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Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 | 0 comments

Gratitude & Grief: Mother’s Day Litany

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For this piece, I was struck by the complexity of our relationships with our mother’s and the mixture of gratitude and grief we sometimes experience on Mother’s Day. Users should feel free to update the references to current events as appropriate.  Hymns cited are from the Chalice Hymnal.


A LITANY FOR MOTHER’S DAY

(based on Psalm 98)

 

Leader: O sing to the Lord a new song, but sing the old songs too.

Sing a song of remembrance:

People: We remember the God who named and claimed us,

 and the mothers who read us Bible stories, and made us dinner.

We remember hymns learned by heart before we could read,

 bedtime stories and prayers that made us feel safe.

We remember truths that will endure,

from our earliest days, until the end of our lives.

 

Leader: O sing to the Lord a new song, but sing the old songs too.

Sing a song of struggle, and of sacrifices made for love:

People: We remember God’s help for the people of Israel,

leading them out of slavery and out of exile.

We remember the courage of Jesus,      

laying down his life for his friends.

We remember the sacrifices made by our mothers,

and by all who mothered us, sharing their wisdom,

laying aside their own hopes and dreams,

in order that we might fulfill ours.

 

Hymn: #635 Faith of our Fathers    v. 3

 

Leader: O sing to the Lord a new song, but sing the old songs too.

Sing a song of the earth, of gardens tended,

and of wild spaces that inspired and renewed us:

 

People: We remember pansies and potatoes, window boxes and lilacs.

 We remember hikes and picnics, the delights of nature,

 and the songs we heard in the trees, in the wind,

 in rushing water, and spring peepers, and birdsong.

 

Hymn: #33 How Great Thou Art  vs.1-2

 

Leader: O sing to the Lord a new song, but sing the old songs too.

Sing of God’s justice:

People: We remember God’s passion for righteousness and equity,

for fairness and mercy, and we look to the day

when sharing by all will mean scarcity for none,

when mothers will not have to fear their sons being killed by policemen,

or their daughters kidnapped from their schools.

or their families languishing for years in refugee camps.

 

Hymn: #683 O for a World vs. 1-2

Leader: O sing to the Lord a new song, but sing the old songs too.

Sing a song of generations, passing on the love of God

and the habits of human kindness:

People: We remember mothers who taught Sunday school, and who

sewed dresses, who sang silly songs and taught us right from wrong,

who were funny, angry, generous, plain, glamorous,

overworked, tired, contented, peaceful, steady.

We accept the human imperfections of our mothers and fathers,

and the gift of divine forgiveness.

We remember times of deep hurt and sorrow,

and hard journeys of healing.

 

Leader: Holy God, let your old and new songs rise up within us,

as we remember, and as we return to you. Amen.


© Rev. Martha B. Peck, 2015

Rev. Martha Beckwith Peck has served three churches in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, beginning in 1981, and is currently pastor of the Westmore Community Church, UCC on beautiful Willoughby Lake.  She is a singer, quilter, pie baker, and ping-pong enthusiast. She loves to write worship materials and finds scripture an inexhaustible well.

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