Litany for Father’s Day
One: For fathers everywhere, who have given us life and love, that we may show them respect and love.
All: Holy God, hear this prayer for our fathers.
One: For fathers who have lost a child through death, that their faith may give them hope, and their family and friends support and console them
All: Holy God, hear this prayer for our fathers that mourn.
One: For men who may or may not have children of their own, but act like a father to someone in need of advice, support, nurturing, and love.
All: Holy God, hear this prayer for our father figures.
One: For step-fathers who have assumed that role with love and joy, who have loved the children of another as their own, and created a new family.
All: Holy God, hear this prayer for step-fathers.
One: For adoptive fathers, who have heard the call of God to lovingly step forward for those that need their care.
All: Holy God, hear this prayer for adoptive fathers.
One: For fathers who have been unable to be a source of strength, who have not responded to the needs of their children, and have not sustained their families.
All: Holy God, have mercy on absentee fathers.
One: For fathers who struggle with temptation, violence, or addiction. For those who do harm, and for those whom they have harmed.
All: Holy God, have mercy on fathers that struggle.
One: For new fathers, full of hope. For long-time fathers, full of wisdom. For the fathers yet to be, and fathers soon to be.
All: Holy God, hear our prayer for the fathers of your Church.
One: For those that have shaped our lives without claim of family or kinship. For those who have taught us, guided us, shaped us and molded us into servants of Christ our Lord.
All: Holy God, hear our prayer for the fathers of our faith.
One: God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless these men, that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
“Prayer for Father’s Day.” has been adapted by Robb McCoy from the United Methodist Book of Worship, page 441.
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8 responses to “Fathers’ Day Litany”
I like this. Sorry I missed it today. Happy Fathers Day!
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For the most part, I like this Litany a lot. In fact, I believe that I used it last year in the worship service at my church on Father’s Day. Fathers are complicated, and you do a good job of trying balance different types of father figures and honoring each one. You also find a place to stand in the pain that fathers have created in the hearts of many of the people in the pews. Thank you.
However, this year as I was reading over it again as I prepare for Sunday’s service on Father’s Day, I was struck by something I didn’t really notice last year. I have recently become an adoptive father. In fact, that adoption was finalized just yesterday morning. This will be my first Fathers Day, and I’m quite excited. As a father through adoption, I was hurt – personally, for my son, and for my son’s birth family – by the part about adoptive fathers. My son is neither an orphan, nor was he unwanted by his birth family. He was – and IS – very much loved by his birth family. Finding him a loving family that could provide the life-long care and attention he needs and deserves was the most difficult, loving decision they could have made for him. They very much wanted him, but they knew that they couldn’t provide for his needs.
I don’t believe that our situation is uncommon. I think it is very rare to find an adopted child who was truly unwanted by their birth family, and even if that is the case, using that phrasing is hurtful. I think that assuming that adopted children were either orphaned or unwanted is insensitive and offensive.
I encourage you to revisit this litany and revise it to be more fully inclusive and sensitive toward the realities of familes created through adoption. And, once you revise it, if you could repost it I would love to use it in my church.
Thank you, Robb, for all that you.
Thank you for your comment, and thank you for the correction. I stand convicted and saddened that my words could hurt someone. It’s amazing how one’s context can alter the reading of something like this. I tried to make a change that I hope reflects your concerns. “For adoptive fathers, who have heard the call of God to lovingly step forward for those that need their care.”
Thank you so much for this litany! We used it in church yesterday!
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Thank you so much! We used your litany for Mother’s Day, and I started to freak out because I didn’t know if I could find a litany as good as that one for Father’s Day. So I looked here first…and way to deliver!
With sincere thanks,
Rev. Marissa Harrison
Used your Litany for Mother’s Day and now I’m excited to use your Litany for Father’s Day as well! Thank you! They are beautiful!
–Pastor Nikki, Boston, MA