Prayers for after terror attacks and other tragedies
The Liturgical Commission has shared some suitable prayers and material for a vigil service available on these links
Appropriate prayers for the world/society, and for individuals.
For those needing a complete order of service, pp. 443-448 of New Patterns for Worship has an outline headed “Facing Pain: a Service of Lament” Some of the ‘Cross’ and ‘Lament’ (possibly also ‘Living in the world’ and ‘Relationships and healing’) resources from New Patterns for Worship might also be appropriate for inclusion in that service, or as stand-alone elements in your regular service.
Our thanks to Simon Kershaw for passing this on.
Prayers from the Liturgical Commission
Although these prayers were written for particular occasions, they can easily be adapted for other situations.
Prayer for Hiroshima
commemorating the dropping of the first atomic bomb on the 6 August, 1945
(Feast of the Transfiguration)
God, you are the Father of all the families of the earth,
and call the nations to live in peace and unity.
We remember with sorrow the devastating destruction and death
unleashed on this day upon the city of Hiroshima, and later upon the city of Nagasaki.
We pray for the people of Japan, and all whose lives are disfigured by war.
We pray for ourselves, the often unwise stewards
of the powers of the universe.
Transfigure the lives and cities scarred by conflict by the revealing of your glory
and move us by your uncreated energies to advance your sovereign purpose of peace.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our light and our salvation.
A Prayer for VJ Day
God our Father, in the dying and rising
of your Son Jesus Christ,
you have brought life and salvation out of cruelty and death.
We mark Victory in Japan in gratitude for the courage of the Allied forces
who suffered for freedom in the Far East campaign
and in sorrow for all that hinders the coming of your kingdom of peace.
Give us wisdom to learn from the bitter memories of war, and hearts that long for the unity of all nations.
We ask all this in the name of Jesus, in whom there is no east or west,
no north or south,
but one fellowship of love across the whole earth.
A Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation
you have called us in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ
to continue his work of reconciliation and reveal you to the world.
Forgive us the sins which tear us apart; give us the courage to overcome our fears
and to seek that unity which is your gift and your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Liturgical use of projectors and screens
An article by Edward Green from Issue 61 (spring 2019) of Praxis News of Worship. Illustrations of his PowerPoint slides can be downloaded from this link.
An increasing number of churches are embracing the use of screen technology for liturgical worship. In the past such technology was principally used for the display of song words in periods of contemporary sung worship. The needs of a gathering rooted in words, response and movement can be quite different.
The placement of screens is the first consideration. They need to be located in a way that does not block the visual focus of the worship space. Equally they need to be of a size and number so as to be clearly seen by all members of the congregation, including those leading the service (musicians and sacred ministers), and flexible enough to enable liturgical movement (for gathering around the font or facing west for the dismissal.)
Much of the software used to drive screens in worship is ill-suited for the presentation of liturgy. PowerPoint however can produce clear ‘pages’ that reflect the textual layout that congregations are accustomed too. Text should be on a dark background (blue or black), and congregational responses in yellow. Transitions and animations should be used sparingly. Use of images, loops and video can be powerful but should never compete with the text: it is better to have images and text side-by-side. A free-to-use template is available at http://www.signandspirit.com/2016/03/worshpr-powerpoint-template.html
Well-formatted PowerPoint slides will take into account readability of text at the furthest points from the screen, and with suitable printer settings can form booklets for those who find screens difficult to look at. The legacy of the Prayer Book is to present the whole liturgy to the people, so sacred ministers do not need a separate altar book.
Smooth control of the liturgy is vital. A good quality laptop with an SSD, i5 CPU and 16gb of RAM is a minimum. The laptop is best situated close to the altar party, with a server given the role of changing slides. This individual needs to have good liturgical sense: the flow of worship can be harmed by the task being undertaken badly. As always things can go wrong, but the intention should be to do things well.
At All Saints we have found that the use of screens enables engagement from the congregation, especially for people who are not used to church. A screen over the font has transformed baptism services, and the screens are requested for the majority of weddings and funerals.
Edward Green is Vicar of All Saints, Leavesden.