Service of Healing and Wholeness
In all worship services, we trust that the focus will be on not just one nation or even a single event, but that it will be a prime moment for acknowledging the lack of shalom in all nations of the world; that it will be a moment to name the violence which befalls far too many on the planet. May the worship also serve as a call to repentance, reconciliation, and action in our own lives. May it be a time of upholding God’s dream of a planet “in peace and unafraid” and a rededication to praying and working for the mending of the creation.
Worship Setting: 10 candles of peace
Meditation Music: Consider flute or quiet instrumental
Welcome: Lighting of the 1st candle
We gather to remember that we are one;
that acts of harm to anyone impact us all.
We grieve together.
We hope together.
We act together.
Together we move toward peace, justice, and reconciliation.
“Lay Your Hands” CCS 545
OR “Heal Me Hands of Jesus” CCS 546
Prayer for Peace: Lighting of the 2nd candle
Musical Response: Consider guitar, harp, or other stringed instrument from your congregation’s musical repertoire.
Scripture Reading: Lighting of the 3rd candle
Doctrine and Covenants 163:4a and 10a
Hymn or Solo: “The Love of God” HS 107
Confessional Responsive Reading: Lighting of the 4th candle
One: O Lord, forgive us for times when the noise of apathy drowns out your loving whisper.
Many: O Lord, forgive us!
One: O Lord, forgive us for times when our voices are silent in the presence of injustice.
Many: O Lord, forgive us!
One: O Lord, forgive us when we are blind to the heartache and struggles of those without hope.
Many: O Lord, forgive us!
One: O Lord, interrupt us when we fail to act out of our centeredness.
All: Together, we will try again to be your people! Empower us, Lord, to hear your whisper, to see others’ pain, to speak justice, and to embody in action your love and compassion for your world.
Pastoral Prayer: Prayer for those who currently suffer as victims in ongoing acts of violence.
Congregational Hymn: ”Spirit of Christ, Remember Me” CCS 221
Reading: Lighting of the 5th candle
Open our eyes to your wonders, our ears to your still small voice, our will to your will. Guide our steps beyond the known. Let us live forward. Bless us with hope and courage.
Homily or Two Testimonies: Lighting of the 6th candle
Ask differing ages of people to share their experience of a peaceful resolution to conflict, centering on Doctrine and Covenants 163:4a.
Reading: Lighting of the 7th candle
We have taken your name upon us. It is more than we are. We will move to where it beckons us, free of fear, responding to its call for a community that embraces all creation as sacred.
“God’s Melody of Peace” CCS 319
OR “O God of Every Nation” CCS 312
Reading: Lighting of the 8th candle
I am yours and you are mine. I know your highest hopes—your deepest desires—for I have planted them in your hearts. Seek to discover and release them. I have called, claimed, and named you. The world hungers for sacred community. Open yourselves to deeper meanings.
Disciples’ Generous Response
Each Sunday, as part of the Disciples’ Generous Response, we ask you to integrate the message of “share equally” between Local/Mission Center and World Mission Tithes. Generosity stories are provided to keep the church in touch with how contributions to Mission Tithes focus on the whole mission of Jesus Christ through the five life-changing, church-changing, and world-changing mission initiatives.
For additional ideas and resources see Disciples’ Generous Response Tools at www.CofChrist.org/disciples-generous-response-tools
Blessing and Receiving of Mission Tithes
Reading: Lighting of the 9th candle
The creation aches for renewal. You are its hands, its feet, its voice. All life is sacred. I have placed its future under your feet. Tread softly, for it is part of my community. Salvation for one without salvation for all is salvation for none. The Earth groans for liberation; bless it as it blesses you—for you are it and it is you.
Hymn: “We Are People of God’s Peace” CCS 306
Prayer of Benediction: Lighting of the 10th candle
Note: Readings adapted from Vulnerable to Grace by Danny Belrose
We Seek Wholeness
1) Healing Service
Call to Worship: Psalm 130
“Come Now, O Prince of Peace” (Ososo) CCS 225
OR “Come, Holy Spirit, Come" CCS 154
5) Meditation Reading: Psalm 139:1-14
6) The Lord’s Prayer
Song: “He Came Singing Love” CCS 226
7) Scriptural Example of Healing: Acts 3:1-10
Song of Praise: "Out of the Depths, O God, We Call” CCS 228
8) Presentation of the oil
Song of Petition: "Jesus, Remember Me" CCS 459
9) Invitation to administration / Prayers for wholeness
Ministry of Music: "Healing River of the Spirit” CCS 232
10) Prayer time
Song of Affirmation: "Santo, Santo, Santo" CCS 159
"We Seek Wholeness" – Annotations
1. This service is based upon the worship style of the Taizé community in France, founded in 1940. It may be appropriate to announce the worship service as a Healing Service, rather than a Taizé worship, to avoid confusion over the meaning of the name. The worship style can then be explained in the introduction. Information on the Taizé community and worship resources can be found on the internet (in many languages) at http://www.taize.fr/, or from a Christian bookstore or library.
Usually Taizé chants are sung without printed words, as they are repetitive and the congregation can quickly learn them. Depending upon the setting and the congregation, a choir can be used to introduce the chant with the congregation invited to join in after a couple of repetitions. There are audio samples of Taizé songs available on the internet (http://www.taize.fr/en_article681.html?var_recherche=audio+sample) and on CD.
Attention must be given to the worship setting. Subdued lighting and candles may assist in creating a safe and sacred space for congregational participation. This style of worship service is more powerful when the people are informed beforehand as to the purpose of the worship. An optimum occasion would be an evening service and especially during a Reunion experience. This is intended to be a healing service, where people come forward without prior request, for prayers of administration, and an invitation can also be given for people to come forward and kneel to offer silent prayers.
2. The presider welcomes the congregation and explains the flow of the service, preparing those present for the invitation to come for prayers of administration later in the service. An explanation of Taizé worship can be included.
3. During the singing, it may be helpful to have a song leader, as the songs are usually repeated, and volume of the singing may be increased or decreased according to the direction of the leader.
4. The opening prayer includes an invocation of God's spirit. It may contain statements of praise and thanksgiving, preparing the people to be present and aware of the presence of God’s spirit. The prayer could be given in a language other than the usual language of the congregation (e.g. a prayer in French in an English speaking congregation) to remind the people to listen to the voice of the Spirit, rather than just the words of the prayer.
5. Use several readers for this scripture with a variety of voice timbres.
6. The Lord’s Prayer can be shared by the congregation or offered in a variety of languages (www.christusrex.org/www1/pater/ has the prayer in over a thousand languages). Time can also be allowed for personal silent prayer. Taizé worship usually includes 5-10 minutes of silent prayer.
7. Have two people (Peter and the beggar) act out the scripture as it is read.
8. The oil for the anointing during the administration may be shown ceremonially to the congregation (e.g. one elder holding the container or bowl of oil) while another elder offers a prayer or statement of blessing, consecrating the oil in the presence of the congregation.
9. Provide guidance as to how the administrations will occur. Brief statements on the meaning of administration, including an explanation of the use of the oil and the two prayers (anointing and blessing) are recommended. The people are invited to contemplate their need for prayer during the ministry of music and prepare to come forward to be seated in one of the chairs at the front of the sanctuary to receive administration.
The congregation is invited to offer silent prayers for those seeking administration, so they are actively engaged in the healing service. This is part of the call to community, to support each other in times of need.
10. Following the ministry of music, a brief statement of invitation is made, so the congregation knows now is the time for them to come forward if they seek administration.
The selection of the elders to perform these administrations must be undertaken prayerfully and with consideration of their spiritual maturity. They may be asked to pray for people they do not know, relying on the guidance of the Spirit.
The number of chairs and elders available will depend upon the size of the congregation. In one worship setting, four chairs were placed at the front of the sanctuary, facing forward, rather than facing the congregation. Eight elders took their places behind the chairs, facing the cross at the front of the sanctuary and the administrations were done one at a time. In other situations the administrations prayers can be offered concurrently, quietly audible to the candidate.
Invite the congregation to come forward to light small candles and offer silent prayers at the front of the sanctuary, either in place of receiving administration or in addition. This movement of people has several purposes: it allows people a chance to move, rather than sitting throughout the prayer time, it may give people more confidence to come forward for administration, and the candles enhance the worship setting. Quiet background music would be appropriate during the prayer time. The intent of offering the administrations in this way is to make them public but yet private and freely available to all.
The prayer time concludes when there are no more coming forward for administration and all have completed their private prayers at the front of the sanctuary.