Special -- A Church Not Divided by Walls

A Litany for Unity and Reconciliation
Reformation-Reconciliation Sunday
Reformation Day

Many Protestants choose this occasion to celebrate the beginning of the denomination to which they belong. Most of the predecessor bodies of the United Church of Christ can trace their origins to the Reformation, which was the movement in the sixteenth century that articulated many doctrines and liturgical practices of the church in new and often controversial ways. This movement resulted in the formation of many of the churches that we now know as Protestant, and the divisions that were created at that time remain in many cases to this day. As much as it is appropriate to retrace and celebrate the history of our particular churches, it is also important to acknowledge the fragmentation of the church, the body of Christ, and yearn for the day when God might reign over a dominion not divided by walls. This hope is expressed in the words of the seal of the United Church of Christ, "That they may all be One:." It is possible to celebrate the good of the Reformation and at the same time express sorrow over our inability to heal the deep divisions in the body of Christ. It is with this intent that the following prayer is offered for use on Reformation Sunday.

Litany for Unity and Reconciliation

Leader: As we celebrate the Reformation, let us also pray for reconciliation within the body of Christ.

One: For the church that in every age has taught the faith to children, shared the sacraments, and fed the poor,

All: O God, we give you thanks.

One: For the times when the church has let the human urge for power and selfpreservation prevail over the will of God,

All: O God, we ask forgiveness.

One: For those who work to create unity among all the churches and seek to find ways to walk together,

All: O God, we give you thanks.

One: For us, when we promote sectarianism above our One:ness as children of God and brothers and sisters in Christ,

All: O God, we ask forgiveness.

One: For those in every age who bring reformation and renewal to the church when it has become complacent,

All: O God, we give you thanks.

One: For those instances when we have driven out sisters and brothers who had a different vision of God’s will for us,

All: O God, we ask forgiveness.

One: For the diversity of expression in our many churches and denominations and for the spirit of liberation that allows the church to continually renew itself,

All: O God, we give you thanks.

One: For the church, that we may be worthy and willing to work at healing divisions among all worshiping communities throughout the whole world, we pray in the name of the God who is Creator of all

All: Amen.

Copyright 2003 Covenantal Relations Ministry, Office of General Ministries, United Church of Christ, Cleveland. Permission is granted to reproduce or adapt for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved. Designed and printed by United Church Resources, Local Church Ministries.

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Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org