Liturgy for Celebrating Sanctuary Space

Our church building is beginning renovations of our sanctuary space and we will be temporarily worshipping in our fellowship hall. For our last worship service in the sanctuary “pre-renovations,” I wrote this participatory prayer.

We celebrate this holy and sacred space. We celebrate the many stories of those who have passed through these doors and experienced God in profound, meaningful ways. We celebrate the sacred body of Christ, the many people who have gathered here over the years; the communion of saints before us and those gathered here now. We celebrate the hands that have prepared altar spaces, Christmas and Easter decorations, flowers, and all who have helped make this space beautiful. And we celebrate together our shared experience of God’s grace through baptisms and communion.

As a way of giving thanks to God, I invite you now to raise your hand if you were baptized (or baptized your children) in this space .
I invite you now to wave if you were married in this space.
I invite you now to raise both hands if you have knelt at this altar.
I invite you now to shake your hands if you have sung in this choir space.
I invite you now to hold your hands like a book if you have read scripture here.
I invite you now to wave if you have served as an acolyte or crucifer.
I invite you now to raise both hands if you have served as an usher or helped serve communion.
I invite you now to hold up prayer hands if you have been to a funeral in this space. Here we pause for a moment of silence to remember all the lives we have celebrated here. If you feel led, speak their names aloud.

If you have done any of the things I mentioned above, please stand. This, my friends, is the body of Christ. YOU are the body of Christ. You may be seated. Let us pray.

Creator of all that was, all that is, and all that will be – we give you thanks for the many ways you have been present with us in this space over the years. For all who have served, we give thanks. For your abundant grace and love poured out for us, we give thanks. As we gather here and hear your Word proclaimed, may we also remember the words of the prophet Jeremiah which promise us that you have great plans for us – a future filled with hope. May we cling to your promise and may our hope be our strong foundation in the months to come. May we trust in your guidance to lead us in the way forward according to your will. Excite our spirits with anticipation of all that you are going to do with us as your people, in this space and in this community for many years to come. And above everything, may we honor you in all that we do.

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