Remembering loved ones past and present at weddings

Some thoughtful comments and lovely prayers from ‘Because God Calls’ here. Big family occasions always have people missing, and it’s important to find ways of honouring both their absence and their ongoing presence in the life of the families concerned.

Because God Calls

Registering my first wedding in the Bolton Chapel of St. Mary's Old Basing. Photograph: Tarran Patterson Registering my first wedding in the Bolton Chapel of St. Mary’s Old Basing. Photograph: Tarran Patterson

One of the joys of this summer is to have presided at my first weddings.

The first was the fulfilment of a prophesy, at least for me, as having a vision of me officiating at my first wedding had been one clergy friend’s encouragement for me to seek selection for ordination! I am most grateful to Tarran Patterson, the photographer on the occasion, for snapping the photo here as I completed the registers without me being aware of it at all, so that I have a visual memory of the occasion. We are blessed at Old Basing with room for official photographers to take a few photos during the ceremony without intruding into proceedings at all, and she managed to do that brilliantly, which was a gift to a rooky priest.

Tomorrow’s wedding will be my…

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Dedication of pew bibles

If you’ve got some lovely new pew bibles to dedicate, why not do what Kat Campion-Spall did and re-work the collect for Bible Sunday for the dedication?

Blessed are you, Lord God,
for you have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning.
We now dedicate these Bibles in your service and to your glory.
Pour out your blessing on all that read them,
that through them your Word may be revealed.
Grant all who use them so to hear, read, mark, and inwardly digest them,
that, by patience and comfort of your holy Word,
they may embrace and for ever hold fast the hope of everlasting life,
which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Archive note: this prayer is archived under OTHER OCCASIONS> Dedication of objects

Mothering Sunday extended proper preface

I think this is legal; anyway, it’s only a slight tinkering with the Common Worship version of the Song of St Anselm. The / marks are where you’d have your first change of note if you’re chanting it. 

All glory and honour be yours always / and ev’ry where:
loving cre/ator, ever living God.
For like a mother you gather your peo/ple to you:
longing to gather us in your arms, as chicks are /gathered to the mother hen.
For you weep over our sins / and our pride:
Tenderly drawing us from hatred and judgement into the /warmth of your embrace.
For you comfort us in sorrow and bind /up our wounds:
in sickness you nurse us, and / with pure milk you feed us.
Your warmth gives life / to the dead:
your healing / touch makes sinners righteous.
In your compassion bring grace / and forgiveness:
for the beauty of heaven / may your love prepare us.
Your family on earth now lifts our voice to join with the fami/ly of heaven:
ever / praising you and singing:

[continue with Sanctus]

Archive note:
LENT, HOLY WEEK & EASTER > Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday

Here’s a preface for Mothering Sunday, suitable for use with Additional Eucharistic Prayer two:

You made us to love and be loved,
to care for one another in good times and in bad,
and to live as your children on earth
until you welcome us home in heaven.

Archive note: This has been archived in two places
1. LENT, HOLY WEEK & EASTER > Mothering Sunday
2. ALL AGE RESOURCES > Children and the Eucharist

Ash Wednesday – form of interactive confession for school worship

This idea, originally from Revd Sonia Falaschi-Ray, may be used in school collective worship on Ash Wednesday:
As a form of confession, the children are invited to suggest sins that they would like to see the back of – they may be anything from personal  to global.  Each suggestion may be explained/explored etc a little, then is written on a red piece of paper and put into a large bin labeled ‘sin bin’ with these words:
Leader: We bin this sin.
All: We bin this sin.
The bin and some spare red papers may be left in school for the whole of Lent, to enable children to add to it if they wish.

Archive note:
This idea is archived under the LENT, HOLY WEEK and EASTER tab, on the Ash Wednesday page.

Flower and Water Prayers

Draw a flower template (about palm-sized) on a piece of paper. The petals should not be longer than the diameter of the central circle of the flower. Cut out the flower. Write or draw a prayer onto one side of it, and then fold the petals in so that they overlap each other. Make sure the creases are really sharp. Now float your folded flower in water and it will open, revealing your prayer in a rather beautiful and cool way.

This idea can work any time, but might be particularly appropriate on Mothering Sunday (you could make the flowers on yellow paper) or on Remembrance Sunday (you could make the flowers on red paper).

Archive note:
This idea is archived under the ALL AGE tab, on the Child-friendly intercessions page.

Hymns for Mothering Sunday

All our blessings
Tune: All things bright and beautiful

All our blessings, all our joys
With thankful hearts we sing,
Lord of life and Lord of love,
Accept the praise we bring.

For parents and for children,
For husbands, wives, and friends,
For those whose care enfolds us
With love that never ends.

For fellowship and friendship
We both receive and give,
For those who’ve shared our journey
And taught us how to live.

For all who’ve shared our sorrow,
Walked with us in our pain,
Who’ve held our hand through darkness
And showed us light again.

In sacrifice and service
Your love is clearly shown,

Your outstretched arms embrace us
to bring us safely home.

For those who give us life and breath
Tune: O Waly Waly

For those who gave us life and breath,
For love that’s stronger far than death,
Today we bring our thankful hearts,
For all a mothering love imparts.

For kindness, patience, warmth and care,
For each embrace, each smile, each tear,
Each word of peace, each healing touch,
These simple gifts which mean so much.

We look to you, our mothering Lord,
Who shows love’s cost, and love’s reward,
Your passion fiercer than the grave,
Nailed to the world you came to save.

So teach your people how to live,
How to endure, how to forgive,
Teach us to trust, to sacrifice,
To share the love that has no price.

Archive note:
These hymns are archived under the LENT, HOLY WEEK & EASTER tab, on the Mothering Sunday page.