Category Archives: Multi-Part Reading

David’s Prayer


David’s Prayer

Leader:             Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
All:                   Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.

Leader: Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom;You are exalted as head over all.
Women:           Wealth and honor come from you;You are the ruler of all things.
Men:                In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
All:                   Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
–         1 Chronicles 29:10-13

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

Come Holy Spirit


Come Holy Spirit

The following is a responsive reading that uses scripture passages, hymn lyrics and commentary.

Worship Leader: The Holy Spirit is not an “it.” He has knowledge.
Pastor: For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Cor. 2:11).
All: Come, Holy Fire, Comfort true; Grant us the will your work to do. (CW 176:v3)

Worship Leader: He has a mind.
Pastor: And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Rom. 8:27)
All: Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and make our hearts your place of rest. (CW 177:v1)

Worship Leader: He has affections.
Pastor: I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. (Rom. 15:30)
All: Come, Oh, Come, Life-Giving Spirit, God from all eternity; May your power never fail us; dwell in us constantly. (CW 181:v1)

Worship Leader: He comforts the saved.
Pastor: But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)
All: Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord; May all your graces be poured out. (CW 176:v1)

Worship Leader: He convicts the lost.
Pastor: When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. (John 16:8)
All: Come, Holy Light, Guide divine; and cause the Word of life to shine. (CW 176:v2)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society

A Responsive Reading for a Thanksgiving Worship Service


A Responsive Reading for a Thanksgiving Worship Service

Pastor:              Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – PHILIPPIANS 4:6
All:                   I will GIVE THANKS to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. – PSALM 17:7

Lay Leader:       We are also thankful today because God is our strength and shield.
All:                   The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.   My heart leaps for joy and I will GIVE THANKS TO HIM in song. – PSALM 28:7
Pastor:              Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful. – COLOSSIANS 3:15

Lay Leader:       Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. – COLOSSIANS 3:16
Pastor:              And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – COLOSSIANS 3:17
Lay Leader:       Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18
All:                   Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – HEBREWS 13:15-16

Pastor:              All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures.  They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! – REVELATION 7:11-12a
Lay Leader:       Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever.   Amen!” – REVELATION 7:12b
All: THANKS BE TO GOD!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 CORINTHIANS 15:57

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

God is Love


God is Love

This past Sunday I was delivering a children’s message on Jesus’ parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6-9) and I made the point with the children that Jesus is like the gardener because he is patient with us.   This was unplanned, but the next thing that I said was that I know this because:

 

Jesus is God

and God is love

and love is patient … (hence, Jesus is patient with us)

 

Here’s a responsive reading substituting “God” for the word “love” in 1 Cor 13:4-8 and combining it with a few passages from 1John. 

 

Leader:        Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  In fact, God is love.  (1 John 4:7 & 4:16b)

 

Leader:        Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Women:      God is patient, God is kind. 

Men:            God does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. 

 

Leader:        It is not rude, It is not self-seeking, It is not easily angered, It keeps no records of wrongs. 

Women:      God is not rude, He is not self-seeking,

Men:            He is not easily angered, He keeps no records of wrongs. 

 

Leader:        Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.   Love never fails.

All:                God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.   God never fails.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

Psalm 71 – Generational Responsive Reading (Selected Verses)


Psalm 71 – Generational Responsive Reading (Selected Verses)

 

According to our Liturgical calendar the “Psalm of the Day” for 12/14/2008 is Psalm 71.  Rather than read this Psalm responsively between the Pastor and the Congregation; try reading it according to age groups.  Our church is fairly small so we will use two age groups.  The readings lend themselves to this style and splitting the readings by age groups will give your youth and teens a more prominent voice in worship.

 

Leader:          In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me.  Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

 

Age Group (under 40 years): For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.  From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.  I will ever praise you.  I have become like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.  My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.

 

Age Group (over 40 years): Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.  Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me.

 

Leader:          But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.  My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.  I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.

 

Age Group (under 40 years): Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.

 

Age Group (over 40 years): Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God,till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.

 

Leader:          Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things.  Who, O God, is like you?

 

Age Group (over 40 years): Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

 

 All:  My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I, whom you have redeemed.

 

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

Enhanced Bible Reading


Enhanced Bible Reading

Here’s an idea that you can apply to almost any scripture reading used in worship.  Take your favorite commentary and splice the commentators thoughts into the scripture text weaving them into a back-and-forth reading.   In the following example we used “the People’s Bible on Revelation” (ISBN #075860453X), together with some of our original thoughts on Rev 5:11-14:

Reader 1:  11Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.   They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.

Reader 2:  John’s vision must have been breathtaking!  10,000 x 10,000 = 100 million.  Over ten times the population of New York City – and these were all angels circling around a throne.

Reader 1: 12In a loud voice they sang:    “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

Reader 2: In Jesus’ state of exaltation, he who was slain is worthy to receive these seven accolades (power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory & praise).  All these things are put under His control.    The last three words “honor, glory & praise” are now His in exchange for the shame and disgrace and ridicule which were heaped upon Him in His passion.  This verse concludes the “song of the angels.”  The heavenly song has reached its apex.  Now all creation joins in the heavenly hymn.

Reader 1: 13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

Reader 2: What a moving and glorious expression of praise sung by all of God’s creation.  John has now been witness to the fact that the divine purpose of God’s creation has been achieved.  There is a great multitude of saved and sanctified people who, with the angels and all creation, shall praise God forever and serve Him in everlasting righteousness and blessedness. 

Reader 1: 14The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Reader 2: With this “Amen”; one of the most powerful songs ever heard had come to a divine closure.  These very words are the basis for Handel’s Messiah.  We believers do not need a large amount of musical knowledge to be moved by this performance.  How blessed we are that God has revealed that one day we will be part of the heavenly choir, privileged to bow down in the presence of the Lamb who sits upon the throne.

Moses Parts the Seas


Moses Parts the Seas

Sometimes, Scripture lends itself nicely to a multi-part reading.  This helps the congregation follow the story, especially the children.  In our church, when one of the characters is the “Voice of God”, we have this person read his lines from the back of the church and speaking through a microphone to separate and amplify his voice above everyone else.  Here’s an example using four voices to read Exodus 14 – “Moses parts the Red Sea.”

Old Testament Lesson (Exodus 14:10-29)

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.  (Hebrews 11:27)

Pastor (Narrator):
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them.  They were terrified and cried out to the LORD.  They said to Moses,

Reader 1 (Israelites):
“Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?  What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?  Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’?  It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Pastor (Narrator):
Moses answered the people,

Reader 2 (Moses):
“Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.  The Egyptians you see today; you will never see again.  The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Pastor (Narrator):
Then the LORD said to Moses,

READER 3 (voice of the Lord):
“Why are you crying out to me?  Tell the Israelites to move on.  Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.  I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them.  And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.  The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

Pastor (Narrator):
Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them.  The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel.  Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.  The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea.  During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.  He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving.  And the Egyptians said,

Reader 5 (Egyptians):
“Let’s get away from the Israelites!  The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”

Pastor (Narrator):
Then the LORD said to Moses,

READER 3 (voice of the Lord):
“Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.”

Pastor (Narrator):
Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place.  The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea.  The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea.  Not one of them survived.

But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.  That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore.  And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Note: All text is from the NIV translation (Zondervan Publishing)

All Creatures of Our God and King / Psalm 104


Responsive Psalm Reading (from Psalm 104) spliced together with the hymn: “All Creatures of Our God and King” (sung to CW #171 – “A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing”)

Here’s an idea using a hymn (both spoken; then sung) spliced together with a Psalm read responsively.  The hymn is first read so that the rich lyrics can sink in before singing them.

 

Pastor: He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains.  They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.  The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches.
Congregation Speaks: All creatures of our God and King.  Lift up your voice and with us sing.  O praise Him, alleluia.

 

Pastor: He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.  He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.
Congregation Speaks: Thou burning sun with golden beam.  Thou silver moon with softer gleam.  O praise Him, O praise Him

 

Pastor: The trees of the LORD are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the pine trees.
Congregation Sings:

 All creatures of our God and King

Lift up your voice and with us sing

O praise Him, alleluia

Thou burning sun with golden beam

Thou silver moon with softer gleam

O praise Him, O praise Him

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

 

Pastor: The high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge for the coneys.  The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.
Congregation Speaks:  Thou rushing wind that art so strong.  Ye clouds that sail in heaven along.  O praise Him, alleluia.

 

Pastor: You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God.
Congregation Speaks:  Thou rising moon in praise rejoice.  Ye lights of evening find a voice.  O praise Him, O praise Him.

 

Pastor: The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.
Congregation Sings:

Thou rushing wind that art so strong

Ye clouds that sail in heav’n along

O praise Him, alleluia

Thou rising moon in praise rejoice

Ye lights of evening find a voice

O praise Him, O praise Him

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

 

 

Pastor:  How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.  There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.
Congregation Speaks:  Let all things their Creator bless.  And worship Him in humbleness.  O praise Him, alleluia.

 

Pastor: There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.   These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.
Congregation Speaks: Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son.  And praise the Spirit, Three in One.  O praise Him, O praise Him.

 

Pastor: When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.  When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
Congregation Sings:

Let all things their Creator bless

And worship Him in humbleness

O praise Him, alleluia

Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son

And praise the Spirit, Three in One

O praise Him, O praise Him

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!