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A Liturgy Celebrating Juneteenth

(Adapted from the Juneteenth Liturgy developed by the Diocese of California)

 Click here for a pdf version.

Opening Acclamation

Officiant:  Blessed are you, holy and living One
People:     You come to your people and set them free.


Officiant:  Let us confess our sins against God and one another.


Almighty God, Source of all that is,
Giver of every good gift:
You create all people in your image
and call us to love one another as you love us.
We confess that we have failed to honor you
in the great diversity of the human family.
We have desired to live in freedom,
while building walls between ourselves and others.
We have longed to be known and accepted for who we are,
while making judgments of others based on the color of skin,
or the shape of features, or the varieties of human experience.
We have tried to love our neighbors individually
while yet benefiting from systems that hold
those same neighbors in oppression.
Forgive us, Holy God.
Give us eyes to see you as you are revealed in all people.
Strengthen us for the work of reconciliation rooted in love.
Restore us in your image, to be beloved community,
united in our diversity,
even as you are one with Christ and the Spirit,
Holy and undivided Trinity, now and forever.  Amen.


Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life.  Amen.


The Collect

Officiant:  The Lord be with you.

People:      And also with you.

Officiant:  Let us pray.

Almighty God, you rescued your people from slavery in Egypt, and throughout the ages you have never failed to hear the cries of the captives.  We remember before you our sisters and brothers in Galveston, Texas who on this day received the glad tidings of their emancipation.  Forgive the many grave sins that delayed that liberating word.  Anoint us with your Spirit to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of your favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


A Reading     Luke 4:14-21


Officiant:  As we enter this Juneteenth holiday celebration, we offer prayers for ourselves and the world.

Officiant:  That those entrusted with authority in our nation may support the changes needed in order to exercise leadership and promote healing it in an authentic, responsible, and peaceful manner, we pray. . .

People:  May we accept the call to be bearers of peace.


Officiant:  That the fullness of justice and compassion may be extended to the victims and families who have been subjected to violence, abuse, discrimination, murder, or any other unsavory threat to their daily life, we pray . . .

People:  May we accept the call to be bearers of peace.


Officiant:  That our communities and our schools may find ways to actively participate in efforts to eliminate violence, especially violence against black, brown, Asian and Latino people, so that this country may take the lead in fostering conditions for healing racial division, we pray. . .

People:  May we accept the call to be bearers of peace.


Officiant:  That all who gather this week to remember Juneteenth be able to freely, peaceably, and in celebration with us, remember together, we pray . . .

People:  May we accept the call to be bearers of peace.


Officiant:  That we be courageous in living out the Gospel, we pray . . .

People:  May we accept the call to be bearers of peace.


The Peace

Officiant:  The peace of the Lord be always with you.

People:      And also with you.



And now, may God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, exploitation of people, so that we may continue to work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.  Amen

May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this work, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen

And the Blessing of God Almighty, the One who creates, Redeems and Sanctifies, be upon you and all you love, this day, and forever more.  Amen


Officiant:  Let us bless the Lord.

People:      Thanks be to God.