Youth Sunday Litany – 2009

Youth Sunday Litany – 2009

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Note:  The emphasis of this service is on life, especially the life that is ours through Christ Jesus. That life is celebrated with youthful enthusiasm and energy. The words life and live appear in most of the elements of the service. Local groups are encouraged to make their own song selections based on favorite songs and hymns that reflect this living emphasis. While this might be considered a “youth service,”  it is a worship experience any age can relate to.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:           This is the day the Lord has made.

People:           Let us rejoice and be glad in it;

Leader:           Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

People:           Lord, help us live for You!

INVOCATION

Leader:           In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

People:           Amen.

CONFESSION OF SINS

Leader:           Are you ready to worship? Are your hearts prepared?

People:           I have come with my fellow believers to confess my sins, to say to my God that I am sorry for my failures, when my life has not reflected my Savior, when I have been tempted and given in, when I have committed sins of which I was aware and when I have failed to act in justice, kindness and compassion. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for Jesus’ sake.  Amen.

ABSOLUTION

Leader:           As people of God, be assured of God’s love for you, His continued grace each and every day and His forgiveness of your sins. You are forgiven in the name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit. God loves you through Jesus Christ and frees you to live as His people.

SHARING OF THE PEACE

Leader:           As forgiven people of God, let us do as St.  Paul commends in Romans 15:7 and “Welcome one another . . . as Christ has welcomed you” (RSV)  Let us share the people of the Lord!

(The sharing of the peace shall occur. After an appropriate time, the worship leader shall call the congregation back to worship.)

Leader:           Are you prepared to worship?

People:           We are ready as we humbly thank God for His kindness, faithfulness, patience, and love.

ENTRANCE PSALM OF PRAISE:  PSALM 150

(The congregation shall say the word PRAISE, indicated in bold type, each time saying it a little louder. The worship leader shall speak the responses. Consider a speech chorus for the responses, i.e. group of youth, a youth member’s family, etc. Consider including the sounds of the instruments indicated in the Psalm. Just imagine those loud clashing cymbals sounding when indicated.)

PRAISE           The Lord!

PRAISE           God in His sanctuary!

PRAISE           Him in His mighty firmament!

PRAISE           Him for His mighty deed;

PRAISE           Him for His exceeding greatness!

PRAISE           Him with trumpet sound;

PRAISE           Him with lute and harp!

PRAISE           Him with timbrel and dance;

PRAISE           Him with strings and pipe!

PRAISE           Him with sounding cymbals;

PRAISE           Him with loud clashing cymbals!

PRAISE           The Lord!

PRAISE           The Lord!

ENTRANCE SONG OF PRAISE AND PROCESSION

(Select a favorite hymn or song, something joyful that can be used for a procession, e.g. “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” “Earth and All Stars,” etc. When the song is sung, consider having a procession that might include a processional cross, banners, dancers, balloons, things that would celebrate life and the joy that comes with faith in Christ.)

THE SALUTATION

Leader:           The Lord be with you.

People:           And also with you.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY  (May be prayed together)

Lord and giver of life, help us not to think of life in terms of physical strength or of youthful exuberance but rather to know that life is from You, a gift to Your people through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You forever. Amen.

OLD TESTAMENT READING:  Isaiah 40:28-31

Some people mistake life for physical abilities but the prophet shows that even the strongest need rest on occasion. True life and strength come from God.

NEW TESTAMENT LESSON:  Galatians 5:16-25

The apostle Paul shows what Christian living really is. The living person of God lives by His Spirit.

PRAISE LITANY

(This litany shall be spoken with joy and enthusiasm as outlined, the people on the left side of the altar as they face it taking Part 1 and the people on the right taking Part 2.)

Leader:           This is the day God has made for our living and being.

Part 1:             This is the day to sing praises to God,

Part 2:             To give thanks for His goodness and mercy!

Leader:           For the church and God’s people, for His truth, hope and challenge:

Part 1:             This is the day to sing praises to God,

Part 2:             To give thanks for His goodness and mercy!

Leader:           For the call to be servants, God’s witnesses serving.

Part 1:             This is the day to sing praises to God,

Part 2:             To give thanks for His goodness and mercy!

Leader:           For our jobs and vocations, the work that we do.

Part 1:             This is the day to sing praises to God,

Part 2:             To give thanks for His goodness and mercy!

Leader:           For God’s ministers among us, who care for and nurture.

Part 1:             This is the day to sing praises to God,

Part 2:             To give thanks for His goodness and mercy!

Leader:           For the joy and excitement that God is among us.

Part 1:             This is the day to sing praises to God,

Part 2:             To give thanks for His goodness and mercy!

Leader:           For sun, moon and stars; for His marvelous creation:

Part 1:             This is the day to sing praises to God,

Part 2:             To give thanks for His goodness and mercy!

Leader:           Praise God, Father, Son, and His Spirit most holy:

Part 1:             This is the day to sing praises to God,

Part 2:             To give thanks for His goodness and mercy!

Leader:           As it was then, is now and it shall be forever:

ALL:                THIS IS A DAY TO SING PRAISE TO GOD, TO GIVE THANKS FOR HIS GOODNESS AND MERCY!

GOSPEL READING:  John 11:17-27, 38-4

Jesus is the way of really living.

HYMN OF THE DAY

(Select a favorite hymn or song that expresses the joy of living with Christ. An Easter hymn might be a good choice.)

MESSAGE

The message could relate how young people are often referred to as lively people, full of energy and activity. But, even youthful zeal has a way of running out of steam (see the Old Testament lesson). Real life comes from God, through Jesus Christ, who frees us from the bondage of sin, death, and the devil and enables us to live as His people. Refer to the New Testament reading for a catalog of things that are not living and that are living.

THE CONFESSION OF FAITH

I believe in God, the Father

And that He is the Creator of all things.

He created the sun and moon and placed the stars in the heavens.

He made trees and all living things, the animals, fish, and birds,

And he made man in His image.

He also resolved that, when human beings had fallen into sin, they would not be lost forever in darkness.

But rather, man would have life forever.

I believe in Jesus Christ, that He is the Resurrection and the Life.

He is the Light of the world.

He is the Way and the Truth.

He is my Redeemer and Savior.

He is my Hope, my Strength, and my Shield.

He is alive and because He lives, I shall live also.

I believe in the Holy Spirit and that He breathes in me the breath of life.

And that He gives me power to be a light to those in darkness.

He has called me through Baptism to faith.

He has sanctified and kept me in the faith.

He calls me to be a witness to the faith.

He emboldens, encourages, and excites me as He sends me forth into the world.

So, I have life and live for Christ in the world.

And, may God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, keep me in faith unto life eternal.  Amen.

THE OFFERING

PRAYERS FOR THE DAY:  A Responsive for Our Youth

Leader:           O Lord, great and gracious God, we celebrate your name in all the earth.  In You we live and breathe and have our being. We give you thanks for all Your people of any age and, especially this day, for our young people.

Reader 1:       For their energy and enthusiasm;

Reader 2:       For their talents, gifts, creativity, and activity;

Reader 3:       For their insight and innocence;

Reader 4:       For their love, their passion, and their caring, for You and for Your people.

People:           We give you thanks and praise.

Leader:           Heavenly Father, as Your people, we come to You with the concerns of our young people in mind as they struggle in these times with what it means to be Your children.

Reader 1:       For those whose faith is tested by the temptations of this world;

Reader 2:       For those who understand what Your covenant promises mean for them;

Reader 3:       For those who fail to see Your hand in their lives;

Reader 4:       For those who are uncomfortable with sharing their faith with family and friends.

People:           We pray for Your help and guidance, O Lord.

Leader:           Gracious God, you have knitted us together in one family through Your Son, and yet there are many who fail to receive strength from that relationship.

Reader 1:       For those who see their homes as a battleground.

Reader 2:       For those who run from those who care about them;

Reader 3:       For those who see their home as a shelter and a source of support;

Reader 4:       For those who are led into other relationships which draw them away from family and friends.

People:           We pray for Your help and guidance, O Lord.

Leader:           Father, You have given the church many gifted leaders who inspire and direct our ministries and help us share Your message with the world.

Reader 1:       For those who guide the ministry with and for young people in our church body.

Reader 2:       For those who guide the youth in our parish as Bible class leaders, youth group counselors, mentors, and friends.

Reader 3:       For young people themselves who give leadership to church, family, school, and community;

Reader 4:       And for all who care for and about the young people in our church and community.

People:           We pray for Your help and guidance, O Lord.

Leader:           O God, we ask you to use us as Your instruments with the gifts and talents You have given us as your Church,

Reader 1:       For Your Word, which is light in our World.

Reader 2:       For Your Son, through whom we have life.

Reader 3:       For Your promise of forgiveness which heals the  brokenness of our lives.

Reader 4:       For Your message of salvation to young and old alike.

People:           We thank and praise You, O Lord.  Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

(If the Lord’s Supper is to be celebrated, insert the communion liturgy here.)

PRAYER FOR LIFE AND LIVING

BENEDICTION

Leader:           May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto You.

May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, fill your life with His good blessings and give you His peace.

People:           Amen!

Leader:           Go in peace. Serve the Lord!

People:           Thanks be to God.

RECESSIONAL HYMN OR SONG

(Pick a favorite song of celebration and recess all the elements of the procession out of the church.)

NOTES:

Obviously, many things could be added to this service, including:

  1. Choir or soloist
  2. Special musical instruments
  3. The elements of the processional including banners, streamer poles and other art work.
  4. Youth could make the communion bread for the Lord’s Supper.
  5. A gift – perhaps a live plant given to worshipers as a symbol of the service.  Plants could be started from seed and given out at the service.
  6. Division of the parts. Different parts could be lead or read by young people.
  • Consider designing a logo for the service, one that you could use throughout the service including banners, posters, altar paraments, etc. A heart and cross design could be appropriate for a service emphasizing life. You could pass out heart shaped cookies with a cross design in icing to each worshipper. You could create a bookmark with your symbol. Consider laminating them to help them last.
  • Music for the service should be music loved and known by the youth and the congregation. It’s not a good day to throw something entirely new at the congregation. It’s a day to celebrate, and celebration can be enhanced when the worshippers aren’t struggling with something new.
  • This service is adapted from a youth service first written for Creating Contemporary Worship by Terry K. Dittmer, originally published by Concordia Publishing House.
  • The responsive litany for our Youth was adapted from a prayer written by Margaret Rickers Hinchey, Denver, CO. published in LYF Supports from the LCMS Youth Ministry Office.

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