Sunday, September 23, 2012

Liturgical Elements for Reformed Worship—Year B: When Heaven Stands Open

For those of you who are using Year B at the moment, here is a sample from the volume, When Heaven Stands Open: Liturgical Elements for Reformed Worship, Year B (Cascade Books).

Proper 21 — 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time / September 25 - October 1


Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
Psalm 124
James 5:13-20           
Mark 9:38-50

In Preparation for Worship
You who are our help and stay,
who rescues us from the enemy,
who frees us from the fowler’s snare,
who spares us from the whelming flood,
you who sent your Son to save us,
we trust you with our lives.

Call to Worship                                   
Come, all who wish to act with mercy!
All who give but a cup of water
in the name of Christ will be rewarded!
Come, all who are sick!  Come, all who are suffering!
Come, all who are in need of prayer!
The prayer of faith will save the sick,
and the Lord will raise them up!
Come, all who are cheerful and who long to be righteous!
The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective!
Come, all who wish to glorify God!
Anyone who does a deed of power can only praise the Lord!
Let us all sing songs in praise of God!
Opening Prayer
Watchful God, if you had not been on our side, we would have been lost long ago. But our help is in your holy name; in you, the Maker of heaven and earth! We bless you, O God, our Creator and Keeper, for in Christ you have snatched us from the countless snares of sin and the raging tide of evil. 
Call to Confession
Whatever causes us to stumble along the journey of faith is to be thrown into the fire and burned. That we do stumble is undeniable. What then shall we burn? Let us not hide from God the sin in our lives. Rather, let us offer it up to be burned in sanctifying fire of the Holy Spirit, and ask for Christ’s purifying grace.

Prayer of Confession
Saving God, we confess that we have excluded others because we have not considered them a part of us. We are quick to find fault with people of difference and slow to admit the good that you do through them. Reform and renew our sinful hearts, and help us to love you and all your people with greater humility.

Declaration of Forgiveness
Be at peace with one another. God has preserved and saved you. Live life now on your guard against sin, making prayer and obedience to Christ’s rule of love your top priorities.  Support one another. Keep each other from stumbling. Be healed of all that has weighed heavily on you. And do not return to your former ways.

Presentation of Tithes and Offerings
How better to remember God’s kindness to us than by sharing our gifts with one another and with those in need. Let us celebrate God’s goodness. Let us rejoice that the risen Christ has turned our despair into hope, our depression into joy, our mourning into the dawning of a new day. Let us offer our gifts in the Spirit of Christ.

Prayer of Dedication
For every reprieve you have granted,
for every blessing bestowed,
for every breath you have given,
for every debt now paid, once owed,
for every sign or glint of heaven,
for earthly love and suffering,
for every heart of sin repented,
O Blessed God, for every grace, we thank you,
and we offer you these signs of our love, in Jesus’ name.
The Blessing
Find your help in the name of the Lord, who made of heaven and earth.
Place your trust in the name of Christ, who died and rose for you.
Discover your power in the Holy Spirit, who meets you in prayer,
who stirs in you a desire to pray,
and may your life in the kingdom of God be renewed.

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