Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 10 - “Like Living Stones”
I Peter 2:2-10
Festival of the Christian Home
SYMBOLS OF THE SERIES: One large stone; smaller stones of various sizes; builders’ tools; an appropriate symbol of appreciation for everyone present and those who are unable to be present (homebound, hospitalized, nursing homes, those who provide essential job functions on Sundays, etc.); the sound, images, and visuals of running water, story, Holy Spirit, prayer (unison, intercessory, prayer stations, sung, choreographed, thanksgiving, healing, petitions)
PRIMARY COLOR: White
PRIMARY THEMES: Cornerstone, light, invitation, mothers and babies, Resurrection, faith, times of testimony, lament /rejoicing, disciple making, glorifying God
Prayer for Those Grieving the Loss of Loved Ones
When our hearts are overwhelmed, God lead us to the Rock that is Higher—
Higher than our circumstances,
Higher than our grief,
Strong enough to bear our heavy burdens,
Small enough to be touched and held in our moment of great need.
God, we assemble here in your presence to declare that even in the midst of our great sorrow,
You are comforting us, loving us, holding us through this difficult time you are speaking to us.
Your Word of Hope that assures us a day is coming when death shall be no more,
As we honor (call the names of loved ones),
And celebrate (her/his) legacy that lives in our hearts.
We pause to give you thanks.
Thank you for enabling us to experience (her/his) love.
Thank you for allowing us to know these precious souls fashioned by you.
Thank you for allowing us to further know more of your great love for us through their lives.
Pour out your Spirit even now.
Minister to your people in this hour; In every hand and heart, reign God.
Let your healing waters flow; let your mercy abound here.
Take our tears and multiply our joy.
Take our silence and magnify your Word in us.
We find rest in you, hope in you, and reason to live in you.
In the name of [our Creator], the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
One God, perfect in every way, we pray. AMEN
Stacey Cole Wilson, “Prayer for Those Grieving the Loss of Loved Ones,” Africana Worship Book: Year A. (Discipleship Resources. 2006), 160.
A Liturgy for the Festival of the Christian Home: A Blessing for All People and All Families
Taken from the Los Angeles First United Methodist Church Mother's Day Worship Service, May 2018
Blessing of Our Individual Creation
Fathering God, you have searched us and known us. You know when we lie down and when we rise up; you discern our thoughts from far away.
Mothering God, it was you who formed our inward parts, you who knit us together in our mother’s womb. We praise you, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Holy Son, you have come into the world as the Word made flesh and dwelling among us, as a constant and abiding reminder that God is always with us, even to the ends of the earth. You are the light that has shined in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Creating Spirit: Where can we go that you are not with us? If we ascend to heaven, you are there. If we make our bed in the depths, you are there. If we perceive the darkness overwhelming us, we know that even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. You hem us in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon us. When we come to the end, you are still with us.
Let us pray: Loving God, in your wisdom you have created us and given us many gifts. Today, we thank you for all that we mean to each other and to our friends and families. We thank you for the love that has brought us to this time and place, and for your love which abides to tie us all together. Where you are, O God, there is love. Amen.
Blessing of Our Relationships
God, in your wisdom and love, you have created us and called us good. You have created us in your image and blessed us as men and women. Today we celebrate the joy that we have found in relationship with one another. As you have created us and called us good, so have you said that it is not good that we should be alone, so you have given us helpers as partners. You have given us choice in who we build our relationships with, and we are able to say to one another, as Ruth said to Naomi:
Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
Let us pray: God, your strength is sufficient for us all. We have committed ourselves one to the other in your presence, so we pray that you will continue to be with us in the unfolding of our future. Give us strength and courage in times of difficulty, wisdom and love in times of opportunity and challenge, and the sharing of joy in times of happiness and success. May we continue to grow in your love; through the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Blessing of Our Friendships and Families of Choice
Incarnate Christ: You have modelled to us what it is to be in relationship with one another. You have broken bread with the weary, comforted the lonely, healed the sick, and wept with friends. We see in your witness what it means to love one another as God has loved us. We thank you for calling us friends, because you have made known to us everything that you have heard from our Father in heaven. Thank you for sharing in relationship with us as equals and help us to continue to love our friends as you have loved us. Bless us as we form relationships with one another that, as we speak, our souls will be bound up in one another, so that we may love our friends as our own souls, just as Jonathan loved David.
Let us Pray: God of friends and families, we are linked together in a community of friendship and support. We pray for one another. We remember those who cannot be with us today. May we all continue to share in your gifts of love, strength, courage and wisdom, and to know your joy. Give us growing understanding, sympathy with each other's difficulties, patience with each other's faults, and grace to walk in your ways. Amen.
Blessing for Families with Children
Creator Spirit: You have worked in us to make us open to loving one another in selfless and life-giving ways. For some of us this means the responsibility and joy of raising children. For these lives, which have touched us and blessed us, we thank you. Today we bring to you our children in order that they may be blessed as Christ blessed the children of his day saying, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” And he took them up in his arms and blessed them. Help us to bless them as they have blessed us.
Let us pray: Loving God: We come today carrying children and youth in our hearts – the children we brought into this world, the children we parent, our grandchildren, nieces, nephews, Godchildren, mentees, the children we care for in our work, and the children we speak out for in our witness. Lord, help us not to be so preoccupied with our purposes that we fail to hear their voices or see their special vision of truth. Keep us with them, ready to listen and to love even as you have loved us, your grown-up and sometimes wayward children. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
And now, with the confidence of the children of God, let us pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
All are welcome to come forward to be anointed individually. If you like, you may come as an individual, or with your spouse or partner, children, or with friends and family of choice. All are welcomed. All are loved.
Other Liturgical/Special Events
These following additional musical selections have been included for the purpose of online worship services in the following ways:
Response to Prayer
Preparation for the Sermon
Response to the Sermon
Song of Sending
Mother’s Amazing Grace: https://youtu.be/0M1Bon4frhQ
*Alabaster Box: https://youtu.be/Z0QG3rhbIO4
*I Need Your Glory: https://youtu.be/Bi93dilcE0Y
* Glory: https://youtu.be/O4gnunRKaXA
(*Performance Trax available)
Information for Copyright Permissions can be found at https://www.haivision.com/blog/faith-worship/copyright-issues-live-streaming-ministry/