St. Phoebe School Opening Retreat 2020

Prayers and Reflections


Liturgies and Prayers

Evening Prayer (Opening)

Our opening retreat begins on June 19, a day appointed on the Episcopal Calendar to commemorate Adelaide Teague Case (1887-1948), teacher and the first woman appointed to a full, professional rank at an Episcopal (or Anglican) seminary. Today is also Juneteenth, and we rejoice in the emancipation of formerly enslaved persons in the United States, even as we continually strive to dismantle the legacy of racism and oppression in this nation and the world. It seems fitting to welcome this entering cohort of the St. Phoebe School for Deacons with this evening prayer which commemorates the life and ministry of Dr. Case and reminds us of the Great Cloud of Witnesses who accompany us on this journey and inspire us to knowledge, to prophetic witness, to liberation and to community building among all peoples.


I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches
me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not fall. Psalm 16:7,8


Let us confess our sins against God and one another.

Almighty God, Source of all that is,
Giver of every good gift:
You create all people in your image
and call us to love one another as you love us.
We confess that we have failed to honor you
in the great diversity of the human family.
We have desired to live in freedom,
while building walls between ourselves and others.
We have longed to be known and accepted for who we are,
while making judgements of others based on the color of skin,
or the shape of features, or the varieties of human experience.
We have tried to love our neighbors individually
while yet benefitting from systems that hold
those same neighbors in oppression.
Forgive us, Holy God.
Give us eyes to see you as you are revealed in all people.
Strengthen us for the work of reconciliation rooted in love.
Restore us in your image, to be beloved community,
united in our diversity,

even as you are one with Christ and the Spirit,
Holy and undivided Trinity, now and for ever.
Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Alleluia.

O Gracious Light Phos Hilaron [for music refer to Hymnal 1982, #25]

O gracious Light, Lord Jesus Christ,
in you the Father’s glory shone.
Immortal, holy, blest is he,
and blest are you, God’s holy Son.

Now sunset comes, but light shines forth,
the lamps are lit to pierce the night.
Praise Father, Son and Spirit God,
who dwells in the eternal light.

Worthy are you of endless praise,
O Son of God, Life giving Lord;
wherefore you are through all the earth
and in the highest heaven adored.

Psalm 119: 33-40

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, *
and I shall keep it to the end.

34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; *
I shall keep it with all my heart.

35 Make me go in the path of your commandments, *
for that is my desire.

36 Incline my heart to your decrees *
and not to unjust gain.

37 Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless; *
give me life in your ways.

38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, *
which you make to those who fear you.

39 Turn away the reproach which I dread, *
because your judgments are good.

40 Behold, I long for your commandments; *
in your righteousness preserve my life.

Hebrews 5:11-6:1

About this we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have become dull in understanding. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food; for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

Therefore let us go on towards perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith towards God.

Canticle 15
The Song of Mary Magnificat

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children for ever

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Mark 4:21-25

He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’ And he said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.’

Canticle 17: The Song of Simeon Nunc Dimittis
Luke 2:29-32

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, 
    creator of heaven and earth; 
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 
    He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit 
        and born of the Virgin Mary. 
    He suffered under Pontius Pilate, 
        was crucified, died, and was buried. 
    He descended to the dead. 
    On the third day he rose again. 
    He ascended into heaven, 
        and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 
    He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 
I believe in the Holy Spirit, 
    the holy catholic Church, 
    the communion of saints, 
    the forgiveness of sins
    the resurrection of the body, 
    and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may depart this life in your faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in the communion of St. Phoebe and all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

Almighty and everlasting God, who raises up educators and teachers of the faith in every generation of your church, grant that following the example of your servant Adelaide Teague Case, we might be bold to proclaim the reconciling power of Christ’s love in our own generation. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

O God, you manifest in your servants the signs of your presence: Send forth upon us the spirit of love, that in companionship with one another your abounding grace may increase among us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For whom else, or for what else, do we pray?

Gracious God, we pray especially at this time for Judith, Jess, Susie and Dawn who are stepping deeply into this time of formation and study for the vocation of deacon in your church. Grant them a spirit of wisdom, and fill them with the holy fire to learn. Attune them in body, mind, and spirit to hear what you are calling them to do. Bless all who will teach, share, learn and pray this weekend so that we are emboldened to be the community you are forming us to be, to do your work in the world. We ask this in the name of your son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer of St. Chrysostom:

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. 
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14


Compline (Friday Night)

The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end. Amen.

Our help is in the Name of the Lord;
The maker of heaven and earth.

O God, at the setting of the sun, we place our trust in you. As the night draws near, we give thanks for your presence with us. Help us entrust our lives to you with the delight and confidence of one who loves and is beloved. Through Jesus, our faithful Savior. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as
it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Alleluia.

Psalm 4 Cum invocarem

1 Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *
you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

2 “You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory; *
how long will you worship dumb idols
and run after false gods?”

3 Know that the LORD does wonders for the faithful; *
when I call upon the LORD, he will hear me.

4 Tremble, then, and do not sin; *
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.

5 Offer the appointed sacrifices *
and put your trust in the LORD.

6 Many are saying, “Oh, that we might see better times!” *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD.

7 You have put gladness in my heart, *
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.

8 I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Thanks be to God.

Litany for Compline (Daily Prayer for All Seasons)

The cares of our hearts
We entrust to you, O God

The needs of your Church
We entrust to you, O God

The wounds of the world
We entrust to you, O God

The hopes we carry
We entrust to you, O God

The deep desire for peace
We entrust to you, O God

{you may add intercessions and petitions here}

With all our lives all our holy longings
We praise you and trust your love for us,
O Lover of our souls. Amen.

Our Father in heaven, 
     hallowed be your Name, 
     your kingdom come, 
     your will be done, 
         on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins 
     as we forgive those 
         who sin against us. 
Save us from the time of trial, 
     and deliver us from evil. 
For the kingdom, the power, 
     and the glory are yours, 
     now and for ever. Amen.

Lord, hear our prayer
And let our cry come to you
Let us pray

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours
of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and
chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake
we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake
we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

Let us bless the Lord
Thanks be to God

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
bless us and keep us. Amen.


Morning Prayer (Saturday Morning)


Morning Prayer from Daily Prayer for All Seasons


Gathering Chant: Come Heavenly Comforter

Opening

Holy God, you are always with us.
Open our eyes to your presence.

Prayer

God of faithful surprises, throughout the ages you have made known your love and power in unexpected ways and places: May we daily perceive the joy and wonder of your abiding presence and offer our lives in gratitude for our redemption. Amen.

Praise Benedicite Omnia Opera

All you works of God, bless your creator;
praise her and glorify her for ever.

Let the wide earth bless the creator;
let the arching heavens bless the creator;
let the whole body of God bless the creator;
praise her and glorify her for ever.

You returning daylight, bless your creator;
twilight and shadows, bless your creator;
embracing darkness, bless your creator;
praise her and glorify her for ever.

Let all who live and grow and breathe bless our creator,
praise her and glorify her for ever.

Meditation

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

–Howard Thurman

Where is God stirring you to come alive today?

Affirmation

We believe in God,
the creator of all life and beauty,
who blesses our journey.

We believe in Jesus Christ,
who lived as a friend and savior
to all he met as he traveled,
and who ate and laughed,
wept and celebrated with them in love.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
who rides on the gentle breeze,
who strengthens our bindings,
and who offers hope eternal.

We believe in the church,
which stands open to all travelers,
and bears witness to the everlasting love of God.

Prayers

As we turn to the tasks before us this day,
Fill us, gracious Lord.

In making faithful choices, great and small,
Guide us, gracious Lord.

As we seek to notice and serve those in need,
Teach us, gracious Lord.

As we offer our lives to you,
Hear us, gracious Lord.

With our hearts ready to serve,
Accompany us, gracious Lord.

Hear our cry, O God.
And listen to our prayer.
Let us pray.

Our Father in heaven, 
     hallowed be your Name, 
     your kingdom come, 
     your will be done, 
         on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins 
     as we forgive those 
         who sin against us. 
Save us from the time of trial, 
     and deliver us from evil. 
For the kingdom, the power, 
     and the glory are yours, 
     now and for ever. Amen.

O God of our hearts and understanding, be alive in us this day. Nourish us and challenge us. Show us how to ask and how to receive from you. Be in us, with us, beside us, around us. Open our hearts to a way that will support your purpose for our lives. Amen. 1

Going Out

Holy God, you are always with us.
Open our eyes to your presence

1 adapted from “Prayer to begin a Retreat” by Trudy James in Women’s Uncommon Prayers


Saturday Mid-Day Prayer

Opening

God’s power, working in us,
does more than we imagine: Glory to God!

Prayer

Creating God, your reign of love makes all things new: Plant seeds of confidence and gladness in our hearts so that, trusting in your word, we may live no longer for ourselves but for him who died and was raised for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Praise

For the Beauty of the Earth (Music, if desired, may be found in The Hymnal 1982, #416)

For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth over and around us lies: Christ our God, to thee we raise this our hymn of joyful praise.

For the beauty of each hour, Of the day and of the night, Hill and vale and tree and flower, Sun and moon and stars of light: Christ, our God, to thee we raise This our hymn of joyful praise.

Words: Folliot Sandford Pierpont (1835-1917)

Scripture:

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. Galatians 6:9-10

Meditation

Care … rests upon genuine religion. Care allows creatures to escape our explanations into their actual presence and their essential mystery. In taking care of our fellow creatures, we acknowledge that they are not ours; we acknowledge that they belong to an order and harmony of which we ourselves are parts. To answer to the perpetual crisis of our presence in this abounding and dangerous world, we have only the perpetual obligation of care.

–Wendell Berry

How are we connected to and caring for creation?

Prayers

O God, whose Spirit moved upon the waters,
we remember those who live in lands of drought or flood,
whose harvest is not-enough or not-at-all.

Today, they sow in tears:
soon, may they reap with shouts of joy.

We remember those whose water supply
is polluted by negligence or need,
those to whom water brings disease, poisoning or radiation,
whose gift of life is cursed by death.

Today, they sow in tears:
soon, may they reap with shouts of joy.

We remember ourselves:
We devastate the waters and the fruits of the earth,
and we are unwilling to form one circle
with our brothers and sisters around the world.

{add particular intercessions or thanksgivings}

And we ask, Merciful Creator, to shed their tears
that soon we may all reap with shouts of joy.

Our Father in heaven, 
     hallowed be your Name, 
     your kingdom come, 
     your will be done, 
         on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins 
     as we forgive those 
         who sin against us. 
Save us from the time of trial, 
     and deliver us from evil. 
For the kingdom, the power, 
     and the glory are yours, 
     now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer

Gracious God, you reveal your goodness in the beauty and diversity of creation; in the circle dance of earth and air and water; in a universe rich in processes that support growth and coherence, distinctiveness and community; and above all in the gift of Jesus Christ, who emptied himself to serve your world. And so we offer thanks and praise to you, one God in three persons: the Author and Source of all, Christ the Incarnate Word, and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Going Out

God’s power, working in us,
does more than we imagine: Glory to God!


Saturday Afternoon Healing Prayer


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


Opening Prayer

Gracious God, we commend to your loving care all who suffer, especially those who gather virtually this day seeking your healing grace for themselves and for the world in which we live. We pray today for hope and healing during a time of pandemic and in the midst of the struggle for racial justice. Open our hearts so we may hear anew the work you are calling us to do , through Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Luke 11:5-10

And he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.” And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

‘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.

Canticle S
A Song of Our True Nature
Julian of Norwich

Christ revealed our frailty and our falling, *
our trespasses and our humiliations.
Christ also revealed his blessed power, *
his blessed wisdom and love.
He protects us as tenderly and as sweetly
when we are in greatest need; *
he raises us in spirit and turns everything
to glory and joy without ending.
God is the ground and the substance,
the very essence of nature; *
God is the true father and mother of natures.
We are all bound to God by nature, *
and we are all bound to God by grace.
And this grace is for all the world, *
because it is our precious mother, Christ.
For this fair nature was prepared by Christ
for the honor and nobility of all, *
and for the joy and bliss of salvation.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Let us confess our sins against God and one another.

Almighty God, Source of all that is,
Giver of every good gift:
You create all people in your image
and call us to love one another as you love us.
We confess that we have failed to honor you
in the great diversity of the human family.
We have desired to live in freedom,
while building walls between ourselves and others.
We have longed to be known and accepted for who we are,
while making judgements of others based on the color of skin,
or the shape of features, or the varieties of human experience.
We have tried to love our neighbors individually
while yet benefitting from systems that hold
those same neighbors in oppression.
Forgive us, Holy God.
Give us eyes to see you as you are revealed in all people.
Strengthen us for the work of reconciliation rooted in love.
Restore us in your image, to be beloved community,
united in our diversity,

even as you are one with Christ and the Spirit,
Holy and undivided Trinity, now and for ever.
Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

A Litany for Healing:

Let us name before God those people and situations for whom we offer our prayers.

[name aloud or silently those for whom we pray]

God the Father, your will for all people is health and salvation;
We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

God the Son, you came that we might have life, and might have it more abundantly;
We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

God the Holy Spirit, you make our bodies the temple of your presence;
We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Holy Trinity, one God, in you we live and move and have our being;
We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Lord, grant your healing grace to all who are sick, injured, or disabled, that they may be made whole;
Hear us, O Lord of life.

Grant to all who seek your guidance, and to all who are lonely, anxious, or despondent, a knowledge of your will and an awareness of your presence;
Hear us, O Lord of life.

Mend broken relationships, and restore those in emotional distress to soundness of mind and serenity of spirit;
Hear us, O Lord of life.

Bless physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the suffering, granting them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience;
Hear us, O Lord of life.

Grant to the dying peace and a holy death, and uphold by the grace and consolation of your Holy Spirit those who are bereaved; Hear us, O Lord of life.

Restore to wholeness whatever is broken by human sin, in our lives, in our nation, and in the world;
Hear us, O Lord of life.

Bring an end to this global pandemic and end the suffering of your people; Hear us, O Lord of life.

You are the Lord who does wonders:
You have declared your power among the peoples.

With you, O Lord, is the well of life:
And in your light we see light.

Hear us, O Lord of life:
Heal us, and make us whole.

Let us pray

Compassionate God: You so loved the world that you sent us Jesus to bear our infirmities and afflictions. Through acts of healing, he revealed you as the true source of health and salvation. For the sake of your Christ who suffered and died for us, conquered death, and now reigns with you in glory, hear the cry of your people. Have mercy on us, make us whole, and bring us at last into the fullness of your eternal life. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father in heaven, 
     hallowed be your Name, 
     your kingdom come, 
     your will be done, 
         on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins 
     as we forgive those 
         who sin against us. 
Save us from the time of trial, 
     and deliver us from evil. 
For the kingdom, the power, 
     and the glory are yours, 
     now and for ever. Amen.

Hear our prayers, Holy God. Breathe your Spirit over us and all the earth, that barriers would crumble and divisions cease. Make us more fully your co-healers of the broken world. Unite us with all people in bonds of love, that the whole earth and all its peoples may be at peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Going Out:

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


Intentions for Prophetic Witness


An intention of prayer as you prepare to join the Poor People’s Campaign


As we go forth to virtually march and stand in prophetic witness for racial and socioeconomic justice, these words written by Thomas Merton offer us a reminder of our call to stand and witness to justice as we participate in the work God has called us to do:

Go tell the earth to shake
And tell the thunder
To wake the sky

And tear the clouds apart
Tell my people to come out
And wonder

Where the old world is gone
For a new world is born
And all my people
Shall be one.

So tell the earth to shake
With marching feet

Of messengers of peace
Proclaim my law of love
To every nation
Every race.

For the old wrongs are over
The old days are gone
A new world is rising
Where my people shall be one.

So tell the earth to shake
With marching feet
Of messenger of peace
Proclaim my law of love
To every nation
Every race.

And say
The old wrongs are over
The old ways are done
There shall be no more hate

And no more war
My people shall be one.

So tell the earth to shake
With marching feet
Of messengers of peace
Proclaim my law of love
To every nation
Every race.

For the old world is ended
The old sky is torn Apart.
A new day is born
They hate no more.

They do not go to war
My people shall be one.

So tell the earth to shake
With marching feet
Of messengers of people
Proclaim my law of love
To every nation
Every race.

There shall be no more hate
And no more oppression
The old wrongs are done
My people shall be one.

“Earthquake” from The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton


Sunday Closing Prayer and Commissioning


A service of prayer and commissioning to continue to the work of formation


There is one Body and one Spirit
There is one hope in God’s call to us
One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism
One God and Father of all.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom: Enlighten by your Holy Spirit those who teach and those who learn, that, rejoicing in the knowledge of your truth, they may worship you and serve you from generation to generation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

Canticle B
A Song of Pilgrimage Priusquam errarem
Ecclesiasticus 51:13-16,20b-22

Before I ventured forth, even while I was very young, *
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.
In the forecourts of the temple I asked for her, *
and I will seek her to the end.
From first blossom to early fruit, *
she has been the delight of my heart.
My foot has kept firmly to the true path, *
diligently from my youth have I pursued her.
I inclined my ear a little and received her; *
I found for myself much wisdom and became adept in her.
To the one who gives me wisdom will I give glory, *
for I have resolved to live according to her way.
From the beginning I gained courage from her, *
therefore I will not be forsaken.
In my inmost being I have been stirred to seek her, *
therefore have I gained a good possession.
As my reward the Almighty has given me the gift of language,*
and with it will I offer praise to God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Friends in Christ, we are all baptized by the one Spirit into one Body, and given gifts for a variety of ministries for the common good. Judith, Jess, Susie and Dawn have been called to this time of formation for ministry and have been affirmed by their communities, their diocese and their Bishop to begin this new program of formation and study for the vocation of deacon.

Praise be to God, who has called you to this service.

I call up on us together to renew the solemn promises and vows of Holy Baptism:

Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil and renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?

All: I do.

Do you believe in God the Father?

All: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God? 

All: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

All: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

All: I will, with God’s help.

Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

All: I will, with God’s help.

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ? 

All: I will, with God’s help.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

All: I will, with God’s help.

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

All: I will, with God’s help.

May Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and bestowed upon us the forgiveness of sins, keep us in eternal life by his grace, in Christ Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

Over the course of this weekend, we have prayed and we have learned. We have laughed with joy, and shed tears for the world. We have begun to open ourselves up, to unfold, to become more pliable in the hands of our creator, who is forming and reforming us to serve the church and the world. We also stand together as the newly formed St. Phoebe School for Deacons, opening this new iteration of formation up to your loving care, and your creative Spirit. We stand together today along with those who will support us on the journey, and we ask your blessing on the new work you have begun in all of us. May we respond with open hearts to the forming, shaping, loving, remaking hands of God on our lives and ministries.

In this spirit of this virtual gathering to close a virtual retreat, I would invite everyone to use the “chat” function to write a word, a phrase, an intention, a hope, a blessing, a prayer that we can hold together. It can be simple, and perhaps it is a word or phrase that has already been on your mind and heart. This is the poetry and prayer of our journey. It will be shaped into a prayer our postulants will receive to accompany them in the days to come. Please use this time of silent prayer to offer your prayers, blessings, hopes and intentions in this way.

[silent prayer while intentions are written]

Let us pray.

Receive, Gracious God, our prayers and intentions which guide this community. Look with favor upon those whom you have called, and grant that they may be so filled with your Holy Spirit, that they may learn, and grow and form in your loving hands with joy and steadfast devotion; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Dawn, Susie, Jess, Judith: In the Name of God, this community recognizes you. You have taken steps forward in your journey as individuals, and we have formed together as community. You are commissioned to continue this journey now in the presence of those who will support you, and learn with you, and pray with you.

Together, we offer these prayers for the mission of the church and for the world:

Holy God, in whom all things in heaven and earth have their being
Have mercy on us.

Jesus Christ, through whom the world is reconciled
Have mercy on us.

Holy Spirit, whose glory fills the world and searches the depths of God,
Have mercy on us.

Blessed Trinity, source of both unity and diversity,
Have mercy on us.

O God, we pray for the gifts of ministry. Inspire our minds with a vision of your kingdom in this time and place.
Hear us, O Christ.

Touch our eyes, that we may see your glory in all creation.
Hear us, O Christ.

Touch our ears, that we may hear from every mouth the hunger for hope and stories of refreshment.
Hear us, O Christ.

Touch our lips, that we may tell in every tongue and dialect the wonderful works of God.
Hear us, O Christ.

Touch our hearts, that we may discern the mission to which you call us.
Hear us, O Christ.

Touch our feet, that we may take your Good News into our neighborhoods, communities, and all parts of the world.
Hear us, O Christ.

Touch our hands, that we may each accomplish the work you give us to do.
Hear us, O Christ.

Hear our cry, O God.
And listen to our prayer.
Let us pray

Our Father in heaven, 
     hallowed be your Name, 
     your kingdom come, 
     your will be done, 
         on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins 
     as we forgive those 
         who sin against us. 
Save us from the time of trial, 
     and deliver us from evil. 
For the kingdom, the power, 
     and the glory are yours, 
     now and for ever. Amen.

Blessing:

Be of good courage, never be afraid
Because God who created you,
Is always with you
And loves you fiercely.
And may the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Be upon you and remain with you always. AMEN

Dismissal:

Go forth now in the Name of Christ. Go into your own neighborhoods. Go virtually to your classes. Go into your studies allowing yourselves to be changed. Go to familiar places and see them with new eyes. Go to new places and people and allow them to teach you. Go to unknown places of your heart and open them to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Go to those who welcome you and to those who reject you. Go knowing that you are in God’s hands and surrounded by the love of this community. In all that you do, go forth into the world and share the Good News of God’s love. Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia!