The First Sunday of Lent

photo by Ken Levine on

photo by Ken Levine on


“This is the time of fulfillment!”  We stand at the beginning and the end, moving through a Lenten desert toward the unknown.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Though flood, fear, and wild beast may dissuade us, we are not alone.  The angels of light minister to us through the dark clouds of uncertainty.
Christ have mercy.
Christ have mercy.

A bow of water and light shines a message of life.  Help us trust the bright promise that through water we are saved!
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Opening Prayer

Into the desert of our hearts we dare to begin,
O God,
on a quest for the fulfillment of your promise –
a promise of life, peace, and a world made new.

When wild beasts haunt us
and floods threaten our safety
minister to us in word and light
so we might emerge from the desert,
as Christ Jesus did,
with a message for all the inhabitants of the earth!
We pray this through Christ Jesus, our brother,
who lives and reigns with You,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit
now and forever.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God be with you!
And also with you!
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up the Lord.
Let us give thanks to our loving God.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Our praise rises up like mist over the water.
Into the murky depths of chaos you shone your light
and brought forth creation, fresh and new.
Throughout time Your people have thirsted for Your life
but found themselves in the dry landscape of despair.
With a flood of compassion, you sent us your Son, Jesus,
to walk with us
and make visible the eternal life
that makes the desert flower.
Loving God,
We give you thanks and praise!
Please, use or modify these prayers! That’s why they’re here. If you use them in corporate worship settings, though, please give a girl credit and include the address of this blog ( in your program, bulletin or liturgical text.

“The gospel readings can be viewed together as a Lenten gospel, a story told by this season as a while.  As always, it is about us; it is our story, as individuals and as church.  The gospels can be a beginning point in discovering the shape of the liturgy during these weeks.  What does Lent sound like?  What are the rhythms, what is the volume, what is the tempo?  What is the pace?  Where is the silence?  Similar questions must be put to every other art that serves the liturgy.  How does the whole sustain and encourage the keeping of Lent in the home and the individual’s life?”
Gabe Huck and Gerald T. Chinchar, Liturgy with Style and Grace (Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Press, 1998) 98.

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