Calls to Worship

A Call to Worship gathers the community and draws us into awareness that we are part of a worshiping body. The imperative voice is most appropriate here, i.e. Come! Enter! Sing praise! Worship God! A Call to Worship is directed to the congregation and reminds us of the purpose of our assembling: to honor the God who has brought us together.

Following a Call to Worship, you may then choose to include an opening prayer or invocation, both of which are addressed to God, explicitly invoking the presence of the Spirit in our worship. See more in the section on Prayers.

Finding calls to worship in our regular church worship resources

Hymnal: A Worship Book, numbers 659-669

Sing the Journey, numbers 119, 120, 124

Sing the Story, numbers 144, 190

Psalms 95, 100, 148, 149, 150

Examples of calls to worship found elsewhere

One:        Jesus said, “Follow me.” We don’t always know what that means.

Many:        We are on a journey of discovery.

        We are here because we want to be God’s people;

One:        We are here because we are broken and want to be whole again;

Many:        We are here to celebrate our lives, and God’s presence in this life.

All:        Let us worship God with great thanksgiving. Amen.

from  Touch Holiness: Resources for Worship, eds. Duck and Tirabassi

One:        God calls to us:

All:        Maintain justice, and do what is right,

        for soon my salvation will come,

        and my deliverance be revealed.

One:        We who love God and keep the covenant,
All:        God will bring us to the holy mountain,

        and make us joyful.

        Our offerings and sacrifices, God will accept.
One:        God gathers the outcasts.

All:        God’s dwelling place is for all peoples.

from Isaiah 56:1, 6-8

One:        Give thanks to God, who is kind;

All:        whose steadfast love endures forever!

One:        Let the gates of truth and justice be opened

All:        that I may enter through them.

One:        This is the door to life;

All:        those who know love shall enter through it.

One:        This is the day that God has made;

All:        let us rejoice and be glad in it.

from Psalm 118

All you who are thirsty,

this is the place for water.

All you who are hungry,

this is the place to be fed.

Why spend your earnings on what is not food?

Why pay for that which fails to satisfy?

Here, without money,

here, without price,

all may enjoy the bread of heaven.

God speaks,

and all who listen will have life.

A Wee Worship Book, Wild Goose Worship Group, 43, from Isaiah 55

One:        Make a joyful noise to God all the earth,

All:        Sing out the praises of God.

One:        Come all you people and know the joy of the Lord,

All:        The love of God is greater than the tongue can tell!

One:        Bless God all you people, bless God’s Holy Name!

All:        We praise, and worship, and honor,
and glorify Your name O God!

from Psalm 98

Let us gather together in thanksgiving to God!

For God has made us and this earth, our home.

Let us gather together in gratitude to one another.

For we are the bearers of God’s blessing and love for all the earth.

Let us praise God. Let us join hearts.  

Let us reach out in care and courage

so that the goodness of life may be for all God’s creation—

Today and for generations to come! Amen.

adapted from  Touch Holiness: Resources for Worship, eds. Duck and Tirabassi

One:        All you who love Jesus,

All:        Join us in worship!

One:        All you who believe,

All:        Join us in worship!

One:        All you who question,

All:        Join us in worship!

One:        All you who falter,

All:        Join us in worship!

One:        And may our worship move us forward together

as we seek to follow Jesus.

written by Rev. Joanna Harader,