Liturgy of Rest

Last month we had the opportunity to lead church leaders from all over the United States in A Liturgy of Rest. We’ve led this in a few different cities and it has taken on a few different forms depending on the context. Several people have asked us if they could use that liturgy in their local context, so we decided to go ahead and post the service order from that event here. Use it in whole, use pieces of it, or change and modify it for your context.

WELCOME
Today, this service may have elements of familiar or perhaps be entirely new to you. As you are here, I encourage you to participate as you are comfortable. Allow God to meet you where you are. If you need to sit and hear the liturgy spoken and sung over you, you are welcome to do that. If you would like to stand and sing, you may do that. At times I may ask you to stand, if you are unable to stand or would rather remain seated, that is more than ok.

You have no obligation today. Often we are tempted to put on our pastor/church leader/ perfect parishoner face. Today, I encourage you to come as you are, as an imperfect yet fully loved and forgiven child of God in who’s name our beginning is made...

INVOCATION
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

“HOLY, HOLY, HOLY”
by Reginald Heber, John B. Dykes, Blake Flattley, and Alex Navarro

READING | Zephaniah 3:17
(read aloud together)

“SING”
by Blake Flattley

READING | Psalm 23:1-3

“THERE WILL BE REST”
by Blake Flattley & Brian T. Murphy

READING | Psalm 46:8-11
(read responsively)

L: Come, behold the works of the Lord,
C: how he has brought desolations on the earth.

L: He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
C: he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.

L: “Be still, and know that I am God.
C: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

L: The Lord of hosts is with us;
C: the God of Jacob is our fortress.

“THIS IS MY FATHER’S WORLD”
by Maltbie D. Babcock

CONFESSION
Lord, we confess.

We confess that we have busied our lives with so much clutter that we forget to see the vast blessings you have given to us. Blessings of family and friends, good conversation, a morning coffee, a cool breeze.

We confess that we neglect our relationship with You.
Too often we make plans for You and Your Church neglecting to first stop and listen to You.

We confess that we are sinners in need of a grace that only You can provide, forgive us Lord.

SILENCE

READING | Matthew 11:28-29
(Read by leader)

SILENCE

ABSOLUTION
We are invited, not of what we have done with the labor of our hands, with our ideas, our inventions or even own creativity to simply receive what Christ has offered us. He proclaims to us that we are forgiven. There is nothing that we could do that would prevent us from enjoying the assurance of the rest found in Him. Know that you are forgiven, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

PRAYER
We're going to move into a time of prayer. The band will sing and we invite you to offer up and prayers silently as you sit in your seat. Hand them over to God. Let Jesus take them from you. After a while of singing we will come back together for corporate prayer as we close our time together.

“MY SONG IS LOVE UNKNOWN”
by Samuel Crossman, John Ireland, and Blake Flattley

“BE THOU MY VISION”
by Eleanor Henrietta Hull and Mary Elizabeth Byrne

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
by Blake Flattley
After each petition, the leader will say “Lord, hear our cry”, and we will join together singing “Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord, have mercy on us.”

LORD’S PRAYER

DOXOLOGY
by Thomas Ken

PRAYER “SLEEP”
(adapted from The Valley of Vision)
Blessed Creator, You have promised those You love rest;
Give us restoring rest needed for life’s toil;
Let your Spirit make our time of rest
a blessed temple of Christ’s holy presence.

May my frequent lying down make me familiar with death,
the bed I approach remind me of the grave,
the eyes I close picture to me their final closing.
Keep me always ready, waiting for admittance to your presence.

Weaken my attachment to earthly things.
May I hold life loosely in my hand,
knowing that I receive it on condition of its surrender;

As pain and suffering indicate temporal health,
may I not shrink from a death
that introduces me to the freshness of eternal youth.

Even as we close our eyes to sleep,
we do so in full assurance of one day awakening with you.
All glory for this precious hope, for the gospel of grace,
for your unspeakable gift of Jesus, for the fellowship of the Trinity.

Do not withhold your mercies from us this day;
Your hand never wearies, your power needs no repose, your eyes never sleep.

Help me when I helpless lie,
when my conscience accuses me of sin,
when my mind is harassed by apprehensive thoughts,
when I am kept awake with my anxieties.

Show yourself to me as the God of all grace, love and power;
You have healing for every wound, a solace for all anguish,
a remedy for every pain, a peace for all uneasiness.
Permit me to commit myself to thee awake or asleep. Amen.

BLESSING
May the God of all rest, both now and not yet, bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May He look upon you with favor and give to you, His peace.

If you’d like our team to bring A Liturgy of Rest to your community, email us for details contact@CommunionArts.org.