RESOURCES FOR LITURGY & WORSHIP
Here are three Eucharistic prayers developed for specific occasions:
An ecumenical Maundy Thursday Liturgy involved four different pastors, so I wrote a prayer, based around the Lord's Prayer, in which all four of us would have a role, and the congregation's part would seem more "accessible" to those not used to a celebrant offering a lengthy prayer of consecration. For those who don't like "con-celebration" or ecumenical eucharists, oh well!
Maundy Thursday Eucharistic Prayer, 3pp.; download PDF file.
Although I love its history and elegant dignity, I have grown tired of the traditional tune for the opening versicles of the Great Thanksgiving. In Latin, these six sentences are known as the "Sursum Corda" ("Lift up your hearts.")
For the Pentecost Season, or "Ordinary Time" I adapted an old melody published in 1970 "for provisional use," reharmonized it in a contemporary style and wrote a "proper Preface" as a companion piece.
Great Thanksgiving Preface for Pentecost Season; 2 pp., download PDF file.
For Advent, I have slightly re-worked the wording and sensibility of the text and set this to the venerable melody "Veni Emmanuel," "Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel."
Sursum Corda for Advent; 1 p., download PDF file.
Several Christmases ago, I fell in love all over again with "Divinum Mysterium" and its common text, "Of the Father's Love Begotten." So I developed the entire eucharistic prayer for Christmas Eve around this ancient melody and the well-known hymn text.
Christmas Eve Eucharistic Prayer; 6 pp., download PDF file.
My collegeaue Roberta suggested in 2010 that we honor the Christian labor of a retired missionary in our community. It set me thinking that, rather than complaining that secular holidays intrude upon the Christian calendar, we could embrace what they attempted to lift up. For Labor Day weekend, I wrote this Eucharistic prayer, based in part on the words of Fr. John P. Mossi and the Didache (see: Bread Blessed and Broken: Eucharistic Prayers and Fraction Rites, New York, Paulist Press, 1974.
Eucharistic Prayer for Labor Day; 3 pp., download PDF file.
Of all the writings which I would be happiest to leave behind as my mark on the world and the church of Jesus Christ, it would be a really memorable hymn. Alas, I am not so gifted or egotistical to suppose that my work will wind up in a future hymnbook, but I offer these for what they are worth. You are free to reproduce these as you see fit for non-profit use, as long as you acknowledge the authorship on your copies.
Thanksgiving Day. I was surprised that the familiar Thanksgiving hymn, "We Gather Together" was not in the Lutheran Book of Worship. I found it elsewhere, and discovered it celebrated a 16th Century Dutch naval battle. So I re-worked the text (after the opening line) to present a more grace-filled and grateful hymn text. The music and new text is available here.
"We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing," View JPG file.
Advent Favorite. The wonderful Charles Wesley text for Advent, "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" was paired with the Southern Harmony melody "Jefferson" in the Lutheran Book of Worship and Evangelical Lutheran Worship. This hymn text is hopeful with prophetic longing, but without either of the two sub-theme that usually confuse our observance of Advent (the end of the world/judgment day, or John the Baptist at the river Jordan). But Wesley's text is only two verses. I have written a third verse and placed it between his verses. The melody and 3-verse text are avilable here as a JPEG or PDF file.
Statements of Faith
Scriptural Study led me to develop this "contemporary "Creed" for our local use. It is based on 21 passages from the book of Hebrews (the one book of the New Testament that may have been written by a female theologian---Priscilla, who with her husband Aquila was a companion of Paul on his mission journeys. The first page contains the citations; the second page may be reproduced for liturgical use.
"A Statement of Faith based on the Letter to the Hebrews", 2pp.; view PDF file.
As part of our parish observance of Reconciling in Christ Sunday 2011, I wrote this "Reconciling Creed." It was written as an attempt to re-think and re-present an essential summary of the Christian faith and life for our own times. Going beyond the typical format of the ancient trinitarian creeds, this attempts to state what is truly relevant for our lives of faith---what it means not only to put our trust and faith in Christ but to intentionally follow where he leads.
"A Reconciling Creed" with biblical citations, 2 pp.; view/download PDF file.
Presiding at a wedding
Prayers and Liturgies
I have been tired of the available Lutheran materials for Good Friday. Several years ago I was invited to attend a Catholic parish for a Lenten Friday evening for the Stations of the Cross, something I'd never experienced before. But I am uncomfortable with the Roman Catholic non-Biblical piety which has worked its wayinto that tradition ("Jesus falls the second time," "Jesus falls the third time": there is nothing in the Scriptures that indicates Jesus fell at all!)
Here is my version of an "Evangelical Stations of the Cross", with each station strictly tied to the appropriate reading from one of the Gospels.
Litanies and Readings
Although the Protestant Reformation, symbolically launched by Martin Luther's famous 95 theses being posted on the church door on October 31, 1517, is observed annually with great fanfare, there is little liturgica material that is interesting for congregations.
This dramatic reading was inspired by the threefold saying or motto of the Protestant Reformation, "Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura," . It calls for at least three readers in addition to the Presiding Minister and the Congregation. Since it includes a confession of sins and a creedal statement, which are usually part of a Lutheran liturgical Sunday service, it may be used in place of the Confession of Sins and the Creed, or even in place of the Sermon.
Litany on the Three “Solas” of the Reformation: 4 pp. View PDF file.
Part of a series written for Lent 2005 was another look at the parable of the Prodigal (Luke 15:11-32; appointed for Lent 4 C in the common lectionary). This is a contemporary drama set in circumstances which would evoke the parable without trying to imitate it. The scene between the two brothers, after the homecoming party is over, imagines an exchange for which there is no direct precedent in Luke's Gospel.
"Jiff and Harry", a Lenten Drama, 8 pp.; view PDF Script.
For a discussion of the sigjificance of this parable in a reconciling ministry, see my paper, "The Fourfold Ministry", 4pp., also in PDF format.