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Liturgy of Lament

December 1st, 2021 | Community Updates

Liturgy of Lament

We invite you into the practice lament. The practice of lament may be new to many of us. For many of us it’s something we gloss over or try to move through quickly to try and get to “hope” as soon as possible without allowing ourselves to truly sit in the lament. After coming out of a year surrounded by death and sorrow it can feel like the practice of lament is a moot point. After all, we’ve been lamenting all year. However, it is our hope that this liturgy will drive us to feel the sorrow and despair with intentionality so we can name it and bring it to light and only then will be able to make the turn towards hope.

Take a few moments to pause. To breathe. Take a deep breath in… and out… and in… and out…

LEAD: Holy, loving God. We cry out to you in the depths of our despair, in the chaos of our crisis, in the anguish of our agony. We cry out your name.

ALL: Lord, can you hear us?

LEAD: We are weary and worn out. Broken and beaten. Heartbroken and hungry for justice, relief, healing, love.

ALL: We speak to you our pain.

LEAD: Holy, loving God. We know you are the God who hears, who bends low to listen, who draws near to heal, who carries our crisis and who has walked in our skin. We affirm our trust in you.

Read Psalm 38:9-11

All my longings lie open before you, Lord;

    my sighing is not hidden from you.

My heart pounds, my strength fails me;

    even the light has gone from my eyes.

My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;

    my neighbors stay far away.

LEAD: Lord. Help us. Intervene. Act. Save us. Rescue. Redeem.

ALL: Do not abandon us here.

LEAD: If you are indeed the God who is close to the broken-hearted, draw close show up, heal this. We beg for your help and intervention.

LEAD: Lord, can you hear us? Our brokenness is ever before us. Yes, we too have caused pain. We are not blameless in your sight but this storm has raged against us mercilessly, relentlessly. We cannot go on like this. We share with you the story of our pain.

Where do you need God to intervene in your life? Take a moment to listen. If you feel comfortable, please share.

VOLUNTEER: Almighty God, we remember before you today all the lives that have been lost in the US due to the coronavirus. We pray for the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and friends they leave behind. Break our hearts, guide us gently into feeling deeply the pain and sorrow that you feel. Bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain and loss so that we may reach out our hand in comfort. We ask for these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Read Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;

    Lord, hear my voice.

Let your ears be attentive

    to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,

    Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness,

    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,

    and in his word I put my hope.

I wait for the Lord

    more than watchmen wait for the morning,

    more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,

    for with the Lord is unfailing love

    and with him is full redemption.

He himself will redeem Israel

    from all their sins.

What is it that you’re feeling in this moment? Where do you feel it in your body? If you’re able, place your hand where you feel it. If you feel comfortable, please share. 

LEAD: El Shema, indeed you hear us. You welcome our words. You are patient with our prayers, you hold our hurts. You are the God who has always heard our cries. We thank you for hearing us.

ALL: Holy, loving God. We humbly offer ourselves.

LEAD: Imperfect, hurting, here in worship and love to you. You are forever deserving of praise. We promise our praise to you.

VOLUNTEER: Giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve your those suffering from coronavirus in this moment, and give your power of healing to the nurses and doctors attending to them, that those or whom our prayers are offered may be strengthened in their weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

LEAD: Even when the darkness closes in, your love endures forever. Your hand covers and protects. Your light makes it possible to see. We will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. For if you are with us, who can stand against us.

ALL: We proclaim who you are to the world.

Take a few moments to pause. To breathe. Take a deep breath in… and out… and in… and out…

Through this practice of lament, what did you learn about God? Community? Yourself?

Rhythms + Practices, Spiritual Formation