Christians for Economic Justice

Previously called Christianity Uncut

Liturgy of exorcism and repentance

Many thanks to everyone who has shown an interest in the Christian act of worship and resistance due to take place at the London arms fair on Sunday 8 September.

A number of Christians, including three Church of England priests, will be carrying out an exorcism to pray for the removal of the evil that is the arms trade. We will be repenting of our role in allowing the arms trade to continue. 

Here is the liturgy that we plan to use. Please feel free to use it, or adapt it, for your own church or context.  

Many thanks to Chris Howson and Keith Hebden for writing this liturgy.

 ———–

Leader: Let the earth bear witness

All: Let the skies rejoice

Leader: We come as we are

All: With faith, hope, and love

Leader: We gather together

All: May our souls unite in the dignity of difference.

Sisters and brothers, we gather to exorcise the demons of Militarism and Violence: To call an end to the evil horrors of the arms trade and to caste out the spirit of warfare and barbarism from this place.We remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the continuing global arms race, the failure of the nuclear powers to observe their obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the polluted earth, the world governed by fear instead of justice, the futility of deterrence, the waste of public money, the horrors witnessed by Syria, Iraq, Rwanda, Palestine, Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo. We call for peace instead of war!

The Peace of the earth be with you,
the peace of the heavens too;
the peace of the rivers be with you,
the peace of the oceans too.
Deep peace falling over you.

God’s peace growing in you. (x2)

Almighty and ever-living God, you sent your only Son into the world to cast out the power of Satan, spirit of evil, to rescue humanity from the kingdom of darkness, and bring us into the splendor of your kingdom of light. We pray for all who attend this arms fair: set them free from the sins of greed and violence, make them instead a sign of peacemaking, a sign of resistance to militarism, make this place a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell in this place. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

All – Amen

We cast out Satan and call for an end to the arms trade (Amen!)

An end to people’s inhumanity to people (Amen!)

We cast out the spirits of greed and profiting from the suffering of others (Amen!)

We call on an end to the evil of cluster bombs, drones, rifles, instruments of torture – we cast you out in Jesus name! (Amen!)

Holy water is cast onto the ground of the entrance to the arms fair

Open prayers to remember the horrors of war and those involved in the preparation for war.

Sing (Taize): Stay with me, remain here with me,
Watch and pray, watch and pray.

 

Liturgy of repentance

Leader: We have come this day to worship God with a sign of our repentance.

Voice: Christ has overcome the power of the shadow of death.

Yet still we tread in the valley of the shadow of death.

We do not always live as followers of Christ in the world.

We do not walk his way of justice, truth and peace.

So we repent.

All: Father forgive us, we know not what we do.

Voice: We repent our government’s involvement with the arms trade.

All: Father forgive us, we know not what we do.

Voice: We repent our imagining such weapons could be aimed

at our brothers and sisters.

All: Father forgive us, we know not what we do.

Voice: We repent that we have not prevented this hidden violence.

All: Father forgive us, we know not what we do.

Voice: We repent the hypocrisy of allowing the sale of weapons

while condemning their use on civilians.

All: Father forgive us, we know not what we do.

Voice: We repent of all those lives that we put at risk by our folly.

All: Father forgive us, we know not what we do.

Voice: We repent the squandering of the people’s taxes.

All: Father forgive us, we know not what we do.

Voice: We come to this place

as a sign of our willingness to change our ways,

to name that which is sin.

We come to this place

as a witness to our will to change, to stand firm,

and to resist evil and it’s embodiment in the arms trade.

All: Father forgive us, we know not what we do.

Leader: Lord, you are merciful to all and hate nothing you have created. You forgive the sins of humankind and bring us to repentance. Protect us in our struggle against evil. Make this day a holy celebration of your goodness to us and bless our efforts to do your will. Amen.

 

Blessing one another with peace

Leader: Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity.
It is right and it is duty.

Voice: The peace of God be always with you!

All: And also with you.

We share with one another a sign of the peace of Christ .

Let us go forth in peace,

In the name of Christ, Amen

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2 thoughts on “Liturgy of exorcism and repentance

  1. Pingback: London arms fair: Pray, protest, worship, resist | Christianity Uncut

  2. Joy Barnard on said:

    I found this very moving.

    Like

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