ELCA Worship has provided a worship resource responding to the war in Ukraine. These resources are available from the ELCA.org Worship Resources area: https://elca.org/resources/worship#Liturgy.

As we approach Holy Week and the Easter season, you may desire worship texts that hold in tension the joy of the resurrection with the reality of violence and suffering in our world in Eastern Europe and around the globe.

Below are three newly composed worship texts by Gail Ramshaw available for use in your context during Holy Week. Guidance for use precedes each selection.

 

 For Good Friday

From the third century on, a central feature of Good Friday worship has been a lengthy bidding prayer (See ELW Leaders Desk Edition p.636). You may consider inserting the following after the petition for God’s creation.

 

Let us pray for peace in the world.
Silent prayer.
Almighty and eternal God,
it is your will that the people of all nations dwell in peace and concord.
Grant that wars throughout the world will cease,
and lead all people away from turmoil and strife
toward dedication to the common good.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

For the Easter season

If you begin your service with a thanksgiving for baptism, you may consider this contextualized thanksgiving which begins with words of lament and then follows with Thanksgiving at the Font V, ELW p. 71.

 

In the name of the Father, and of the +Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.
or
Blessed be the holy Trinity, +one God,
the fountain of living water, the rock who gave us birth, our light and our salvation.
Amen.

The presiding minister addresses the assembly.
Rejoicing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
joined to Christ and to one another in the waters our of baptism,
we yet call to mind a world so filled with suffering—
from war and violence, Covid and hunger,
homelessness and prejudice,
national disaster and personal loss.

We who are clothed with God’s mercy and forgiveness
give thanks for the gift of baptism,
and we plead for the Spirit to strengthen us
by the mystery of Christ’s resurrection.

Continue with Thanksgiving at the Font V.
Water may be poured into the font as the presiding minister gives thanks.

Holy God, holy and merciful, holy and mighty, you are the river of life, you are the everlasting wellspring, you are the fire of rebirth.

Glory to you for oceans and lakes, for rivers and streams. Honor to you for cloud and rain, for dew and snow. Your waters are below us, around us, above us: our life is born in you. You are the fountain of resurrection.

Praise to you for your saving waters: Noah and the animals survive the flood, Hagar discovers your well. The Israelites escape through the sea, and they drink from your gushing rock. Naaman washes his leprosy away, and the Samaritan woman will never be thirsty again.

At this font, holy God, we pray: Praise to you for the water of baptism and for your Word that saves us in this water. Breathe your Spirit into all who are gathered here and into all creation. Illumine our days. Enliven our bones. Dry our tears. Wash away the sin within us, and drown the evil around us.

Satisfy all our thirst with your living water, Jesus Christ, our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Eastertide Lament

This lament may be used as part of the gathering rite or at another appropriate time during the fifty days of Easter. For more on lament in worship, see the Frequently Asked Question, “How is lament included in worship?

We assemble, praising the God of creation,
rejoicing in the promise of the resurrection,
and renewed in the gift of baptism.
Yet we stand with those who suffer throughout the world:
victims of war, both soldiers and civilians;
refugees fleeing violence;
those forced into the loss of freedoms;
the oppressed seeking justice and social acceptance;
those sick with the coronavirus;
the millions mourning their dead;
the hungry and the homeless.

A Kyrie or a hymn such as ELW #751, ELW #752, ACS# 1055, or ACS #1075 is sung.

Hear us, O God.
Hear us, O God.

Keep us in the joy of the resurrection.
Keep us in the joy of the resurrection.

Sustain us to serve all in need.
Sustain us to serve all in need.

Give us your life.
Give us your life.

Here follows a time of silence or a short musical interlude.

Hear these words and receive their power:
God the Father, in wondrous mystery, daily sustains the whole earth.
God the Son accompanies us through death and promises us new life.
God the Spirit empowers us to turn our Easter joy into service for others.

Thanks be to God.
Thanks be to God.