Third Sunday of Lent

photo by Sean McGrath on

photo by Sean McGrath on


It’s hard to identify exactly when they moved in – the voices making promises, selling their fixes, displaying their idols.  Echoing inside our head, the temple has become a noisy marketplace.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

It’s foolishness!  There’s nothing to quell our desire, no law to bring peace to our troubled souls. But the One who was sent knows human nature well.
Christ have mercy.
Christ have mercy.

Cleanse, purge, drive out all that bullies you.  Let zeal for your house consume you.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Opening Prayer/Collect

Divine hand that guides us home,
over the course of time You sent us laws, prophets, and poets.
Then when we were yet lost, you sent us your own Child
the embodiment of all Your hope for humanity.

His weakness confounds us,
the zeal for your house confuses us,
but Christ knows human nature well
and he cleanses the temple –
our home, Christ’s Body, your church.

Drive away all that is not Life.
Set us free to die,
so we too might become the wise fool
following our crucified Savior.

We pray this through Christ Jesus, your beloved son,
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.

It is right to give you thanks
because praise that may have been stamped down
pushes through the cracks
crying out like a child for his mother.
Here we know we are home
for You have sent away all of the monsters, the dragons, the demons.
Here we know enough love to make us brave
to face a world that thinks us foolish
because we know Your voice would not lead us astray.
Loving God,
We give you thanks and praise!

Lectionary Readings

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 (©Jessica Gazzola, in your program, bulletin or liturgical text.

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