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litany

Note: This #litany is intended to be paired with for those who have been silenced. The black tape is, again, optional, and the language is flexible. It does mirror each other, so that we enter into lament and then exit into action.

(Before each stanza, reader removes black tape before speaking.) Reader Five: God, you created Creation and called it good. Enable us to move from silence into action to care for this Earth. Many: Here I am, Lord. Send me.

(Before each stanza, reader removes black tape before speaking.) Reader Four: God, you created humanity and called us good. Challenge us to love each other and see the face of God in the eyes of a stranger, no matter who they are and how you created them. Many: Here I am, Lord. Send me.

(Before each stanza, reader removes black tape before speaking.) Reader Three: God, you give abundantly – enough food for the world to eat and be filled. You give us enough, so transform the way we live that we may share this abundance so that no one is poor or without. Many: Here I am, Lord. Send me.

(Before each stanza, reader removes black tape before speaking.) Reader Two: God, you come that we might have peace for neighborhoods and for nations. Through love and service, may we mend broken relationships and bend down to bless even those who intend us harm. Many: Here I am, Lord. Send me.

(Before each stanza, reader removes black tape before speaking.) Reader One: God, you promise that the deepest night gives way to morning. You gather our tears and our hearts into your care and bless us. Renew us in the hope of resurrection and rest in You. Many: Here I am, Lord. Send me.

Clergy: You have heard the good word. Even on this day of silence, God is not silent. God suffers alongside us, and God even now births a New Creation. Let us go to the tomb in expectation for what God is doing in and through us.

Note: I wrote this #litany for a Holy Saturday vigil before Easter. Feel free to edit it, adjusting language and adding stanzas as your context asks. We did not do the dramatic black tape bit, but it's a creative visual thought – though it could be uncomfortable in some contexts and with some readers.

Clergy: In the stillness of this day, we open our hearts to You and to those who suffer. We enter into this time of prayer for those who have been silenced to be centered in our prayers and lament. Many: Hear our prayers, God of Justice.

Reader One: For grieving families who have lost loved ones, who are afraid to show their pain and tears, who feel alone and estranged, who lack hope in days and years to come. Many: Hear the suffering of those silenced, O God. (After each stanza, reader places black tape over their mouth symbolically.)

Reader Two: For nations and communities ripped apart by war and violence, who witness neighbor turning against neighbor, who cannot return to their homes, who are afraid of retaliation and persecution. Many: Hear the suffering of those silenced, O God. (After each stanza, reader places black tape over their mouth symbolically.)

Reader Three: For those human beings who are made poor, who experience hunger and need, who have been turned away from opportunities and resources, who have been told they do not deserve generosity. Many: Hear the suffering of those silenced, O God. (After each stanza, reader places black tape over their mouth symbolically.)

Reader Four: For those of all ages who have been judged and discriminated against, for who they are and who they love, for being different or not meeting society’s definitions of perfection, for living unafraid into who God created them to be. Many: Hear the suffering of those silenced, O God. (After each stanza, reader places black tape over their mouth symbolically.)

Reader Five: For our groaning, sick Creation, for the destruction wrought by pollution and rising temperatures, for the poisoning of communities, rivers, and landscapes, for the lack of respect given to this earth that feeds and sustains life. Many: Hear the suffering of those silenced, O God. (After each stanza, reader places black tape over their mouth symbolically.)