Wednesday Worship Pieces: September 11

Yes, I know it is Thursday.  It’s been one of those weeks.

Our worship on Sunday will be a service of remembrance and lament for the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and for our nation’s violent response to those attacks. You are welcome to use any of this liturgical material in your own worship context.

Call to Worship (with lines from Psalm 51)

We face this day with heavy hearts.
Have mercy on us, O God.
We remember the images of towers collapsing.
Do not cast us from your presence.
We remember the confusion, the fear, the deep sorrow.
Do not take your Holy Spirit from us.
We remember the rumblings of anger, the hatred toward Muslims, the rush toward war.
Deliver us from the guilt of bloodshed, O God.
We remember, and so we lament.
Grant us willing spirits to sustain us.
We remember, and so we gather.
Have mercy on us, O God, according to your unfailing love. Amen.

Candle Lighting

Following the Call to Worship, I will read the following statements which are adapted from material provided by the Peace and Justice Support Network.

  1. We grieve each of the nearly 3,000 persons who were killed in the aerial attacks on September 11, 2001.
  2. We grieve the Afghan people who have been killed in the resulting war, at least ten times the number of those killed on September 11.
  3. We grieve the estimated 100,000 persons killed in the Iraq War which was also justified by the September 11 attack.
  4. We grieve the lives of thousands of American soldiers who have been killed and those who bear life time wounds of body and spirit from the fighting in these wars.
  5. We grieve the ordinary people and communities in our country who have sustained hardships because needed resources–over one trillion dollars–have gone instead to fighting wars.

For each item read, we will light a candle.  After the candles are lit, we will sing Dona Nobis Pacem.

During Children’s Time, we will speak (gently, carefully) about the fact that children were hurt by the 9/11 attacks and children have been hurt by our country’s responses to the attacks.  Each child will (help) light a candle to remember the children that are hurt when we do not live in peace with each other.  We will pray together, asking God to help us follow Jesus by working for peace in our community and our world.

Words for Communion

On this day, many of us have painful memories; memories of division, of fear, of death.

Yet here in this place, around this table, we remember something else; something more. We remember that on the night Jesus was betrayed, he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

So here at this table, we receive the Good News that division, fear, and death are not the ultimate reality of this world.

You are invited to share the bread–the body of Christ–as a statement of our unity, an acknowledgment that we are connected intricately and intimately with other people.

You are invited to share the cup–the blood of Christ–as a reminder that we, like Jesus, can face those things we fear with the confidence that God’s love and mercy surround and protect us always.

You are invited to this table to bear witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus; to proclaim that the powers of death have been once and forever defeated by the Life of God–life eternal and abundant in Jesus Christ.

Please come, the Meal is ready.

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