Churches Together Unity Liturgy

Here is an outline for a prayer time where people from different churches are present lasting about 45 minutes. It is adapted from the Saturday Evening Prayer at the NNPM Conference in 2006. Place chairs in a circle if possible.  You will need white wall tiles (boxes of cheap white tiles can be bought in most DIY stores), thick washable ink pens, post-it notes in two different colours, felt tip pens and four small baskets. Lay the tiles out on the floor in the shape of a cross and place one large lit candle in the centre (see Gallery photo). Place the pens and post-it notes in baskets around the cross. Play instrumental music as people gather.  The songs listed can of course be found in other hymn books than those in brackets or you may wish to choose your own.

Welcome

Song: The Church is wherever God’s people are praising (Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise) 

At the end of this song people are invited to turn to their neighbours and introduce themselves. They are then invited to use the thick pens to write the names of the churches and places they have come from directly onto the tile cross.

Song: One is the body and one is the Head (Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise)

Reading: Acts 2.42-47

Time for Quiet Reflection

Action:

The reading from Acts is about the first believing Christians. How does listening to the reading feel to a group of believing Christians gathered together today? Invite people in small groups to speak about their experiences of sharing both with people from their own churches and with those from other churches. Use post-it notes in one colour to write down difficult things or things that have not worked, and the other colour to write down times when people and churches have come together successfully.  Stick all the post-it notes to the tile cross.

Recorded Music: Christ, our peace (from Marty Haugen’s CD Only you, O God)

Prayers of Intercession with Sung Response:

For the people of our churches gathered here this evening, that we may celebrate our faith together, embracing all that we share, and acknowledging our diversity.
Lord, we pray.
Ubi caritas (Songs from Taizé)

For those situations we have placed on the cross, both difficult and good, that they may be held safely in the hand of God.
Lord, we pray.
Ubi caritas (Songs from Taizé)

For those who are yet to discover the love and community that is to be found in the fellowship of the Church.
Lord, we pray.
Ubi caritas (Songs from Taizé)

For those of other faiths, that we may seek to understand and learn from each other.
Lord, we pray.
Ubi caritas (Songs from Taizé)

For those in pain or distress this night, and for those who are lonely, that we may find ways of bringing love and companionship into their lives.
Lord, we pray.
Ubi caritas (Songs from Taizé)

For this troubled world, that we may have courage to stand by what is right, and that we may act together swiftly to bring about justice and peace for all people.
Lord, we pray.
Ubi caritas (Songs from Taizé)

For the breaking and sharing of bread, that we may recognise that we are one body in Christ.
Lord, we pray.
Ubi caritas (Songs from Taizé)

The Lord’s Prayer

Prayer of Commitment:

We are the body of Christ in this place and at this time.
We commit ourselves to work together in harmony, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, and demonstrating his love with all whom we meet.
Amen.

Song: Summoned by the God who made us (Laudate) 

The Grace

 

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