Call to Worship (based on Psalm 116:12-19)
What shall we offer to the Lord in return for all that God has given to us?
We will celebrate and share the cup of salvation, and we will praise the name of the Lord.
We are the servants of the Lord – the children of the One who teaches us to serve others.
The Holy One has set us free! With thankful hearts, we offer ourselves as living sacrifices to the Lord of Lords!
Stripping of the Church
If you are “stripping the church” as part of worship, I suggest the following words (or similar words) be included in your bulletin (so that people know what is being done):
The stripping of the church has come to symbolize the stripping of Jesus before the Crucifixion. By the time of its conclusion the church’s chancel is transformed from being a place of holy worship in the midst of beauty, to what now appears quite like a tomb. In that transformation, we see a great truth: the joy we typically experience in our worship came at the cost of the death of the One we worship.
If you normally have a “Postlude” or some other musical benediction, but you want the congregation to depart in silence (perhaps, following the stripping of the church), I suggest including these words (or ones that are similar) in your worship bulletin:
You are invited to stay for a time of silent meditation and, when you choose, leave the church in silence.