risen Christ has overcome the world. (3)

Breathe upon us, Lord Christ:
The breath of hope and peace,
The breath of Perfect Love,
The breath of the Spirit of God. (4)

Amen

(1) John 20:21
(2) 1 John 4:18
(3)
John 16:33
(4)
John 20:22

Resurrection Sunday (Year A): Litany for the Story

Here are the Lectionary texts for Easter morning, Year A. I have tried to draw elements from each text, plus an additional reference from John 2. Hallelujah! He is Risen!

 

God, You have loved us with an everlasting love;
You have continually been faithful (Jeremiah 31:3)
You are our strength.
You are our salvation. ((Psalm 118:14)

This is the story of Jesus of Nazareth:
He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power.
He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed.
He was put to death on a cross and his body laid in a tomb. (Acts 19:38,39)

“Tear this temple down,” he said,
“In three days I will rebuild it!” (John 2:19)

And so it is:
On the third day,
As the disciples Mary and Mary Magdalene have seen:
Christ’s tomb is empty! (John 20:1)
An angel has rolled away the stone: (Matthew 28:2)
He is not there.
He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!

We celebrate the story of Jesus Christ:
Birth, work, death, resurrection.
And we have been raised with Christ,
Who is our life. (Col 3:1,4)

Amen



 

Litany for Pentecost

Pentecost is the day in the liturgical calendar when the church celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the birth of the church as we know it, recorded in Acts 2. The Day of Pentecost concludes the Easter Season, and is celebrated ten days after Ascension Thursday. This year Pentecost is celebrated Sunday, May 15.

 

God, today we give thanks for the good gift of Your Holy Spirit, our helper.
Come Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of God present among us.
Come Holy Spirit.

As on the day of Pentecost, when Your spirit rested on Your followers as tongues of fire,
Rest on us now, Oh God
As they were filled with the spirit and began to speak and prophesy,
Fill us now, Oh God.

Just as Jesus promised, just as the Father has promised,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon us,
Empowering us to proclaim good news to the poor
Release for prisoners
To exchange beauty for ashes
Joy for mourning
A spirit of praise instead of despair.
Come Holy Spirit.

We are your church, your body on earth, who trust in the Resurrected Christ,
And in the Holy Spirit of God, here with us now.

Amen