Litanies & Prayers

All Saints Day

The saints of old don’t wear golden crowns, or sit on lofty perch, mouthing caustic comments on how poorly we yet-mortal souls measure up to the glory of days past.

They, too, knew about keeping hope alive while getting dinner on the table, faucets fixed, carpools covered, and budgets balanced.

After the ecstasy, there’s always the laundry.*

The saints, too, endured wistful nights and wasted days. They had knees that ached in cold weather and sometimes spoke sharp words to dearly-beloveds—including, on occasion, to God. Read more ›

The earth is satisfied

A litany for worship inspired by Psalm 104

by Ken Sehested

Worthy, worthy the One who conceived the earth and gave birth to bears and basil and beatitudes alike.

The earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work!

At the sound of your Name the trees rejoice, for you are clothed with honor and clad in beauty. Read more ›

Prosper the work of every generous hand

A litany for worship inspired by Psalm 90

by Ken Sehested

The earth and all its environs were marked from the beginning as the Dwelling Place of abundance. In this once-and-future land the arrogant are humbled by the countenance of Truth.

Holy the Name, whose might is manifest in mercy. Prosper the work of every generous hand.

Turn back, O merchants of misery. Your market rule shall wither in the Light of Heaven’s approach. Read more ›

Strangers we were

A litany for worship inspired by Ephesians 2:11-22

by Ken Sehested
 

Listen, O people of the Way, and take note. Your ancestors were once illegal aliens in the land of Southern Appalachia.* Boat people, all of you, undocumented immigrants. Scots-Irish trash; crackers and kaffirs, wetbacks and wops; gooks, goyim, gringos and gypsies.

Strangers we were, with no stake in the Promise; hopeless, helpless, beggarly-born. Read more ›

Rouse yourselves

A litany for worship inspired by Ezekiel 2:1-5

by Ken Sehested

Rouse yourselves, O creatures of clay, for it is I, the Potter of Heaven, who commands your attention!

We tremble, but trust that your grace is sufficient.

On your feet, O mortal ones! The One whose Name is whispered in the wind now summons your presence! Read more ›

Arise and arouse

The Blessed One is a stronghold of safety for those crushed by the world.

In every season of trouble, cling to this promise.

May this Name be upon your lips in every waking hour.

In every storm of despair, hold fast to this assurance. Read more ›

Let Wisdom’s Way endure

A litany for worship inspired by Psalm 107

Listen now you who linger in wasted lands, consumed with wanton hearts: The Blessed One has eyes and ears opened and tuned to the cries of your distress.

Give thanks and rejoice you faint-of-limb and sick-of-soul: An open gate of Quenching Delight stands eager to receive you.

Listen now you who languish athirst, bowels rumbling in hunger: Bountiful tables—too wondrous to behold—are spread as ransom for your ruin.

Give thanks and rejoice you prisoners of misery: The Counsel of Mercy now argues your case in the court of the Most High. Read more ›

Amnesty

A litany for worship inspired by Psalm 130

If you, O God, should keep track of all our failures,
none of us would make the grade.

But your hands heap pardon on all the penitent.
Forgiveness is your middle name.
Mercy is your mandate; pardon, your provision.

Declarations of amnesty flow from your lips.
Read more ›

Morning by morning

A litany for worship inspired by Lamentations 3 and Luke 19:41-42

Be gracious to me, Blessed One, for I am in distress.

My eyes are awash with grief; my bed swims in tears.

My bones bulge under the weight of unlived life.

Sighs crowd my heart and swell my tongue. Read more ›

Bewildering Word

When Jesus began his ministry, Rome was the sole superpower, governed by Tiberius, adoptive son of Caesar Augustus, whose praises were carved in stone.

From untamed territory a voice resounds: Prepare the Way! Unlock the gate! Make straight the reach of Love renowned.

Caesar was the “redeemer” who brought “salvation,” establishing “peace and security for the world,” the only true “Lord” in whom all should have “faith.”

Rise up you valleys! Recline you mountains! The Word breaks, unleashed, from every empire’s rule, every temple’s sway. Read more ›