I’m not ready. The turkey soup is not made yet. I haven’t found time to clean the house and decorate. I come home from work to fix dinner, do my charting and then FLOP. The idea of wrestling down boxes and bins is unappealing, to say the least.
But I’m just not ready to put up the tree and all the lights.
I’m not ready to find the crèches and the stockings for display.
I’m especially not ready for every nasal, scoop-noted pop star butchering carols on store Muzak everywhere. (There oughta be a law…)
I’m not ready. I’m tired. And just a little bit grumpy.
So, Lord, prepare my heart. Make the rough places smooth. Ease the darker moments with filtered-down Light. Send Your Love. Send your Peace. And lift my eyes to see the Joy of Heaven.
Call and Response: Litanies for Congregational Prayer Fran Pratt. Outpost Press. (c) 2018. ISBN:978-0-578-21386-6
This small paperback fills a need for busy pastors who want to provide meaningful litanies for use in congregational worship. Written in modern English, the litanies cover a wide variety of uses within the congregation, from confession to prayer, to coping with mass tragedies and suffering. There are 6 main sections to make it easier to find the most fitting prose.
One section, Litanies for Church Rituals, covers the regular events of Church life such as baptism, welcoming new members, and ordination. If one is already in a congregation which uses a fixed liturgy, these will still be useful to augment the practice and worship of a congregation.
Of all of the litanies, my favorite one is a litany titled “Litany for Song.” Perhaps it is due to my background in music education and worship leading, but it spoke to my heart of hearts. The reminder that God Sang Creation into Being resonated deeply for me.
The appendices are among my favorite portions of this book. Appendix B provides weekly litanies for Advent, and Appendix C is written for Lent. Appendix A provides two tender, compassionate litanies: one for Racism in the United States, and the other for Victims of Sexual Violence. Both use language which does not excuse the perpetrator, nor does it allow for a judgmental spirit.
For those not familiar with Fran’s work, an archive of her work is found here. New liturgies are now only accessed through her Patreon website for a small subscription fee. If you are planning worship services on a regular basis, it is worth paying to support her work. I highly recommend her work.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided this book without cost from the publisher and was not required to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Tonight I offer
prayers for the whys
prayers for the not agains
prayers for the dying
prayers for the dead
prayers for the angry
prayers for the scared
prayers for the healers
prayers for the investigators
prayers for the grieving
prayers for the bystanders
prayers for the perpetuators of hate
prayers for the unhelpful rhetoric
prayers for the politicians
prayers for news outlets
prayers for our faith communities
prayers for the gun lovers
prayers for the gun lobbyists
prayers for the peacemakers
prayers for change
prayers for hope…
I saw the wildfires, Lord.
The flames licking at houses, scorching trees.
The stuff of homes and families and memories…
I am undone.
The raging power of the flames scared me,
their passion was so all-consuming.
but unlike the fires,
You are not capricious.
You are not destructive.
I searched my heart…
In the haze of my busy-ness, do I sense You?
Do I know the heat of Your love?
Do I feel Your unbridled power?
Do I feel at all?
What is burning? What is glowing?
What inspiration burns inside me?
In the past,
I have longed, burned for You…
I am tired and distracted,
Brittle with anger
instead of supple with your Grace.
Rekindle my joy
Rebuild my heart
Remind me of the transforming power
of Your love
again and again.