When you hear the words,"God of Spirited Song," please respond with "Hear our prayers." And so we pray...
Loving spirit, our hearts sing with joy this Sunday morning, as we gather in this beautiful place with our faith community. We also feel the apprehension of this fifth Sunday of Lent, because we know so well the story that is unfolding, and that leads first to the cross, and then to the open grave.
At least, we think we know the story—yet, every Lent and Easter season offers us the opportunity to think and feel the story more deeply, to seek to understand what the story means to our lives in these days and these times. We seek to be inspired and comforted and strengthened by the story of Jesus, as we walk and create our own stories.
While we watch and listen to spring unfolding, our hearts also sing with the birds that are returning to our city, or just passing through on a longer journey. Their trills and cheeps and twittering remind us of life's cycle, of the miraculous cycling of seasons—whether in the world around us, or in our own personal worlds.
With your song singing through our spirits, Loving One, we are guided to places where we can offer compassion, love and tenderness—qualities too often lacking in our world. Your spirit song, your love, reminds us to not give way to despair, and instead to come together as a community of resistance—actively resisting the pain-giving parts of our world and creating love-sharing places for all creatures.
God of Spirited Song... "Hear our prayers."
Our hearts sing with gratitude for those who serve the world, bringing to full expression the spirit within that guides and animates us.
In the Kootenay Presbytery, we pray for Hilary Bitten, Minister of Robertson Memorial Church in Nakusp, and we also pray for the congregation of that church.
In the World Council of Churches prayer cycle, we pray for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. As these countries chart their futures, we pray they follow a way of equality, justice and peace for their people.
We pray also for Pope Francis. We pray that his vision will be broad and his courage strong; that his ears stay open to the voices of his followers; and that his love for the poor and for justice sings always in his soul.
Amid the conflicts around the world are Canadian peacemakers and peacekeepers. We pray for them, and for their families.
We pray for our brothers and sisters at Nyanyadzi Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, and especially for Eleanor Maposa. May their lives be always filled with song, the great healer and the great uniter.
And, we pray for people close to us, and for those whose names appear in our bulletin. We hold all those named in our Prayer List in our hearts and in a moment of silence, we offer prayers for those whose concerns are close to our hearts... ...God of Spirited Song... "Hear our prayers."
Loving God, we ask that your spirited song be heard throughout the world, and that we all join the chorus, bringing our voices, hearts and hands together to sing into being a new commonwealth.
As we mark St. Patrick's Day, we hear a prayer of Saint Bridgid of Ireland:
I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us.
I would like an abundance of peace.
And now we join our voices in saying,... "AMEN."
I would like full vessels of charity.
I would like rich treasures of mercy.
I would like cheerfulness to preside over all.
I would like Jesus to be present.
I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us.
I would like the friends of Heaven to be gathered around us from all parts.