Day 5: Sabbath

Video, Audio and Written Guides for Morning and Evening Prayer

Morning Prayer

Video Podcast Coming Soon

ETA Autumn 2021

OPENING PRAYER

We gather this morning to remember the gift of Sabbath. Let us commit to rhythms of rest and renewal that resist a culture of busyness where my worth is measured by what I do. Let us give thanks for the gift of being, of pleasure, of restoration’s sweetness.

 

OPENING SONG: In My Heart is the Road

FIRST READING: Abraham Joshua Heschel

The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.

 

SUNG PSALM OPENING

O Peace, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. (Repeat)

PSALM 126

When we found ourselves free,

we couldn’t believe it. We wandered around,

dazed with joy.

People shook their heads and said,

“God has done great things for them!”

God has done great things for us

and we are glad.

Help us adjust to this turn of events.

Make the most of us.

Help us to never forget.

We sowed these seeds with tears. We reap with joy.

 

SUNG DOXOLOGY

Glory to the Maker, Lover, and Keeper; as ago, in this breath, and will be ever. Amen, Amen.

SECOND READING: Exodus 20:1-11

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

SILENT CONTEMPLATION

 

PRAYERS OF CONCERN

We offer prayers now for all that is on our hearts.

Oh Creator God, how we need Sabbath rest in our frenetic world. We have allowed technology to blind us to the wisdom held in the rhythms and seasons of Creation. Remind us that we are your creatures and we too need rest and fallow time.

Sung Response – O God of Love, show the way of Sabbath.

 

Loving God, help us to see that living in a constantly lit world, bombarded by unending information, always available and needing to react is not healthy and leads to depletion and sickness. Help us rediscover the joy of sacred time.

Sung Response – O God of Love, show the way of Sabbath.

 

Merciful one, help us to turn off our screens, to step aside and find You and each other in times of deep rest and true connection. May we rediscover rituals of connection and celebration. Help us to come home.

Sung Response – O God of Love, show the way of Sabbath.

 

Please add the prayers you are longing to express.

Sung Response – O God of Love, show the way of Sabbath.

 

CLOSING SONG: You Can Rest Now

 

 

CLOSING BLESSING

God of holy rest,

on the seventh day you paused,

laying down the work of creation

and entered into sacred stillness.

Let us remember we were freed from slavery

in Egypt and you called us to be people of liberation.

Kindle in us the strength to say no

to a world of perpetual busyness.

Inspire us to set aside all of our plans

and goals to receive the lavish gift

of rest for ourselves.

Let the Sabbath be a time of profound renewal,

of intimate connection with You,

and a rekindling of our holy desires to be of service.

Sustain in us the desire to simply be

and not succumb to the demands

of productivity and an endless string of achievements.

Let our lives be a loving witness to a world

of restoration and refreshment,

of the profound goodness of joy and delight,

taking pleasure in the generous gift of pausing.

 

SUNG AMEN

Credits

All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song: In My Heart is the Road by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

First Reading from Abraham Joshua Heschel, The SabbathNew York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (2005).

Sung Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Interpretation of Psalm 126 by Rev. Christine Robinson

Second Reading from Exodus 20:1-11 (NRSV).The Sign of Jonas. Harcourt Press (1981) p. 321.

Prayers of Concern written by Polly Burns

Sung Response by Betsey Beckman

Closing Song: You Can Rest Now by Trish Bruxvoort Colligan

Closing Blessing: written by Christine Valters Paintner

 

Please note: All of the Opening and Closing Songs are published on CDs in the Abbey of the Arts collection. In addition, these songs have accompanying gesture prayers and/or dances created by Betsey Beckman that can be found on the corresponding DVD (each album has a DVD companion).  The Psalm Opening, Doxology, and the Response to the Prayers of Concern also have accompanying congregational gestures. The audio and video recordings of these are available at AbbeyoftheArts.com.

Evening Prayer

Video Podcast Coming Soon

ETA Autumn 2021

OPENING PRAYER

As we end this day, let us give thanks for our Sabbath moments. When were we able to release our worries and be present? What did we discover in those moments of being rather than doing? We sanctify this time of deep surrender, knowing the Source of Rest has blessed us with new perspective that only comes when we let go of our striving.

OPENING SONG: Surrender

SUNG PSALM OPENING

O Peace, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. (Repeat)

PSALM 81

Sing, Shout, be Joyful!

Play music, blow horns

At the new moon, the full moon, the holy days, the Sabbath.

Let this rejoicing be your practice.

 

Hear the still, small voice—

You called on me in trouble and I helped you.

Keep listening!

Open your heart and it will fill up.

My longing is for you, as yours is for me.

I want to whisper in your ear

And satisfy your hunger

with honey from the rock.

 

SUNG DOXOLOGY

Glory to the Maker, Lover, and Keeper; as ago, in this breath, and will be ever. Amen, Amen.

READING OF THE NIGHT:  Thomas Merton

 

The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence.  To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence.

 

SILENT CONTEMPLATION

CLOSING POEM: Sabbath

 

Even as the subway car hurtles

into the tunnel and calendars heave

under growing weight of entries,

even under the familiar lament

for more hours to do

 

a bell rings somewhere

and a man lays down

his hammer, as if to say

the world can build without me,

a woman sets down

her pen as if to say,

the world will carry on

without my words.

 

The project left undone,

dust on the shelves,

dishes crusted with morning

egg, the vase of drooping

flowers, and so much work

still to complete,

 

I journey across the long field

where trees cling to the edges

free to not do anything but

stand their ground,

where buttercups

and bluebells sway

 

and in this taste of paradise

where rest becomes luminous

and play a prayer of gratitude,

even the stones sing

of a different time,

where burden is lifted

and eternity endures.

 

CLOSING SONG: Lullaby

Credits

All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song: Surrender by Deirdre Ni Chinneide

Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Interpretation of Psalm 81 by Rev. Christine Robinson

Reading of the Night from Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander.

New York: Doubleday Religion (2009).

Closing Poem by Christine Valters PaintnerDreaming of Stones. Paraclete Press (2019).

Closing Song: Lullaby by Margaret McLarty

 

Please note: All of the Opening and Closing Songs are published on CDs in the Abbey of the Arts collection. In addition, these songs have accompanying gesture prayers and/or dances created by Betsey Beckman that can be found on the corresponding DVD (each album has a DVD companion).  The Psalm Opening and Doxology also have accompanying congregational gestures. The audio and video recordings of these are available at AbbeyoftheArts.com.