“Promise Us” Liturgical Resources

Looking for liturgical elements to complement the “Promise Us” series for Lent? We’re on it! On this page you’ll find (in this order):

  • A sample of an at-home rite for the imposition of ashes
  • An order for Confession and Forgiveness
  • Prayers of the Day that bridge the Hebrew Scripture and Gospel readings for Lent Year B.
  • Children’s Sermon signs and symbols
  • A Call to Worship for Easter Sunday

Like all Barn Geese’s stuff for Lent 2021, the work here is covered under this Creative Commons license. You can use it and adapt it (for free!), but only for nonprofit purposes and with attribution. Attribution should include the title of the element, our authorship, and the name of the license, and should link back to original sources when possible. Your wording might look something like this:

“Promise Us” Confession and Forgiveness by Barn Geese Worship is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0. [Notes about any modifications or adaptations you made].

Call to Worship for Easter Sunday

“God Has Kept Every Promise:” an Easter Call to Worship based on Isaiah 25:6-9

God will make for all peoples a feast of rich food,
a feast of well-aged wines strained clear.
O Lord, we have waited for you;
and you have saved us. Alleluia!

And God will destroy the shroud that is cast over all peoples;
God will swallow up death forever.
O Lord, we have waited for you;
and you have saved us. Alleluia!

Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and God will take away our shame from all the earth.
O Lord, we have waited for you;
and you have saved us. Alleluia!

It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God;
whom we have waited for him, so that we might be saved.
This is the LORD for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in God’s salvation.
God has kept every promise!
Alleluia! Thanks be to God!

Ash Wednesday Imposition Cards

Is your community sending ashes to its members for at-home imposition? Are you looking for some verbage to accompany them? Here’s what Victoria’s church is using:

Please note that the prayers in the at-home rite are from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Please copy them out only if you have appropriate licensing!

Prayers of the Day

Ash Wednesday

Eternal God:
you set the stars burning,
started the earth spinning,
and breathed life into dust.
You, who began all things,
know how afraid we are of the end.
Let us hear in tonight’s dreadful promise
–To dust you shall return
the echo of another:
that through the cross and empty tomb,
you bring us all
to abundant
and everlasting

Lent 1

Rainbow God:
In the story of the flood
we see you turn
from black-and-white judgment
to the many-hued possibilities
between you and your creation.
Turn us too, O God.
Disarm us through your flowing grace.
Submerge us in your saving love.
Let our actions drip
the gentle rain of your mercy,
so that at the last
we might hear you name us
your people,
with whom you are well-pleased.

Lent 2

O Faithful God,
give us the faith of Abram and Sarai,
who trusted in the promise you made
but had not yet fulfilled.
We too hold a promise,
and wait for you to come again,
to make all things well,
to wipe away every tear from our eyes.
Come, our Way, our Truth, our Life.

Lent 3

God, Solid Rock,
you carve out a path on which
we can live rightly with you
and each other.
But the record shows our stubbornness.
So, God, we pray: be stubborner.
Oust our impulse to follow other paths.
As many times as we turn from you,
turn us back,
until your will is done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Lent 4

O God who so loves this world,
sometimes we come to you
by night
or in crisis,
and the encounter
is not what we hope.
Sometimes you leave us
with more questions than answers.
Sometimes our pain doesn’t kill us,
but it still hurts us.
In such times,
sit with us patiently, God,
and give us faith to trust your promise
that you came not to condemn the world
but to save it.

Lent 5

O God of dying and rising seeds,
plant in our hearts the seed of belonging:
a promise that you shall be our God,
and we will be your people.
Whenever we fall short,
renew that tender planting,
so that one day,
at the last,
its questing roots
will have indelibly traced
your name
your law
your Love
in the least of us
to the greatest.

Palm/Passion Sunday

O God,
this is it,
the Big Promise:
the one where you
reveal yourself,
in shouts of Hosanna,
in bread and wine,
in the cries in the garden,
in the silence of the judgment hall,
in the death on the cross.
Still us.
Open our ears
to hear again
the Promise
that changes us,
that changes everything.

Confession and Forgiveness

We gather in the Triune name of God:
who gives us their Word,
whose promise makes us one people,
who seals and delivers us.

In this season of Lent, we hear the stories
of how God has formed us
out of dust and ash and promises
into God’s own people.

But time and again
our commitment crumbles,
and we are scattered by sin.

Beloved, let us return to God,
confessing what tears us apart
so that God can put us back together.

A brief silence.

God, we confess: we have sinned.
We have turned away from you,
away from one another,
into ourselves.
We have allowed our love of you
to be supplanted by the fear of other things:
death, suffering, weakness, want.
Our fear has fragmented
the bond of our common humanity,
so we do not love one another
as you first loved us.
Help us.
Promise us
that even this brokenness
can be made well.

Here, the Kyrie may be sung.

Siblings in Christ, listen to this good news:
God knew of our brokenness
even before we knew it ourselves.
In accordance with the ancient promise,
God became dust:
Jesus Christ came among us,
to live and die and rise again.
For his sake, + God forgives us all our sins.
For his sake, God renews all God’s promises.
For his sake, God remakes us
as the body of Christ
for the sake of the world.

Thanks be to God! Amen.

Signs and Symbols for Children’s Sermons

If you’ve listened to our Preacher’s Podcast, you already know that each week for children’s message I have pulled a certain sign or symbol right out of the Hebrew Bible readings to focus on as a visual with our kids. These signs and symbols jump out pretty clearly from readings (a rainbow, stars, two stone tablets, a snake with a cross, and a heart with writing on it). I’ve recreated these signs simply with cardstock or construction paper, tape, and crayons–all things I could borrow from my kid’s craft bin. Each week I’ve added the new sign to our “promise wall” at home, as I’m calling it. This wall became the backdrop for my pre-recorded children’s messages for the whole Lenten season, and allowed me to easily refer back to past stories. I also invited the kids from my church to create their own symbol for their own promise wall at home! Hope my not-so-crafty project might inspire some creativity of your own. –Em

Published by Barn Geese

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One thought on ““Promise Us” Liturgical Resources

  1. Pastor Gwenn Trout shared with us:
    “When I did this series previously, I gave worshippers bags with a rainbow (week 1), stars (week 2), a stone (week 3), a bandaid (week 4) and a heart (week 5). Now I am using them as the basis for my children’s sermons. [Local colleague] Pastor Molly Haggerty is using that as well, but added a bit to it. For the “God’s promises” series, she is using: Week 1 – hope; Week 2 – family; Week 3 – rules; Week 4 – healing; and Week 5 – love. Feel free to steal these ideas if they are helpful!”

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