Sunday, November 04, 2007

Coming Out Liturgy

One of the rituals of our queer communities of faith is the rite of coming out. We mark it and celebrate it each year with a special service as we acknowledge who God created us to be. Far from being a rite only for those who identify as transgender, bisexual, lesbian or gay, this ecclesiastical rite is designed to mark for all people, queer and straight, the calling God has given all us of to come out of the shadows the world seeks to place us in and into the light of renewed life in God.

Below is the liturgy we will use today at Cambridge Welcoming Ministries as we celebrate our Coming Out!

The call to worship is original to Cambridge Welcoming Ministries, while the Coming Out litany and Communion liturgy were adapted from Geoffrey Duncan's book, The Courage to Love (pp. 269-270; 279).


Prelude and Silent Meditation

“To be out is divine, to trust and not be afraid.

Coming out is strength and a song to the world.”

– Kittredge Cherry

Welcome and Call to Worship

One: Come into the light!

All: God’s light brings life.

One: It makes weak limbs strong and silent voices loud.

All: It illuminates our inmost being and calls it good!

One: Come out into the light!

All: God’s light brings life.

One: It warms our bodies and kindles the spark of the divine kept deep within our soul.

All: It ignites the fire of truth and sets our lives ablaze with color and

beauty and love.

One: Come out into the light!

All: God’s light brings life.

*Opening Hymn TFWS 2151 “I’m So Glad Jesus Lifted Me”

v. 2 Fear had me bound,
v. 3 When I was ashamed,

Scripture Lesson Psalm 139: 1-14a

Reflection The People of Cambridge Welcoming Ministries

Litany of Coming Out

One: As Eve and Adam came out of the earth, as the people of Israel came out of slavery into freedom,

All: We come out!

One: As the exiled Israelites came out of Babylon back to their home, as the prophets came out of the ordinary to point to the extraordinary,

All: We come out!

One: As Lazarus came out of the tomb to continue his life, as Jesus came out of death into new life,

All: We come out!

One: We come out of our deserts into the garden, out of the darkness of closets of all sorts
into the light of new life,

All: We come out!

One: Out of exile into our homes, out of lies into truth, out of denial into affirmation,

All: We come out!

One: We name ourselves as God’s beloved transgender, bisexual, gay, lesbian and heterosexual children! Each of brought out of ourselves to reveal God’s love to the world as saints of the Church.

All: Blessed be the God who has made us! Blessed be the God who continues to call us further and further out!

Lighting Our Lives

Parishioners are invited to light candles in celebration of their own coming outs, naming aloud or silently their own thanksgivings and praises for this liberation and deliverance by God.

All: Gracious and loving God, we praise you for creating us as we are, fearfully and wonderfully made! We praise you for crafting us in your image as your transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay and heterosexual people! For bringing us out of the closets of our lives in full life, we praise you! Amen! Amen!

Giving Thanks at the Table

Ours is an open table. All persons who desire God are welcome to the feast. Regardless of your denomination, your race, gender, class, sexuality, ability or age, Christ has invited you! Come!

One: Come out into God’s light!

All: God’s light brings life!

One: Open your hearts to God’s illuminating Spirit.

All: We open our hearts and our lives to the Spirit of God.

One: The Spirit of God moved over ancient waters. Light appeared as dancing dazzling rays, that called out from the deep the diversity of Divine Creation.

All: Brood over us, Creative Spirit.

One: The Spirit of God empowered prophetic voices, calling out saints of the church to lead us toward your kin-dom. Light dawned in the lives of the faithful and God’s passion was loosed upon humankind.

All: Disturb us, Vigorous Spirit of God.

One: The Spirit of God stirred in Mary’s womb, calling out Love made flesh. Light quickened a new life, heaven sang of peace and God delighted in human form.

All: Stir within us, Deep Spirit of God.

One: The Spirit of God beat in the heart of Jesus of Nazareth, calling out a new way of living and loving. Light illuminated a path long tread by those who seek to be your faithful followers, giving it a daring new direction led by the Christ.

All: Empower us to follow, Strong Spirit of God.

One: The Spirit of God breathed into disciples, apostles and saints, calling out new leaders. Light brought life to God’s people through the ages and Divine love was made real for world in the church, the Body of Christ.

All: Embolden us to lead, Courageous Spirit of God.

One: Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it.

All: “This is my body dwelling in you.”

One: Jesus took the cup, blessed it and gave it to all.

All: “This is my life, dwelling in you.”

One: Here is God coming to us in bread and cup.

All: The gifts of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God!

One: Let us join together as the priesthood of all believers in blessing the elements

before us,

All: Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here and on these gifts of bread and the fruit of the vine. Make them be for us the bread of life and the quenching cup of blessing so that we may be the Body of Christ for the world, co-creating God’s vision of peace and justice until all are reconciled and feast together at your table forever. Amen.

Hymn during communion: "Come Out the Wilderness"

Going Forth

Closing Prayer

All this we ask in the name of Jesus: feed us daily, hold us fast, calm our fears and send us forth boldly, joyfully and ever faithful in your spirit. Amen.

1 comment:

Jules said...


What a beautiful service.