Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Woman's Water Prayer

Illustrator: Richard Andre   Source: Mary's Rosaries
In writing A Ritual Response to the Shame of Menopause, one of the pieces that was the most intriguing to develop was a water prayer that would reflect faith in Jesus as the primary actor as well as women's participation in significant water stories. It was tricky. There isn't much to choose from, but I knew there had to be enough for a water prayer.

I began with the Spirit moving over the water.  I had hope that I could find an image of Wisdom
incarnate, but I literally couldn't find the right words.  Miriam dancing and celebrating at the Red Sea was an easy piece as was the idea of "waters of birth" for Mary.   The two other female images were more difficult because we do not know their names.  The words needed to be descriptive enough to help worshipers recall the story but brief enough to not disturb the flow of the prayer.

We give you thanks, O God,
for in the beginning your Spirit moved over the waters
and by your Word you created the world,
calling forth life in which you took delight.

When you led Israel from slavery and through the waters of the Red Sea,
your prophet Miriam rejoiced in song and dance for the freedom that you gave to her people.

Through the waters of birth, your Son was born of Mary
to be Immanuel, God with us.
Throughout his life, Jesus made water to be a sign of new life.
He promised the Samaritan woman at the well,
a spring of living water that would well up within her to eternal life.
And when a woman soothed his tired feet with her tears,
Jesus honored her gift of love and proclaimed her faithfulness.

We praise you for the gift of water that sustains our lives in so many ways.
Above all we praise you for the gift of new life through our baptism in Jesus Christ.
Shower us with your Spirit, and renew our lives with your forgiveness, grace, and love.
Amen