God of Spring,
of roots and growth,
of vibrancy and veriditas:
Bless this time of planting.
As we dig our fingers into
rich soil, wiggling and
delighting in the damp
warm, earth, we remember
that we are earthlings.
Bless our connection
with the the land,
with the water that
supports all life,
with these seeds we
bury beneath the surface
trusting that they will
germinate and grow
and nourish our bodies.
Bless the fertility of the earth,
the earthworms, and
Bless our intentions to be
may we give and receive,
work and wait,
And bless these seeds:
help us to hold them
with reverence and to
see in them the promise
of sustenance and life.
- Wendy Janzen
Blessed be red tailed hawk
and clear blue sky.
Blessed be the glowing yellow branches
of weeping willow.
Blessed be brilliant white snow
and deep shadows.
Blessed be wind and sun,
and frozen soil.
Blessed be the tilt of the globe,
the orbit of earth,
and the expansive cosmos.
Blessed be the life cycle,
and all the moments in between.
Blessed be God,
Mother of all,
Lover of all.
Blessed be our love
for life and all that is alive,
for our world, our watershed,
our particular place,
and all those with whom we share it.
- Wendy Janzen
Self-Guided Summer Solstice Prayer Walk
Find a place to walk in nature, preferably in the evening when you can enjoy the long evening on this longest day of the year. Read through the full document before you go, so you have an idea of the flow. (You may want to bring a water bottle with you.)
Begin by grounding yourself: take a few deep breaths, release any tension, shake out your body, draw yourself into awareness of your surroundings; feel the earth beneath your feet, and the Divine Presence all around and within you.
Before you start to walk, read this opening invitation.
Listen to Earth leaning closer to the sun.
to the heat breathing through gardens,
Calling plants to fruition,
Whispering fulfillment to the flowers.
Listen to the growing circle of life.
Listen to the green sanctuary of the trees,
To young birds testing out their wings.
To bare feet and laughter,
To Mother Earth bringing food to the table,
Listen to songs of leisure and renewal.
Listen to the summer of your soul,
To the dance of life within you,
To creativity that yearns for expression,
To the fire that burns in your spirit.
Listen to the passion of summer.
Listen to the poetry of summer,
to the wisdom of the earth,
to the presence of God
As you walk and pray.
(adapted from a blessing by Macrina Wiederkehr)
Head out on your walk, prayerfully sauntering at a relaxed pace, aware of what you see, hear, smell, and feel. If you come upon a place that expresses brokenness in any way, stop for a prayer of confession. Pray your own confession, or use the prayer provided.
Prayer of Confession
Source of all Being, we give you thanks for our watershed, for the Grand River (or Nith River, or whichever watershed you are in), and for all of life that calls this place home--
We think of Heron and Cardinal, Beaver and Raccoon, Smallmouth Bass and Pike, Bullfrog and Turtle. We are grateful for diversity and abundance, and pray that we might be good neighbours among our community of creation.
God, we confess that we take our natural surroundings for granted, and that for too long we have been neglectful in our disregard for our ecosystem, not thinking about the costs and consequences of our actions. Move us beyond complacency to a place of compassion and action for our environment and all who live in our watershed. Amen.
As you continue our walk, hold in prayer whatever concerns you are carrying with you, be they personal or environmental; prayers for people or for species, or for the earth itself.
If you are walking by a body of water, take a moment when you are ready to participate in a symbolic action. If you are not near water, simply choose a place to pour some water from your water bottle onto a plant or the roots of a tree.
At the water’s edge, kneel by the water, cup some water, and pour it back into the river/lake/pond, offering your prayers of concern into the body of water, knowing that God holds our prayers, and holds us, and that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves.
Continue your walk with a sense of gratitude, and when you finish your walk, offer this closing blessing.
Blessed are you, Creator of all,
Blessed are you summer,
season of long days,
bare feet, beauty, and fruitfulness.
Blessed are you, people who walk in the light,
Blessed are you, Earth who sustains us,
Blessed are you, God of the seasons.
- Wendy Janzen
Vernal Blessing - in a time of pandemic
As winter gives over to spring
On this vernal equinox day
May we all find balance between
Light and dark,
Rest and activity,
Body and spirit.
In this time of great unknowing
May we trust the earth’s
In this time of scarcity
May we experience
In this time of distancing
May we trust in God’s
May we awaken,
Like bulbs and buds,
To this new reality
And rise to the occasion.
May each green
Shoot pushing out
Through the brown leaves
Be a beacon of hope
For such a time as this.
- Wendy Janzen
A blessing for Epiphany ~
This journey is not over,
this journey toward the light.
But walk on, setting foot before foot
and keep your eyes open to the light:
Light that dances with darkness
Light that shimmers in all that has life
Light that fills your heart with hope
when you need it most.
May the Light bless you
and keep you,
May the Light shine upon your face
and be gracious to you,
May the Light of Life
dwell within you and
grant you peace,
this day and every day.
- Wendy Janzen, 2019
Reflections, poetry, prayers, and resources written by Wendy Janzen and occasional guests.