Liturgy for Post-Elections

Liturgy for Post-Elections

Royal Psalms Liturgy: for times of public elections
By Joel Townsend
Student at Churches of Christ Theological College, Mulgrave, Australia

Royal Psalms Liturgy: for times of public elections
By Joel Townsend
Student at Churches of Christ Theological College, Mulgrave, Australia

Prayer before the Service
Holy God,
Help us to find delight in your law in this worship today.
Through it, may we find the way of the righteous,
Which leads to refuge in you.

Call to Worship
Who besides our God is our rock and refuge?
Let us worship our Lord, our God who lights up our world.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Confession

All of heaven and earth is yours, our God. The earth and all that is in it rests on your foundation. Your mighty works are all around us.
Your righteousness, your justice and your steadfast love are revealed to us in your son, Jesus Christ.
Your hand and arm are with us. Your presence with us, and your promise of faithfulness to us, are expressed in the work of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, we praise you, our Lord God of Hosts.2
We confess, though, that we have departed from you, our God.3

The first petition is offered.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

The second petition is offered.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

The third petition is offered.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Petitions might include the following:4

1. We confess that we have forsaken your Law, and have not kept your commandments.
2. We confess that we have not sung of your steadfast love, or proclaimed your faithfulness.
3. We confess that we have sought power, and have not lived out the faithfulness and justice which you ask of us.
4. We confess that we have become alienated from our neighbours over petty differences.
5. We confess that we have sought to protect our own interests ahead of those of the weak and vulnerable.
6. We confess that we have made false distinctions based on geography, race, religion and gender, and have not shared your good news and your justice with all people.

Declaration of Forgiveness
Hear then Christ’s word of grace to us:
‘Your sins are forgiven.’
Thanks be to God

Scripture Readings

Following a close or bitterly fought election or one in relation to which there is division in the congregation:

John 13:31-35
Corinthians 3:1-23
Psalm 144

Following a ‘landslide’ election victory:

2 Samuel 11:1-12:15 (or part thereof)
Psalm 72
Psalm 101
Mark 1:21-28
Mark 9:33-37
Luke 4:1-13
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
1 Corinthians 15:20-28

Following an election which the congregation is lamenting:

Psalm 89
Isaiah 40:1-5
Joel 2:28-3:3
Micah 4:6-13
Mark 13 (or part thereof)

Following an election which the congregation is celebrating:

Psalm 89
Zechariah 9:9-17
Matthew 21:1-11
Matthew 25:31-46
Mark 11:1-11
Luke 19:28-40

Childrens’ Address

If the service is to include a childrens’ address, the theme of the address will depend, like the selection of readings, on the tone which the election in question calls for. The worship leader might consider reading a story book, such as Yertle the Turtle by Dr Seuss, which expresses the precariousness of human power.

Prayers of the People

How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
We pray with the faithful of the ages, praying that your Kingdom will come.5

Various intercessory prayers might be offered. The following might be suitable:

Give our leaders your justice and righteousness, our God.
Help our leaders to judge fairly,
Seek prosperity for the people,
Defend the rights of the poor,
And deliver the oppressed.
Give them compassion for the week and the needy.
Give us the strength and wisdom to hold them accountable.6
Give us abundance, God.
Abundance of generosity in sharing fruit and grain.
Abundance of loyalty to good leaders.
Abundance of strength to hold bad leaders to account.
Abundance of hope, and generosity of spirit, that we might share your abundant good news.7
God, give us the grace and humility to acknowledge the shortness of our days, and the falseness of our distinctions – ideological, national and economic.
Deliver us from falsehood, and make us truthful.
Give us the honesty and inspiration to pass on the story of our faith to our sons and daughters.
Give them, and all people, a vision of your abundance.
Strengthen us as we seek to bring comfort to those on the margins, to those who cry out in distress.8

Word of Mission

Walk out into the world with integrity in your heart.
Know nothing of evil.
Work for the day when this city will be the city of the Lord.9

1 Based on Psalms 1 and 2 – Psalm 1 is not a Royal Psalm, strictly speaking, but is carefully paired with Psalm 2, which is recognised as the first of the Royal Psalms.
2 Based on Psalm 89
3 Based on Psalm 18:21
4 Based (in varying degrees of textual similarity) on Psalm 89
5 Based on Psalm 89
6 Based on Psalm 72
7 Based on Psalm 72
8 Based on Psalm 144
9 Based on Psalm 101