Liturgy by TLW

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Liturgy for Commitment/Miracle Sunday

 

by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

 

Churches periodically go through a major fund raising or stewardship emphasis drive designed to encourage large gifts. These are generally targeted for use in expanding the mission of the church in some way or another, whether that be through building or renovation or increasing staff.  I have heard this special day of emphasis called Miracle Sunday or Commitment Sunday, among others.  Some years ago, as Shiloh, Walton prepared to gather funds for their new Fellowship Hall (now completed), we had a Miracle Sunday for which I composed the following liturgy.  Although there was a specific focus for this liturgy, you will find that parts of it can be used for other settings. The opening Dialog of Praise, for example, works well at Installation services for pastors or at services emphasizing mission.  The Litany of Dedication to the Mission of the Church can be used at any time such a dedication is needed in the life of a congregation.  This litany is indeed lengthy, but I made it so to fit the seriousness of a Commitment or Miracle Sunday.

 

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MIRACLE SUNDAY

A DAY OF PRAYER, PRAISE & OFFERING

 

P = Presiding Minister  A = Assisting Minister  C = Congregation

 

 

GATHERING

Prelude

Entrance Hymn  "O Day of Rest and Gladness"

 

Dialog of Praise:

A. Praise the Lord, all you people.

C. Praise him, all you heavenly hosts.

 

A. Praise him for his mighty acts.

C. Praise him for his greatness.

 

A. God calls us to be his people,

C. A royal priesthood and a holy nation,

 

A. To proclaim aloud the Lord's name,

C. To tell all the world the wonders of God's works.

 

A. For he satisfies the thirsty,

C. And fills the hungry with good things.

 

A. He has pity on the lowly and the poor.

C. He redeems the lives of those who call upon his name.

 

A. Whom shall the Lord send to them, and who will go for us?

C. "Here am I, Lord! Send me!"

 

Hymn of Praise  "Holy, Holy, Holy"

Apostolic Greeting

Prayer of the Day

 

WORD

Lessons

Hymn  "O Master, Let Me Walk with You"

Gospel

Sermon

Hymn of the Day  "Lead On, O King Eternal"

 

Litany of Dedication to the Mission of __________ Church:

A. O God the Father in heaven:

C. Have mercy upon us.

 

A. O God the Son, Redeemer of the world:

C. Have mercy upon us.

 

A. O God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of all our souls:

C. Have mercy upon us.

 

A. Holy Trinity, one God:

C. We praise you and give you thanks.

 

A. For your gifts of life, relationships and purpose, and for the abundant blessings which you continually bestow upon us:

C. We praise you and give you thanks.

 

A. For our redemption through Christ's blood, for our adoption as children of God, for the holiness that you give us in baptism, and for the promise of eternal life:

C. We praise you and give you thanks.

 

A. For the founding of _________ Church in ________, for the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit to the present time, and for our renewal in faith and mission:

C. We praise you and give you thanks.

 

A. Continue to lead and guide us, O Lord, along pathways of truth and righteousness.

C. Lord, increase our faith.

 

A. Groom us with your holy Word; love us with your life-giving Sacraments; teach us to find you in the depths of prayer; lift us with the songs of faith; and make us wholly yours.

C. Lord, increase our faith.

 

A. Help us to trust in you fully, so that we will give our lives, our loved ones, our cares, our resources, our church, and our mission entirely into your hands.

C. Lord, increase our faith.

 

A. Relieve us of our fears and anxieties; take away those things which hinder our faith, silence our witness, or stifle our mission.

C. Hear our prayer, O Lord.

 

A. Forgive us our sins and take away our guilt; refresh our souls, our spirits, and our minds through the healing power of the Holy Spirit; and make us bold as we live in the shadow of Christ's cross and resurrection.

C. Hear our prayer, O Lord.

 

A. Above all, use us, O God, as instruments of your love in the world.

C. Use us, O God.

 

A. Use us to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ in a world where bad news abounds.

C. Use us, O God.

 

A. Use us to reach out to the lonely, the despairing, the poor, the despised, the sick, the grieving, the dying, and the hopeless -- those we know and those we do not know; help us to touch them with your healing power that they might find hope and renewal, forgiveness and faith, wholeness and purpose in you.

C. Use us, O God.

 

A. Use our lives as living examples of Christ in the world, giving himself in love.

C. Use us, O God.

 

A. Use our talents to bring Christ to all people and to bring them to him.

C. Use us, O God.

 

A. Use our resources and our offerings to undergird and continually expand our ministry in our community, in our synod and in our world.

C. Use us, O God.

 

A. Use our church as a place for all people, a refuge in the storm, a focus for faith, a house for worship, a portal of peace, a fountain of forgiveness, a school for learning, a resource for equipping, and a center for mission.

C. Use us, O God.

 

P. Almighty and all-loving God, we are nothing without you and without your love. And yet with you, we have all that we need: for life, for love, for faith, for strength, for purpose, for mission. Because you have called us, loved us, and saved us through your Son, we are your Church in this place. Guide and direct this, your Church, in your love. Bless our work to the increase of your kingdom. Work miracles among us and with us and through us, so that our ministry may continually grow, and so that many more may be called, loved, and saved through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C. Amen

 

Peace

 

MEAL

Offering with bringing of Miracle Sunday Gifts to the altar, singing "Take My Life"

Offertory Prayer

Great Thanksgiving

Our Father

Distribution

    Hymn  "God of Our Fathers"

 

Post-Communion Prayer

 

SENDING

Benediction

Dismissal

Closing Hymn:  Doxology