Litany for the Divine Feminine

I considered writing a litany for Mother's Day. But then I realized that I am frustrated because Mother's Day tends to be the only day of the year that your average Jesus-y church talks AT ALL about the feminine. So I've written this prayer to hopefully inspire us to a larger perception of the Divine, and to lift up my sisters who have been told by their religion or faith-culture that they are Less-Than or Other because of their gender.

God, we know that you made us, male and female
All in your image.
You are above all, throughout all
And in all.

Your image can be found in fathers,
And your image can be found in mothers.
In brothers and sisters, in servants and rulers,
In shepherds and sheep, in adults and children;
In men and in women
The truth of the divine is reflected.

Human society has relegated that image of you that is feminine
To the Less-Than and the Other.
We have worshipped the male
And maligned the female.
We have worshipped the warrior,
And overlooked the nurturer.
We have worshipped the fact,
And ignored the question.

Forgive us for only assigning value to a part of you
And making an idol of it;
All the while closing our perception off
From a broader picture of your goodness.
Restore to us an understanding of you
That encompasses the sacred feminine,
And that helps in turn lift up all of us
Whose identities reflect your feminine image.

Our desire is to know you
Fully and well,
And to see you in the vastness
Of your beauty and majesty.


Litany for Gender Equality (part 1: Lament and Hope)

This litany has been a long time coming. This is part one of a series on gender equality. Here is the prayer for the women's voices: Lament, and Hope for Moving Forward.

God, hear our lament now:
We have been meek.
We have done our duty.
We have cared for children and husbands and aging parents and sick folks.
We have cooked and cleaned and tended livestock and gardens.
We are ready for more.

We have been first to your birth, and first to your tomb.
We have been paid less for more work.*
We have been beaten and imprisoned for asserting our rights.
We have been abused, then shunned for divorcing our abusers.
We have been raped, then blamed for our own trauma.
We have been blamed for the sins of men, indeed the sins of the world.
We have let our dreams die because we were told it was your will.
We have been told No so many times that we have stopped asking for permission.

We have been sold; but you are telling us our worth
We have been soiled; but you are washing us anew.
We have been silenced; but you are giving us a voice.
We have been hidden; but you see us.

(ALL:) You have always seen us.

We see you:
Making room for us at the table,
Opening our mouths to speak,
Strengthening our hearts,
Educating our minds,
Honoring our martyrs.

(ALL:) You are redeeming us.

Even now equality is making glorious progress in the world,
     expanding along with the Kingdom of God.
Even now strong women are rising up to make change,
     to lead, to correct, to work for peace.
Even now men and women are working together,
     each acknowledging their need for the others’ perspective.
Even now more places are being set at the table,
     for the inclusion of women alongside men,
     slave and free,
     young and old,
     every nation and language,
     every background and gift-mix.
(ALL:) Hallelujah! Thanks be to God!

We partner with you, Living God,
To remake hierarchy into equality.
To replace violence with peace.
To remake retribution into kindness.
To abolish comparison and celebrate uniqueness.
To transform weakness into strength.
To transform fear into confidence.
To replace apathy with assertiveness.
To replace exploitation with justice.
To replace oppression with mercy.

Make of us strong leaders and wise advocates;
Hands that work for justice, and voices that speak truth,
Students that dig deeply, and priests that call upon your presence.


*Right now, women in the U.S. are paid, on average, 80 cents on the dollar compared to men.



Litany for the Disqualified

Gracious, Loving God:
We whose hearts desire to serve You, to minister in Your kingdom,
     and to follow the loving example of leadership that Christ set forth;
We look now to You.

Many of us have been told, in various ways, by ourselves and by others
That we are disqualified from service.
Some of us have been told that we are
     the wrong gender
     the wrong age
     the wrong race
     the wrong class
     not holy enough
     not experienced enough
     not enough.

We seek now to have our minds transformed;
To have our presumptions set right;
Our slates wiped clean.

Give us courage
     to walk in the calling You have placed on us,
     to overcome those forces that would have us be ineffective,
     to listen to Your voice above the voices that would have us disqualified.

May we take our example from the meekness of Christ, His gentleness
     but also His assertiveness and steadfastness of purpose.
For he too was disdained, regarded as weak,
     not enough of a warrior to be a King.

Teach us the ways of Your kingdom
     the way of peace
     the way of love
     the way of beauty.
Empower us by Your Holy Spirit.
Provide for us with the abundance that is the hallmark of Your generosity.

May we know deeply that You have qualified us in Christ Jesus,
     and that, in Him, we are enough.