Photo burned wood carving of figures praying, words let incense arise against backdrop of stars, moon, smoke. Giant bird in top right pane.

Artwork by Ellen Huang
Pyrography, 2019

Today’s Passage:

“Rituals are participatory activities that involve the whole being: body, spirit, mind, and soul. In our rituals we call in spirits, ancestors, and dimensional beings to guide us each step of the way. Rituals are a form of continuous prayer. They help us to consciously incorporate healthy, genuine spiritual evolution and to dwell in the sacred in a way that truly heals us.” – Sobonfu Some from The Spirit of Intimacy

The litany of soul and body

God, bring grace and justice to us
God, bring grace and justice to us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us

God, the kin-dom creator, bring grace and justice to us
God, the redeemer, bring grace and justice to us
God, the Holy Spirit, bring grace and justice to us
Holy Trinity, One God, bring grace and justice to us
All of our kin, pray for us
All of our neighbors, pray for us
All of our allies, pray for us
All of our co-learners, pray for us
All of our co-teachers, pray for us

Souls of the departed, bearers of dignity
Souls of the departed, vessels of love
Souls of the departed, forces of truth
Souls of the departed, catalysts of transformation
Who mediate between our present world and the world to come
Who arouse the spirits of the living to be in their rhythm
Who stand along with us in solidarity when entering into difficult spaces
Who set liberation and disruption in motion
Who dance through the land, seas and the skies
Who enliven our hearts and minds through their prayers
Who co-create with us on making ordinary and profane moments sacred
Who hold our truths when facing the dark night of the soul
Intercede with us
All souls of the departed, holy kin-dom makers, who came before and will come after us, advocate with us and on our behalf for a transformed heaven and earth and for all creation to be healed

By the act of incarnation
By the process of metamorphosis
By the holy art of dying
By the power of resurrection
By the magic of rebirth
And through Christ’s body and blood

May our body and blood dance to create rhythms of emancipation
May our body and blood bear witness to all of creation’s pain and joy
May our body and blood mend the wounds of the broken-hearted
May our body and blood nourish life and dignity in any space
May our body and blood be a living ritual of incarnation
May our body and blood disrupt the powers that segregate the holy and the profane
May our body and blood channel and enflesh Christ’s love
May our body and blood practice solidarity almsgiving and mutual aid

Body of Christ, the living manna and nourishment of life, strengthen us
Blood of Christ, the eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, heal us
Soul of Christ, the divine aroma and breath of wonder, awaken us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us
God, bring grace and justice to us
God, bring grace and justice to us

May our hearts be renewed
So that we live and act from faith, hope and love

Pray for us, souls of the departed kin-dom makers
That our lives become sacraments of liberation
Breaking through and enlivening the world
Let us pray
In the name of our kin-dom creator, our redeemer and the holy spirit, we ask that you to sanctify us and dwell within us so that we move and act from faith, hope and love. You came to be with us and bring in the kin-dom of God. May we bring glory to You through bringing God’s kin-dom in both the holy and the profane as sacraments of liberation. May we be filled with mercy and virtue to heal from the wounds of oppression and harm through Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Reflection
What sacred practices and rituals have you re-purposed and incorporated in your life that nurture your sense of power and ground your liberation work?

What possibilities can we see in recognizing that sacred  and creative rituals and practices are political and that justice work is a form of sacred ritual and a creative process?

Footnotes:
Litanies are a type of petitionary prayer used in both public services and private devotions. They’re typically structured as a call-and-response and commonly used in a variety of faith traditions and communities.

“In her work, “Kin-dom of God: A Mujerista Proposal,” Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz popularized the term kin-dom, which she learned from her friend Georgene Wilson O.S.F… Isasi-Diaz understood that the fullness of life as God intends and promises cannot be attained through the oppression of others, and that a biblical paradise brings all into the fold of God’s family.” https://queeringthekindom.com/about/

  • Ellen (she/her) is a recent graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University with a BA in Writing and a Theatre minor. She writes fairy tales, directs skits, burns wood, swims in the ocean, reenacts animated scenes, and enjoys wearing capes. She finds God in the strange and unusual.

  • Xeres (she/her) is the co-founder and project director of WE Empowerment Center. She has deep roots in community building and activism in Los Angeles. She is involved in community building projects such as Tuesday Night Cafe and Jesus 4 Revolutionaries. She’s been in the world of freelance, social enterprise, small business and non-profits. Her interests include media and pop culture, cultural activism, liberation movements, economic empowerment, and food.