Call to Worship

YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO USE OR ADAPT ANY OF THESE LITURGIES.  Attribution is appreciated: “Written by Beth Merrill Neel on her blog, ‘Hold Fast to What Is Good’.  Used with permission.”

83. Rejoice, people of God: this is our Sabbath day.
Rejoice, friends in Christ: this is our time for worship.
God ordained the Sabbath, rest and restoration.
God is worthy of worship, our Creator, Healer, and Inspiration.
So then, let us worship God.

82. We gather today to worship the One who created us,
The One who calls us,
The One who equips us,
The One who loves us without end.
With joyful hearts, let us worship God.

81. Children of God: welcome!
Welcome to this place of love and grace,
Welcome to this place of hope and perseverance.
God invites all of us to be a part of the beloved community,
God invites all of us to share in the good news:
We are welcome, just as we are. We are loved, just as we are.
In gratitude for all of this, let us worship God.

80. A love that never ceases,
A creativity that designed the universe,
A hope that cannot be quenched,
A pursuit of reconciliation no matter the cost:
These are the things that are of God,
Then let us worship God.

79. In this season of Lent, we make our way to cross,
We remember the steps that led Christ there: betrayal and fear, but also trust in God, and love for humanity.
In this season of Lent, as we make our way to the cross, we strive to follow Christ’s
example: to admit betrayal and fear that are part of life,
To embrace trust in God and love for humanity.
So we may make our journey, and let us worship God.

78. Welcome, friends, to this holy day.
We come to offer thanks; we come to sing and pray.
Welcome, friends, to this time set apart,
A time to remember those we love, and time to remember the holy promises of God.
Welcome, friends, to this table of remembrance and joy,
The table where we are fed, the feast we share with many.
Welcome, friends, and let us worship God.

77. God has set this day before us,
A day set apart, a day of rest and praise.
God has set our lives before us,
A span of years in which we love, and learn, and serve.
God has set God’s seal upon our hearts,
So that we might live fully in deep love.
Let us worship God.

76. When I think of God’s presence in the world, I am grateful:
Grateful for the presence of hope; grateful for the gift of life.
And when I think of God’s presence in my life, I am humbled:
Humbled by the gift of grace; humbled by the invitation to begin again.
And when I think of God’s presence in this community, I am glad:
Glad to be surrounded by holy people worshipping our Holy God.
Thank you all; thank you, God.

75. Let your light shine!
Let your hearts be glad!
God is faithful to us, and God rules in love.
Then let us worship God.

74. Friends, we know what God desires of us:
That we do justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with God.
We gather this morning to remind each other about that,
To remember that now is always the right time to do these things.
So with thanks in our hearts, let us worship God.

73. We come to you, O God, to thank you for what is good.
We come to you, O God, to cry out for what is wrong.
We come to you, O God, to ask for help and restoration.
We come to you, O God, with aching hearts and glad souls.
Let us worship God.

72. We see light, hope, and joy;
We bring heart, soul, mind, and body;
We share blessings and fears;
We bring faith and doubt.
With all that we are and all that we have, let us worship God.

70. We gather as God’s beloved children –
However glad we are, however out of sorts we are.
We come together as a people whom Jesus calls into community –
So this becomes a place where all are welcome.
We have come to give thanks, to pray and sing, to be with other –
Let us worship God.

69. As the sun rises in the morning,
As the cool breeze ushers in the evening,
As the heat of the noonday sun spreads across the land:
God is present with us.
Let us worship God.

68, Well, here we are this day, gathered together so we can worship our God together.
Some of us here for the music, and some for the friends, and some for the cookies and coffee.
And we are all here because of God.
Now is the time to give thanks, to unload our hearts, to share our lives, and to hear the Story again.
So, friends, let us worship God.

67. Friends, let us worship God today, for God is great –
God has blessed us with life, with faith, and with community.
Let us worship God today, for God is good –
God forgives us, and encourages us, and loves us.
Let us worship God today –
Because we are God’s people.
Let us worship God.

66. Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier;
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;
Loving, Teaching, Empowering:
Let us worship God.

65. With eyes to see,
And ears to hear,
With lips to sing,
And hands to help:
Let us worship God with the fullness of our being.

64. To see the life that teems around us,
To give thanks for the gift we have received;
To notice the beauty and promise of spring,
To breathe deeply of the season;
To accept the gift of love, and to love in return:
This is to worship God.

63. To know the warmth of love,
To have the assurance that someone cares,
To be confident of our worth,
To be bold to love in return,
To be washed over with grace,
To be accepted as we are:
This is to know a bit of God.
Then let us worship our God.

62. Friends, we gather this day to celebrate life –
The life we have been given by God,
The life we share with one another in community,
The life that Jesus gives in abundance.
Let us be grateful for the joy of life,
And let us worship God.

61. Welcome this day to the house of our God.
We are greeted in peace and in love.
Welcome this day to the worship of our Creator.
We worship in hope and with grace.
Welcome this day to our community of faith,
Where we are sisters and brothers in Christ.
Friends, let us worship God.

On this day earth shall ring –
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
For Christ our Lord has been born for us, the Son given to us
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Love has come down at Christmas,
And perfect love has absolved all fear.
Friends, let us rejoice this day!
For Christ is born, and the angels sing: Gloria in excelsis Deo!

59. We look around and see how we have been blessed –
Blessed with community, with beauty, with friendship, with faith.
That goodness washes over us, and we receive these gifts with thanks.
In this time, we thank God for all that we have been given.
So let us worship God.

58. In love and joy God calls us together.
And so we meet this day, as friends, as neighbors, as sisters and brothers in Christ.
Called together by God, we bring our offerings to God:
Our songs, our hearts, our prayers, our lives.
Grateful for this opportunity to give and receive, let us worship God

57. Come, all you people! Come from east and west, north and south!
Come across bridges, come along streets, come by car, bike, or foot!
Come! We are delighted that you are here!
We are here to sing, to pray, to greet, to wonder, to give thanks.
So let us worship God.

56. What brings us joy?
What slows us down?
What gives us hope?
What makes us think?
What invites us to wonder?
What makes us change?
Might it have something to do with the Holy?
Let us worship God.

55. In reverence, in wonder, in hope, we gather.
With unsettled questions in our hearts,
With the mystery of God enshrouding us,
Acknowledging that we who were lost are now found and loved,
Let us worship God.

54. Welcome, friend and stranger –
Welcome, honored guest.
We gather as a community to worship God,
To be reminded of God’s goodness,
To be reminded of the call to be a part of that goodness.
Let us worship God.

53. All things bright and beautiful,
God created for our enjoyment.
All things wrenching and hard,
God holds with tender care.
You and I, neighbors and strangers, friends and enemies,
God loves without condition.
So let us worship God.

52. For the beauty of the summer day,
And the comfort of friends nearby;
For the invitation to love and be loved,
For our God who extends that call;
For time set apart to nourish the soul,
For time to go out into the world armed with love:
For all these things we give thanks. Let us worship God.

51. We gather this day, stranger and friend,
Known and unknown,
All loved by God.
We gather to worship,
To offer concern and joy,
To be reminded to love as we have been loved.
So let us worship God.

50. Come, you who thirst for grace.
Come, you who hunger for justice.
Come, you who are a stranger in a strange land.
Come, you who are like a child at home.
Come, for Christ welcomes you to this time and place.
We have come to worship God.
Then let us worship well.

49. A time set apart,
A time to come together;
A space filled with silence
A space filled with song;
Hearts seeking solace,
Hearts overflowing with joy:
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us worship God.

48. The voice of God gathers us this day;
The warmth of God brings us together as one people.
So we come, with joy and sorrow in our hearts,
With acts mighty and faltering,
With kindness and with selfishness,
With doubt and with faith:
So may we bring the fullness of our lives to God.
May we worship well this day.

47. Love surrounds us this day;
Love that is the stuff of prayer, and love that is sung in a song.
So God’s love permeates our lives;
From birth to death, we belong to this God who loves us.
And so, as beloved people, let us worship God.

46. Joy, wonder, delight –
Doubt, peace, restlessness –
Sorrow, contentedness, anxiety –
Confidence, hope, pardon:
We lay our hearts, full of these things, before our God.
Unburdened and awaiting
Let us worship God.

45. We gather this day, and much is visible:
Our smiles may show our joy; our eyes may speak of pain.
We come to this place, seeking signs of the living God:
We may sense something holy here; we may reach out to mystery.
Will we see God today? Will our living make God’s love visible?
Let us worship God, Holy Mystery, Eternal Love.

Cheers fill the air –
The sound of hope and victory.
For the time being, the people wear glad hearts,
Their King has come into his own.
So we come with hope this day,
To worship God, who sends Jesus into our midst.

43. In the cool gray of a wet spring morning, we rise –
Leaving the shelter of our homes to gather in the shelter of this place.
This is the house of God, who is present but not constrained here;
This is our house, the place where we belong, the place where we welcome strangers as guests.
So may we welcome each other, and may we worship God.

42. In the light of this day we have gathered;
We are a community that is one, bringing our questions and our joy.
In the song and silence we will listen –
What is it that God would have us hear this day?
In our praise and our prayers we will remember
That God’s glory shines around us and within.
So let us worship God.

41. (based on a poem by Rumi)
Perhaps we have come in search of joy this day.
Does it move from unmarked box to unmarked box?
Is it found in the water that changes to wine?
It is within us, our outside of us?
What I know is this: joy comes from God,
A gift to be celebrated and shared.
So let us worship God.

We are called to joy
Making our moves with wild abandon
Sure of the love that buoys us
Sure of the laughter that awaits.
We are called to play
To play with God, with each other, with creation
Abandoning the grip of control
Releasing solemnity
Basking in the warmth of God
In love, in light, in laughter.

39. As we gather this day, each of us brings something to worship –
We bring the burdens of the week.
We bring prayers of hope, and prayers of anguish.
We bring our voices, and our offerings, and our questions.
We bring our faith, tattered or whole as it may be.
We bring all this to each other and to God, whom we worship today.

38. There is silence,
And there is light.
There is music,
And there is grace.
There are people,
And there is life.
There is hope,
And there is God.
Let us worship well today.

In the beginning, God called the world into being, saying,
“Let there be light!”
In the fullness of time, Jesus came from God to us, saying,
“I am the Light of the world.”
In our everyday life, we see the work of the saints,
The ones in whom God’s light shines.
So let us give thanks for the saints this day,
And let us worship God.

36. We gather this morning to remember our call:
To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.
We bring with us the events of the week in the world and in our lives,
Trying to know how to be just and loving and humble in the midst of it all.
We gather here, and see those who are doing justice, who are kind beyond measure,
who set the example for humility.
With gratitude for living saints, with thankfulness for the purpose of faith,
let us worship God.

35. Look around.
Listen carefully.
Peer into your heart.
What do you see? What do you hear? What do you find?
(pause for silent reflection)
Let us seek the presence of God in this moment.
And let us worship God.

34. Welcome to all who have come in search of something;
We have come to seek the living God.
Happy are those who find a way and follow that path;
We do not make this journey by ourselves.
Blessed are those who give their lives over to their Creator.
In faith, in trust, with hope, let us worship God.

33. Into this world we are born,
Into the beauty and sorrow of everyday life.
Into this day we awake,
Into possibility and the unknown.
Into this church we are welcomed,
Into God’s grace and each other’s truth.
So let us worship our God this day, we who are called and loved.

32. Who made this beautiful day?
We believe the God, the Creator, made this day –
God made this day so we can rest, and reflect, and enjoy;
God made this day so we can open our eyes and see beauty,
And see pain, and see opportunity,
And see hope.
So let us go into this day with our eyes and hearts wide open,
And let us worship God.

31. For summer graces,
For worship music,
For beaches and mountains and flowers,
For prayers asked and answered,
For a sense of peace,
And a sense of hope:
For all these things we give thanks
And worship the One who gives them to us.

30. This day is a gift from God;
And day to reflect, to offer thanks, to seek the good.
This time is a pause from the fever of life;
A time to be with one another, knit into community by God.
So let us sing, and listen, and pray, and feast.
And let us worship God.

29. In the quiet, in the calm, in the stillness,
We seek God.
In the clamor, in the cry, in the grief,
We seek God.
In this time, in this place, with each other,
We seek God.
Even as we seek, let us worship God.

28. It is a good day to be here.
It is a good day to tell stories.
It is a good day to give thanks.
It is a good day to ask for help.
It is a good day to be in community.
It is a good day to worship God.

27. God is here!
How do we know that?
Do you hear the rustle of papers? Does your heart sing a little with the music? Do
tears come unbidden to your eyes? Do you look across the room and see someone
who makes you smile? Do you feel gladness in this space?
Is that of God?
The rustle, the song, the tears, the smile, the gladness – those point to the holy.
And God is holy.
Then let us worship God.

26. In the east and west, the north and south
God creates beauty and life.
From all corners of the globe
God calls us to love and to live and to follow.
In our homes and our hearts, in this church and in the world
We sing and serve, we hope and we pray.
Let us worship God.

25. (inspired by Psalm 98)
Sing a new song!
Make a joyful noise!
Let the sea roar,
And let the sky shimmer.
Let the earth be glad,
And let the children run and roll.
Let the old laugh with deep wisdom.
Let the young listen, wide-eyed and wondering.
And let us worship God.

24. (On this particular Sunday, our children are leading in worship, and the liturgy was written with young voices in mind.)
This is the time when God’s people gather together.
This is the time when we wait to hear God’s word.
This is the time when we see friends, old and new.
This is the time when we remember that God makes us family.
This is the time when we give thanks for all that is good.
This is the time to worship God.

23. A voice beckons in the morning, saying,
“You are my Beloved.”
It is the voice of One we see dimly, we hear faintly.
We reach out for that voice, for the One who has claimed us in love.
In this time together, may we hear the voice of God who shepherds us with love and grace.
And let us worship God.

22. New every morning is God’s love for us.
New every day is our opportunity to practice gratitude for what we have,
To seek ways to heal the world,
And to draw closer to our Creator.
So let us worship God.

Before God spoke the first word of creation, there was love.
Before anyone entered the sanctuary this morning, love was already here.
When we draw our last breath and leave this world, love will be waiting for us.
That love is God.
Then let us worship God.

We have started down a road that will take us to the cross.
It is a journey we take together, and a journey each makes alone.
We are invited to notice things on the way –
To notice the sharp stones, the uneven ground, the mercy of shade, the faithfulness of those who walk with us.
We carry little with us but that which is in our hearts:
Hope, trust, fear, apprehension, wonder, sorrow.
On this walk we rest and sing and pray and listen.
In our worship, we rest and sing and pray and listen.
Then let us worship God.

19. We gather –
We gather together around a mystery.
We listen –
We listen for a voice we may not recognize.
We open –
We open our very souls to the Creator of All.
Then let us worship God.

18. We exist because God made us.
We are here because Jesus calls us.
We are together because the Spirit binds us to each other.
Without God, where would we be? Who would we be?
Let us worship God, who makes us a community of love.

17. We are here to follow Jesus
With halting steps
And questioning minds
With ready hands
And pierced hearts
With joy for each other
And gratitude to God.
Let us follow Jesus,
And let us worship God.

16. This is God’s day, and we are invited to be a part of it.
This is God’s invitation: to come and see what God is doing in the world.
This is what God is doing: bringing good news to the poor,
And proclaiming release to the captives,
Recovering sight for those who are blind
And letting the oppressed go free.
Let us join in, and let us worship God.

15. In the rosy-gray light of the early day,
In the cool damp of the morning,
We rise to praise our Maker.
Surrounded by colored glass and incandescent light,
Greeted by the voices of the saints,
We worship the One who loves us.
In the midst of such beauty and warmth,
Let us celebrate God’s day.

14.From the mountains in the north
And the deserts to the south
From the seas in the west
And the prairies to the east
God’s people gather to feast!
Let us worship God.

13. Come, children of God: know that God has blessed you today.
We are blessed by work and rest, by word and silence.
Come, women and men who follow the Christ, who has not led you astray.
We have traveled His path, and know glory and sacrifice.
Come, saints and sinners all, receive God’s love and bounty.
We offer our sacrifice of praise; we offer our very selves.
Let us worship God.

12. What, then, shall we say about these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?
What, then, shall we say about these things?
God offers us new life, a fresh start, a second chance.
What, then, shall we say about these things?
That God, who is holy, desires wholeness and joy for all people.
So then, let us say that, and let us worship our God.

11. This one is based on a prayer by St. Catherine of Siena, 14th c.
We say the prayer of a mystic:
Dear Lord, it seems that you are so madly in love with your creation that you could not live without us.
So you created us; and then, when we turned from you, you redeemed us.
Yet you are God, and have no need of us.
Your greatness is made no greater by our creation; your power is made no stronger by our redemption.
You have no duty to care for us, no debt to repay us. It is love, and love alone, which moves you.”
So let us worship our God.

Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.
How can we praise the Lord when there is sorrow and death?
Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.
How can we praise the Lord when there is fear?
While I live will I praise the Lord:I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.
The One who made heaven and earth and sea; the one who keeps truth forever.
Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.
The One who makes justice for the oppressed; the One who feeds the hungry.
Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.
The One who protects the stranger; the One who upholds the widow and orphan.
Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.
All: Praise the Lord!

Let us worship God, who has drawn us and healed us.
Let us worship God who has restored us to life.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you faithful ones, and give thanks to God’s holy name.
God’s anger is but for a moment; God’s favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
You have turned our mourning into dancing; you have taken off our sackcloth and clothed us with joy, so that our souls may praise you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, we will give thanks to you forever.
Let us worship God.

8. We gather to worship on this, the Lord’s Day.
What will God accomplish among us in this time?
We have come together for Sabbath rest and renewal.
What will God accomplish among us in this place?
We are here to offer our praise and thanksgiving.
What will God accomplish among us in our hearts?
Confident of God’s work among us at all times and in all places, let us worship God.

7. Here we are, the young and old,
The believing and doubting,
The weak and strong.
Here God is, almighty and merciful,
Gracious and just,
Trustworthy and true.
So since we are here, and God is here, let us worship God.

6. In the morning, as the clouds gather and break,
We open our eyes and stretch our arms to a new day.
As we gather, and the papers rustles and the pews creak, and old friends whisper together,
We become the beloved community again.
In our, in our words and songs and silence and prayers,
We open ourselves to wonder, and gratitude, and praise.

5. We thank you, O God, for the gift of this day.
For this beautiful space, for the warm hearts that greet us.
We thank you, O God, for the ability to come together to worship.
For songs and prayers that sustain us not only in this hour, but in the days that unfold.
We thank you, O God, for the blessings in our lives and in our world.
May we lift our voices in thanks, even as we worship You.

4. We come from all walks of life: the rich, the poor; the struggling and the secure.
And God calls us all.
We bring our hearts to this time and place – hearts holding joy and sorrow, questions and wonders.
And God knows us.
We offer what we have to give: our talents and our imperfections, our faith and our doubt, our hope and our hands.
And God loves us. Let us worship God.

3. This day is God’s gift to us –
A gift of community and Sabbath,
A gift of doing nothing more than offering thanks and basking in the divine presence.
This time is our gift to God –
A gift of song, and prayer, and silence,
A gift of offering our lives in service to our Maker.
Surrounded by all these gifts, let us worship God.

2. We are children of God:
Called to praise, and to bless, and to show mercy.
We are citizens of a nation:
Called to care, and to respond, and to share our freedom.
We are members of a community: Called to know each other, and to accept each other, and to welcome all.
We belong to God, and through God, to one another.
So may our hearts be as one, and let us worship our God.

A voice speaks to us in our dreams, beckoning, warning;
Are we talking with ourselves, or is God speaking to us?
In the night our minds wrestle with worries and hopes;
Could there be something holy in that?
In the brightness of the morning, we seek a word from God;
Let us be attentive to the voice of God this day. And let us worship God.

36 thoughts on “Call to Worship

  1. These are Spirit-blessing! In such concise words you capture such Spirit-truth and encouragement! Pure poetry. Bless you! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. I use your liturgy in our bulletin for Sunday worship. I absolutely love your liturgy. I wasn’t much of a fan of liturgy before this, my first call, but your “normal” and everyday language has brought it to life and made it relevant. Thanks.

  3. I am snitching one of your Calls to Worship to use in my home UMC congregation in E. Ohio where I am filling in as a Lay Speaker this Sunday. I have the Sunday off as organist in Bowling Green at First Pres. Ed D.

  4. Planning on using one of your Calls to Worship this Sunday in Normal, Illinois. First United Methodist Church. Thank you for this resource.

  5. What a lovely and encouraging set of Call to Worships you have written. I would love to use one of them this coming Sunday in a country chapel in Shropshire which is the middle of England (U.K). Would that be okay?

  6. Your words are so inspiring and uplifting!! And so real!!! I put our contemporary service together and I was hoping I could use your writings as part of our liturgy.

  7. Thank you. I see the Spirit flowing through these in wonderful ways. I would also appreciate using one this Sunday as we head into Micah 6

  8. I am so glad I came across your page. I adore your liturgy. It is so expressive and natural. Thank you so much for sharing your gift.

  9. Hi I am a worship Planner and plan to use one of your Calls to Worship on Sunday 17th June 2018, as I find them just great and expressive but full of the love of Christ. I am from Manningham Uniting Church in Doncaster Victoria Australia

  10. Your words truly resonate with me and I truly thank you for sharing. These would work perfectly in my context. If I print them in our bulletin, how should I give you credit?

  11. I love your calls to worship and visit your site often when worship planning. For this Sunday, we wanted to acknowledge Juneteenth and take this opportunity to educate our congregation on this holiday. I found the perfect call to worship here (and changed the ending ever so slightly to lead us into “Lift Every Voice and Sing” if that’s okay with you.)

    We are children of God:
    Called to praise, and to bless, and to show mercy.
    We are citizens of a nation:
    Called to care, and to respond, and to share our freedom.
    We are members of a community:
    Called to know each other, and to accept each other, and to welcome all.
    We belong to God, and through God, to one another.
    So may our hearts be as one as we lift our voices in song,
    and worship our God.

    Thank you so much for sharing your resources – your liturgy is very meaningful and has guided me in creating my own at times as well when needed.

  12. Good afternoon,
    I’d like to ask permission to use a Call to Worship in our upcoming virtual services. We would cite your blog within our slides.

    Ryan Hurley
    Friendship Mennonite Church, Ohio

  13. greeting of peace,
    with your indulgence, I’d like to ask permission to use few of your published call to worship in our virtual worship services.

    Thank you, and God bless…


  14. Beth,
    Thank you for sharing your worship resources! I resonate with many of your litanies and find them inspiring. I would like your permission to use some of them in our worship. I would site your blog in the bulletin or projected slides.

  15. I am the pastor of a small ELCA Lutheran Church in MN.
    I love your work!
    May I use some of your liturgy (with acknowledgment of course) in our online worship? We are not at this time gathering in person.
    Thank you so very much for sharing your gifts!

  16. Hello! Thank you for your inspiring words. I was hoping to use one of your calls to worship for our digital online worship this summer. I will, of course, credit you. Hopefully this would be okay.
    Thank you!
    Alison (Mississauga Ontario Canada)

  17. Beth,
    I really enjoy the variety and thoughtfulness among the calls to worship you provide here. Thank you for making them available for other communities to use.

  18. These calls to worship are lovely. It looks as though you have given permission for their use, but I would like to verify that! We livestream our service on Facebook, and we would certainly include credit for the resources we use. Is that acceptable? Thank you!


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