One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these — to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Let Your Soul Light Shine Bright,
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: The days grow shorter.
In shadowy times like these we long for signs of hope.
People: War and unrest echo around the world.
We long for peace and justice.
Leader: The light of God, shining through us,
can shower sparks of hope into the depth of despair.
People: The Spirit of God gathers us in goodness,
filling our hearts with flashes of delight.
Leader: We come together to tend the lanterns of our souls,
to help the light of mercy shine bravely through us.
All: As we worship the God who calls us,
the Light of Christ shines in our lives,
brightening a world that yearns for justice and peace.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: The world is much in need
of bright beacons and strong signal fires.
People: Our sparks often flicker and vanish,
even as they are lit.
Leader: Many need mercy and hope and care.
All: We shy away from these needs,
afraid of their intensity,
paralyzed by their great size.
Forgive us, Holy One,
when our flares die out and we turn away.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Holy One sees our flickering fires
and our weakness of heart.
From the ashes come new sparks
of warmth and caring.
We are forgiven and made whole.
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
INTERCESSION AND PETITION
All: O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen.
Leader 1: This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.
Leader 2: We gather now as one body, joined around the table.
Here we celebrate God’s presence among us
united in Christ’s spirit, broken and whole all at once;
All: Nourished and hungry, loved and loving,
sinner and forgiven; we make one circle of knowing,
believing, rejoicing, being,
as God lights and rests among us.
Leader 1: God of light and shadow, we give you thanks
for sparks and flares and signal fires,
for the brightness of the vision you set before us.
People: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
shining like a golden lantern,
lighting the way towards justice and peace.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for Jesus,
in whom the divine light shown so brightly
that those around him knew they were in your presence.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
where we learn how to be both fierce and merciful,
to allow your Holy Word to speak through our lives.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Leader 1: Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Leader 2: Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
Leader 1: On the night of his arrest, Jesus took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, broke it and said,
This is my body,
broken for the healing of the world.
Whenever you eat it, do so remembering me.
Leader 2: After supper, Jesus took the cup and said,
This is the cup of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for all.
Whenever you drink it, do so remembering me.
All: O Holy One, send down your Spirit
that these gifts of bread and cup
may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Unite us with Christ forever
and bring us with the whole creation
to your eternal realm.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
If you do not wish to receive the elements today you are welcome to join the circle and allow them to pass, or remain in your seat. We serve grape juice in our cups.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
in our celebration of bread and cup.
Bless this body of Christ
that we may attend faithfully
to our call to be your servants,
with each other and throughout the world.
Leader: O Holy One,
thank you for rekindling our inner fire
for the days ahead.
Help our souls to shine brightly
as we move beyond the light of this sanctuary
into the shadows of our world.
Grant us courage and compassion,
that we may be both fierce and merciful.
In the name of God our creator,
Jesus our teacher,
and the Holy Spirit our guiding light,
Let us greet one another with signs of peace.