Pentecost -- Ordinary Time -- Service Prayers

Hear the Voice of the Beloved!
Service Prayers for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture Lessons
Song of Solomon 2:8-13 Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Call to Worship
Leader:     Hear the voice of my beloved,
        who comes leaping upon the mountains,
        bounding over the hills;

Right side of congregation:  
        My beloved, like a gazelle or a young deer,
        stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice.  
        My beloved speaks and says to me:

Left side of congregation:
        “Arise, my love, fair one, and come away;
        for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.

Children:
        The flowers appear on the earth;

Women:
        The time of singing has come,
        and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

Men:
        The fig tree puts forth its figs,
        and the vines are in blossom;
        they give forth fragrance.

All:         Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”  (Song of Solomon 2: 8-13)
    
Invocation
        Creator God,
        You have loved us passionately into being.
        We come today seeking your presence
        and to know we are your beloved.
        Enter our sanctuary and enter our hearts
        that we may look into your loving gaze
        and see ourselves reflected there, as you see us.
        Let our love for you reflect and mirror your perfect love
        as we gather as your beloved community.

Call to Confession
        Dear God, you call us to be doers of the Word, not hearers only.  
        You call us to love the world with your passion,
        and to let that love be expressed in justice, forgiveness, peace.
        Forgive us when our hearts are constricted with fear
        and do not let your transforming grace
        open us to the world you cherish.        
        Forgive us when we honor you only with our lips
        and not with our actions.

Assurance of Grace
        Holy One,  in Christ you have shown us the way into your Beloved Community of mercy, love and peace,
        in which you are making all things new.
        We come to affirm our covenant and sacred promise
        to be in loving relationship with you.  
        Thank you for giving us life.
        Open us, body mind and spirit to your truth.  
        Fill us with your grace so we can fall in love with your world
        and offer--and experience--forgiveness, reconciliation and hope.

Call to Offering
        “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift is from above.         (James 1:17)
        Thank you for the generosity within us that comes from you.             
        Fill us with the hope of young love.
        May we give generously to your church.  

Benediction
        Run with the gazelle and the young deer into love.
        Go romp in the flowers, singing,
        and let the voice of the turtledoves serenade you.
        Arise and come away in God’s passionate love.


Hear the voice of the Beloved!: Service Prayers for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, was written by the Rev. Bonnie Tarwater, pastor of the Congregational Church of Lincoln City, Lincoln City, Oregon.
Copyright 2009 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved.

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CONTACT INFO

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