Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Litany for Fathers’ Day

At our All Age Worship today, Father's Day, we gave thanks for the gifts our fathers and father-figures have given us, and thought about the gifts our Father God gives us, the knowledge of his love, and the security and confidence that gives us in the face of the challenges and sadnesses of life. 

This is the Litany I wrote for the service,which people afterwards asked me to share.

Father God we give you thanks for the gifts we have been given by our fathers and father figures

We pray for dads, grandads, stepdads, adoptive dads and foster dads,
for straight dads, gay dads and transgender dads,
for godfathers and family friends who act as dads,
for dads who are living and dads who have died.
for dads who have to be mum as well
and for mums who have to be dad.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for dads who are brilliant examples
and dads who aren’t
and for dads who struggle to parent at all,
for dads who are able to be present for their children
and for dads who are absent in body, mind or spirit,
for dads who are disabled themselves, or care for children will disabilities,
for dads whose children were stillborn or miscarried, 
and for those who would love to be dads but aren’t able to be.
for dads who are grieving for children who have died through illness and accident,
and for children who are grieving for their dads,
We pray especially for those who have been bereaved in the Grenfell Tower fire, and in the recent terrorist incidents in Manchester and London, and for those in our own community whose fathers have died recently.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for dads who work all the hours there are to provide for their families, and still can’t earn enough to make ends meet,
for dads who work away from home,
and for dads who can’t find work at all,
for homeless dads, 
and dads who are separated from their children in prison or psychiatric institutions, 
especially for the dads in Saltwood secure ward at Godden Green Hospital,
for dads in countries where there is acute poverty, famine and drought
for dads who try to protect their children against the bombs and the bullets in warzones, 
but sometimes aren’t able to,
for dads who care for other people’s children as teachers, social workers and doctors
for the dads who are firefighters, who this week struggled to rescue children in the Grenfell Tower fire, and who will see those children’s faces in the faces of their own children, and remember their cries for help when their own children cry out to them.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all those who take on parenting roles in our communities and workplaces
for those who have acted as mentors and encouragers to us at school and at work,
for those who give leadership in politics, local government, churches and community organisations,
for those who take responsibility in the leadership of nations, not turning away but taking to heart the needs of those they serve,
and we pray for those who suffer for their commitment to others in places where there is oppression and injustice.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

And finally we pray for all those dads I’ve forgotten to list, those whose fathering goes unnoticed.
We give you thanks that your fatherly eyes see them and know them,
that your fatherly heart loves them,
that your fatherly hands hold them,
and that they are not forgotten by you, the one who delights to give us the greatest gift of all, to be part of your kingdom, your family of love. We make our prayers in the name of Jesus, your son, who trusted your fatherly goodness in life, in suffering, in death and in resurrection and we pray for the grace to trust you as he did. Amen

The Mancala board which my father made for me and my children, something I treasure that he gave us. I showed this at the service as we thought about the gifts - tangible and intangible - we'd been given by fathers and father-figures. 

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