Litanies, Antiphonal and Responsorial Readings

The Litany and antiphonal and responsorial readings take flexible positions with the worship service. Any one of them can be used as the Call to Worship, the Confession, the Prayer in a Service of the Word, or the Entrance Hymn in a Eucharist service. The Litany may even be used as the basis of a separate penitential service.

ABBREVIATIONS:  

P      =     Presiding Minister, Assisting Minister or Leader
C      =    Congregation
C1   =    Side one of congregation
C2   =    Side two of congregation (you may substitute Women for one side and Men for the second side)
U   =    Unison
(Italic and Bold text indicate congregational participation.)

1.  Based on Psalm 63:1

     P      O God, Thou are my God,

     C      I seek Thee, my soul thirsts for Thee;

     P      My flesh faints for Thee,

     C      As in a dry and weary land where no water is.

     P       O God, Thou art my God,

     C       I seek Thee, my soul thirsts for Thee.  

2.  Based on Psalm 51:10-12

     P        It has been hot and dry for weeks.

     C1      We cry out to You for relief, O God.

     P       Some crops are lost, and many that survive will suffer irreparable damage.

     C2     We cry out to You for recovery, O God.

     P       Farm families are depressed and townfolks grow anxious.

     C1     We cry out to You for hope, O God.

     P       This physical drought is beginning to leave us spiritually dry as well.

     C2     We cry out to you for faith, O God.

     P       Our dryness reflects our powerlessness, our God-forsakenness, our sinfulness.

     C1     We cry out to you for forgiveness, O God.

     P       Let us make confession to God.

     C2     Have mercy on us, O God, according to your loving kindness: in Your great compassion blot out our offenses.

     U       Create in us clean hearts, O God, and renew right spirits within us. Cast us not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from us.   

3.  Based on Isaiah 41:17-18 and Luther's Small Catechism

     P      When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongues are parched with thirst,

     C      The Lord will answer them, the God of Israel will not forsake them.

     P       God will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of valleys;

     C       God will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

     P       It may seem that God has abandoned us in this time of drought.

     C       But we know that we are not forsaken!

     P       We are bold, therefore, to confess:

     U      God had given us and still preserves out bodies and souls with all their powers. God provides us with food and clothing, home and family, daily work, and all that we need from day to day. God also protects us in time of danger and guards us from every evil. All this God does out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though we do not deserve it. Therefore we surely ought to thank and praise, serve and obey God. This is most certainly true.   

4. Litany For Our Earth

     P      O Lord, You have given us the gift of land.

     C      May we ever protect and preserve it.

     P      O Lord, You have given us the gift of water.

     C      May we keep it pure and safe.

     P      O Lord, you have given us the gift of air.

     C      May we keep it pure and fresh.

     P      O Lord, You have given us the gift of plants and trees.

     C      May we ever use and protect them justly.

     P      O Lord, You have given us the gift of birds and animals.

     C     May we preserve and enjoy them.

     P     O Lord, You have given us the care of the earth.

     U     O Lord, we accept the care of these gifts of the earth as a sacred stewardship. Amen.

5.  The Planting of a Tree (Based on Psalm 95 & 96)

     P      Let us come into God's presence with thanksgiving!

     C     Let us make a joyful noise to God with songs of praise!

     P     Give to the Lord, all peoples.

     C    Give to the Lord glory and strength!

     P     Give to the Lord the glory due God's name.

     C     Bring yourself and come into God's courts!

     P      Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice.

     C     Let the sea roar, and all that fills it!

     P      Let the field exult, and everything in it!

     C     Then shall all the trees of the Lord sing for joy before the Lord.

     P      For the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,

     U     And the world and all who dwell therein!   

6.  Creation Will Be Set Free (Based on Psalm 104)

     P      Bless the Lord, my soul.

     C      O Lord, my God, You are very great.

     P      You make springs gush forth in the valleys;

     C2    They flow between the hills, giving drink to every wild animal.

     P      You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,

     C1    And plants for people to use.

     P      O Lord, how manifold are Your works!

     U     In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures.

     P     These all look to You to give them their food in due season.

     C2   When You open Your hands, they are filled with good things.

     P     May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in the Lord's own works.

     U    We will sing praise to our God while we have being!  

7.  Based on several scripture texts

P      The Lord God took humans and put them in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. (Gen 2:15)

C      Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. (Gen 9:20)

C     God, You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; You provide Your people with grain. (Psalm 65:9)

C    And yet, it the land, we must wait for justice, for there is none. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square. (Isaiah 59:11,14)

     (Psalm 31:1-2)

C    Thus says the Lord, "The day will come when I will make with them a covenant of peace. I will send down the showers in their season, they shall be the showers of blessing. The trees of the fields shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase. They shall be secure on their soil. I will break the bars of their yoke. (Ezekiel 34:25-27)

U    Praise be to God!

P     We are God's gathered people.

C    God has called us from farm lands and the mountains from various places and cultures to live in the places where we are.

C    We are struggling with God's help to determine our destiny, to overcome the despair and loss of hope, to find and create decent housing and jobs for everyone.

C     Called not to be served, but to serve and to give our lives for our brothers and sisters, just as Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.

C     Confessing, seeking, listening, acting as Christ's own body, and witnessing by our words and our deeds to Christ who died and rose again for us.

U    We are indeed! Amen!

P     Let us praise God for all living beings who dwell on earth.

C1  For God makes everything in its season.

C2   All people praise Thy name.

C1  All people praise Thy name.

C2   For gifts unseen, we sing praise to You, O God.

C1   For gifts unseen, we sing praise to You, O God.

C2   You call us by name, O Hod, and lead us forth in faith.

C1   You call us by name, O God and lead us forth in faith.

C2   So that every mountain and valley may sing to the beauty of a new day.

 U    Amen.

P     Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment. 

     C     In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters. Alleluia! 

     P     You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, giving drink to every wild animal. 

     C    In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters. Alleluia! 

     P    You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and the plants for people to bring food forth from the earth. 

     C    In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters. Alleluia!

     P    O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures. 

     C    In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters. Alleluia!


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