Seasonal Prayers

Prayers for Ordinary Time

Blessed are you, God of all creation,
and blessed is the communion
into which you gather us.

You promised through your beloved Son
that when two or three gather together in his name,
you will be there in the midst of them.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

We come defeated, we come dancing,
We come traumatized, we come trusting,
We come aggrieved, we come adoring;

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

We come because our hearts are made restless
by echoes of a song we have never heard
and memories of a place we have never seen.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Stanzas 1,2, 3 & conclusion by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.40. (altered)
Stanzas 4, 5 & 6 by Nathan Nettleton

O God, you search us out and know us,
and all that we are is open to you.
We confess that we are entangled in sin.

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we use our power to dominate
and our weaknesses to manipulate:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we evade responsibility
and fail to confront evil:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we are seduced by fashionable dreams
and pursue our desires at the expense of others:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we despair of changing the world
and neglect to change even ourselves:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we fail to integrate spirit and flesh
and forfeit our wholeness and dignity:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

We turn to you,
O God of infinite mercy;

We renounce evil;
We claim your love;
We choose to be made whole.

Insert Declaration of Grace/Absolution here from our weekly resources

We believe in God,
who made the world
and reaches out to it
with a love
fierce and passionate,
tender and kind.

We believe in Jesus, the Christ,
God revealed in a human life.
He touched the untouchable,
pardoned the unforgivable
and unmasked the powers that enslave us.
In fear and arrogance
we cast him, lifeless, into the grave,
and with him went our hopes of salvation.
Raised by God,
he is parting the sea of evil and despair
and leading us across
into the land of freedom and promise.

We believe in the Holy Spirit
– God's mysterious presence with us –
whose breathing gives life;
whose fire purges and renews;
whose wisdom
surprises, prompts and questions,
awakening courage, humour and hope.

We believe in ourselves;
made in the image of God
and growing to wholeness in Christ.
Gathered by the Spirit,
we have been baptised into a common life:
a life laid open to all;
overflowing with love and mercy;
richer than mind can measure,
but appearing foolish to the world.

And we trust
that the foolishness of God
will prove wiser
than the wisdom of the world,
and that the suffering of God
will heal the earth
and fulfil our hopes of justice and peace.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

We are the body of Christ.
His Spirit is with us.
Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
(Traditional)


Insert the Preface of the Week here - available from Laughing Bird Weekly Texts


Therefore with the whole realm of nature around us,
With earth, sea and sky,

We sing to you.

With the angels and archangels who envelop us,
With all the saints before us and beside us,
With brothers and sisters, east and west, north and south,

We sing to you.

And with our loved ones,
separate from us now,
who yet, in this mystery are close to us,

We sing the hymn of unending praise:

Adapted from "The Prayer of Thanksgiving" on page 67 of The Iona Community Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow, 1991.


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of truth and light,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

With the exceptions of the alterations marked in green, this is the English translation of the Sanctus and Benedictus, © 1998 English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC)


Blessed are you, O God,
who sets the table of creation
and invites us to feast with you
in a cosmic celebration
of love and desire.

We thank you for Jesus,
whose life, prayer and ministry
opened our eyes
to the glory of life
and fuelled our hunger
for your long anticipated reign
of justice, mercy and peace.

We thank you for Christ's passionate solidarity
with the suffering of all the earth;
for as he bore in his own body
the wounds of creation,
he embraced us in our brokenness
and gathered us into his wholeness
so that we might know ourselves beloved
and serve with him as priests forever
in an all-embracing eucharist.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net


Blessed is our brother Jesus,
bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh;
who, on the night when he was betrayed,
took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said:

"This is my body, which is for you.
Do this to remember me."

In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying:

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, whenever you drink it,
to remember me."

"Institution Narrative" by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.48 (altered).


So, as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.

Traditional


Therefore, here in this place,
we celebrate the life that death could not hold,
the life that Jesus has shared
among his community through the centuries,
And shares with us now.

From The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67


Made one with him,
and thus one with each other,
we lay before you these gifts of bread and wine,
in token of our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
for here we offer and present to you ourselves,
our bodies, minds and spirits,
to be a holy and continuous sacrifice to you.

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton from "The Desert Missal" of the Anamchara Celtic Church


Come, Holy Spirit, Come.
Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and brood over these bodily things,
this bread and this wine.
May they be for us the body and blood of Christ;
healing, renewing and making us whole.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come.
Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and embrace us with your life-giving power
that as bread and wine are made one with us,
we may become one with you;
bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come.
Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and make of your gathered people
the real presence of Christ for the world,
living our prayer and praying our life
till earth and heaven are reconciled,
and all are free as Christ is free.

Epiclesis over Bread and Wine adapted by Nathan Nettleton from prayers by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.47 & 49; and "Prayer of Blessing for the Sunday Morning Communion" The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67.


Glory be to you, O God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
– one God and Mother of all creation –
as in the beginning, so now, and forever.
Amen!

Doxology adapted from traditional texts by Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Prayers for Advent

Blessed are you, God of all creation,
and blessed is the communion
into which you gather us.

Your Word is conceived within us,
and we grow heavy with hope,
eagerly awaiting the day when all creation
will be delivered into your glorious freedom.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

The prophets crying in the wilderness awaken us
with their holy anger and passionate hope.
Come, Lord Jesus, bring the day of justice to birth.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

As the shadows shrink and the sun begins to bite,
we anticipate your coming with joy and fear.
Come, Lord Jesus, give us the courage to yield
to the purifying fire of your love, raging towards us.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Prayers of Confession Stanza 1 & conclusion by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.40.
Stanzas 2 - 6 by Nathan Nettleton, LaughingBird.net

O God, you search us out and know us,
and all that we are is open to you.
We confess that we are entangled in sin.

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we scoff at those who await your return,
and live as though you were never here:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we long for your coming to change the world,
and yet are unwilling to change even our own hearts:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we do not make straight paths for justice,
nor offer a welcome when you come as a stranger:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we dismiss prophets and angels
and refuse to nourish your seed within us:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we reduce our preparation for your coming
to reckless expense and trivialities:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

We turn to you,
O God of infinite mercy;

We renounce evil;
We claim your love;
We choose to be made whole.

Insert Declaration of Grace/Absolution here from our weekly resources

We believe in God,
creator and lover of the earth,
origin and destiny of us all.

We believe in Jesus the Christ
- God coming to us
in the fragile promise
of a baby yet unborn -
who emerges as the herald of hope,
God's laughter in the face of despair.
Plunged into death and hell,
he broke free the captives,
and is leading the way
to the land of promise
where justice and peace will flourish.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
who implants the seed of truth,
brings us to birth
as the body of Christ,
and empowers us
to confront and transform
all that is corrupt, degrading and deceitful.

We believe in the coming reign of God.
Announced by the Baptist,
it has drawn near to us in Jesus,
and will be consummated
in the glorious marriage of earth and heaven,
when all who have passed through
the world's deep sorrow
will be raised from the waters,
robed in righteousness,
and gathered into the joyous fulfilment
of God's desire.

For the coming of that day on this day,
we work and pray:
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

We are the body of Christ.
His Spirit is with us.
Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
(Traditional)


Insert the Preface of the Week here - available from Laughing Bird Weekly Texts


Therefore with the whole realm of nature around us,
With earth, sea and sky,

We sing to you.

With the angels and archangels who envelop us,
With all the saints before us and beside us,
With brothers and sisters, east and west, north and south,

We sing to you.

And with our loved ones,
separate from us now,
who yet, in this mystery are close to us,

We sing the hymn of unending praise:

Adapted from "The Prayer of Thanksgiving" on page 67 of The Iona Community Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow, 1991.


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of truth and light,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

With the exceptions of the alterations marked in green, this is the English translation of the Sanctus and Benedictus, © 1998 English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC)


Blessed are you, O God,
who is
and was
and is to come,
the beginning and the end.

Blessed are you and blessed is your son, Jesus,
born to proclaim the gospel of grace,
to overcome the world's deceiver,
and to unveil for us our ancient destiny.

We bless you for Christ,
who was wounded and died for our freedom,
and yet is alive forever,
who guides us to life's wellspring
that we may receive from it freely
and be strengthened to endure in hope
until the powers of evil are thrown down
and death itself is destroyed.
Then you will have made all things new, O God,
and mourning and crying and pain will be no more.

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton from a Thanksgiving by Philip Newell, An Earthful of Glory, London:SPCK, 1996, p.121-122.


Blessed is our brother Jesus,
the coming one who makes all things new;
who, on the night when he was betrayed,
while speaking of the fulfillment of salvation,
took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said:

"This is my body, which is for you.
Do this to remember me."

In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying:

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, whenever you drink it,
to remember me."

Institution Narrative adapted by Nathan Nettleton from versions by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.48 and Philip Newell, An Earthful of Glory, London:SPCK, 1996, p.122.


So, as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.

Traditional


Therefore, here in this place,
we celebrate the life that death could not hold,
the life that Jesus has shared
among his community through the centuries,
And shares with us now.

From The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67


Made one with him,
and thus one with each other,
we lay before you these gifts of bread and wine,
in token of our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
for here we offer and present to you ourselves,
our bodies, minds and spirits,
to be a holy and continuous sacrifice to you.

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton from "The Desert Missal" of the Anamchara Celtic Church


Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and brood over these bodily things,
this bread and this wine.
May they be for us the body and blood of Christ;
healing, renewing and making us whole.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and embrace us with your life-giving power
that as bread and wine are made one with us,
we may become one with you;
bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and make of your gathered people
the real presence of Christ for the world,
living our prayer and praying our life
till earth and heaven are reconciled,
and all are free as Christ is free.

Epiclesis over Bread and Wine adapted by Nathan Nettleton from prayers by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.47 & 49; and "Prayer of Blessing for the Sunday Morning Communion" The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67.


Glory be to you, O God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
– one God and Mother of all creation –
as in the beginning, so now, and forever.
Amen!

Doxology adapted from traditional texts by Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Blessed is our God,
and blessed is the One
who is coming to fulfil the communion of our God.

As the sun ascends ever higher, turning up the heat,
we anticipate his coming with joy and fear.
Let us yield to the purifying fire, raging towards us,
and pray for the coming of that day on this.

O Wisdom,
you are the breath of God filling the lungs of creation,
singing to us from every rock and tree,
weaving your strength and integrity into all things:
Come now and teach us the song lines of salvation.

Come, Lord, come quickly!
Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O Lord,
leader of your wilderness-wandering tribes;
you called to Moses from the burning bush
and gave him your law on the mountaintop:
Come quickly, set the world ablaze
with a passion for peace that will never go out.

Come, Lord, come quickly!
Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O Root of Jesse, rising from the ashes of death,
you are a sign that the victims of tyranny
will see the day of justice.
Before you, all who wield power fall silent:
Come, and cut down all callousness and greed.

Come, Lord, come quickly!
Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O Key of David, guardian of God's people;
what you open no one can close,
and what you close no one can open:
Come and set free all who are imprisoned
in dark hellholes of bitterness and despair.

Come, Lord, come quickly!
Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O rising sun of justice,
your splendour lights up the horizon,
promising an end to the dark hours of terror.
Come, shine on all who are haunted
by shadows of fear and the chill grip of death.

Come, Lord, come quickly!
Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O Ruler of the nations,
you are the great leader we long for,
the one rock around which all humanity can unite:
Come, save us, the people you formed from dust.

Come, Lord, come quickly!
Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

O Emmanuel,
hope of all our dreaming,
our true God, and Saviour of all:
Come, and deliver us into your glorious freedom.

Come, Lord, come quickly!
Come, Emmanuel.
Lord Jesus, come!

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton from the traditional texts ©2001 LaughingBird.net

O Wisdom
coming towards us on the breath of God,
seeping into every crack and corner of the world
with strength and gentleness to order everything just right:
Come now and show us the way to health and wholeness.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Adonai
Shepherd of God's people,
you made yourself known to Moses in a burning bush,
and let him in on life's best secrets on that very same mountain:
Come now, take us into your confidence as well.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Root of Jesse,
budding from a dead branch as a sign of hope for everyone,
the leaders of the world will stand in amazement at you,
and all their people as well:
Come quickly to deliver us from the rottenness of our politics.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Key of David,
true Pastor of all God's people,
you open doors that no-one can close,
and close doors that no-one can open:
Come now to set the prisoners free,
all those who live in darkness and despair.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Radiant Dawn,
glory and beauty of God's own face,
eternal Sun of justice and peace:
Come now to shine for everyone
who lives in the shadow of death.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Shepherd of all the world,
desire of every heart and nation,
you are the heartbeat of our fragile humanity:
Come now to save us,
we whom you formed from the dust of the earth.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

O Immanuel,
rightful ruler and giver of the secrets of life,
desire of every heart and saviour of the world:
Come now to make us your children,
for you are our God, the Lord of all.

Lord draw near.
Draw near and save.

Adapted by Garry Deverell from the traditonal texts.

Prayers for Christmas

Blessed are you, God of all creation,
and blessed is the communion
into which you gather us.

You come to us in everything you have created,
in seas and stars, in river and rock;
But now we celebrate the gift of yourself
given to us in a fragile baby;
gurgling, crying, laid in a manger,
sharer of our flesh and blood.

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Send your Holy Spirit among us,
that we might follow the star of your hope,
reflect the bright beams of your grace and truth,
and offer our gifts wherever we find your Son.

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Shine your light on us like the blazing sun,
withering all that is trivial and false,
forcing our roots deeper into your mercy,
and driving us to seek rest and replenishment
in the cool oceans of Christ's love.

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Stanzas 1,2, 3 & conclusion by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.40. (altered)
Stanzas 4, 5 & 6 by Nathan Nettleton

O God, you search us out and know us,
and all that we are is open to you.
We confess that we are entangled in sin.

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we make no room for Christ,
and fail to welcome him into our lives,

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we follow shooting stars
and squander our gifts in Herod's court,

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we seek to cut down those
who might rise above us,

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we sanitise your birth place
and erase from memory the poor and displaced,

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we sing sweet sentiments over Christ's birth,
and fail to rejoice over his everyday presence,

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

We turn to you,
O God of infinite mercy;

We renounce evil;
We claim your love;
We choose to be made whole.

Insert Declaration of Grace/Absolution here from our weekly resources

We believe in God,
the creator and giver of life,
who brought all creation to birth,
who mothers us and fathers us,
protecting, nurturing,
and cherishing us.

We believe in Jesus Christ:
God born among us as a fragile baby,
embodying both love and the need for love,
and calling us to rest in God
as trustingly as a tiny child.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
breathed into us at our birth,
always drawing us on to be born again,
encouraging, exhorting, comforting,
nourishing our growth
and inspiring our living.

We believe in the reconciliation
of the world to God, through Christ.
Hunted at birth
and humiliated at death,
Christ entered our fearful darkness
so that we might enter his glorious light
and share the life of his resurrection.

And we believe that each new child
is a glimpse of the face of God,
a sign of the life to come,
and a call to live in peace
and celebrate living together.

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to God's people on earth.
Amen.

Written by Nathan Nettleton, LaughingBird.net, 1999, incorporating some lines from "Midwife of our lives" by Kathy Galloway published in Kathy Galloway (ed.) The Pattern of Our Days, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1996, p.138.

We are the body of Christ.
His Spirit is with us.
Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
(Traditional)


Insert the Preface of the Week here - available from Laughing Bird Weekly Texts


Therefore with the woman who gave you birth,
with the man who took you on his shoulders,
with the shepherds who found you in a feed trough,
with the magi who knew of you from the silent stars,
and with the aged prophets who saw in you he redemption of the world:

We sing to you.

With the angels and archangels who envelop us,
With all the saints before us and beside us,
With brothers and sisters, east and west, north and south,

We sing to you.

And with our loved ones,
separate from us now,
who yet, in this mystery are close to us,

We sing the hymn of unending praise:

First stanza by Nathan Nettleton. 2nd & 3rd stanzas adapted from "The Prayer of Thanksgiving" on page 67 of The Iona Community Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow, 1991.


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of truth and light,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

With the exceptions of the alterations marked in green, this is the English translation of the Sanctus and Benedictus, © 1998 English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC)


Blessed are you,
O God of strength and vulnerability.
You are the midwife of our lives,
who pulls us, kicking, into life
and breathes Spirit into us.

Blessed is your servant Mary
and blessed is the holy child of her womb,
born into poverty and exile,
to proclaim the good news to the poor,
and freedom to all who are oppressed.

Blessed is your son, Jesus,
who emptied himself of power
and became foolishness for our sake:
heaven's child laid in a manger;
God's anointed laid in a tomb.
Born again from the shuddering earth,
he is embodied forever
in his living creation
and in these, its fruits of bread and wine.

By Nathan Nettleton incorporating materials from a "Eucharistic prayer for Christmas Eve" by Janet Morley All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.48 and "Midwife of our lives" by Kathy Galloway published in Kathy Galloway (ed.) The Pattern of Our Days, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1996, p.138.


Blessed is our brother Jesus,
bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh;
who, on the night when he was delivered over to death,
took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said:

"This is my body, which is for you.
Do this to remember me."

In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying:

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, whenever you drink it,
to remember me."

"Institution Narrative" by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.48 (altered).


So, as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.

Traditional


Therefore, here in this place,
we celebrate the life that death could not hold,
the life that Jesus has shared
among his community through the centuries,
And shares with us now.

From The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67


Made one with him,
and thus one with each other,
we lay before you these gifts of bread and wine,
in token of our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
for here we offer and present to you ourselves,
our bodies, minds and spirits,
to be a holy and continuous sacrifice to you.

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton from "The Desert Missal" of the Anamchara Celtic Church


Come, Holy Spirit, Come.
Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and deliver, in this bread and this wine,
the newborn life of Christ;
your bodily presence placed into our hands;
a wondrous gift,
an awesome trust.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come.
Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

As you were breathed into us at our birth,
fill us with new life again in this holy meal,
encouraging, exhorting, comforting,
nourishing our growth
and inspiring our living.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come.
Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and open our eyes to your presence,
that we might recognise in each new child
a glimpse of the face of God,
a sign of the life to come,
and a call to live in peace
and celebrate living together.

Epiclesis over Bread and Wine written by Nathan Nettleton, LaughingBird.net


Glory be to you, O God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
– one God and Mother of all creation –
as in the beginning, so now, and forever.
Amen!

Doxology adapted from traditional texts by Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Prayers for Lent

Blessed are you, God of all creation,
and blessed is the communion
into which you gather us.

Dry seeds of hope thirst for life-giving rain;
Hard heartlands yearn for a softening shower;
The dust and smoke of the parched earth
rise up with the prayers of your people:

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

Wearied by the heat of hostility,
your Son beats back the fires of hell,
and calls us to follow him on the road to life;
on through the charred valley of despair.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

Days shorten and clouds darken the horizon;
Bleached skeleton trees warn of unspeakable death,
and the crows keep a knowing eye on our journey.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Written by Nathan Nettleton, 2001, incorporating some ideas from prayers in Stages on the Way by the Wild Goose Worship Group © 1998 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow G51 3UU, Scotland.

O God, you search us out and know us,
and all that we are is open to you.
We confess that we are entangled in sin.

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

When we avoid examining ourselves
but jump to examine our neighbours:

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

When we show great discipline in pursuit of worldly wealth,
but invest neither energy nor enthusiasm in the treasures of the Spirit:

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

When we clamour for your crown,
but refuse to shoulder your cross:

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

When we confess you amongst your friends
but deny you when your enemies close in:

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

When we build our comforts and pleasures on the sacrifice of others,
instead of sacrificing our privileges to build a world that all can share:

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

When we would rather crucify the prophets
than unweave the web of injustice.

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

When we demand instant results
and scorn those who find value in waiting,
in yearning, even in suffering, even in dying:

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

When we look for
an easier gospel;
a lighter cross;
a less demanding saviour:

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Insert Declaration of Grace/Absolution here from our weekly resources

 

We believe in God,
creator of all that is and shall be,
redeemer of all that is less than it could be,
sustainer of our living, our loving, our being.

We believe in the cross of Christ,
drenched in hatred and cruelty,
yet overflowing with God's unquenchable love.

We believe in the bread of life:
broken and shared it opens our eyes to the presence of Christ
and strengthens us for the journey.

We believe in the pain suffered by Christ:
all our hurts, torments and betrayals
magnified in the purity of love,
and embraced that we might be free.

We believe in the joy of the Holy Spirit,
poured into the hearts of those
who with courage and resolve
refuse to trade integrity for popularity.

We believe in the gospel,
good news offered to us in Jesus,
despised by the world
but leading us in the way of life.

We believe in love:
the nature of God,
a gift unsurpassed,
but a mystery only fulfilled
when all else is relinquished.

We believe in light shining from darkness
in mercy vanquishing bitterness,
in life bursting free where death reigned.

How then shall we live?
How shall this faith take flesh in the world?

The cross?
We will take it.

The bread?
We will break it.

The pain?
We will bear it.

The joy?
We will share it.

The Gospel?
We will live it.

The love?
We will give it.

The light?
We will cherish it.

The darkness?
God shall perish it.

The responses at the end come from Stages on the Way by the Wild Goose Worship Group. ©1998, WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow G51 3UU, Scotland.
The rest was written by Nathan Nettleton (©2000) to preface the responses.

We are the body of Christ.
His Spirit is with us.
Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
(Traditional)


Insert the Preface of the Week here - available from Laughing Bird Weekly Texts


Therefore with the whole realm of nature around us,
With earth, sea and sky,

We sing to you.

With the angels and archangels who envelop us,
With all the saints before us and beside us,
With brothers and sisters, east and west, north and south,

We sing to you.

And with our loved ones,
separate from us now,
who yet, in this mystery are close to us,

We sing the hymn of unending praise:

Adapted from "The Prayer of Thanksgiving" on page 67 of The Iona Community Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow, 1991.


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of truth and light,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

With the exceptions of the alterations marked in green, this is the English translation of the Sanctus and Benedictus, © 1998 English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC)


We do not presume
to come to your table, merciful Lord,
trusting in our own righteousness,
but in your manifold and great mercies.

We are not worthy
so much as to gather up the crumbs
under your table.
But you are the same Lord
whose nature is always to have mercy.

Blessed are you, gracious Lord,
and blessed is your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
who feeds us with his own flesh and blood
that we may evermore dwell in him
and he in us.
Consuming him and consumed by him
we are thus strengthened to walk in his footsteps,
even knowing that to do so
will inflame the fury of hell.

We bless you for Christ,
who has gone on before us,
enduring the cross and disregarding its shame,
to open a new trail for all to follow,
a trail of justice and liberating peace,
which presses on through suffering and beyond,
all the way to the banqueting room of heaven.

Written by Nathan Nettleton (©2000) incorporating and partially adapting the Prayer of Humble Access by Thomas Cranmer.


Blessed is our brother Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of our faith;
who, on the night when he was betrayed,
took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said:

"This is my body, which is for you.
Do this to remember me."

In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying:

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, whenever you drink it,
to remember me."

Institution Narrative adapted by Nathan Nettleton


So, as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.

Traditional


Therefore, here in this place,
we celebrate the life that death could not hold,
the life that Jesus has shared
among his community through the centuries,
And shares with us now.

From The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67


Made one with him,
and thus one with each other,
we lay before you these gifts of bread and wine,
in token of our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
for here we offer and present to you ourselves,
our bodies, minds and spirits,
to be a holy and continuous sacrifice to you.

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton from "The Desert Missal" of the Anamchara Celtic Church


Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and brood over these bodily things,
this bread and this wine.
May they be for us the body and blood of Christ;
healing, renewing and making us whole.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and embrace us with your life-giving power
that as bread and wine are made one with us,
we may become one with you;
bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and make of your gathered people
the real presence of Christ for the world,
living our prayer and praying our life
till earth and heaven are reconciled,
and all are free as Christ is free.

Epiclesis over Bread and Wine adapted by Nathan Nettleton from prayers by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.47 & 49; and "Prayer of Blessing for the Sunday Morning Communion" The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67.


Glory be to you, O God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
– one God and Mother of all creation –
as in the beginning, so now, and forever.
Amen!

Doxology adapted from traditional texts by Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Prayers for Pascha (Easter)

Blessed are you, God of all creation,
and blessed is the communion
into which you gather us.

The vacant cross and the empty tomb
vindicate your claim
that the love which suffers
is the love which saves.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

Life rises anew from the parched earth
as the heat relents and the rains return.
The thought of a raging fire loses its fear
and promises instead a place of warmth and rest.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

You meet us on the road with hands still holed
but breath warm and conversation engaging.
And though you go on ahead
you promise a companion to show us the way.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

Written by Nathan Nettleton, 2000, incorporating lines from prayers on pages 195 & 201 of Stages on the Way by the Wild Goose Worship Group. © 1998 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow G51 3UU, Scotland.

Stanza 6 by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.40. (altered)
Stanzas 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 by Nathan Nettleton, 2000.

O God, you search us out and know us,
and all that we are is open to you.
We confess that we are entangled in sin.

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we entomb Christ in the pages of history
and seal the joy of the Spirit behind the stone of our pride;

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we search for the living in places of death
and manufacture death in places of life:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we dismiss the bearers of good news
and are loathe to touch the marks of truth:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we turn our backs on the way of freedom
opening through the sea of despair,
and trudge back to the bondage of the past
leaving flowers on the grave of hope:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

We turn to you,
O God of infinite mercy;

We renounce evil;
We claim your love;
We choose to be made whole.

Insert Declaration of Grace/Absolution here from our weekly resources

We believe in God,
maker and sustainer of earth, sea and sky,
and midwife of every life
that emerges from the womb of the earth.

We believe in Jesus Christ.
Born of the womb of Mary,
he was the first of our race to live fully
the destiny for which we were all created.

Healing the broken
and serving the poor,
liberating the burdened
and reconciling heaven and earth;
his every action unmasked the evil
that waits to enslave us all.

Hell, wounded at its heart
and filled with bitterness and rage,
struck back in fury unrestrained.

Jesus was condemned by the religious
and crucified by the state.
He died forsaken, a man of sorrows.
No pain in our hearts or in our planet
is unfamiliar to him
for he was cast into the jaws of death.

Redeeming even death,
God raised Jesus from the grave
and with wounded hands he embraces us.

He ascended into heaven
to be everywhere present
and there is now nothing
beyond the reach of his healing touch.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
who raises us from the waters of death,
breathes new life into us
and declares us to be God's beloved.

And we believe
Christ came that all may have life.
Violence and hatred have done their worst
but Christ's reign of peace will conquer.
All who trust in Christ,
though they die,
shall be lifted to life in all its fullness.
The grip of suffering
will be forever broken,
and death shall have no dominion.

Written by Nathan Nettleton, ©1999 LaughingBird.net

Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!
We are the body of Christ.
His Spirit is with us.
Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
(Traditional)


Insert the Preface of the Week here - available from Laughing Bird Weekly Texts


Therefore with the whole realm of nature around us,
With earth, sea and sky,

We sing to you.

With the angels and archangels who envelop us,
With all the saints before us and beside us,
With brothers and sisters, east and west, north and south,

We sing to you.

And with our loved ones,
separate from us now,
who yet, in this mystery are close to us,

We sing the hymn of unending praise:

Adapted from "The Prayer of Thanksgiving" on page 67 of The Iona Community Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow, 1991.


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of truth and light,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

With the exceptions of the alterations marked in green, this is the English translation of the Sanctus and Benedictus, © 1998 English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC)


Blessed are you, O God,
who breaks open wide the tomb of our world,
calls life out of death,
and leads all creation into life eternal.

Blessed is your son, Jesus,
who in life and death revealed your glory.

Suffering in his body sin's deadly powers,
he entered the captivity of hell
and proclaimed liberty to those imprisoned
by the unyielding force of death.

Breaking forth from the grave's stronghold,
he pushed back the stone,
met us on the road as a beloved stranger,
and awakened in us the hope
that the earth will be saved from its enemies.

Ascended into glory, he is everywhere present,
gathering up all things
in the surprise of new life and desire fulfilled.

Written by Nathan Nettleton drawing on thanksgivings by Philip Newell An Earthful of Glory, London:SPCK, 1996, p.87, 94 & 108 and by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, SPCK, London, 1992, p.54.


Blessed is our brother Jesus,
who walks with us the road of our grief,
and is known again in the breaking of bread;
who, on the night when he was betrayed,
took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said:

"This is my body, which is for you.
Do this to remember me."

In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying:

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, whenever you drink it,
to remember me."

"Institution Narrative" by Janet Morley All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.54-55. (altered).


So, as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.

Traditional


Therefore, here in this place,
we celebrate the life that death could not hold,
the life that Jesus has shared
among his community through the centuries,
And shares with us now.

From The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67


Raised to life with him,
and united with each other in his mystical body,
we lay before you these gifts of bread and wine,
in token of our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
for here we offer and present to you ourselves,
our bodies, minds and spirits,
to be a holy and continuous sacrifice to you.

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton from "The Desert Missal" of the Anamchara Celtic Church


Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come and bring forth the life of Christ
in this bread and this wine,
making them true food and true drink
for our deepest hunger and hope.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

As bread is broken and wine poured,
open our eyes to the risen Christ in the stranger
and set our hearts on fire for justice and peace.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

By the power which raised Christ from the dead,
raise us, your fragmented people,
and gather us into one loaf and one cup,
that, sharing in Christ’s body and blood,
we might be broken and poured out
for the life of the world.

Epiclesis over Bread and Wine written by Nathan Nettleton & Garry Deverell.


Glory be to you, O God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
– one God and Mother of all creation –
as in the beginning, so now, and forever.
Amen!

Doxology adapted from traditional texts by Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Prayers for Pentecost & Trinity

Blessed are you, God of all creation,
and blessed is the communion
into which you gather us.

Your Son has called us to continue his mission
and promised not to leave us alone,
but to send us a partner with wisdom and power.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

We look to you with eager expectation,
for you have promised gifts unimaginable
and opened us to the delight and wonder of life.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

Like a blazing fire, melt the stubborn grip of fear.
Like a wild wind, dispel the dust of complacency.
Like a kookaburra's call, pierce pride with joy.

Send your Holy Spirit
to call us by name and lead us home.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Stanza 2 & Conclusion by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.40. Stanzas 1, 3, 4, 5 & 6 adapted by Nathan Nettleton from "Creator God" written by Douglas Galbraith published in Galloway, Kathy (ed) The Pattern of our Days, Glasgow: Wild Goose, 1996, p.124-5. 

O God, you search us out and know us,
and all that we are is open to you.
We confess that we are entangled in sin.

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we use our power to dominate
and our weaknesses to manipulate:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we live within our limits,
touching the bounds only for reassurance:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we distrust visions and dreams,
and seek to destroy the visionary:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we welcome your gifts only to entertain,
but not to change us:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

When we fail to integrate spirit and flesh
and forfeit our wholeness and dignity:

In your mercy, Lord,
forgive us and heal us.

We turn to you,
O God of infinite mercy;

We renounce evil;
We claim your love;
We choose to be made whole.

Insert Declaration of Grace/Absolution here from our weekly resources

We believe in God,
creator of all,
whose love is more
than mind can measure or time contain.

We believe that God's desire
is fullness of life for all,
and from the heights of heaven
to the depths of hell,
nothing and no one has fallen
beyond the reach of God's mercy.

We believe in Jesus Christ,
who unveiled the divinity of human flesh
and revealed to us the nature of God;
who embodied God's holy wisdom
and brought forth fruits of love, joy, peace,
goodness, faithfulness and humility.

We believe in the way of the cross,
for when Christ embraced the outcasts
and unmasked the arrogant,
he stirred into deadly confrontation
the power of love and the love of power.
The enemies of life had their way with him,
tearing spirit from flesh,
but God's saving power raised him to life,
so that we and every person on earth
might follow him into the fullness of life which death cannot overcome.

We believe in the Holy Spirit
God's ceaseless and mysterious Go-between,
who kindles the fires of passion and integrity.
Elusive and uncontrollable,
comforting and disturbing,
she purges our delusions with fire
and whispers grace with a lover's breath,
empowering us to refuse what is evil,
and be taken up with praise.

Though sometimes fearful,
in God we trust.
We lay ourselves open to the Spirit's touch
that we might be the body of Christ,
offering our life for the life of the world,
and being drawn into the mysterious dance of the Trinity,
through Jesus Christ,
to whom be glory and praise forever.

Written by Nathan Nettleton incorporating phrases and ideas from the following:
"Te Deum" by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London: SPCK, 1992, p.34
"Pentecost" by Bruce D Prewer, Australian Psalms, Adelaide: Open Book, 1979, p.116-117;
"Holy Spirit" by Bruce D Prewer, More Australian Psalms, Adelaide: Open Book, 1996, p.154;
"I have called you by name" by Edward Schillebeeckx, published in Terry Falla (ed.) Be our Freedom Lord, Adelaide: Open Book, 1994, p.62.

We are the body of Christ.
His Spirit is with us.
Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
(Traditional)


Insert the Preface of the Week here - available from Laughing Bird Weekly Texts


Therefore with the whole realm of nature around us,
With earth, sea and sky,

We sing to you.

With the angels and archangels who envelop us,
With all the saints before us and beside us,
With brothers and sisters, east and west, north and south,

We sing to you.

And with our loved ones,
separate from us now,
who yet, in this mystery are close to us,

We sing the hymn of unending praise:

Adapted from "The Prayer of Thanksgiving" on page 67 of The Iona Community Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow, 1991.


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of truth and light,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

With the exceptions of the alterations marked in green, this is the English translation of the Sanctus and Benedictus, © 1998 English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC)


Blessed are you, O God,
whose gift of Holy Spirit
is poured out continuously on all creation,
germinating the seeds of humour and hope,
dancing in the pulse of life,
blazing in the fires of passion.

Blessed is your son, Jesus,
who embodied this out-poured Spirit
and thus restored to sight our ancient destiny.

Fulfilling his promise
not to leave his followers comfortless,
he opened heaven's floodgates
raining down gifts in thunder, wind and flame,
igniting visions and dreams,
filling women and men with clarity and power,
and intoxicating young and old alike
with longing to proclaim your uncontainable word
in languages of praise.

Written by Nathan Nettleton incorporating phrases and ideas from "Eucharistic Prayer for Pentecost" by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, SPCK, London, 1992, p.56.


Blessed is our brother Jesus,
who comes behind the doors we have closed
and breathes on our fear his fearful peace;
who, on the night when he was betrayed,
took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said:

"This is my body, which is for you.
Do this to remember me."

In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying:

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, whenever you drink it,
to remember me."

"Institution Narrative" by Janet Morley, All Desires Known, London:SPCK, 1992, p.57 (altered).


So, as we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.

Traditional


Therefore, here in this place,
we celebrate the life that death could not hold,
the life that Jesus has shared
among his community through the centuries,
And shares with us now.

From The Iona Community Worship Book, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p.67


Made one with him,
and thus one with each other,
we lay before you these gifts of bread and wine,
in token of our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
for here we offer and present to you ourselves,
our bodies, minds and spirits,
to be a holy and continuous sacrifice to you.

Adapted by Nathan Nettleton from "The Desert Missal" of the Anamchara Celtic Church


Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come now, elusive and uncontrollable Spirit,
breathe on this bread and this wine,
and, in the sharing of them,
open us
to the real presence of the risen Christ.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

As your gifts are consumed within us,
consume us in the transfiguring fire of your love,
and bring us forth, burning for justice and peace.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Come now, mysterious defender and friend:
draw us into the love-dance of the Trinity,
and by the power which raised Christ from the dead,
unite us, feed us and strengthen us
to reject evil, cling to all that is good,
and overcome the love of power with the power of love.

Epiclesis over Bread and Wine written by Nathan Nettleton.


Glory be to you, O God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
– one God and Mother of all creation –
as in the beginning, so now, and forever.
Amen!

Doxology adapted from traditional texts by Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net