Liturgies from Below Online Chapel

Welcome to chapel! This form of online worship has been adapted for the Columbia Seminary community in response to COVID-19 and our collective need to worship from home. It is available to everyone who desires to participate and share in our love for God, creation, and neighbor. As the Spirit moves, please invite neighbors or friends beyond the CTS community to worship with us. All chapel services can be found on the Columbia Current.

Instructions: Move through the service at your own pace with prayerful awareness of the siblings in Christ with whom you worship and the power of the Holy Spirit that makes our worship together possible across distances. Videos will automatically play in full screen. When they are complete, exit from the video and move on to the next worship element when you are ready. If videos are taking too long to load, consider lowering the quality of the video by clicking the gear icon on the lower right side of the video. There are no designated times to stand, sit, or kneel. You may respond with your body as you feel most comfortable and are called to do so. It may be helpful to identify a sacred space from which you will worship or arrange a space in your home with objects or items so as to create a worshipful environment. Wherever you are, may you sense God's presence with you and among us.

Accessibility: Please use the zoom and audio controls of your browser/computer/phone to adjust to your needs. The videos have closed captioning available, click on the cc icon to enable this feature. If you experience any barriers to accessing this service or if you desire to help with chapel planning and leadership, please email worshiplifeservice@ctsnet.edu. Thank you for collaborating with us in this holy experiment.

Let us worship God.

"Drowning" by Anonymous

Opening Prayer

Song: "In You Alone"

Content Warning: Metaphors of blindness and sightedness, such as the ones used in this song and in the scripture reading, reflect ableist assumptions about human bodies. Likewise, metaphors of darkness may also communicate racist assumptions about blackness and whiteness. As you sing and pray with these poetic texts, consider what other words or phrases might convey the meanings that the authors intend.

Meditation: "The Awakening"

Scripture: Luke 4: 18–19

All the images used in this service were created by participants in the Re-imagining Worship: Liturgies in the Context of Empire Project of the Council for World Mission. About 120 participants, representing fifty countries, met in the Philippines, Jamaica, South Africa, and Italy.

Hymn: "Woke Up This Morning"

This riveting and highly energetic selection of "Woke Up This Morning" features four young Civil Rights Activists: Bernice Johnson, Rutha Harris, Cordell Hull Reagon, and Charles Nesbitt. The Freedom Singers, as they were known, officially formed in Albany, Georgia in 1962. Each of them spent extended time in jail for participating in Civil Rights demonstrations in the fight for justice and equality, which further heightens the intense feeling and passion heard in their singing and performance. This version was recorded live at the Newport Folk Festival on July 26, 1963.

Prayers of the People

Sharing the Journey


A culmination of a project organized by the Council for World Mission (CWM) during 2018-2019. Approximately 120 people from four continents collaborated to create indigenous art, prayers, and liturgies expressing their own contexts, to share with their communities and the rest of the world.

Led by Rev. Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes, the participants spent weeks living in each of the four communities, getting to know the people, and then facilitating the people’s creation of prayers and liturgies. Now available is an immensely rich and varied collection of liturgical sources from various communities dealing with issues of violence, immigration, drugs, land grabbing, war, misogyny, militarization, and climate change.


Worship Notes

Opening prayer offered by Sarah Barrán-Morrell and Andrés Barrán. Text from "Call to Worship as Asylum-Seekers" in Liturgies from Below: Praying with People at the Ends of the World edited by Cláudio Carvalhaes © 2020 Abingdon Press.

"In You Alone." Music by Aaron Strumpel: www.aaronstrumpel.com. © The Work of the People, theworkofthepeople.com. Used with permission.

Scripture reading and reflection by Brandi Miller. The Awakening © 2020 Common Hymnal Publishing (ASCAP), Brandi Miller (ASCAP) (admin by CapitolCMGPublishing.com).

Prayers of the People offered by Dr. Rebecca Spurrier. Opening stanzas of prayer from "God You Are" in Liturgies from Below: Praying with People at the Ends of the World edited by Cláudio Carvalhaes © 2020 Abingdon Press. Petitions added for this occasion by Rebecca Spurrier.

"Woke Up This Morning" offered by The Freedom Singers: Bernice Johnson, Rutha Harris, Cordell Hull Reagon, and Charles Neblitt. This recording © 1963 The Freedom Singers. Lyrics and tune: African American traditional. Public domain.

Sharing the Journey offered by Christópher Abreu Rosario. The prayer referenced in the video is "Exclamation of Rage."

Blessing offered by Sarah Barrán-Morrell and Andrés Barrán. Text adapted from "Bless Us" in Liturgies from Below: Praying with People at the Ends of the World edited by Cláudio Carvalhaes © 2020 Abingdon Press.

Image curation and service layout by Christópher Abreu Rosario. Images used by permission. All images in this service are from the Re-Imagining Worship Project of Council for World Mission. Used with permission.

Office of Worship Life Team: Dr. Rebecca Spurrier, Mr. Rylan André Harris, Kathy Tessin, Emily Beaver, Christópher Abreu Rosario.