Christmas Eve: Litany for Exaltation

This litany contains phrases from several of the classic passages of scripture relating to the birth of Christ, which are represented in this week's lectionary readings.

Sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth! (1)
For great is the Lord
And greatly to be praised (2)

We who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light. (3)
Glory to God in the highest heaven!
And on earth, peace! (4)

For unto us is born this day in the city of David
A savior,
Who is the Messiah,
The Lord. (5)
Authority rests on his shoulders, and he is called:
    Wonderful Counselor
    Mighty God
    Prince of peace.
His authority will grow continually,
And in his kingdom will be endless peace. (6)

We exalt him with our voices.
We exalt him with our hands.
We exalt him in word and thought.
We exalt him in actions that make for peace.

Let the heavens be glad!
Let the earth rejoice! (7)
For the grace of God has appeared,
Bringing salvation to all. (8)


  1. Psalm 96:1

  2. Psalm 96:4

  3. Isaiah 9:2

  4. Luke 2:14

  5. Luke 2:11

  6. Isaiah 9:6-7

  7. Psalm 96:11

  8. Titus 2:11

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.


Lent Series: Litany for Good Friday, "Death"

Great God, we acknowledge that we are not always able to recognize Your ways as good
We confess that we are, at times, confounded;
As on Good Friday, when we commemorate the death of one so dear to us
The Savior, Christ the King.

As a seed must pass through death to sprout new life,
So Jesus Christ has passed into death.
Taking the nature of a human, a servant
He made himself nothing
He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death
Even death on a cross!

For three days, we wait with him, for death to accomplish its purpose;
For Christ’s sacrifice to be made meaningful;
For Christ to re-imagine death.
We grieve, even while we are hopeful.

We wait, and as the stones seal Christ’s body in the tomb, even then we say:
“Oh Death, Where is Your sting? O Grave, Where is your victory?”
And we acknowledge Your good way, the confounding way of obedience to death
That brings us toward Life and Hope.


Lent Series: Litany for Palm Sunday, "Fulfillment"

"Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" comes directly from John 12, the instance for which Palm Sunday derives its name; in which the people of Jerusalem pave the streets with palm branches and garments, an ancient version of a red carpet, for Jesus and the donkey colt he rides upon. Earlier in the text, Mary pours a pint of expensive nard, a costly essential oil, on Jesus feet.

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

The One we have long awaited, the Messiah, has come.
Riding into Jerusalem, not on a warhorse, but on a young donkey,
The Prince of Peace has come, the one who heals our wounds.

Everything that was foretold, Christ has fulfilled.
We offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
We set up a banquet, and pour costly perfume at His feet.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

This is Jesus
Whose name is glorified
This is Jesus
High and lifted up

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Lent Series: Litany for Lent, Week 5 "Waiting"

God, in this season of Lent
We quiet our souls
That we may see more clearly the one our hearts long for
We ask, seek, and knock
That our prayers may be answered
And our longing fulfilled

We acknowledge that so much of faith-life involves waiting
     for the voice of God to speak
     for the Spirit of God to move
     for the fullness of Your kingdom to come
     for Christ’s return
     for the world to be made new
     for justice and peace to become ordinary
     for love to become the world’s motivation

We acknowledge that even as we wait, you are working
     redeeming the earth
     redeeming people
     confirming Your love.

As Christ waited three days in a tomb
So do we wait for resurrection life.
We wait in faith,
That You are even now giving us new life.
We wait in hope for the Lord.
All creation waits for the Lord.


Lent Series: Litany for Lent, Week 4 "Thirst"

This prayer in the Lent Series is written for the fourth Sunday in Lent (this year March 6). I re-used lyrics from one of my songs for this one. You can find the prayers for the first Sunday in Lent (February 14, 2016) here, the second Sunday (Feb 21, 2016) here, and the third Sunday (February 28, 2016 ) here.

God, in this season of Lent we reflect upon our emptiness, and Your fullness
Our souls thirst for You.
We come to You, Wellspring of Life
Our flesh longs for you.
You graciously offer us a fountain of water, springing up to eternal life
In a dry and weary land, where there is no water.

Jesus, You are the Living Water, the holy spring
You satisfy our deepest needs.
Whoever drinks of the water You give
Need never thirst again.

We acknowledge the miracle, mystery, and kindness of Your provision
We were thirsty, and you gave us a drink.
Fulfill now Your promise to us:
That those who thirst for righteousness will be filled.

May our hunger, thirst, and need always lead us to You
Let all who are thirsty come to Jesus and drink of living water.


Lent Series: Litany for Lent, Week 2 "Mercy"

This prayer in the Lent Series is written for the second Sunday in Lent (this year February 21). You can find the prayer for the first Sunday in Lent (this year February 14) here.

Hear, Oh God, when we call to You
Have mercy on us and answer us.

In our vulnerability
Have mercy on us, oh God
In our forgetfulness
Have mercy on us, oh God
In our anxiety
Have mercy on us, oh God
In our wrongdoing
Have mercy on us, oh God
In our hard-heartedness
Have mercy on us, oh God
In our blindness,
Have mercy on us, oh God

In your mercy, you rescue us from our enemies.
In your mercy, you remove our transgressions from us.
In your mercy, you made a way for us to be reconciled to You.
In your mercy, you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to heal our brokenness.

Grant that in this season of Lent, our hearts may be devoted to You,
That we may see Your mercies new each day.
Grant that we may be always ready to offer mercy to those in need of it,
For mercy triumphs over judgement.



Lent Series: Litany for Lent, Week 1 "Temptation"

Holy God: in this season of Lenten fasting, we remember Christ
Who went out into the desert to fast and undergo temptation.
We confess that we are often distracted by material comforts
And tempted to value them above the Kingdom of God.

You, God, are our help in difficulty;
Christ is our inspiration.
We confess that we do not live by bread or worldly provision alone,
But by every word that comes from Your mouth.

May we fill our mouths, our hearts, our minds now with your words
That we might be transformed and renewed.
May we, with renewed hearts and minds,
Better serve the purposes of Your kingdom.
May we, by setting aside worldly distractions
Become more like Christ.
May we, with purified motives and deeper understanding,
Receive Christ when He comes to us.

Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.