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Sample Worship Service in Time of War

A sample worship service plan for worshiping in times of war.

Worship Service

Theme of the Service

Call to Worship: (Based on Psalm 46)
One: God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Many: Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains
fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the
mountains quake with their surging.

One: Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
Many: He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and
shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.

One: "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Many: The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Song of Gathering: "Gather Us In" Sing! A New Creation 8

God's Greeting

Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Amen. (Revelation 1:4)

Passing of the Peace and Mutual Greeting

Prayer of Lament and Confession, in Unison:
God who grieved the death of your Christ,
we grieve as we gather.
Our spirits are sore,
our hearts are aching,
for those created in your image have lacked
the moral courage and
the creative vision
to prevent war.
As a result,
your children,
our sisters and brothers,
will be wounded, maimed, and killed.
Your children from the United States,
your children from Iraq,
your children from allied forces,
your children in the military,
your children who are civilians.
On both sides, on all sides,
all are those created in your image.
Forgive us, God.

May all your children know your presence and love.
May we work to end this war,
to care for those it harms,
to seek ways to work for justice.
In the name of the crucified and risen Christ we pray.

(Adapted from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, "For the Human Cost of War,"

Song of Lament: "In Labor All Creation Groans" Sing! A New Creation 270

Assurance (Isaiah 9:2, 5-6)

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.. Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Believe the Good News that is Jesus Christ and know that you are forgiven.

Song "We Pray for Peace" Sing! A New Creation 207

Prayers of Intercession
Almighty God,
Who taught us to pray not only for ourselves but for people everywhere,
Hear us as we pray in the name of Jesus Christ.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Inspire the whole church with your power, unity and peace.
Grant that all who trust you may obey your Word,
Made known to us in the reconciling love of Jesus Christ,
Who calls all people to live together in love.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Song "Ososo/Come Now, O Prince of Peace" Sing! A New Creation 209:1
Awaken all people to the danger we have inflicted upon the earth.
Implant in each a reverence for all you have made
That we may preserve the delicate balance of creation for all coming generations.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Guide the nations and leaders of the world,
Especially our president George W. Bush.
Direct the nations into ways of justice and truth.
Establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness,
That all nations may live in the way of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Song "Ososo/Come Now, O Prince of Peace" Sing! A New Creation 209:2
As Jesus taught us,
We pray for our enemies and those who wish us harm.
For Osama bin Laden, for Suddam Hussein,
For all who seek terror as an instrument of justice and power.
May your Holy Spirit guide us all in ways of reconciliation and peace,
Obeying the law of Christ.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Song "Ososo/Come Now, O Prince of Peace" Sing! A New Creation 209:3
Comfort and relieve, O God, all who are in trouble.
Our troops.their families.
Those frightened by the possibility of military service.
People who live in sorrow.oppression.poverty.sickness.grief.
We pray for those we do not know.
The Iraqi people.all who live in the Middle East.
We pray for those who are close to us,
Whom we name before you in silence. (Silence)
Heal them in body, mind, or circumstance,
Working in them your grace,
Wonder beyond all they may dream or hope.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Hear our prayers, God of grace,
And help us to fulfill them,
Working according to your purpose,
In peace, justice, and mercy, in all we do;
Through Jesus Christ the Lord who taught us to pray, saying.
Our Father.

(Adapted from the Iraq Worship Resources of the Presbyterian Church (USA),

Song "Ososo/Come Now, O Prince of Peace" Sing! A New Creation 209:4



Song of Response


Song of Praise "Amen, siakudu misa/Amen, We Praise Your Name, O God" Sing! A New Creation287

This song is especially powerful when we consider that it was sung at the installation of Desmund Tutu as archbishop in South Africa, during the days of apartheid.

All: O God, lead us from death to life,
from falsehood to truth.
Lead us from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Lead us from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe.

One:Peace to the nations, east and west.
Peace to our neighbors, near and far.
Peace to all women, peace to all men.
The peace of Christ above all peace.

All: Amen.

(Adapted from The Iona Community Worship Book: The Abbey Services of the Iona Community. Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 1991, p. 57).

Song: "Canto de esperanza/Song of Hope" Sing! A New Creation 282