Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Liturgy For Naming and Claiming Racism-A Call To Repent by Mary Weber, ARCWP

                    Liturgy For Naming and Claiming Racism-A Call To Repent

 Quieting, Centering with Psalm 23, Bobby Mc Ferrin’s Version on You Tube

Voice 1:   In the name of our Provident God who shares divinity with us, our Provident God who shares humanity with us, in the name of our Provident God, Spirit who inspires and unsettles us.  ALL:  Amen.

Voice1:  My sisters and brothers, God is with you!  ALL:  And also with you.

 Let us light a candle in memory of the Charleston 9.


Voice1: We are all painfully aware of the massacre of nine African Americans in church in Charleston, South Carolina recently. Our hearts go out to the families, friends and the Charleston community. Let us name each victim at this time and hold them in silent prayer:

Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. Dr. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, The Honorable Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons .Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson


Voice 1:  While acknowledging this shameful tragedy, the senseless loss of life, the hate driven actions of a young white man, we also affirm his need for redemption, and forgiveness. We pray for Dylan Storm Roof, his family and friends.

All:  Wrap Dylan in the arms of Peace, teach him the way of love, and free him from the bondage of hate and evil. Come to his assistance, O God.


Voice 1:  We ask for the grace to continually acknowledge our need to grow in goodness and caring for ourselves and for others. We renounce in ourselves all vestiges of racism, superiority, and entitledness.   ALL:  We accept your love and forgiveness for the frailty of our human nature.  We leave here at this altar all that holds us back from the unity that you desire.


Voice 1:  And we join with you, Jesus the Christ, believing the strength and insight of the Holy Spirit will lead us to deeper dedication to justice, equality and peace in our world.    ALL:  Amen.


First Reading: Wisdom: 1:13-15 2:23-24

Responsorial Psalm 30:  REFRAIN: At nightfall weeping enters in, but with the dawn rejoicing! ( Selected verses from Nan Merrill’s Psalms)

Second Reading: A Reading from Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Metropolitan Church Leader.

Third Reading: From Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Metropolitan Church Leader

Gospel Acclamation:  Jesus the Christ Destroyed Death and brought Light to life through the Gospel!

Gospel; Mark: 5:21-24, 35 to 43

Reader:  A reading from the Gospel according to Mark

ALL:  Glory to you O God.  

After the Gospel: This is the Good News of the Gospel

All: Glory to you Jesus the Christ

Homily (The Public Statement of Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton on the Murders of the Charleston 9)

 Statement of Faithfulness  

I believe that the Source of Creation

radiates through the cosmos as Supreme Intelligence,

absolute love, ineffable beauty.

I believe that the Source from which we come is alive in us

as our breath, and as we speak and sing and breathe,

we released the beauty of the Creator into the world.

I believe that the universe is unfolding through me,

and that it is through my being that it is becoming self-aware.

I believe that the greatest challenge for humans is to free ourselves

from religious trappings and cultural constraints that perpetuate

our powerlessness and dependence on external forces.

I believe that healing the wounds of the earth and its people

is a holy act that, in itself, heals us.

I believe that our worldviews create the world we experience,

and as we alter them, we alter our lives in the world.

Amen. Adapted from An Apostles Creed © 2012 Jan Philipps

Voice 2: Let us pray: Loving God, we are mindful that we belong to one human

family, a family of all the peoples of the earth, a circle of astounding diversity of cultures.  Enrich our lives by ever -widening circles of companions and show us your presence in those who differ most from us. All: Amen


Prayers of Naming and Claiming and Repenting


For the racism which denies dignity to people of color.   Response: Merciful God, forgive us. 

For the racism which recognizes prejudice in others but never in ourselves. R. Merciful God, forgive us.

For the racism that will not recognize the work of your Spirit in other cultures. R.

Forgive those of us who have been silent and apathetic in the face of racial intolerance and bigotry, overt and subtle, public and private. R. Take away the arrogance and superiority which infect us.

Break down the walls and barriers that separate us. R. Help us to find the unity that will enable us to become your beloved community reflecting unconditional love, affirmation and acceptance.

Empower us to speak truth to power, to interact with one another with respect and forbearance. R. May we embody justice and equality in all of our actions and bring about your kindom here!

Intercessions:  And for what else shall we pray?

Let us pray: O God of unconditional love, you show no partiality in respect to people or nations, we have heard this good news and rejoice in the human family. Knit us into a people, a seamless garment of many colors reflecting your very self.

May we celebrate our unity, made whole in our diversity. Gift us with the necessary courage and wisdom to change our racist structures and systems. Be with this nation as we journey on to become a united country which values freedom and justice for ALL!   Amen


Voice 2:  Blessed are you, gracious God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made.  It will become for us the bread of life. 

ALL:  Blessed be God forever. 

Voice 2: By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.  Blessed are you, gracious God of all creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands.  It will become our spiritual drink.   ALL:  Blessed be God forever. 

Voice 2:  God is always with you.  ALL:  And also with you. 

Voice 2:  Together, we lift up our hearts.  ALL:  To God and one another we lift them. 

Voice 2:  Together, we give thanks to our gracious God.  ALL:  Indeed it is right to constantly give thanks and praise.   Let us pray together our Eucharist Prayer.  (adapted by Jay Murnane)

Alternate readers around the room:

Blessed are you, gracious God of all creation. Through your goodness, you made this world and called us to be your co-creators.

We thank you for the universe, this good planet, all the wonderful diversity and beauty of life around us and within us.

We thank you for our freedom, for the dreams of the young and the visions of the elders. /

We praise you, for you call us to build the earth into a community of love rooted in justice.

You have placed confidence in us, for you have made us and you know that we are good.

In joy and in thanksgiving for your call to us, we join with all creation as we say:

Holy, Holy, Holy, God of wonderful life;

Heaven and earth are full of your glory, Rejoice! Rejoice!

Blessed are they who come in the name of the God of wonderful life.

Rejoice! Rejoice! /

Gracious God, we do not always understand what you would have us do; it is difficult to grasp the mysterious depths of your love.

That is why Jesus lived among us, to show us who we are. He challenged us to know you as parent, and taught us not to be afraid.

He showed us how to forgive and taught us the strength of compassionate love.

On the night before he died, so that he and all of us could really live, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with the people closest to him. Like the least of household servants he washed their tired and dusty feet, and said, "When you do this, you remember me."/

Back at the table he took the Passover bread, spoke the grace, broke the bread and offered it to them: “Take and eat, this is my body.”

Then he took the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered them the wine:

“Take and drink the covenant renewed in my blood,

for you and for everyone, that all captivity may cease.

When you do this you remember me.”/


Gracious God, you breathe your own spirit into us, and it is by your spirit that we live. This attunes us to your wisdom and your call whenever we listen carefully and helps us to see beyond the barriers of our blindness./



Alternate readers around the room:

We will do the work of compassion and justice so that all women and men can approach each other as equals, living in the light of your constant care.

We make our prayer as Jesus did:

Gracious God, creating all around us;

Respectfully, we celebrate our mutual existence.

Beautiful earth life happens here and everywhere./

Since we have everything we need right here, we can share with each other

And our earth life can be less painful and more healing.

For it is through us, with us, in us, in our unity, creating with you, Gracious God, today and always.  Amen. /

Voice 2: Let us share the deep reality of universal communion. Let us eat and drink deeply of the Bread and Cup of Life and Love Give glory to the living God whose covenant with us we have experienced in Jesus.

All: Glory to God! As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


When bread is on every table,

All will know that Jesus is risen.

Then the poor of the world will feast,

And their children will sing Alleluia.

From Bread on Every Table9Monks of Weston Priory


ALL:  Our Father and Mother . . .

Voice 3:  Deliver us, God, from every evil and grant us peace in our day.  In your mercy keep us holy in your sight and protect us from all anxiety and fear.  We watch and wait; we search and find all the signs that You are continually with us, calling us to new life. 

ALL:  For the kindom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.  Amen.


Voice 3:  Jesus, You said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you.  My peace I give you.”  Look on the faith of all and grant us the peace and unity of your kindom where you live forever and ever.  ALL:  Amen.  

Voice 3:  May the peace of our gracious God be always with you.  ALL: And also with you 

Voice 3:Let us offer each other a sign of peace.



ALL:  Fountain of Life, You call us to spirit-filled living; guide us by your Spirit.  Fountain of Life, You call us to spirit-filled service; strengthen us to serve with compassion.  Fountain of Life, You call us to be Your spirit in the world, grant us peace

Voice 1:  This is Jesus, who liberates, heals and transforms our world.  All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.   ALL:  We are the Body of Christ. 


Voice 1:  Gracious God, may the Eucharist that we celebrate bring us to share Christ’s healing  power with one another.  May we continue to be faithful to the mission and ministry of spreading the Good News of God’s faithful love.  May we accept the liberating power of the Holy Spirit who is with us still.  This we ask in the name of Jesus, the Christ. 

ALL:  Amen. 


Voice 1:  May God be with you.  ALL:  And also with you. 

Voice 1:  Let us call upon our gracious God as we share blessings with each other.  We bless one another and pledge to live the beatitudes of Christ.  ALL:  Amen.

Voice 1:  We bless one another and pledge to manifest unconditional love in all our actions. 

ALL:  Amen. 

Voice 1:  We bless one another and pledge to bring the service of the Gospel to all we met.  ALL:  Amen. 


(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.)

ALL:  May our gracious God, bless all here gathered in the name of God our Creator, in the name of Jesus our

Liberator, in the name of the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier as we care and minister to one another in love, for we are the people of God.  Amen.


Voice 1:  Go in the peace of Christ.  Let our service begin! 

ALL:  Thanks be to God. 

You Tube: Make Me a Channel of our Peace

Some of this content was taken from The United Church of Christ’s Prayers for Racial Justice Sunday. Much was taken directly or adapted from Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s “ A Service of Repentance and Mourning “ with permission. Bridget Mary Meehan, Dotty Shugrue, Mary T. Streck and Mary Weber contributed to the liturgy.

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