Build-Your-Own Worship Service (or Series) on Remembering
The faith practice of remembering centers our attention on what God has done in our lives, deepening our assurance that God is with us here and now, and expanding our hope and anticipation for what God will yet do.
(We’ve indicated the songs from our hymnal Lift Up Your Hearts with “LUYH.”)
“Behold the Lamb” by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Stuart Townend (LUYH)
“Do It Again” by Elevation Worship
“Don’t Forget to Remember” by Ellie Holcomb
“Everlasting” by Brian Doerksen
“God Sees the Little Sparrow Fall” by Maria Straub
“Goodness of God” by Isaac Watts
“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” by Thomas O. Chisholm (LUYH)
“How Great Thou Art” by Stuart K. Hine (LUYH)
“I Will Remember You” by Brenton Brown
“One Generation Will Call to the Next” by Greg Scheer (LUYH)
“Parents, Tell Your Children” by Grace Hawthorne (LUYH)
Psalm 103 songs — “Forget not all God’s benefits”
“Remember” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt
“Remembrance” by Hillsongs
“The Blessing” by Elevation Worship
“We Remember You” by Justin Unger
“We Will Remember” by Tommy Walker
“Your Grace is Enough” by Matt Maher (LUYH)
“Your Mercy Flows” by Wes Sutton (LUYH)
Below you’ll find ideas that can be modified and woven into a worship service as a way for people to experience this practice.
Divide by three. Structure your worship service around these three parts:
Remember God’s faithfulness in the past.
God remembers us in the present.
In the future we can remember that God will continue to be faithful.
Rewrite a psalm. Provide time for all ages to reflect on all their “blessings” (Psalm 103:1-2, The Message) and share them—verbally; printed on sticky notes and added to a “Remembering Wall”; written on a fabric banner; printed fill-in-the-blank style on an outline of the psalm, or some other way. Let children know that drawn reflections are also welcome! Responses could be shared during the same service or kept and used as a testimony for services to come.
Connect to the sacraments. Lead a short service of baptismal remembrance and invite people to come forward to touch the water or to take a small “gemstone” from the basin. Use the question and answer format of a Lord’s Supper Liturgy from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship.
Read a picture book. Use Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox to start a conversation about remembering. Connect the story to the present by bringing a basket containing a few reminders of God’s faithfulness in your life. After showing and telling about them, ask all ages, “What objects would go in your basket?”
Don’t Forget to Remember by singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb is another book that would work especially well with young children.
Use your feet. Provide paper foot shapes and writing tools. Invite all ages to remember places where their feet have been and how God was with them in those places. These could be shared in pairs or trios or hung on an “Oh, the Places We’ve Been (with God!)” wall. Connect this practice with a journey story from Scripture.
Create a clothesline. Invite each person to contribute a cloth item that represents for them a memory of God’s faithfulness in their life. Clip the items to a clothesline strung along a wall, along with written descriptions of the memories represented. Share the stories during a worship service. Or ask for fabric scrap “memories” and piece them together to create a banner. (For inspiration, see Rev. Kari A. Olson’s TikTok 2020-7-16.)