Prayers in the Courtyard of All Souls

Responsive prayers by Margaret D. McGee, appropriate for use at the start of a new season of programming, on All Saints or All Souls day, or any Sunday during the Green Season.

In this courtyard of all souls, let us stand together and pray to the One who brings us, every day, out of death and into life.

We stand in the presence of our God.

We walk in the land of the living. 

Raising our voices for all people to hear, we give thanks for all God’s works.

          (The people are invited to remember and say their own thanksgivings.)

Because thanksgiving and hope sit at the same table, we speak of hope for life renewed.

          (The people are invited to offer hopes for the future.)

One day tells its tale to another, and one night imparts knowledge to another.

Morning by morning, the heavens declare the glory of God.

          (Silence.)

We pray for the sick and suffering. We pray for anyone who feels alone or afraid.

          (The people are invited to name those to be remembered in prayer.)

Watch over them, O God.

We all come to grief and sorrow. O God, full of compassion, watch over us all.

          (Silence.)

We pray for the nations of the earth, for all the people from the busiest public street to the most remote outpost. We pray for those with power, and for those without power.

Waken the ears of all the peoples, O God. Waken our ears to the voice of Wisdom.

          (Silence.)

We pray for those who have died.

          (The people are invited to offer names for prayer.)

In faith and love,

They rest in you.

          (Silence.)

We pray for all faithful people, and for all who make a friend of God.

Strengthen your ministers to carry the good news out into all lands, even to the ends of the world.

To the One who brings us out of death and into life—
To our Creator, Teacher, and Friend—
In this courtyard of all souls, we lift our prayers to you.

Amen.

These prayers were first used on September 13, 2009 (Year B, Proper 19) at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington, at an outdoor courtyard service called “Launching Sunday,” in honor of a new year of worship and programs at our parish.

They were written using language and inspiration from the scripture readings for the day, which you can find on The Lectionary Page.

More about responsive prayer.

About Margaret D. McGee