Many congregations celebrate the holiday with a special blessing for workers or those searching for employment. In our work on vocation and professions, we have found several prayers, hymns, and blessings that lift up the holiness of ordinary, everyday work.
We hope these resources may inspire your congregation to sing, pray, bless, and learn more about the callings of all those within your community:
To sing: “God of Work” – hymn by Jocelyn Marshall (full text available here)
In our homes, in school and office,
hallow all the work we do,
teaching, toiling, helping, healing,
may our lives connect with you.
Take our efforts, dreams accomplished,
take our disappointments, pain.
Lord of life, you lived as worker,
Jesus, work through us again.
To pray: Litany of Labor – from Worship and Daily Life: A Resource for Worship Planners (Nashville, TN: Discipleship Resources, 1999)
Leader: We pray this day for all who labor,
All: which includes all of us.
Leader: For those who work with their hands.
All: For those who work with their minds.
Leader: For those who work with their families.
All: For those who look for work.
Leader: For those who seek to find their next meal.
All: For those who help others find their next meal.
Leader: For those who care for their homes.
All: For those who give away their time freely.
Leader: For those who work to live.
All: For those who live to work.
Leader: All of us are given work.
All: Let us thank the Lord no matter what the work.
To bless: from the Facilitator’s Guide in our Called to Work program for small groups
May vocation be the source of your life in God.
May the callings of your life be centered in Christ.
May the work you are called to do be enlivened by the Spirit.
To read: from David H. Jensen, Responsive Labor: A Theology of Work (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006)
“Daily work matters for Christian faith. Our ordinary labors—cleaning, cooking, caring for children, teaching, writing, investing, sculpting, trading, and building—are responses to the life God gives to the world…Human work is not incidental to faith, but bound up with its chief movements. The basic topics of Christian theology, after all, can be described in terms of God’s work for the world: creation, covenant, incarnation, justification, sanctification, and consummation. Christian theology describes these patterns of God’s work for the life of the world, drawing us into communion with God, summing our work as a response to that relationship.”
And for examples of everyday work as calling to use in your congregation, listen to a story from our Lives Explored video narrative project!