Order of Worship for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday PDF Print E-mail

Hands in sky © Les Cunliffe - Fotolia.com

The following order of worship is intended to make planning a special service focused on the Sanctity of Human Life a light burden for the pastor and worship leaders in your congregation. PPL offers it as a gift to the church and welcomes you to use it as a whole or in part in planning for worship. Although we have created it as a service to commemorate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (January 19, 2014), it is designed in a way to maket it useful any time of year (i.e. Father's Day).


Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

January 19, 2014

You are invited to use the following Scripture for reflection

as you prepare your hearts for worship.

“But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.”

Psalm 40:1

PRELUDE “God Knew Your Name” by Jim Likens[i]



CHORAL INTROIT #309[iii]Of the Father’s Love Begotten (4th century text by Prudentius, 13th Century Plainsong arr. by Douglas)


John 1:14

The Word became flesh and lived among us,
and we have seen his glory.
To all who received him,
he gave power to become children of God.

HYMN No. 263 "Immortal, Invisible"(Text: Walter Chalmers Smith, Traditional Welsh melody from John Roberts’ Canaidau y Cyssegr, 1839)

Alternate Hymns: All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name #142, Be Thou My Vision[iv], Holy, Holy, Holy #138

Praise Songs: Creation Sings the Father’s Song, Townsend & Getty[v], Father, I adore You, Abba Father, Praise the Father, Praise the Son by Chris Tomlin[vi]


(from the Book of Common Worship, p.205)

Almighty God,
your Son our Savior Jesus Christ
is the light of the world.
May your people,
illumined by your Word and Sacraments,
shine with the radiance of his glory,
that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed
to the ends of the earth;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.


“The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”

SUNG PRAYER OF CONFESSION, HYMN #86 “When We are Tempted to Deny Your Son


He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

As far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

For he knows our frame,
he remembers that we are but dust.

As for us, our days are like grass;
we flourish like a flower of the ?field;

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

*RESPONSE OF PRAISE – HYMN “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” by Stuart Townsend[vii]

Alternate Hymns: “Bless the Lord, O My Soul” #597

Praise Team + children: Children of God, by Third[viii]

Or this joyful alternate “Not Forgotten” by Israel and New Breed [no permission info available]


OFFERTORY - “Children of the Heavenly Father”[ix]



Alternate: Isaiah 43:1-28



ANTHEM “Father of the Fatherless” by Jason Upton

Alternate anthem ideas:

The Father’s Song by Matt Redmon[x]

Hymn of Promise by Natalie Sleeth


SERMON (possible scriptures & themes) “Just As The Father Knows Me”

Scripture shows God as Father

Psalm 68:5; 146:9– father of the fatherless, protector of widows

Psalm 103:13 – compassionate

Hebrews 12:3-22 – disciplines those he loves

I John 3:1 – claims us and names us as his own children

Scripture shows that God knows the names of his children

Isaiah 43:1 – he creates and names us as his children

Isaiah 49:1 – he calls them to himself from the womb

Isaiah 49:7 – the despised become chosen

Isaiah 43:19-21 - he provides for his chosen ones

Isaiah 43:2-7 – he protects his children at any cost

Isaiah 49:14-16 - will never forget those engraved on his palms

Scripture shows the intimate relationship between God and his Son

John 10:14-18 – unguarded trust and unlimited love

John 10:25 – everything Jesus does is in his Father’s name

Because of our relationship to Christ we have access to the Father

John 10:26-29 – we know and are known, kept and protected

Galatians 4:6 – may cry “Abba”, as sons and daughters, heirs

I Thes. 2:11 – are to exhort, mentor, model the Christian walk

Charge to Men of the Church: Scripture admonishes men to follow God’s model of fatherhood and be

Exodus 22:22 – one who does not mistreat a fatherless child

Proverbs 17:6 – blessed by children and grandchildren

Malachi 4:6 – one whose hearts turns toward his children

Matthew 19:5 – one flesh with his wife

Luke 11:11-13 – one who gives good gifts to his children

Luke 15:20 – compassionate and forgiving

Alternate Sermon Texts: Psalm 139:1-24; Revelation 20:15

*HYMN OF RESPONSE No. “Great is Thy Faithfulness” #276

Alternate hymns: “This is My Father’s World” #293
Let All Things Now Living” #554


I Corinthians 1:4-9

POSTLUDE (An arrangement of any of the hymns suggested in this service would serve well)

Consider “Courageous” as a music video alternative[xi]

If the sacrament of baptism is part of your worship service for this day

Consider this hymn following the sacrament: “Child of Blessing, Child of Promise, #498 in the Presbyterian Hymnal (1990)

Other hymns you might consider

O God, We Bear the Imprint of Your Face #385

Give Thanks for Life #528


[i] If your church has the technology available you might want to show this You Tube music video, “God knew your name” written and sung by Jim Likens. [Please notethat PPL cannot give you permission to show this publicly. You must contact Jim Likens directly for permission. A lifetime usage right for a congregation can be purchased for $25.00. James Likens Email, CLICK HERE. Lyrics to the song can be found here: http://www.godknewyourname.com/Lyrics/lyrics.html. Permission to reproduce lyrics must be obtained by calling Jim Likens at 314-308-5203.

[ii] Consider doing a minute for mission about PPL—contact our office for information to help; invite someone from your local pregnancy center or adoption agency to share about their work in your community

[iii] All Hymn numbers are from Presbyterian Hymnal (1990)

[iv] The version of this hymn found in the Presbyterian Hymnal (#339) leaves out references to God as Father. We suggest the following text be substituted.

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art--
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;

I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;

Thou my great Father, I Thy true son,

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee One

Riches I heed not, no man's empty praise;

Thou mine inheritance, now and always:

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,

Great God of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,

May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

[v] Use permitted for churches with ASCAP license. Sheet music available online.

[vi] Use permitted for churches with ASCAP license

[vii] Choral arr. and sheet music for “How Deep the Father’s Love” here or here.

[viii] Use covered by ASCAP license

[ix]2 part Choral arrangement of “Children of the Heavenly Father” with optional instruments here. A wonderful vocal duet arr. by Ovid Young is in the Hale & Wilder Classic Collection of 25 Great Sacred Duets. Organ – “Meditation on Children of the Heavenly Father” by Thomas Aberg

[x]Sheet music for The Father’s Song can be downloaded here for $5.25

[xi] PPL has no permissions information for use of this music video.



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