Holy Week/Easter Prayers

Ashes: A Holy Week Prayer

Holy Week: Praying Our Way Through (Also good for Palm Sunday)

Palm Sunday: Waiting for the Stones

Maundy Thursday: Washing the Dust, Existential Crises: Love One Another?, Broken for You

At the Table: Not I, Lord

In the Garden of Gethsemane: A Socially Distanced Prayer

Good Friday: Friday is not “Good,Essential Workers at the Cross, Denial and Grace in Crises,

Holy Saturday: Pausing for Grief (Slides Version here) , Living in the In Between, Holy Saturday: A Confession (I didn’t really want more time to do nothing)

Easter: Masks a Prayer, Can You Hear Easter (the Good News), Say Nothing Easter, My God is the God of Emptiness (Empty Tombs)

Masks (are Holy): Ending with Easter

Pentecost: Stuck in a Room

Narrative Lectionary: Luke Lent Cycle Prayers and Resources

Please feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Washing the Dust

Jesus, how beautiful is it that you chose to spend some remaining moments reminding the disciples that they can help each other wash off the dust.

Lord you know, sometimes I’ve tried to shake the dust off my feet, but it is stuck tight. It stains my sole. It stains my soul.

And I know how to wash my own feet. But sometimes i don’t have the energy, to get the water, to bend over, to do the self care.

Sometimes I don’t have the energy to wash.

And there you are–towel in hand, gently taking my feet and dipping them in the water.

You wash away the ashes. You remind me that when I’m having trouble, I can ask for help.

You remind us that we are not alone.

That we should love one another, care for one another, help one another.

So while the ashes of two more mass shootings, racist attacks, abusive trans legislation, and continue news of those who don’t yet have access to vaccines, and over 500,000 siblings who needlessly died.

You lather the soap, and pour the water, and prepare a fresh towel. Even while we are on the dusty road to Jerusalem, which ends in the cross, you make provision for us.

You teach us how to comfort one another on the journey.

And For that I give you Thanks and Praise.

Please fee free to use/adapt with Credit to Pastor Kay Stenta

500,000 people: Ashes

God, we are walking into the dusty path of Lent we realize that we are entering into a world of the missing.

The parents, the children, the aunts and uncles, the neighbors and friends and mentors.

God we have lost 500,000 people.

We have lost them. They slipped through our fingers of selfishness and greed and individualism.

We have lost them, like coins scattered upon the ground, they slipped through our finger–a treasure sunk into the ocean, never to be recovered.

We left our fellow sheep upon the rocks, and didn’t protect each other from the lions and the snakes.

We have forgotten that we are herd animals.

God, we no longer just taste ashes on our tongue. We are consuming them daily–in the news of black and brown people’s continued suffering under racist structures, in the habitual “forgetting” of people with disabilities and their extra isolation and danger in this time of contagion, in the news day after day after day of new infections and new deaths, in the cry of an entire state left in the cold for profit.

God I am afraid I am getting used to the taste of ashes.

I’m becoming bitter like Mara, convinced that normal wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and yet longing to go to a time where I didn’t know death as intimately as I do now.

I feel lost without those 500,000 people.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

And I know that each of us are grieving in our own way.

And when things implode, and my kids are frustrated beyond my comprehension, or little annoyances seem to take over the day, or it’s hard to get going in the world. I remind myself that we are all living with ashes.

Gather your Sheep, Good Shepherd.

Coax us, tempt us and hook us into the herd.

Tell me its ok if I am a Mara today. It’s ok that I feel too much, and want too much and still somehow dare to dream of a different way.

Remind us that you know each of the 500,000 by name. We have lost them, you promise they will be found. Like coins or sheep, precious and beloved treasures of God.

And my job is to keep walking, to keep finding the rest of my herd, to love those who are lost and to love those who are found.

Help me to keep walking the road to Jerusalem with 500,000 ashes on my tongue I pray.

Amen.

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

More Pandemic Resources

Narrative Lectionary: Ash Wednesday Links of Prayer

Ash Wednesday

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“Invitation to Lent” Author Rev. Mary Austin

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Mary Austin) appreciated.

Luke 9:51-62 and Psalm 5:7-8 or Psalm 5:8

Call to Worship
We are dust and ashes,
bone and breath,
full of frailty and limitation.
Lent calls us into reflection and repentance,
drawing closer to God. 
Lent calls us to see ourselves as dust and ash,
alive only with God’s breath.
Lent invites us to be pilgrims,
moving with Jesus toward the truth. 
In Lent, we travel with Jesus,
moving toward an end and a beginning.
Let us worship the God of glory,
with all that is within us.  
 
 
Call to Confession
Keeping up appearances is exhausting. Pretending to be something we are not takes a toll on our spirits.  The illusion of perfection makes us weary.  Lent invites us into a place of freedom.  Let us speak the truth about ourselves, and know the truth about God.Trusting in God’s abundant, living mercy, let us pray. (time for silent reflection)…Amen 
 
Prayer of Confession
God who breathes life into dust,
and fills ash with glory,
we come to you knowing that we are broken,
not by your doing,
but by our own. 
Forgive us for chasing shiny gods,
instead of turning to you.
Forgive us for trusting our own abilities
more than your goodness.
Forgive us for seeing other people as stepping stones,
instead of as your beloved ones. 
Breathe life into our dust again, we pray,
and claim us once more as your own. 
In Jesus’ name, Amen. 
 
Assurance of Grace/Pardon
Who are we, that God is mindful of us?  God’s fingers have shaped us, and God’s breath gives us life.  God’s abundant mercy follows us with each step.  In the life of Jesus Christ, we see a new way to live.  In following him, our lives are redeemed.  Through Jesus Christ, we are all forgiven.  Be at peace in God’s grace. 
 
 
Invitation to Communion
My friends, dust and ash we are, and also God’s beloved people.  Jesus, who knows both death and resurrection, invites us now to the table.  Here, even on this day, we see a glimpse of God’s table.  At the table of God, there is hunger is no more, and all of God’s people feast together.  There death is no more, and we see our beloved ones and God’s people of all the ages.  There tears are no more, and we rejoice in the presence of God’s living grace. 
 
In the name of Jesus our host, Jesus whom we follow into Lent, Jesus who gives us living bread, we are all invited to come and share in the feast. 
 
 
Prayer after Communion
Holy God,
with the taste of ash still in our mouths,
you have fed us with the bread of heaven
and the cup of new beginnings.
Lead us now, we pray,
into a Lent of somber reflection
and committed service,
spreading the taste of your love to all people.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.  
 
 
Offering Prayer / Prayer of Dedication
Merciful God,
our gifts are as limited as our lives,
but we offer them to you with gratitude,
knowing that they really are your gifts,
loaned to us.
We offer them with praise,
that you invite us to share in your work. 
We offer them with hope,
knowing that you can transform them
into instruments of love and justice.
In Jesus name, Amen.