A Liturgy for a Husband & Wife at Close of Day

By

At Hutchmoot we announced our plans to publish a book of liturgies for everyday life. The book is called Every Moment Holy and we want to share a little more of what the book is like.

Here’s a look at the kind of liturgy the book will contain. This one is called “A Liturgy for a Husband & Wife at Close of Day.” If you’d like to support the Every Moment Holy project, click here to make a donation and see how you can help.


A Liturgy for Husband & Wife at Close of Day

 

Husband: At death we will part.

Wife: Therefore let us not take the blessing of our life together for granted.

 

Silence is kept as both spouses consider for a moment the gravity of this truth.

 

Husband: May our hearts be ever drawn towards You, O Lord

In whose three-personed perfection of love

Burns the fire that would kindle also our two-personed imperfection

Into a oneness that is warmed and forged of your holy flames,

Wife: A thing that is both an echo and seed and a play upon a stage

Portraying the promise of union with Christ that is to come.

 

Together: We are unworthy players, O Lord, unworthy to portray your glory.

We are weak. We are jealous. We are easily wounded.

We are petty. We are embittered. We store up remembrances of wounds.

We are insecure.

We hurt one another.

We do not deal with our conflicts well.

We fail to love as you have loved.

Forgive us even the failures of this day.

 

Silence is kept. If either husband or wife has need to make amends, they may do so now.

 

Husband: I am not strong enough in my own strength to be husband to you.

Wife: And I am not strong enough in my own strength to be wife to you.

Together: Let us turn to God together then, asking the strength that we need.

 

Husband and wife take hands.

 

Together: Give us therefore the strength that comes from the grace that flows from your heart alone, O God, that we might live and move and breathe in air of that grace, receiving it in ourselves, and then offering it daily to one another. Without grace, our marriage will wither as a vine unrooted. But sustained by your grace, it will ever flourish and bloom and flower and fruit.

 

Husband: Forgive us our failures and our sins against one another and against our marriage, O God,

And restore now our hearts to you and to one another.

Wife: Repair the damages of our selfishness, our thoughtlessness, our inconsistencies.

Draw us again together at the close of this day, in love, and forgiveness, and fellowship and peace.

 

Together: May we sleep this night side by side in unity of heart and mind and purpose.

May we wake in the morning in solidarity and delight,

Thankful for the sharing of this life, for the companion who journeys beside us,

For hands to hold and arms to embrace, and lips to kiss at the close of day.

 

Husband: May we love one another more at the end of this day

Than we did at its beginning.

Wife: May we treasure one another more at the end of this week

Than we did at its start.

Husband: May we hold one another as more precious, more respected, more dear

At the shuttering of this month, than we did at its opening.

Wife: May we delight in our companionship and take heart in the sharing of our burdens more at the close of this year, than we did as it opened

Husband: May we reflect your glory far more fully in the beauty of our shared relationship

At the hour we are parted by death than we did even in the hour of our wedding.

 

Together: Bless our marriage. Kindle our desire. Teach us to be friends and lovers and companions.

And may this our marriage exist not only for our benefit,

But may the bond between us grow to be a shelter and a blessing for others as well.

 

Husband: We ask these things in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Wife: Amen.

 

Together: And now, with joined hearts, together we bring to you these burdens of our day.

 

Husband and wife may now freely petition their heavenly Father with all worries, burdens and concerns.

 

Copyright 2016 by Douglas Kaine McKelvey. All Rights Reserved.

Profile photo of Pete Peterson

Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


14 Comments

  1. Caitlin

    Somebody linked to this on Facebook…I would absolutely buy this in a heartbeat, and then maybe 50 more copies for our church!

  2. Erin

    This is one of the most beautiful things I have read in a long while. It also makes me long to have the book in hand and for it to include liturgies for some of my most difficult moments in the day. Today I was reminded of my need for a Liturgy for a Parent and Child after a Meltdown. That may sound like a joke, but I mean it in all seriousness.

  3. Doug

    Nate, the intention is that this book will be full of liturgies that kids can grow up with. A lot of the liturgies will also be useful for small groups, or gatherings of friends, and many will be useable by individuals as well, but the primary goal is to create works that can naturally be incorporated into the life of a family. Thanks for asking!

    Erin, having raised 3 kids, I receive your liturgy suggestion in all seriousness. I’ll put it on my “brainstorm” list. Thanks.

  4. Profile photo of Nate Martin

    Nate Martin

    @nathandetr0it

    Hey Doug! Sometimes I’m cursed with levity.  Thanks for taking my “question” seriously.  🙂

    After reading this and others of your liturgies, I have no doubt you’re creating something beautiful. Lift the veil on this realm of shadows! We’re supporting the project monthly and can’t wait to see it.

  5. Doug

    Usually I’m the guy who has to explain that I was only joking. Now here I am on the other end of the exchange. Thanks, Nate.

  6. Profile photo of Wendy Lane Hesselman

    Wendy Lane Hesselman

    @wendylane

    These liturgies must be a regular part of our daily life. I can’t wait. If I could make a request it would be for 1.  a liturgy for the expression of love of a parent/guardian for their non-biological child (step/adoption/foster). 2. And one for a commitment between households for the good of children who are from a split home/ for mothers and step-mothers to find common ground in their love for their children and their commitment to Christ. Please pardon me if this is not an appropriate place to make a suggestion. I’m so SOOOO looking forward to this book.

  7. Profile photo of kadubb

    kadubb

    @kadubb

    This is a beautiful liturgy and a marvellous idea for a book.  As I look at the notes above, I notice that there are references to families and I think that’s important. But I hope you won’t overlook the “singles”.  I’m not good at expressing myself, but link to a couple of articles which expresses my feelings well.  The second one makes me smile because it encourages the church to “celebrate singles”  It says If you get married and/or have a baby, Christians will pull out all the stops to celebrate you. That’s a good thing! But Christians should also recognize that many single adults never get celebrated with such fanfare. We might not be walking down the aisle or gestating a baby, but God is doing some amazing things in our lives — from the “monumental” (such as helping us obtain degrees, launch ministries/businesses, pay off college loans) to the “mundane” (such as helping us serve our neighborhoods, pray for each other).
    We must celebrate what God’s doing in people’s lives, whether it’s similar to what God’s done in our own lives or not. So, find reasons to throw big parties for the single people in your community. And if you have the resources, feel free to buy them expensive gifts as well. Single people use Kitchen Aid mixers too 🙂
    http://www.lookoutmag.com/singles-in-the-church/
    http://www.christenacleveland.com/blogarchive/2013/12/singled-out?rq=singled%20out

    I love my married friends and family and I pray for the health of their marriages and families.  God designed marriage and families and I celebrate them.  I just don’t want to forgotten again.

  8. kim

    Erin, YES, YES, a thousand times YES. Liturgy for post-meltdown or post-correction would be great. In our family, we talk about how disobedience breaks our relationships, and how repentance repairs them. A liturgy that addresses this would be such a gift.

  9. Profile photo of hannahclaire

    hannahclaire

    @hannahclaire

    Thank you, kadubb, for your comments and, especially, your first link.  I recently married (at 36) and just had a long conversation along these lines with my husband and unmarried sister (34).  This year, in addition to marrying, I also moved to a new state, a new church, and lost both my parents, so I am extremely aware of how welcoming (or not) a church is to those who are new, who are lonely, who are hurting, who sit quietly in the back and make a quick exit, who don’t know if they have the courage to jump into a large women’s gathering, who could still fume over a Sunday school class (at a former [large] church that didn’t currently have a singles class) for those “married and not yet married.”  I don’t want to be part of the problem either.  So, not to derail this comment thread, I do hope Doug includes liturgies for singles or considers a separate book geared not necessarily for singles but addressing moments/relationships that might come up in anyone’s day.

    Alas, I just realized many liturgies are responsive, so without a spouse or children or roommate or family member on hand, my suggestion might take some creativity to execute for those who live alone.  All the more reason, though, to find a way to include singles who may need the verbal affirmations the most.

  10. Profile photo of Andy

    Andy

    @andytate

    First of all I think this is an awesome idea and I am totally looking forward to going through this when it is finalized! I all of a sudden have gotten into liturgies and probably a week after I made the decision to start making it a regular practice this idea for this book was posted. So cool!

    So I would actually echo the sentiments made by several already in regards to the celebration of singleness and being content with the place God has you. For me however, there is a sense of pain for both the aspect of singleness due to the searing loss of divorce. I know this is going to be more of a family oriented book but maybe there could be an appendix in the back for the tougher times of maybe the loss of a loved one, divorce, a sickness (I went through stage 4 cancer twice so a liturgy I could have repeated through those times as a confession of faith could have been greatly beneficial). I think it would be beautiful if this was created in such a way where you could rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Having liturgies for even the moments of lament and pain. Having gone through cancer, my wife having brain surgery, two miscarriages and failed IVF three times you start feeling like a black sheep in community and to be reminded from a friend of the acceptance of friendship and sitting in the ashes while your ashes are burning around you could be great for community. I know it would be for me, to be able to grab a liturgy that I can read with a friend that is going through the pain of divorce or the loss of a loved one, or a test that came back saying you have cancer or ____ and being able to sit with them as a covenant of grace and friendship during those hard times. Having gone through SEVERAL of these moments in my faith walk you can feel isolated and alone but covenant reading a liturgy that binds us as one and we recognize we are not alone could be great for Church fellowship and unity. Just a thought!

    Thank you all for these suggestions and Doug for this book. I know it will be amazing and just the thought of it makes my soul sing 🙂

  11. Profile photo of Pete Peterson

    Pete Peterson

    @pete

    I know this is going to be more of a family oriented book

    Andy, I’m not sure where this idea is coming from, but it’s certainly not our intent that the book appeal to families only. We hope the book will cover a great range of human experiences and situations. Families? Yes. Singles? Of course! Pain, loss, joy, division, hope, fear, humor—the works.

     

  12. Profile photo of Andy

    Andy

    @andytate

    @pete
    I honestly have no idea where I got that idea from. I thought I had read it somewhere but I probably hadn’t. I just assumed! Glad to see it will run a gamut of topics. Very cool!

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