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That’s right: you may now order a copy of Every Moment Holy from the Rabbit Room Store (or Amazon!) and expect to receive it in the mail in an altogether reasonable amount of time. To celebrate this milestone as well as the travel-filled season of summer that is now upon us, we share with you “A Liturgy For Leaving on Holiday.”
In the same spirit, if you will be going on vacation any time soon, enjoying the outdoors, convening with friends, or engaging in other such summer activities, we encourage you to consider how you may put Every Moment Holy to good use in these settings. Examples include “For Arriving at the Ocean,” “For Those Who Sleep in Tents,” “For Sunsets,” “For Feasting with Friends,” and “For the Marking of Birthdays.” Most of these are available for download at EveryMomentHoly.com if you do not have the book.
Enjoy this liturgy, and we at the Rabbit Room wish you a wonderful summer.
Leader: O Christ Our Sabbath,
You have fashioned us to function best
in rhyming lines of work and rest;
our relaxations and recreations
like unspoken invitations
to that still greater holiday to come—
when all burdens will at last be shed
and weariness be put to bed,
and gladsome joy stretch endlessly before us.
People: Bless now, O Lord,
this happy foretaste of that good end!
Bless our pending trip
here at its first christening.
Bless the days to come:
the days of duties undone,
Bless our pilgrim quest for restoration!
Prepare our hearts to revel in new exploration
of cities not our own,
and of landscapes less familiar.
Along our way, in such places
whose contours you deliberately created,
may we pause to savor the evidences
of your diverse imagination
expressed in glories of scenery,
and in an artistry of peoples and cultures.
Waken our vision to perceive
such subtle expressions of your nature.
Rouse also our hearts
that we might be quietly shaped
by those whisperings of divine beauty.
In our days away let us play
together. Let us laugh together.
Let us be moved to speak
such meaningful words
as ought to be spoken
among family and friends.
Let us linger long at tables and drink deeply
of one another’s company, enjoying each
for who they are with the steady pressures
of our ordinary days now lifted.
As you called your disciples
to come away with you,
retreating from the crush of crowds,
pausing in their long work,
simply to rest, to reflect, to enjoy your company,
your words, your conversation, to enjoy
their fellowship with one another,
so help us also, in this time of our vacation,
to carve out spaces merely to be,
to be with you,
to be together,
to be refreshed.
Ah, how we long for that fierce freedom for which we were created!
Let us taste of it here in our travels!
Bless our journey and our arrival.
Bless our days spent away.
And bless also our eventual passage home, that we might return as those who have been revived,
with hopes resurrected,
hearts readied again for
forward movement into life,
strength renewed to shoulder once more
the meaningful labors assigned to us
in this season.
You are our rest, Jesus.
May this vacation serve your holy purposes.
May the deep enjoyment
and the grand adventure of it
stir within us eternal longings,
whetting our anticipation
of that best holiday celebration
that will one day
encompass all days,
and all of heaven
and all of earth.