A Liturgy of Lament (2016.7.10)

July 12th, 2016 | John Chandler

Shadow Bird / alex19860

Thank you to Daniel Read, April Karli and John Chandler for helping to curate and create this liturgy.

Call to Worship

Welcome to the Liturgy of Austin Mustard Seed.
The word “liturgy” means “The Work of the People.”

Whether friend or stranger,
Passionate believer or Hopeful skeptic,
We gather today as participants and hosts.

Stand with me for a moment of silence to still ourselves,
And be reminded that we are always in God’s presence.

Merciful Lord, we come to you heavy hearted,
for we have heard the cries of the communities of the slain pleading for justice.

We come remembering all the lives lost to the weapons of war that have flooded our streets.

And we ask for your mercy.

Although we find ourselves in a broken world in which we wound one another,
we hold onto hope that you are a God of healing.

Your own revelation has shown us that you stand firmly with those people whose backs are against the wall.

Your own life demonstrates how you came from heaven to earth to redeem creation, our communities and our own lives.

So we ask for this same redemptive power to be unleashed among us as it was on the day of Pentecost.

That we may be empowered by your spirit to grieve with those who are grieving.
That we may be empowered by your spirit to stand with the oppressed.
That we may be empowered by your spirit to speak out against the systems that produce young men and women who must fight to stay alive and free.

That we may be empowered by your spirit to move towards people in peace and love.

We cry out today Lord, not just for those this week but for all those effected by hatred and violence, bring healing into this world.

Prayer of Confession

Confession allows us a moment to honestly reveal our hopes and pains.
Let us cry out to God as a community.

O Lord our words don’t work anymore
We talk and sing till the air is warm
But we can’t convey what needs to be said
We need your Word to cure our dread!
Yes, we need your Word to cure our dread!

O Lord our ears don’t work anymore
Our neighbors cry but we’re deaf for sure
So we cannot hear what your Spirit says
We need your voice to raise the dead!
Yes, we need your voice to raise the dead!

O Lord our hands don’t work any more
We thought they did but they’ve grown quite worn
From building shrines to gods unknown
We need you Lord to reclaim your throne!
Yes, we need you Lord to reclaim your throne!

O Lord our feet don’t work any more
We crawl around in the dirt evermore
We’ve chosen paths that scar and mame
Savior bring healing to the lame!
Savior, bring healing to the lame!

O Lord our heads don’t work any more
We think we know the truth for sure
But we get so lost in thoughts base and vain
Humble us with wisdom’s reigns!
Yes, humble us with wisdom’s reigns!

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Credit to Richard Kentop Music Pastor at Servant Church Austin for writing this beautiful song we used as a Prayer of Confession.

Check it it out here.

Prayers of the People

We now invite you into a time of prayer. This is an opportunity for us to support one another and participate by sharing our prayer requests.

We have limited time and many may need to share. Please keep your prayers to a sentence or two so that others will have a chance to share as well.  

We welcome the guests among us and join together to pay attention to the needs of others. This way, you can continue to pray with them after Liturgy and throughout the week.

Begin by standing where you are, speaking up and introducing yourself.

If you have something you’re thankful for, end your prayer with…

Let us bless the Lord” and we’ll respond together, “Thanks be to God.

If you have something you’d like prayer for, end your prayer with…

Let us pray to the Lord” and we’ll respond together, “Lord, have mercy.

“With the prayers that have been spoken, and those that are unspoken,

let us finish by praying the Lord’s prayer together…”

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory.
Forever and ever.



The peace of Christ is always with you.
And also with you.

Most generous God,
we celebrate your gift of creation,
and we thank you for your constant love for all you have made.

Your breath gives us life; you call us into new life.
You did not reject us when we rejected you,
but you delivered us from separation and death
to a joyful life in communion with you and all your creatures.

Out of your desire to draw us into your love,
Jesus was born into the human family
and remained with people who were outcast.

He walks today among us.
He touches us with your love.
He gave himself freely to life, and triumphed over evil.
He restores us to life by refusing to abandon us
and remaining faithful to you and to us.

On the night before he died,
Jesus was at table with his friends.
He took bread, and when he had given thanks to You,
he broke it, gave it to them and said,

“Take, eat: This is my Body which is broken for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.”

After supper Jesus took the cup, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, poured out for you and for all.
As often as you drink this, remember me.”

Now come together to the table, passionate believers and hopeful skeptics alike.  Come because the Lord invites us to this remembrance of Jesus’ death, broken sinners in a disrupted world made right through the cross.

Come as a people who expect that the Spirit who raised Jesus from that death is bringing new life.
Come and proclaim together that God’s work is not done. 

The elements are gluten and alcohol free so that all may participate. Parents are invited to gather your children from class so that families can come together. The table is now open.

Let us finish our time of communion together 

by reading aloud this prayer.

Holy loving God, you have nourished us at your table with food and drink, the body and Blood of Christ. Now send us forth to be your people in the world, and to proclaim your truth, this day and evermore.



Austin Mustard Seed, as we leave today:

Let us not rush to the language of healing,
before understanding the fullness of the injury and the depth of the wound.

Let us not rush to offer a band-aid,
when the gaping wound requires surgery and complete reconstruction.

Let us not offer false equivalencies, thereby diminishing the particular pain being felt in a particular circumstance in a particular historical moment.

Let us not speak of reconciliation without speaking of reparations and restoration,
or how we can repair the breach and how we can restore the loss.

Let us not rush past the loss of this mother’s child, this father’s child…someone’s beloved son.

Let us not value property over people;
let us not protect material objects while human lives hang in the balance.

Let us not value a false peace over a righteous justice.

Let us not be afraid to sit with the ugliness, the messiness, and the pain
that is life in community together.

Let us not offer clichés to the grieving, those whose hearts are being torn asunder.


Let us weep at a criminal justice system, which is neither blind nor just.

Let us call for the mourning men and the wailing women,
those willing to rend their garments of privilege and ease,
and sit in the ashes of this nation’s original sin.

Let us be silent when we don’t know what to say.

Let us be humble and listen to the pain, rage, and grief pouring from the lips of our neighbors and friends.

Let us decrease, so that our brothers and sisters who live on the underside of history may increase.

Let us listen to the shattering glass and let us smell the purifying fires,
for it is the language of the unheard.

Let us pray with our eyes open and our feet firmly planted on the ground…

Go in Peace,
Live the Church,
See you throughout the week.