Midsummer Evening Prayer

Here is an outline for a very gentle prayer time lasting about 30 minutes to celebrate God’s beautiful creation during the summer solstice. Midsummer is usually around the 21st June. Take advantage of the long daylight hours by planning an evening liturgy outdoors.  You can either use part of the churchyard or a church hall garden, or even a private garden.

Arrange the space creatively. You will need chairs, rugs and cushions placed in a circle, a music player and a recording of John Rutter’s ‘For the beauty of the earth’. Arrange lots of candles in lanterns or jars so that they stay alight – bonfires are lit in many countries at this time. Place flowers including lavender, herbs, fruits and greenery in the centre of the circle. The birth of John the Baptist is often celebrated on the eve of 24th June so water would be appropriate too.

Refreshments can be offered at the end of the evening – elderflower cordial, honey biscuits, iced cupcakes and fruit.

Welcome

We meet this midsummer evening to celebrate the fullness of God’s creation.The earth has turned from the harvest of autumn through the deep sleep of winter. Following winter the first stirrings of new birth in spring now culminate in the abundance of new growth and colour of midsummer.  We meet outdoors, under the evening sky, soon to be patterned with stars – at one with nature. 

Opening Responses

As a mother raises her child to adulthood
So God brings creation to maturity.

Let us thank God for the beauty of the earth.
We praise and bless you, Creator God.                                   

We are part of this creation, growing to fullness in God.
Thanks be to God.

Song: Lord of all worlds (A&M Hymns and Songs for Refreshing Worship))

Canticle: Benedicite – A Song of Creation

Song: God in such love for us lent us this planet (Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise)

Reading: Psalm 104.1-23

Recorded Music: For the beauty of the earth (John Rutter)

Time for Reflection

Thanksgiving and Prayer           

We thank you, God, for the good earth, for the changing seasons and for the abundance of plants and creatures at this summer time. We are sorry for the times we have taken your creation for granted. We pray that we may be good custodians and stewards of all that you so freely give.
Creator God, hear our prayer.

We thank you, God, for the beauty of the skies, for birds that fly, for warmth and sunshine, for clouds and rain to make the crops grow and all your creatures flourish.
Creator God, hear our prayer.

We thank you, God, for the sea, sometimes so calm, sometimes so strong and wild, full of wonderful creatures. We pray that we take from the sea only that which can be renewably sustained.
Creator God, hear our prayer.       

We thank you, God, for all people, for the continuing cycle of birth and death. We pray that we may bestow on each other that same love, care and gentleness that you so freely give us.
Creator God, hear our prayer.

God’s continuous cycle of creation reaches the height and fullness of summer.  We now join hands to form a continuous circle that has no beginning and no end as we say the Lord’s Prayer together.

The Lord’s Prayer

Song: For the fruits of all creation (Laudate)

Closing Responses

As evening draws in and darkness falls
So we, too, prepare to take our rest.

We have spent time with God and with each other.
We have sung God’s song and rejoiced in God’s beauty.

The day is almost ended and we shall depart in peace.
Thanks be to God.

Blessing      

May God, the artist of creation, who paints nature in rainbow colours, and humanity in rich diversity, keep us in safety and bless us.
Amen.

We now share refreshment and fellowship together.     

                                    

 

Log In