Litanies


Litany of Commitment

 

Leader: As we seek to relax our grip so that the earth, our fragile sister, might rest from our labors, help us to see our world more vividly than we have done in the past. 
People:
 Grant us vision for the challenges of this age and give us hearts full of courage for the future. 
Leader:
 As we seek to be wise stewards of the gifts of the earth in timber and oil, coal, and gas, help us to know your world more humanely than we have in the past. 
People:
 Make us learn that wisdom which we see among those wise and humble people of the earth, that we might walk with care and reverence so as to caress our fair sister. 
Leader:
 Sharing God, draw us to contemplation and silence so that we might see, in wonder, our lives intertwined with the squirrels and the cardinal, the creatures great and small, the beauty of each season. Help us to see the birth, growth, death, and rebirth so as to give us courage in the ongoing creation of our Creator. 
People:
 Deepen our faith and enliven our thinking, nourish our bodies and strengthen our souls, that we may be your message in the world, your servants for the common wellness of the earth. Make us weavers of a new order, crafters of a new earth. 
Leader:
 Grant us grace through the Christ of the Cosmos. Call us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, in the love with earth, and with our brothers, and sisters. Give us a measure of the Spirit that these commitments we make before you might make our work holy. 
Leader: Let us go forth from this sacred ark with steady hand up lifted heart, with clear eye and alert mind, with firm step, and willing hands. May we arrive at fresh springs of renewal through God's holy Word, in our communities of faith, and in deep solidarity with all creation.
People:
 Amen. Let all the creation hear and bear witness. Amen 
Written by Jay C. Rochelle, 1990
 
 
 

Litany for our Covenant with Creation

 

 

Leader: For the marvelous grace of your Creation, we pour out our thanks to You, our God.

All: We praise you, O Lord for plants growing in earth and water, for life inhabiting lakes and seas, for life creeping in soils and land, for creatures living in wetlands and waters, for life flying above earth and sea, for beasts dwelling in woods and fields.

Leader: How many and wonderful are your works, our God! In wisdom you have made them all!

All: But we confess, dear Lord, As creatures privileged with care and keeping of Your Creation that we have abused Your Creation gifts through arrogance, ignorance, and greed. We confess, Lord, that we often are unaware of how deeply we have hurt Your good earth and its marvelous gifts. We confess that we are often unaware of how our abuse of creation has also been an abuse of ourselves. For our wrongs, Lord, we ask forgiveness. We offer our repentance. We promise to reverence Your Creation as a gracious gift entrusted to us by You, our God. We promise anew to be stewards and not pillagers of what You have entrusted to us.

Leader: Creator God, You have given us every reason to learn and promote this wisdom of lives lived in harmony with Creation. May you daily be present with us, gracing our service, our loving, our striving, through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

All: Amen

 

adapted from the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology (Earth Prayers, 1991)

 
 
 
 

Litany for the Four Directions

 

Leader: Let us give thanks for the East, for the ancient hills and valleys and streams without end, for the green Atlantic from the reaches of Maine to the Florida Keys, for larch and hemlock, for black bear and mountain trout, for cardinals and eastern bluebirds, for heat in the hayfields of late August: Response:We bless you, O God, for the East. 
Leader: 
Let us give thanks for the West, for soaring mountains and searing deserts, for waters roaring into the Pacific Ocean, for Columbia River salmon, snow buntings and western meadowlarks, for ponderosa and Jeffrey pine, for the mists of the Oregon coast and for the Olympic peninsula: 
Response:
 We bless you, O God, for the West. 
Leader:
 Let us give thanks for the North, for the bright band of prairie and wheatfields stretching across the land, for the jayhawk and the loon, for the badlands of the Dakotas and the lakes of Minnesota, for northern pike and steeleye, for winding two-lane blacktops in the heart of Wyoming.

Response: We bless you, O God, for the North

Leader: Let us give thanks for the South, for the broad Mississippi delta and the great Smokey Mountains, for the bayous of Louisiana, for magnolia trees, for the kiskadee and egret, for catfish and parrotfish and for the cotton and the colors on the sands and strands of the southland:

Response: We bless you, O God, for the South.
 
>Written by Jay C. Rochelle, 1990
 
 
 
 

A Litany of Sorrow

 

Leader:

We have forgotten who we are

We have alienated ourselves from the unfolding of the cosmos

We have become estranged from the movements of the earth

We have turned our backs on the cycles of life.

Response: We have forgotten who we are.

Leader:

We have sought only our own security

We have exploited simply for our own ends

We have distorted our knowledge

We have abused our power.

Response: We have forgotten who we are.

Leader:
Now the land is barren
And the waters are poisoned
And the air is polluted.

Response: We have forgotten who we are.

Leader:
Now the forests are dying
And the creatures are disappearing
And humans are despairing.

Response: We have forgotten who we are.

Leader:

We ask forgiveness

We ask for the gift of remembering

We ask for the strength to change.

Response: We have forgotten who we are. (Allow for a period of silence)

This litany was used for Earth Day, 1990

from: Interfaith Declarations and Worship Observance Resources; The North American Conference on Religion and Ecology; 5 Thomas Circle, NW, Washington, DC 20005

 
 
 A Litany for Healing

 

Leader:

To bring new life to the land

To restore the waters

To refresh the air

Response: We join with the earth and with each other.


Leader:

To renew the forests

To care for the plants

To protect the creatures

Response: We join with the earth and with each other.

Leader:

To celebrate the seas

To rejoice in the sunlight

To sing the song of the stars

Response: We join with the earth and with each other.

Leader:

To recall our destiny

To renew our spirits

To reinvigorate our bodies

Response: We join with the earth and with each other.

Leader:

To recreate the human community

To promote justice and peace

To remember our children

Response: We join with the earth and with each other.


All:
 We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery: for the healing of the earth and the renewal of all life. (silence)


 

 

 

A Litany of Gratitude

 

Leader:

We live in all things

All things live in us
Response: We rejoice in all life.

Leader:
We live by the sun
We move with the stars 
Response: We rejoice in all life.

Leader:

We eat from the earth

We drink from the rain

We breathe from the air

Response: We rejoice in all life.

Leader: 
We share with the creatures
We have strength through their gifts 
Response: We rejoice in all life.

Leader:

We depend on the forests

We have knowledge through their secrets
Response: We rejoice in all life.

Leader:
We have the privilege of seeing and understanding 
We have the responsibility of caring 
We have the joy of celebrating 
Response: We rejoice in all life.

Leader:

We are full of the grace of creation

We are graceful

We are grateful

All: We rejoice in all life

 
 
 
 

Litany for God's Guidance

 

Leader: O sing to God a new creation song.

People: For God has done marvelous things.

Leader: We are born citizens of God's world.

People: For God has done marvelous things.

Leader: Let us see the earth as children of the earth.

People: Give us a clear vision, O God.

Leader: May our sights be greater than house to house.

People: Give us clear vision, O God.

Leader: Grant us the knowledge to make tough choices for our world.

People: God, year with us from the foundations of the earth.

Leader: Cause us to share life from generation to generation.

People: God, you are with us from the foundations of the earth.

Leader: Challenge our stewardship to renew the heights with living things.

People: God's hands are upon all creatures who live upon the earth.

Leader: Many and great are your things, O God, maker of earth and sky.

People: God's hands are upon all creatures who live upon the earth. Amen

source: service from August 1992, "Coming to See"
 
 
 

 

Litany of Praise

 

Left: "The Earth. . . is a sparkling blue and white jewel. . . laced with slowly swirling veils of white. . . like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery." (Edgar Mitchell, US Astronaut)
All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard of Bingen, Mystic) 
Right: "O moving force of Wisdom, you encircle the wheel of the cosmos, you encompass all that is, all that has life, in one vast circle." (Hildegard of Bingen)
All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard of Bingen, Mystic) 
Left: "It could be that god has not absconded but spread, as our vision and understanding of the universe have spread, to a fabric of spirit and sense so grand and subtle, powerful in a new way, that we can only feel blindly of its hem." (Annie Dillard, naturalist writer)
All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard of Bingen, Mystic) 
Right: ". . . stardust is not just fairy-tale magic; it is what we are really made of. . ." (Elisabet Sahtouris, Ecofeminist) 
All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard of Bingen, Mystic) 
Left: "Great Spirit, . . . give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is! . . . all over the earth the faces of living things are all alike. . . This is my prayer; hear me!" (Black Elk, Oglala Sioux) 
All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard of Bingen, Mystic) 
Right: "There is not anything new to be born. It has been within you from the beginningless beginning. It has only to be awakened, to become aware of itself in you." (Zen saying) 
All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard of Bingen, Mystic) 
Left: ". . . for in God we live/ and move/ and have our being." (Acts 17:28) 
All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard of Bingen, Mystic) 
Right: ". . . When you stand in the presence of the moon, you become a new creation. . . The elementary particles of your body have absorbed an influence and in that sense they--and you--are brand spanking new, a human being resonating everywhere with moonlight." (Brian Swimme, physicist) 
All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard of Bingen, Mystic)
Left: "We shall not cease from exploration/ And the end of all our exploring/ Will be to arrive where we started/ And know the place for the first time." (T. S. Eliot, poet)
All: "All creation is a song of praise to God." (Hildegard of Bingen, Mystic)

Source unknown

 
 
 
 

Litany for Growth

 

Leader: God, Source of all life, how excellent is your name in all the earthy.

All: All people glorify your holy name together.

Leader: The majesty and vastness of your creation wraps us round with power and wonder.

All: We thank you, O God.

Leader: For the fertility to nourish cattle and fields, for the means allowing persons and families to survive.

All: We thank you, O God.

Leader: God made these great works, the gardens and seas; God's hands these wonders wrought.

All: We praise you, O God.

Leader: For the joy of being a part of nature throughout all our days and in all our ways.

All: We praise you, O God.

Leader: That it may please you to sustain that mighty power which made the mountains rise and sets forth each morning's challenge.

All: We beseech you to hear us, O God.

Leader: That it may please you to continue to guide us through the dark nights and never ending days of our creation.

All: We beseech you to hear us, O God.

Leader: O God, whatever is true, whatever is just, we have received from your hand.

All: We praise you, O God, and bless your Holy Name. Amen.

Source unknown