New Patterns for Worship

Facing Pain:
a Service of Lament


We say together the words printed in bold.


Welcome and Introduction


We meet in the presence of God
who knows our needs,
hears our cries,
feels our pain,
and heals our wounds.


A minister introduces the service.




Let us pray.
The weight of grief bears heavily upon us
but it is a load we need not bear alone.
Let us offer our burden to Jesus,
Lord of life and of death, of the present and of the future.

We bring before you, Lord,
our confusion in the face of shock,
our despair in the face of tragedy,
our helplessness in the face of death.

Lift from us our burden,
Alland in your power, renew us.

We bring before you, Lord,
the tears of sorrow,
the cries for help,
the vulnerability of pain.

Lift from us our burden,
Alland in your power, renew us.

We bring before you, Lord,
our sense of frustration,
our feeling of powerlessness,
our fears for the future.

Lift from us our burden,
Alland in your power, renew us.

[We bring before you, Lord,
our frustrated hopes,
our unfulfilled desires,
our unfettered sadness.

Lift from us our burden,
Alland in your power,  renew us.]


God of the desolate and despairing,
your Son Jesus Christ was forced to carry the instrument
of his own death -
the cross that became for us the source of life and healing.
Transform us in our suffering
that [in the pain we bear] you might be for us a fount of life
and a spring of hope;
through him who died for us,
yet is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.


Sharing the Story


Experiences of those who have been affected may be shared.


Psalm 102 - a Psalm of Lament

Turn your ear to me;
be swift to answer when I call.
AllTurn your ear to me;
be swift to answer when I call.

Lord, hear my prayer,
and let my cry come before you:
Allbe swift to answer when I call.

Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my trouble:
Allbe swift to answer when I call.

You, Lord, endure for ever,
and your name from age to age:
Allbe swift to answer when I call.

You will be moved to have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to have pity on her:
Allbe swift to answer when I call.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
AllTurn your ear to me;
be swift to answer when I call.

cf Psalm 102.1, 2, 12, 13


Words of Comfort

Hear these words of comfort which the Lord our God offers to all in trouble and distress:

A short silence is kept between each of the readings.

The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.

Exodus 2.23b-25

Jesus said 'Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.'

Matthew 11.29,30

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.

Isaiah 43.2-3a

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8.38-39




Finding Hope



After each reading this response may be used

This is the word of the Lord.
AllThanks be to God.




Silence for reflection


Proclamation of Hope


A minister goes to the large candle, carrying a light.


We light this candle to remind us that when God the Father raised Jesus from the dead he defeated the power of death, and his light shines in the midst of the darkness of this world.


The candle is lit as a sign of the hope of resurrection.


May the light of Christ, rising in glory,
banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.
AllLord, by your cross and resurrection
you have defeated death,
and set your people free.
You are the Saviour of the world.




Laying Down the Past


Prayers of Intercession

Biddings might be offered, interspersed with silence. Initially these should relate to the local incident but they should also include suffering experienced throughout the world.



Lighten our darkness,
Lord, we pray,
and in your great mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night,
for the love of your only Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.


[Names of the deceased could be mentioned here.]



Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

Lord now you let your servant go in peace:
Allyour word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation:
Allwhich you have prepared in the sight of every people;

a light to reveal you to the nations:
Alland the glory of your people Israel.

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son:
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now:
and shall be for ever.


Silence is kept.


Let us pray that we may know life and hope in Jesus Christ as we say


AllOur Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.


Moving into the Future


Blessing and Dismissal


Neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God.
AllAmen. Thanks be to God.


God the Father,
by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,
strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.