Tag Archives: liturgy

Maundy Thursday Liturgy

Maundy Thursday

Liturgist:     Jesus spent his life teaching us the meaning of love.  Through word and deed Jesus showed us how to love God and to love one another.  He fed the hungry.  He healed the sick.  He invited the women and the children and the tax collectors and the sinners to come to his table.  He broke bread with the least and the lost and shared the cup of redemption with them all.  He crossed boundaries of race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, and class.  He challenged religious authority, and he scoffed at pomposity and self-absorbed grandeur.  He called out the hypocrites.  He admonished the scribes and the Pharisees for their hardened hearts.  He brought a simple message: Love God, love yourself, and love one another.

All:       We gather in the name of Jesus and remember the way that he showed us.  We gather to remember not just his death, but his life.

UM Hymnal #174 – His Name is Wonderful

Liturgist:     The way of Jesus goes through the cross, but we are not there yet.  It is close.  We can see its shadow.  We can feel the cold, dark, night. We know that the enemies of God are conspiring.  They have had enough of him.  He threatens their comfort.  He threatens their way of life.  He threatens their power.  They will come for him.  First though, we will gather.  We gather with Jesus and his closest friends.  We gather with those that called him teacher, Rabbi, friend.  We gather for the Passover meal, to remember that God saved the people from slavery.  God saved once.  God saves forevermore.

All:       God saved the Israelites at Passover, and revealed that it is God who reigns, not the Pharaoh.  Our God saved once.  God saves forevermore.

UM Hymnal #448 – Go Down, Moses

Liturgist:     Even as they were sharing this sacred meal together, the disciples were not of one heart.  Jesus knew that he was asking much from these men, and he knew that they would fail him.  Judas had already agreed to betray Jesus to the religious authorities.  Was he angry at some slight?  Was he disappointed that Jesus would not raise an army against the Romans? Was he upset with the value of the oil that the woman “wasted” when she anointed Jesus?  We will never know Judas’ heart, but Jesus knew that he would be betrayed.  And did Jesus do with the man that would betray him?  He broke bread with him. All of the disciples were deeply saddened, and they asked:

All:     I would never betray you, Lord.  It’s not me, is it?

Leader One:      On the night in which Jesus was betrayed by his friend, he took the bread, gave thanks to God, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: “This is my body, which is broken for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

Leader Two:    When the supper was over he took the cup, gave thanks to God, gave it to his disciples and said, “Drink from this all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant which is poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this, as often as you drink of it, in remembrance of me.”

Leader One:      And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

All:       Christ has died. Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.

Leader One:    Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and the cup.  Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by Christ’s blood.  By your Holy Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, and we feast at his heavenly banquet.  Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your Holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father now and forever.

Communion in silence

Liturgist:     When the holy meal had been shared, the disciples began to argue over which one would be the greatest.  Even here, at the end of their time together, they did not seem to understand what Jesus had been teaching them all along.  He reminded them that to be great in the Kingdom of God meant to serve.  After Jesus’ talk of betrayal, the disciples’ argument, and Jesus’ rebuke of them, the disciples seemed to be growing anxious. Peter proclaimed:

All:       “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

Liturgist:     And Jesus replied, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day until you have denied three times that you know me.”

The Faith We Sing, Hymn #2112 – Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley

Liturgist:     Afterwards, Jesus led his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane.  He asked them to pray for him, for he wanted to be alone.  There, Jesus prayed.  He asked his friends to keep watch, but they kept falling asleep.  He prayed for another way out.  He prayed in anguish.  He prayed as a man who could feel pain, who would be hurt by betrayal, who would be scarred by the scourge, and would bleed when nails were driven into his arms and legs.  He prayed as a man who knew that if he followed God’s will, he would be charged, convicted, mocked, humiliated, abandoned, and nailed to a cross.  Knowing all of this full well he prayed, “Not my will, but yours.”  Then he stood up for all that he had lived for.  When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come to into the time of trial”

All:       Judas said to Jesus, “Rabbi” and kissed him.  Then they came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him.

UM Hymnal #290 – Go to Dark Gethsemane (verses 1-3 only)

Liturgist:     There was a brief skirmish at the arrest, but his disciples quickly scattered.  Peter, who had only hours before promised to go with Jesus to prison, even death, followed from a distance.  During the trial, Peter remained hidden in the shadows.  First a servant girl saw him and said, “This man was also with him.”

All:       “Woman, I do not know him.”

Liturgist:     A little later someone else, on seeing him said, “You also are one of them.”

All:       “Man, I am not.”

Liturgist:     Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man was with him; for he is a Galilean.”

All:       “I do not know what you are talking about.  I do not know Jesus.”

Liturgist:     At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed.  The Lord turned and looked at Peter.  Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said to him, and he wept bitterly.

UM Hymnal #288 – Were You There

Stripping of the table (All of the items that adorn the Lord’s table, and all of the liturgical banners are removed in silence)

There will be no sending forth or postlude.  People are asked to leave in reflective silence, and return for Good Friday service and Easter Sunday service.

Good Friday Stations of the Gospel through Luke

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Liturgy for College Students

Pastor:        As you go back to college, we pray a special blessing upon you.

All:             We have enjoyed your presence with us this summer.  Your youth and your faith give us hope for a better future.

Pastor:        We call now upon the Holy Spirit to raise you up and keep you strong, safe, and secure.

All:             We pray for your safety and for your growth.  We thank God for your gifts and for this wonderful time of adventure and excitement in your lives.

Pastor:        We seek the Holy Spirit to keep your parents confident and at peace.

All:             We pray for your parents and families, for we know there is no greater risk than to allow children to grow.  We will do our best to support them with our presence and our prayers.

Pastor:        All this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Amen.

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Memorial Day Liturgy

Call to Worship

One:   Let us begin our time of worship with a moment of remembrance.

All:     We remember fallen soldiers, and the sacrifice they made for the sake of others.

One:   Let us begin our time of worship with a moment of thanksgiving.

All: We thank God for brave men and women that have given their lives so that we may worship without fear.

One: Let us begin our time of worship with a moment of silence; for a moment is the least we can do for those that gave their eternity.

Hymn  “God of All the Nations”


All:     God of every nation, as we remember those that gave their life for our sake, let us be stirred to action in their memory. We confess that we have not done all that is possible to promote peace and justice in our world.  We have not loved our neighbors, let alone our enemies.  Forgive us for failing to live up to your commandments. Empower us to work for your Kingdom in this world, and welcome us by your grace into your Kingdom in the next.  Amen.

Click here to see a Veteran’s Day Litany, which can be appropriate for Memorial Day as well.

Click here to read another reflection about Memorial Day and our struggle for peace.

Click here to read a reflection after doing a funeral at the Rock Island National Cemetery on Memorial Day weekend

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Veterans’ Day

Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares, a sculpture by Evgeniy Vuchetich in the United Nations Art Collection

Thankful For Veterans. Praying for peace.

Litany for Veterans

One: God of love, peace and justice, it is your will for the world that we may live together in peace. You have promised through the prophet Isaiah that one day the swords will be beaten into ploughshares. Yet we live in a broken world, and there are times that war seems inevitable. Let us recognize with humility and sadness the tragic loss of life that comes in war. Even so, as we gather here free from persecution, we may give thanks for those that have served with courage and honor.

Please Rise: Those that are in our presence that are either in active duty or reserve duty, and the fathers, mothers, siblings, spouses and grandparents of those that are currently serving.

All: God, we praise you for those that are willing to serve. Let all Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen serve with honor, pride, and compassion. Do not let their hearts be hardened by the actions they must take. Strengthen their families. Keep them surrounded in your love and peace.

Please Rise: Those that are in our presence that have served in the military in the past.

All: God, we praise you for those that have served in the military. We thank you for those that put the welfare of others ahead of their own safety. Let us all be inspired by their self-sacrifice in service to those who needed protection.

Please Rise: Those that are in our presence who have lost a loved one in war.

All: God, we praise you for those that have made the ultimate sacrifice. We ask that you comfort those that still feel the pain of their loss. Keep us mindful that you have promised to comfort those that mourn.

Please Rise: Those who have gathered in your name in safety because of the sacrifices of others.

All: God, we praise you for granting us these freedoms. Let us honor those who have served by working for peace. Let us never forget those that have served, and let us never let go of your promise of peace.

I also wrote this short Memorial Day liturgy.

A reflection for Memorial Day. Sometimes “Thank you” seems inadequate.

This litany was written by Robb McCoy. It is free to print or display for use in worship. Please attribute: “Permission to publish is granted by Robb McCoy, http://fatpastor.me.”  If you use this in worship, I would love for you to let me know in the comments.

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Fathers’ Day Litany

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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Call to worship invoking the Trinity

One:  God is a creating God.

All:    Making all things new through the Father’s love and grace.

One:  God is a redeeming God.

All:    Healing our relationship through Jesus, the Son.

One:  God is a sustaining God.

All:    Empowering us for God’s work through the Holy Spirit.

One:  Holy One, Three in One, we open ourselves to you.

All: Holy One, Three in One, create us, redeem us, sustain us.  Now and forever, Amen.

Free to use with attribution to https://fatpastor.wordpress.com

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