Litanies & Prayers

Joseph

A litany for worship inspired by Matthew 1:18-25

by Ken Sehested
{Adapted as a litany for worship from a longer poem by the same name.}

Joseph. Obscured brother, consigned to the margins of Incarnation’s story. Calloused hands now shield the shame of face disgraced.

Thoughts of Mary smudge the heart as tears smear the cheek. Betrothed of Mary now bulging with child. Whose? How, and Why?

Unable to provide more than squalid accommodation in your beloved’s night of travail. Enduring embarrassed encounters with wild-eyed shepherds and strangely-clothed pilgrims from obscure and distant lands, each with incredulous stories of starry encounters.

Did compliance with heaven’s intrigue cause your undoing? Was it more than your pride could endure?

Loving Mary more than posterity itself. A future eclipsed by divine drama, a fate unrecorded, left to the imagination of bath-robed youngsters in seasonal pageants.

Not forgotten in the heart of God or, even to this day, in the prayers of shipwrecked sailors and abandoned children.

St. Joseph. Consort of Mary, accomplice of God. Chaperon the prayers of all who disappear from history.

Vouchsafe the memory of every shadowed face, anonymous names, ’til their inscription in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

©ken sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org