(Uses words from the hymn by Walter Farquharson Would You Bless Our Homes and Families)
Would you bless our homes and families, Source of life who calls
in our world of stress and tension teach us love that conquers fear.
On this day we call Christian Family Sunday we remember our families
we remember that our families can be sources of great support,
we also remember that families can be sources of great struggle or pain.
We give thanks for the gifts of families,
and we pray with those whose relationship with family is strained or breaking or broken.
In this year of pandemic and distance we pray with those
who have been unable to get together with family in the same way as normal
who have lost family members to the disease
who have had relationships strengthened by time spent at home together
and who have had relationships tested by so much time home together.
the homes in which we’re nurtured with the love that shapes us
teach us, God, to claim as family every one whose life we share.
God who calls us all family, we pray for families of all shapes and sizes and types:
the families that have two parents and lots of children,
the families with multiple parents in different houses, sharing children,
the families with parents of different genders, the families with parents of the same gender,
the families where the children have four feet and fur,
the families who do not include children,
the families related by blood and the families made by choice,
the families bonded by legal status and the families bonded by love,
the families made up of friendships that have spanned the test of time,
we see the wondrous diversity of families and we are thankful.
God, on this day set apart to celebrate mothers
we give thanks for those who have been mothers or been like mothers to us.
At the same time we pray with and for those who find this day painful:
mothers alienated from children, children alienated from mothers;
those who have had to stand by a grave and say farewell to their children;
those who have had to say farewell to their mothers;
those who have wanted to bear children but for some reason it has never been possible;
those who have chosen not to bear children but have been told it was the wrong choice;
those who have become parents at a time they would not have chosen and have sometimes felt trapped;
those who made the hard choice to offer a child for adoption,
and those who were pushed or forced to make that choice.
God hear our prayer.
us reach beyond the boundaries of our daily thought and care
till the family you have chosen spills its love out everywhere.
God of this large, diverse, sometimes strange, family of faith;
we celebrate today with our siblings who sing and dance
we weep today with those who grieve
we pray with all those who struggle
we strive to live out the love you call us to share,
love that breaks down the boundaries and walls we create between each other.
through all that life may offer, may we in your love remain;
may the love we share in families be alive to praise your name.
Help us learn to love each other with a love that constant stays;
teach us when we face our troubles, love’s expressed in many ways.
All these things, all the prayers of our lives
we pray in the name of Jesus, the Risen Christ, our Rock and Redeemer, our teacher and guide,
the one we call Saviour, Friend, Messiah and who leads us on the path of love.