Apr 30, 2016

Mother's Day Call to Worship Litany

Here’s a litany for Mother’s Day from the Barnabas in Churches website.

They suggest that you “Select some individuals or groups (adults and children) from your congregation to read the sentences and verses given below during the service. After each reading, the congregational response is: ‘Loving Lord, thank you for your tender care.’”

Call to Worship Litany for Mother’s Day

Today, we are giving thanks to God for the gift of mothers
and the mother-like nurture that many people show to others in their lives.

Isaiah wrote that God is a mother to us,
comforting and carrying us in her arms: 

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you....” (Isa. 66:13)

Loving Lord, thank you for your tender care.

Isaiah also wrote that God would never forget us.
He knows each of us, like a mother knows her own children: 

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isa. 49:15)

Loving Lord, thank you for your tender care.

David wrote that in God's presence,
he was quiet and at peace,
trusting his mother God like a child safe in loving arms: 

But I have stilled and quietened my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.” (Ps. 131:2)

Loving Lord, thank you for your tender care.

Jesus spoke of himself as a mother,
longing to wrap his arms around us,
like a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings: 

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem...
how often I have longed to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
but you were not willing.” (Matt. 23:37)

Loving Lord, thank you for your tender care.

Paul writes about his missionary ministry
and likens his work to that of a nurse who looks after those in her care:

“…but we were gentle among you,
like a mother caring for her little children.” (1 Thess. 2:7)

Loving Lord, thank you for your tender care.

Call to Worship for Mother's or Father's Day

Here’s a call to worship for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. It comes from Carol Penner’s Leading in Worship website.

Call to Worship for Mother’s Day
or Father’s Day

Father of us all, Mother of each one,
thank you for your love for us from the beginning of time.
You formed us when we were in our mother’s wombs,
you knit us together lovingly,
your devotion  to us has not failed,
your care has followed us our whole life long.
All we are and all we have, we owe to you,
and so on this, the Lord’s Day,
in this house devoted to your glory,
we give honour to you
with our hearts and hands and voices.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

~ written by Carol Penner, and posted on Leading in Worship. http://carolpenner.typepad.com/leadinginworship/

Mother's Day: For Those Without a Mother

Here’s a prayer for Mother’s Day from Mark Sandin’s The God Article website.

A Mother’s Day Prayer
for Those Without a Mother

Good and gracious God,

You know our hearts
and you know that today some of our hearts ache.
As others rightfully celebrate the joy and love of the mothers in their lives,
this day, for some of us, is a somber reminder of the absence in our lives.

For some of us, if we buy flowers today,
it will only be in order to place them by a graveside.

For some of us, if we buy a card today,
it will only be in hopes of knowing our mothers one day.

For some of us, if we buy a gift today,
it will only be in pensive anticipation of repairing a breached relationship.

For some of us, there will be no hugs today,
no gentle kisses on the cheek, no laughter, no smiles from ear to ear.

For some of us, today is a day of longing.
For some it will be tearful.
For others it will be wistful.
For others it will just be empty.

Be with us in these times, even as we strive to be present for each other.

Remind us that the relationships we are longing for today
can be recreated in us.

Remind us that the motherly blessings we yearn to receive today,
the joy,
the acceptance,
the caring,
the understanding,
the compassion,
the unconditional love,
are still ours to experience
by extending them to others.

Whether to honor the mothers that we knew,
or to envision the mothers that we hope for,
sharing these gifts with others
can not only begin to heal the missing space in our hearts,
but, we will find that in sharing them with others
we will begin to experience them more abundantly in our own lives
as the gifts are returned to us.

Inspire us all to be the bearers of these nurturing gifts.
May others know more joy, acceptance, caring,
understanding, compassion, and love because of us.

May we play even a small part in mending broken hearts,
broken relationships, and this sometimes broken world. Amen.

A Prayer in Gratitude for Our Mothers

Here’s a Mother’s Day prayer from the Jesuit Resource website.

In Gratitude for Our Mothers:
A Prayer

Good and Gentle God,
we pray in gratitude for our mothers
and for all the women who have joined with you
in the wonder of bringing forth new life.
You who became human through a woman,
grant to all mothers the courage they need
to face the uncertain future that life with children always brings.

Give them the strength to live and to be loved in return,
not perfectly, but humanly.
Give them the faithful support of husband, family and friends
as they care for the physical and spiritual growth of their children.
Give them joy and delight in their children
to sustain them through the challenges of motherhood.
Most of all, give them the wisdom to turn to you for help
when they need it most. Amen.

~ author unknown. Posted on Jesuit Resource website. http://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/

Pastoral Prayer on Mother's Day

Here’s a prayer of thanksgiving and intercession for Mother’s Day. It was written by Carol Penner and posted on Leading in Worship.

Pastoral Prayer for Mother’s Day

Loving God, we give thanks today for mothers!
Thank you for mothers who gave birth to us,
and women who have treated us as their own children.
You teach us how to be good mothers,
cherishing and protecting the children among us.
Help us mother lovingly, fairly, wisely and with great joy.
Help us raise our children to be the people they are born to be.

We need your comfort here today, Lord,
because some are missing mothers, some are missing children,
some are parted by distance or death.
Comfort those who have given up their child for adoption,
or who chose not to give birth, and had an abortion.
Comfort those who longed to be biological mothers, and could not.
We pray for those here whose mothers have disappointed them;
we ask for grace in relationships where there is pain and bitterness,
for healing in relationships where there is abuse and violence.
Help our congregation be a space where people can feel mothered,
their gifts and talents appreciated and nurtured.

Finally, we pray today for mothers around the world;
mothers who cannot feed their children,
mothers who are homeless or without a homeland;
mothers who must teach their children about the dangers of bombs and bullets.
Help us create a world where mothers can raise their children in peace and plenty.
God of mothers, who created mothers, who came as a child and had a mother,

God our Mother, 
loving us with a sweeter and deeper love than we have ever known,
hear our prayer this day, Amen.

~ written by Carol Penner, and posted on Leading in Worship. http://carolpenner.typepad.com/leadinginworship/