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Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
I did my first of these in October, 2010. I was asked recently for copies of the service. Here ya go. The structure of the service, as well as the texts of the Charge and Prayers, are original with me. I looked up some resources, but mostly wound up writing my own.A Service of Blessing of the HuntThe congregation's prayers and responses are printed in bold letters.
*Indicates that you may stand, as you are able.Gathering time
You are welcome in God’s house. If you have brought your hunting weapon, please make sure that it is unloaded and properly secured as you take your seat.Prelude
*Call to Worship
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
*Song of Praise This is My Father’s World*Psalm 148
Given by a local hunter Prayer for Hunters
Lord God, you are a Father to your whole creation,The Reading of Holy Scripture
and you fill your children with good things.
Grant success to all those who venture forth,
seeking food for their families and neighbors;
keep them safe in their coming and going
and from all misadventure while hunting.
These things we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Genesis 1:20-28SermonThe Charge
And now, I earnestly charge each of you who intends Prayer of Dedication
to take part in this year’s hunt,
that you dedicate yourself to the best in hunting and conservation practice:
That you obey all game laws and respect others’ property in your pursuit of your quarry;
That you handle all weapons properly and shoot only at what you can clearly see;
That you be swift and merciful in killing the game you take;
That you do not take what you will not use;
That you solemnly teach others you take with you to observe
these same practices in their hunting;
And that you give thanks to God for all his gifts,
who shares his bounty with you.
Lord, I offer myself and my skills to you.Blessing of Hunters and Weapons
Make me the best I can be:
not only as a hunter, but as a person.
Grant me patience and perseverance,
make me desire to give more than to take,
and let me not miss the opportunity to help others.
Accept the offering of myself
together with the offering of Christ for me. Amen.
If you would like to receive a blessing for yourself (and your weapon, if you have one), you are invited to come forward to do so.Prayer of Thanksgiving
Let us give thanks to the Almighty, the King of Creation.
Almighty God, Creator of all things, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
yours are the cattle on a thousand hills;
all your creatures proclaim your glory and testify to your goodness.
We give you thanks for the beauty of your world,
in which our hearts delight.
We give you thanks for the times when we have met you
in the wilderness,
and you have revealed to us your glory,
given us answers for our questions,
shown us your faithfulness.
Though sometimes we have not found the game we sought,
nevertheless we have never returned empty-handed
from your presence.
Blessed be your Name, O God our Father,
who with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
*Song Psalm 8
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic thy name is,*Benediction
How great is your name in all the earth,
Whose glory is chanted above the high heavens
By children you save from violence and dearth.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
The moon and the stars established by you,
What are we that you love us, or even remember
The little we offer, or trouble, to do?
Yet you have made us little less than yourself,
And crown us with glory and honor at last.
You have given your creatures into our keeping:
To care for your world is our holy task.
With the birds overhead and the fish in the water,
The beasts of the field, both wild and tame,
We praise our creator and serve him gladly.
O Lord, our Lord, how great is your name.
Words: original unknown; adapt. by Arthur W. Collins for “My Lord Knows the Way through the Wilderness,” Copyright © 2002, Arthur W. Collins
Tune: “The Streets of Laredo”
Come, bless the Lord, Postlude
all you servants of the Lord,
who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
Lift up your hands to the holy place,
and bless the Lord!
May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who made heaven and earth!