Liturgy and worship aids

  • Walking the labyrinth

    From Presbyterian Mission AgencySpiritual Formation

    The labyrinth is an ancient tool for prayer and meditation, consisting of a winding path that begins at the periphery and leads to a central space, and then out again by the same path. It differs from a maze in that a labyrinth has no blind alleys or dead ends. It is not meant to trick you but to be a means to a journey on a path, inward and outward bound.

  • Examen

    From Presbyterian Mission AgencySpiritual Formation

    Put your feet flat on the floor, and take a few deep breaths. As you breathe in, imagine that you are inhaling God’s love as you would a pleasant aroma. Feel the sensation of this great Love moving through you. As you exhale, imagine that your breath cooperates with the Holy Spirit so that God’s love permeates the space around you. With the Holy Spirit as your guide, you can see your life in light of God’s providential care for you.

  • Breath prayers — Pray without ceasing

    From Presbyterian Mission AgencySpiritual Formation

    The following words and phrases can be used to focus your attention while distractions are shed. Rhythmically repeat the word or phrase, breaking as indicated by the slash (/), inhaling and then exhaling.

  • Spiritual preparations

    From Presbyterian Mission AgencyTheology and Worship

    A prayerful reading of Scripture is a way of entering into a conversation with God, and allowing God to be the first speaker. So often our prayers are a conversation in which we are the only speakers and God does all the listening. This can be our default mode of conversation with God even during a worship service. The next time you attend a worship service pay attention to the “Prayers of Confession” or “Prayers of the People,” or even the “Proclamation of the Word,” and compare the amount of time spent we do the talking compared to the amount ...

  • Ash Wednesday service

    From Presbyterian Mission AgencyTheology and Worship

    Ash Wednesday is a day of solemn assembly that is built right into the church year. It is a fast day, a day of mourning for our sin and the sin of all humanity before God, a recognition of our mortality save for the grace of God and a request that the Lord remember our creation and breathe new life into our burned-out, dusty lives once more.

    See related pages: Ash Wednesday, Season of Lent, Presbyterian Worship

  • Examination of conscience

    From Presbyterian Mission AgencyTheology and Worship

    Here is a sample of a list of sins from a solemn assembly that was compiled by the preparatory team who had met in prayer for weeks before the larger gathering. You will want to go through the same preparatory process to compile your own list, but this one, taken and added to from HeartRest is a helpful start to you in compiling your own list for a bulletin insert. You will want to add printed directions regarding what you want people to do with this list during your solemn assembly.

  • A service for the reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant

    From Presbyterian Mission AgencyTheology and Worship

    This liturgy for the Reaffirmation of Baptism, including the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, was used by the Worship and Spiritual Renewal Committee of the 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in San Jose, California. This was the committee that discussed and approved the overture for solemn assemblies.

  • A service for renewal

    From Presbyterian Mission AgencyTheology and Worship

    This service for solemn assemblies is a more informal, experiential service particularly suited for gatherings in flexible spaces. Whenever and however you decide to do it, you need to prepare for the service like any other renewal service.

  • Confessional materials

    From Presbyterian Mission AgencyTheology and Worship

    Confessional materials for solemn assembly's extended examination.

    You may also find other materials that will be helpful to you elsewhere in Theology and Worship and in the Book of Common Worship.

  • Planning for a Renewal Service: A Chronological Checklist

    From Presbyterian Mission AgencyTheology and Worship

    There is more than one “right” way to go about planning a solemn assembly or spiritual renewal service. In some ways the preparation for the service will be just like the preparations made for any other worship service in the congregation’s life together.

    You might want to design a timeline such as the one we’ve created. Adapt this schedule according to the needs and interest of your congregation or presbytery.

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