Call to Worship
This is the day that our God has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Glory be to the Creator, and to the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.
Opening Psalm (Psalm 143: 1,5-11)
Hear my prayer, O God;
give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness;
answer me in your righteousness. . . .
I think about all your deeds,
I meditate on the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
Answer me quickly, O God;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me,
or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Save me, O God, from my enemies;
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
Let your good spirit lead me
on a level path.
For your name’s sake, O God, preserve my life.
In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.
Holy Wisdom, in your loving kindness you created and restored us when we were lost: inspire us with your truth, that we may love you with our whole minds and run to you with open hearts, through Christ our Savior. Amen. (source: Alcuin of York, Mass of Wisdom)
Scripture: Matthew 5:27-37
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.
31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to God.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is God’s footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
Silent and/or Spoken Reflections
“All Souls’ Day” by Barbara Crooker
Say November woods.
Say the colors of earth: ocher, sienna, umber,
a hearth where the fire’s gone out.
Wind scours trees to their bones.
A chevron of geese cuts a wedge in the sky.
Imagine a hawk the color of winter.
On the day of the dead, he seeks a thermal
and soars. The dead rise, too,
will-o-the-wisps of mist & haze,
tobacco smoke from Indian pipes,
the plumes of tall grasses.
They are always with us,
tangible as breath,
fill the interstices of then and now.
In the November woods, cold air
settles like a blanket.
The sky tucks itself in.
Everywhere, the silence of all the folded wings.
Offering Our Prayers (God, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer.)
Canticle: Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah, Luke 1:68-79)
Blessed are you, God of Israel,
For you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty Savior,
Born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old
To save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us,
To show mercy to our forebears, and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our ancestors:
To set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear, holy and righteous before you,
All the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
For you will go before God to prepare the way,
To give God’s people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
The dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
And to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Benediction (From John 14:27)
Jesus says to us: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.