Holding Space for Hope


Holding Space for Hope

A Liturgy of Hope and Healing for [extra]Ordinary Time

Visit our Facebook Page for Live Stream Premiere: https://www.facebook.com/stphoebeschool

Welcome and Opening to Hope:

Welcome to Holding Space for Hope, a liturgy of hope and healing offered to the people of our Dioceses and the world by the St. Phoebe School for Deacons. All summer, we have been reaching out to deeply listen to the reflections, stories, and hopes of a diverse array of God’s people in this world. Woven into this liturgy are the voices and prayers offered up by God’s people through videos, images and quotes from those who have graciously offered their visions of hope in a world where it is so desperately needed. In this liturgy, we center our visions of Hope in the words and experiences of people whose voices we don’t always hear at the forefront of our Episcopal worship. Our own hope is that in sharing this liturgy together, and listening deeply to this beautiful variety of voices, we will all hold space for hope and come to experience God’s presence in new ways.

Musical Offering: “There is Hope” sung by Velvet Magnum-Holmes

Images of Hope Collage (piano by Demmanuel Gonzalez)

Gather in the Name of God:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

And also with you.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, give us such a vision of your purpose and such an assurance of your love and power, that we may ever hold fast the hope which is in Jesus Christ our Lord who is alive with with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen

Proclaim and Respond to God’s Word

Lesson 1: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10

Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him’—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people
Thanks be to God

Canticle H
A Song of Hosea
Hosea 6:1-3

Come, let us return to our God, *
who has torn us and will heal us.
God has struck us and will bind up our wounds, *
after two days revive us,
On the third day restore us, *
that in God’s presence we may live.
Let us humble ourselves, let us strive to know the Lord, *
whose justice dawns like morning light,
its dawning as sure as the sunrise.
God’s justice will come to us like a shower, *
like spring rains that water the earth.

Musical Setting: Song of Hosea offered by Martha Jones Burford

Lesson 2: Luke 11:9-13

‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people
Thanks be to God

Images of Hope Collage (music by Levi Lebsack)

“Hold My Hope” from Music That Makes Community (used with permission)

Responding to the Word: Voices Proclaiming Hope

Interviews, Quotes, Images, Videos and Music included in this response segment and throughout this liturgy have been lovingly recorded, prayerfully held, and beautifully curated together by the St. Phoebe School for Deacons and our partners in the Dioceses of Virginia and Southwestern Virginia. Thank you for to everyone who shared their visions of hope with us: in images, voice, word, video, song, and spirit.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people, through God’s people.

Pray for the World and the Church

Holy God, we hold space for hope

Hope of healing of all that is broken in our communities, our nation and in the world. We long for a world where robust equity allows thriving inclusion of all.
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We hold space for hope

Hope for comfort when we do not sense your presence where we desire to find you, and guidance to see your presence, where, in our stubbornness, we refuse to look.
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We hold space for hope

Hope of healing in the midst of a global pandemic as we experience distress, isolation, and loneliness. We long for a world where those who feel forgotten due to poverty, illness, caregiving, incarceration, persecution, and depression experience your love through our actions
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We hold space for hope

Hope for a return to the blessing of gathering in community at our churches, schools, meetings and workplaces. We long for a world where we may once again break bread together.
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We hold space for hope

Hope for the needs and concerns of those gathered here, the hopes expressed by those who pray and leave their messages here, and those hopes carried without the words to name them

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Healing God, work a mighty work in our lives today,
Mending all that is broken,
Making your loving presence known,
Forgiving us for our part in creating the problems of our time,
Working miracles in our midst,
That healing and being healed, we may return to beloved community.


The Lord’s Prayer (from A New Zealand Prayer Book)

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever.

Exchange of Peace and Sharing of Hope

Use this link to share your hopes and add to the word cloud below:

Click on the image or this link to expand and view live results

Sending Prayer

God of all goodness, God of all hope: we thank you for opening our hearts to hear the words and images of hope from all your people. Continue to move in our hearts so that we may be bearers of holy hope to a hurting world, renewed and replenished to faithfully do the work you have called us to do. Send us forth a people restored by your grace and renewed by your Holy Spirit so that all that we do may show forth your love. All this we ask through the power of Christ who is the resurrection and the life. Amen.

Closing Blessing

May the God of hope fill you with every joy in believing.
May the peace of Christ abound in your hearts.
May you be enriched by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever more. Amen

Funding Support: A special thank you to the Episcopal Evangelism Society who awarded a Spot Grant to the St. Phoebe School for Deacons to support Holding Space for Hope and our video production.

Liturgical Roles and Other Credits:

Presider:  Rev. Dr. Sarah Kye Price, Local Formation Director, St. Phoebe School for Deacons

First Lesson:  Dawn Sykes McNamera, Postulant, St. Phoebe School for Deacons

Canticle/Song of Hosea: Martha Jones Burford, Diocese of Southwestern Virginia 

Gospel Lesson:  Jess Speaker, Postulant, St Phoebe School for Deacons

Lord’s Prayer: Judith O’Brien, Postulant, St. Phoebe School for Deacons

Prayers of the People: Susie Harding, Postulant, St. Phoebe School for Deacons

Thank You to Our Musicians and Innovative Liturgy Planning Team:

St. Phoebe School for Deacons: Judith O’Brien, Jess Speaker, Dawn McNamara, Susie Harding and Sarah Kye Price

Martha Jones Burford and her musical offering of the Song of Hosea along with other musical, creative and prayerful gifts.

Nolan Zunk, Video Compilation (www.nolanzunk.com)

Demmanuel Gonzalez, Music Scholar at Grace Episcopal, Lexington

Levi Lebsack, Music Scholar at Grace Episcopal, Lexington

Music that Makes Community (musicthatmakescommunity.org)

Learn more about the St. Phoebe School for Deacons:

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s