Living Room Liturgy: Celebrating God with All Creation

For those of us in the midwest, one of the greatest gifts we’ve received during the quarantine are sunny and at-least-it’s-not-freezing days. We may not gather with loved ones but we can enjoy the sunshine, the blooming tulips and daffodils, and that comforting aroma that comes after the spring rain. 

Braver souls than me, however, tell me there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. One dear friend is trying to spend several hours outside every day this year. (She started in JANUARY.) Regardless, whether you’re a fair-weather outdoors person or an every-day-outside person, this liturgy is for you.

Gather the few things you’ll need and find a place to pray and celebrate. Your backyard is great. A park is perfect. Deep in the woods or on a suspension bridge over a river would be  just right. Get outside, somewhere with birds singing praise and the trees clapping their branches. Make the outdoors your living room for this time of prayer. After all, a garden was our original living room, wasn’t it?

May the Lord bless you as you pray!

(Click here for a downloadable, printable PDF of the liturgy.)

What will you need?

  1. A Bible.
  2. A meal or a snack.

Where should you be?

Outside.

Who should you be with?

If your location is still under guidelines to social distance, then you shouldn’t be physically with anyone except the people with whom you live. This prayer is for small groups and individuals. 


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A Liturgy to Celebrate God with All Creation

Words in bold should be prayed aloud by all.

Prepare for Worship in Silence 
Let us enjoy together a minute or so in silence. Breathe deeply. Stretch. Notice the sounds of God’s good creatures who are joining you in prayer.

Call to Worship
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.

Hymn of Praise
(You can make this more interesting by picking up some sticks or rocks and using them as instruments. Maybe whistle with a blade of grass. And, if you don’t know the melody, make up a new one!)

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam.
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Reading the Scripture
Let us hear now the word of God for the people of God.

Option 1: Psalm 104
Option 2: Revelation 21
Option 3: Romans 8

Meditating on the Word
Think about the way creation is described in these passages. What might we discover about God’s relationship to all of creation? And what might that mean for how we understand and interact with creation?

Confession
Lord, we confess that we have sinned against you,
And that our sins have polluted Your beloved earth.*
Forgive us we pray, for our selfishness and our inattention.
We repent of this sin and, by Your help, we will live anew. Amen.

*See Isaiah 24.

Act of Repentance
As forgiven people seeking to live into our repentance, let us celebrate God’s good earth together in the presence of God and all God’s creatures.

Option 1: Make a covenant with God, deciding to do one thing consistently that shows your care for God’s good earth. You might: make an effort to reduce the amount of plastic you use/buy; make efforts to purchase foods grown locally or organically; start biking to work; buy most of your clothes second hand; join a group that cares for wild spaces; volunteer at an animal shelter; or do something else that you all come up with! Who will hold you accountable? How will you remember this covenant? (If it is appropriate and will not harm the land, you may wish to take something, like a rock, from the place at which you are praying, so that it can serve as a visual reminder of your covenant.)

Option 2 (Good for Kids!): Do a time of “I spy” but rather than keeping it a secret, say what you see and then give God thanks for it. Be specific. Why are you thankful to God for that bird or that tree or that breeze?

Giving Thanks
You brought a snack or meal with you. Get it out now. Pray this prayer:

Gracious God,
You give us our daily bread
Through the breaking and pouring out
Of Your beloved creation.
So, we eat every bite with immense gratitude.
In Christ,
Amen.

Then, with each bite (or at least lots of bites) give thanks to God for all that made the meal possible. Thank God for the soil, the sun, the rain, the animal, the plant, the farmer, the transporter, the grocery store clerk, etc.

Closing Hymn
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God all creatures here below.
Praise God above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Amen.

Further Reading & Resources

  1. Making Peace With The Land by Norman Wirzba and Fred Bahnson
  2. See if your denomination has “creation care” resources available. If not, ask them “Why not?”

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