Trinity Sunday Liturgy

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 8)

God, how majestic is your name in all of the earth.

When I look at your heavens, thew work of you fingers: the moon and the stars. I think, what are human beings that you are mindful of them?

Yet you have put us a little lower than you, and crowned us we glory and honor!

O God, how majestic is your name in all of the earth. 

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

Romans 5:1-5

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we do not always feel that your wisdom is present. We confess that this lack makes it hard to practice grace, that suffering seems abundant, and endurance lacking. We confess that we do not always find hope. Send us your Holy Spirit to supply whatever it is we need we pray. Amen. . (Silent Confession). Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Christ advocates for us, always, so we know the truth: In Jesus Christ you are Forgiven

Prayer of Dedication (based of Proverbs 8:30-31): Remind us that your wisdom delights in us, daily, rejoicing in the inhabited world, and in humanity. Send us into the world holding tight to that we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: Immortal Invisible God Only Wise, God of the Sparrow, God of the Ages Whose Almighty Hand, Great God We Sing That Mighty Hand, When in Our Music God is Glorified, God who stretched the spangled heavens

Children: Compare and Contrast what God considers “Power” (serving, love, creating things) to human Power (money, politics, popularity)

Good Friday Tenebrae based on John

(take a nail, and gather in silence, feel free to hold the nail throughout confession; we will be nailing our sins to the cross)

Call to Worship  

L  The Lord be with you.

P  And also with you

1. PRAYER                                          MATTHEW 26:36

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.

Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

2. HE NAIL OF STUMBLING                              John 18:5-7

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the man!’ When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.’ The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.’

(Silent Meditation & Extinguishing of Candles)

Were you there when they crucified the Lord (x2)

oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble,

Were you there when they crucified the Lord?

3.THE NAIL OF BETRAYAL                               John 18:2-3

Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him.

4. THE NAIL OF DENIAL  John 18: 12, 17-18,25-27

 Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’  Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, ‘You are not also one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?’ Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

5. THE NAIL OF CRUELTY                                 John 19: 16-17, 

Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.

(Silent Meditation & Extinguishing of Candles)

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree (x2)

oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble,

Were you there when they nailed him the the tree?


We know what it is like to cry out, as the psalmist did 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

   Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;

   and by night, but find no rest.

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried, and were saved.

Lift up your hearts

We lift them up to the Lord


Lift up your hearts

We lift our hearts to the Lord                                     

     You are invited to have your sins nailed to the cross

(In our congregation all nails are handed to the pastor and in silence they are nailed to the cross)

(Silent Meditation & Extinguishing of Candles)

Were you there when they laid him in the Tomb (x2)

Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble

Were you there when they laid him in the Tomb?


Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to give our thanks and praise…(God we thank you that even tonight you can send your Holy Spirit on these elements, that we can remember that on the night that Jesus was betrayed, just before he has crucified. He took bread, he gave thanks and he broke it and he shared it among all who were there saying this is my body broken for me do this in remembrance of me. When they were finished fellowshipping with one another in the same way he took the cup and as he poured he said, this is the cup of the New Covenant spilled for you. Whenever you eat this bread and you drink this cup you proclaim my death until I come again. Come let us proclaim the death of Jesus Christ, together we pray. Amen)

9.  DARK John 18:28-30

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

(Silent Meditation & Extinguishing of Candles)

(Easter Sunday the Cross Returns Nail Free)

Palm Sunday, a Prayer

Jesus as the apostles went to get the colt

Did you have to psych yourself up

As you rounded the corner to enter the gates did you think

“This is going to suck”

When people threw their cloaks—did you focus on the children and try to think of how real their joy was?

Jesus did you laugh on Palm Sunday?

Did you steal your victory moment—because it was in peace.

Did you think of unions and BLM and Trans kids and all of the unnamed saints who live quietly.

Did they all flash before your eyes when you sighed and took a deep breath to continue your march into Jerusalem?

Did a tear of weariness and joy trickle down your face at the end of the day?

Did you rub your forehead, and smell the remnants of Nard and remind yourself that you too were beloved after a full and important day?

Jesus the longer I live—

The more human you become.

The more I see how you took on Sarc (flesh) for us so that our emotions are real to you–

Real and valid; thank you for celebrating Palm Sunday with us.

Thank you for it’s flashes of joy and humility and peace.



Feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta


If you enjoy my work, please consider contributing to my writing by supporting my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing for Public Theology at Pittsburgh Seminary

Jesus, a Prayer


The longer I live

the more human Jesus becomes

That’s how I’m walking through Holy Week.

May that be my whole and entire prayer.

Maybe, that’s enough for my whole

and entire life.

The longer I live,

the more human Jesus becomes.


Forgiving God (A Prayer)

God, sometimes I wonder

If you stand for weak apologies,

or how you stand them at all…

The “I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt”

or the half-hearted apologies that blame…

other things like mental illness or pills or bad sleep…

or anything…

(I call these non apologies what do you call them God?)

and I also wonder…

and how you view our funding for guns and military complexes

while children are hungry in the street

How do we quickly fund war-things

and let people die of plague and hunger and homelessness

I know you are a forgiving God…

but I also wonder if we take that too much for granted

If that is why Jesus looked at Jerusalem

and cried.

But then I think of how Jesus

washed Judas’s feet,

and lovingly forewarned Peter of his

thrice, THRICE ill-timed denial.

And I think,

Only you Christ, know

that somehow,

we humans can still change.

Even when we humans

Might give up on humanity.

You don’t

Well, you and Dr. Who.

So I’ll hold onto that,

With my pinky fingers–

even when I lose grasp

and my hands no longer want to fold

in prayers

and words of forgiveness

do not come from my lips.

I’ll rely on your forgiveness,

instead of mine

and work on the pinky

finger’s worth of prayer



Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

God, a prayer

I’m tired
Of praying
For peace.

I’m tired
Of praying.

I’m tired.



Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Feb 27 Man Born Blind

Psalm 27:1-4

John 9:1-41

Reflection by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl

Call to Worship

Whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life, whom shall I fear?

One thing I seek, to live in the house of the Lord forever.

Come, let us seek the Lord together.

Prayer of Confession: God I confess that I worry that my body is not perfect, or I am not perfect, because I have sinned. Too often I buy into the myth of health and wealth. I think that you reward those who do not sin with perfection. Yet you remind us, again, and again, that isn’t how grace works. You remind us that every single body works differently, and we are beloved, and forgiven no matter what. Glorify us exactly as we are we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Remind us that your forgiveness is unconditional, tell us the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Day: God, remind us that you bless our very mundane bodies with the very simple dirt and mud of the earth, knowing that our bodies are limited, we are also blessed. Bless us today we pray. Amen.

With Children: Talk about the Olympics and the reality about the amazingness and very real limits of our bodies and how each of our bodies are so very different and yet so very beautiful and how each and every one of us are somehow made in the image of God, including those of us with disabilities, discuss how Jesus had holes in his arms and ankles after the crucifixion. Discourage ableism. Glorify all bodies.

Hymns: Here I am Lord, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Amazing Grace,

Burying Jesus, Good Friday Worship: Virtual or in Person

Supplies: Communion, Nail nailed to wood or a cross, Cross and black cloth, Aloe Hand Sanitizer, Dirt, a lit candle

If doing the worship at virtually, Send home 1 nail, 1 packet of aloe sanitizer, and 1 candle to light. Ask the congregant to be ready to bury the nail at the end of worship. Ask them to light their candle at the beginning of worship. Do the removal of nails and the covering of the cross with a black cross from your main location onscreen.

We will be symbolically burying Jesus by burying nails,

Read John 19:30-33: Remove the nails and pass one out (have each congregant pick one up from by their seat depending upon your Covid Proticols) to each congregant (symbolically you can just remove 6 nails while the nails are being passed out)

Were You There When They Crucified the Lord (v 1)

Read John 19:38: Remove the Cross, Cover it in Black cloth

Read John 19:39-40: Have each congregant use the aloe Sanitizer for their hands and their nail

Were You There When the Nailed Him to the Tree (v. 2)

Celebrate Communion (optional)

Read John 19:40-42: Have each congregant come up and drop the nails in the dirt and then bury them, or have them symbolically do it at home.

Were You There When they Laid Him in a Tomb? (v. 3)

Blow out the Candle

Please support my writing: Katy’s Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing at Pittsburgh Seminary. 

For Word versions of the Liturgy email me at Katyandtheword at gmail

From Lament to Hope Full Resources

April 17th Resurrection: Hope Seeing Resurrected Jesus

April 17th Resurrection: Hope Seeing Resurrected Jesus

John 20:1-18

Psalm 118:21-29

Call to Worship

Christ is Risen

He is Risen indeed

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone

Look the Lord’s doing wondrous things before our eyes

This is the day that the Lord has made

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Call to Confession: God sees us exactly as we are and loves us, so come let us confess ourselves to God. 

Confession: Jesus, we confess that sometimes we are blinded by tears or turned away, and it is hard to recognize you. We confess that all too often we do not practice or believe in the power of resurrection, so it sneaks by us. Forgive us, teach us to see the seeds you are planting, for you are, after all, the original gardener, and help us to co-create and tend the seeds of resurrection so that they grow, we pray in the name of the resurrection Jesus. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: Christ is risen, so you are forgiven. Know the truth: In Jesus Christ we are Forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: We are an Easter people, a Resurrection People, let us name it and claim it we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Please support my writing: Katy’s Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing at Pittsburgh Seminary. 

For Word versions of the Liturgy email me at Katyandtheword at gmail

From Lament to Hope Full Resources

April 24th Thomas: Disability Glorified

Sermon Ideas:

But Thomas

Brave Thomas

John 20:19-31

Psalm 145:13-21

Topical Prayer: Disability Glorified

Call to Worship

God we are ready to see you

So we think

God we want to see you

Be present with us here today

Call to Confession: God we are so glad Jesus is ready to hear our full selves. Come let us sit with Jesus and confess.

Confession: Jesus we confess that it is sometimes hard to believe that you will glorify all things. Sometimes the questions Thomas has about the holes in Jesus’s body, the questions about disabilities or differences or even the vast varieties that we see around us are just too much for our human brains to process. We confess that we are a lot like Thomas–we are often just not brave enough to voice our doubts and misgivings out loud. Forgive us, and remind us that you glorify all things, and somehow do not take away one iota of who we truly are. Remind us with the Holy Spirit we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: If Christ is for us, who can be against us? Know and feel and taste the truth on your tongue: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Walk with us Christ, remind us when we falter or feel alone that you are with us we pray. Amen.

Children: Talk about what you think Thomas’s reaction was when he saw Jesus, it is not actually described. Did they hug? Did he actually put his hand through the holes? Did they cry?

Hymns: We Walk By Faith and Not By Sight, Invisible Immortal God Only Wise, Lift High the Cross, Christ is Made the Sure Foundation, God of Grace and God of Glory, Lord Whose Love through Humble Service

Please support my writing: Katy’s Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing at Pittsburgh Seminary. 

For Word versions of the Liturgy email me at Katyandtheword at gmail

From Lament to Hope Full Resources

Shannon A Thompson

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