Prayer at home for families

WORSHIP AT HOME

When it isn’t possible to join with the local church, this outline is designed to help you have a short time of worship as a household. Please adapt it to suit those who are present – add anything you might usually do in church or omit anything that you are not comfortable with. Have a variety of voices leading, not just the oldest!

As you prepare:

  1. Choose a place where you can sit comfortably – it might be on the floor, round a table or even in the garden (if the weather is good enough). A rug or cushions might make it more comfortable if you are sitting on the floor.
  2. Agree a time to worship together. It might be first thing in the morning, before your lunchtime meal, or before bedtime begins.
  3. Decide who will lead – it doesn’t have to be an adult or just one person. Think of ways in which the youngest can also help lead.
  4. Gather the things that will help create a sacred space – we suggest a cross, Bible and candle. If you do not have these as physical objects, find or draw pictures that could be used.
  5. Look through the service and gather any materials you might need – paper, pens, modelling dough, Lego etc.
  6. If you enjoy singing, decide one a song or hymn to start with and one to end with. There are some suggestions at the end.

TIME TO GATHER

Leader: We usually go to church to worship God with God’s people, but today we are being church here in this place.

Everyone: God is with us.

Place the cross in the middle of your gathering.

Everyone: God is with us.

Place the Bible in the middle of your gathering.

Everyone: God is with us.

Light the candle and place it in the middle of your gathering.

Everyone: God is with us – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Sing a gathering song or hymn.

 

TIME TO SAY SORRY

Leader: Let us think about the times we forgot we are followers of Jesus. The times we were unkind or hurtful, the times we did not care for the world or other people. When we say sorry to God, God promises to forgive us.

(Either use this Confession or one of the creative ideas suggested.) Leader: We are sorry for the times when we lacked love. Lord have mercy.

Everyone: Lord, have mercy.

Leader: We are sorry for the times when our words and actions were hurtful. Christ have mercy.

Everyone: Christ, have mercy.

Leader: We are sorry when we failed to care for your world. Lord, have mercy.

Everyone: Lord, have mercy.

Leader: May the God of love bring us back to himself, forgive us our sins and assure is of his eternal love in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Everyone: Amen.

 

TIME TO READ THE BIBLE

Choose a passage or story from the Bible. Read it from the Bible or a Bible story book, act it out or watch a video that tells the story. (You might want to use one of the Lectionary readings, or a favourite story, or choose one of the suggested passages.)

Leader: For the Word of the Lord, Everyone: Thanks be to God.

 

RESPONDING TO GOD’S WORD

How might you think together about what you have just heard? You could:

Wonder together: I wonder what was your favourite part of that

passage/story? I wonder which part surprised or puzzled you? I wonder what it tells us about God? I wonder how it helps us to live as Christians?

Draw or sculpt: Use paper and pens, modelling dough, Lego or pipe cleaners to respond to the passage or story. Share with each other something about your drawing or model.

Bring something to the circle: Look around where you have gathered and find something to bring to the circle that helps you think more about what you have heard. Share why you chose that object.

 

TIME TO PRAY

Leader: God hears us when we bring our prayers to him.

We usually pray for the Church, the world, our local community, people who are suffering and ourselves. You could use these prayers, or one of the creative suggestions at the end.

Leader: Lord our God, we pray for your Church, for our Bishop (name) and our priest(s) (names).

Lord, in your mercy,

Everyone: Hear our prayer.

Leader: Lord our God, we pray for your world. Help us to care for it. We pray for our Government. Help them to govern wisely and justly.

Lord, in your mercy,

Everyone: Hear our prayer.

Leader: Lord our God, we pray for our community of (name). We pray for health workers, our schools, our shop keepers and local businesses (add anything you particularly want to pray for).

Lord, in your mercy,

Everyone: Hear our prayer.

Leader: Lord our God, we pray for people who suffer because they are ill, anxious, sad or lonely. Especially we pray for (names).

Lord, in your mercy,

Everyone: Hear our prayer.

Everyone: Say the Lord’s Prayer together in whichever form is most familiar to you. This is a modern version:

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.

Lead us not into temptation But deliver us from evil.

For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, Now and forever. Amen.

 

TIME TO END

Leader: May God keep us, may Christ shield us, may the Spirit bring us healing and peace. May God the Trinity keep us in light and grace today and forever.

Everyone: Amen.

You might sing a song or hymn to finish.

 

Compiled by Mary Hawes ©The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England