News

Gathered in masks, gathered in love — Amanda Udis-Kessler, USA

A responsive Call to Worship for face-to-face worship with COVID-19 protection We gather today in masks. We gather today in love. Wearing masks shows our commitment to the health of all people. We gather today in compassion. Wearing masks enables us to welcome others into our physical space. We gather today in hospitality. Wearing masks […]

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Flowering Prayer — Donna Cooney, USA

Women taught me to pray. Fold your hands Bow your head Close your eyes were their gentle Sunday instructions. I was a child in the company of women planting seeds. For years I folded inward and prayed. In the dark Chin lowered Hands together I was tightly sealed, Yet there was life: the seeds became […]

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Rural Mission Sunday UK, mid-July

Rural Mission Sunday is an annual event celebrating the work of small rural churches.  It provides an opportunity to celebrate growth and abundance. Prayer of adoration  God of mountains and mustard seed,skylarks and cattle; We give you thanks for all that you have made. As we look at your world in all its beauty and […]

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Ascension Day – 4oth Day of Easter

Ascension Ascending Who went where? Where is the place or space or experience to which they went? Why up? Above the clouds? Beyond the Horsehead Nebula? Into the void? What words, what concepts do we use to talk about this mysterious event? Or is it a non-event? It comes around every year, 40 days after […]

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On-line communion thanksgiving — Cara Heafey, UK

Prayer after communion Please pray with me… Thank you for the grace that makes space for us at your table. Thank you for the familiar and beloved faces on our screens. Thank you for the closeness we experience through technology, and through sharing this meal together. May we continue our lives having been nourished and […]

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Endangered Species Day, 17 May

Endangered Species and Christian Faith When God called on Noah to protect all creatures, Noah had no choice which creatures to load on board. All of creation belongs to God, and Noah was merely caretaker. Like Noah, we have a moral responsibility to safeguard God’s creatures from irreparable harm from the dangers they face today. […]

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Mothers’ Day Proclamation 1870 – Julia Ward Howe

Mothers’ Day Proclamation 1870 – Julia Ward Howe While Julia Ward Howe uses language specific to wives, sons and husbands, her message reminds us how a day conceived as an anti-war activist’s cry for peace can be sentimentalised and re-directed over time.  I post this in honour of my mother,  Dotty Dale, who continued to […]

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His were the hands — Duncan Wilson, UK

His were the hands That shaped the wood That smoothed the knot That summoned the friends And launched the boat His were the hands That touched the blind And opened ears That held the child And cast out fears His were the hands That fingered the coin That plucked the corn That wrote in sand […]

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Mothers’ Day history

What words work on Mothers’ Day, a Sunday observance (second Sunday in May) many worship leaders find challenging? As we prepare to celebrate Mothers’ Day, our horizons broaden as we become familiar with the history of the day.  (Click here to read the full biography of Julia Ward Howe from which this text is taken.) […]

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A Coronavirus Prayer — Kildare & Leighline Diocese, Ireland

from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin, Ireland Loving and healing God, we, turn to you in prayer, Confident that you are with us and with all people in every moment. We stand before you as people of hope, trusting in your care and protection. May your faithful love support us and soothe […]

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A Coronavirus Prayer — USA

Loving God, your desire is for our wholeness and well being. We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time. We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened. We ache for ourselves and our neighbors, standing before an uncertain future. We pray: may love, not fear, go viral. […]

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May words

  Worship Words resources for special days and events in May:   8 May  – Julian of Norwich 40th Day of Easter – Ascension Day First Sunday – Pluralism Sunday Second Sunday – Mother’s Day (Australia, USA and elsewhere) 15 May  – Nakba  – the Palestinian Catastrophe Late May – Matariki (at the rising of […]

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COVID-19 Prayer – Steve Francis, Australia

Gracious and loving God, the Psalmist reminds us that, ‘You are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’. God, we feel deeply that our world is in trouble with the spread of the coronavirus. There is a heightened sense of fear and anxiety about the future. We ask that we may calmly and […]

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Inclusive Benediction — Jann Aldridge-Clanton, USA

Go now in the comfort and peace of the One who gave birth to us. Go in the assurance that the Comforter is with us always. Go to give comfort and peace to others. Divine Wisdom guide us as we go forth on Her paths of peace. May She give us blessings more precious than […]

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Transfiguration Confession — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

Christ, Brother, Teacher, Friend, As we look upon your face transformed by the light of Love, we confess that we have chosen to walk in the darkness of fear, prejudice, selfishness, shame and pride. As we marvel at your ability to forgive and heal, reconcile and make new, we confess that we have chosen to […]

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Let me walk in love beside you, hymn — Ray Stanyon, UK

Tune: St Andrews (Edward Henry Thorne, 1834-1916) used for Jesus calls us O’er the tumult Let me walk in love beside you All along life’s dusty road Hearing, knowing every burden Let me help to share your load Wounds and pain arise to rob us Of a love community Guard me from a self-importance Seeing […]

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Gathering Words (Psalm 112) — Ana Gobledale, UK

Adapted from Psalm 112:1-10, Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, Year A Praise the Biggest of the Big!* Happy are those who fear the Eternal One, who greatly delight in the divine commandments. They are gracious, merciful, and just. They rise in the darkness as a light for others. *Nkulunkulu, ‘the biggest of the big’ – Ndebele […]

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Liturgies responding to climate change — Operation Noah, UK

Operation Noah –‘faith motivated, science informed and hope inspired’ Operation Noah, an ecumenical Christian UK charity provides resources responding to ‘the growing threat of catastrophic climate change endangering God’s creation.’ True to their self-definition as ‘an inclusive group,’ there are usually two versions of each resource available: one incorporating inclusive language and imagery and a […]

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Universal Prayer for Peace

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth; lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust; lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe. Each day at noon people of all faiths and none use this ‘Universal Prayer for Peace’. […]

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Martin Luther King Day, USA

Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.’  –Revd Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Martin Luther King Day is an […]

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Help us — Mary Carpenter, UK

Echos of the Jesus Prayer Loving God, we know that you forgive us our trespasses as we must forgive those who trespass against us. And yet how hard we find it to follow your loving example in our day to day lives. Help us to resist the temptations of revenge and retribution and turn instead […]

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Christmas Greetings from Ana at Worship Words

Unto us a child is born!  Emmanuel! Christmas greetings from Worship Words… May this season of light and hope transform our lives and world anew, creating new commitments to reconciliation and peace.  May God’s promise of new life renew our faith and inspire us to care more. For those who find themselves in darkness, may […]

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Prayer for human rights — Joint Liturgical Group, UK

As the nations mark Human Rights Day on 10 December, we pray that governments worldwide will ensure their people have adequate health care, proper provision of food, clothing, housing and social welfare. We pray that all will be provided with the security of a basic income, the opportunity of a free education, and the guarantee […]

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From darkness to light: the Advent procession –Salisbury Cathedral, UK

This annual service, ‘From Darkness to Light’, held in Salisbury Cathedral starts in complete darkness.  A single candle is lit, and the light spreads throughout the cathedral until hundreds of lights burn brightly illuminating the vastness. These words from the programme set the scene: “The darkness is at one and the same time a comforting […]

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Advent vestry prayer — UK

Bless us this advent Sunday. Thank you for the joy we find spending time with one another as the excitement of Jesus’s birth becomes infectious. Bless us and those taking part in the service and give them courage, peace and strength to overcome any nerves. Let us celebrate this special Sunday together as the family […]

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World AIDS Day Prayer — Joint Liturgical Group, UK

As churches and world health organizations mark World AIDS Day, we pray for a continuing awareness of the AIDS pandemic.  We remember the millions of men, women and children worldwide living with HIV.  We pray for all who care for HIV sufferers and those involved in research to control and eradicate the virus. The JLG […]

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Psalm 122, contemporary versions — Zambia & UK

The first three contemporary versions of Psalm 122, variations on a theme, were written collaboratively by groups of theology and ministry students at the United Church of Zambia University, Mindolo.  The fourth version arises from the United Kingdom. Psalm 122 is a reading for the First Sunday of Advent, Year A. Psalm 122 — arising […]

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Blessing of a home — Zambia

  Scripture sentences Psalm 127:1 Proverbs 18:10   Word of Blessing God, creator of the universe and giver of all possession, we thank you for the privilege given to this family [insert names].  We dedicate this house to you and declare that your light shines in this house. Our prayer is that nothing evil will […]

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Open our eyes — Heather Pencavel

An Opening Prayer   (might be used as the basis of a vestry prayer) Open our eyes, ever-present God, To see you here and now in this place and in one another. Open our ears, Word of Life, To hear you speaking in the words we hear and say and sing and in the silence. Open […]

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Luke 23:33-43 drama, the crucifixion — Ana Gobledale, UK

Luke 23:33-43 – Jesus and the two criminals Told from the perspective of three Roman soldiers present at the crucifixion of Jesus. Appropriate for Good Friday or the 24th Sunday of Pentecost, Year C. Ready-to-print scripts: Luke 23, 33-43 drama PDF Luke 23, 33-43 drama  Storyteller: Today’s Gospel reading, from Luke’s account, reminds us how […]

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Our Father, Our Mother: Parallel versions — Orchard Ridge, Wisconsin USA

  Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ in Madison, Wisconsin USA, provides a comprehensive selection of modern versions of the Lord’s Prayer, the Prayer of Jesus. Orchard Ridge describes itself as “spiritually alive, joyfully inclusive, committed to justice.” Our Father, Our Mother: Parallel versions  Ready-to-print copies: Our Father – Our Mother PDF Our Father – […]

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Psalm 46:1-11 – Zambian revision

Psalm 46:1-11 – Zambian revision* God is our shelter and hiding place Always with us to help us. Regardless of hard times, God’s assurance is with us. Even if challenges overwhelm us, Or chaotic things are within us, There is a place of peace where God is in control. Because God is with us, we […]

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