We recently had a Sunday service based on the book of Lamentations. We had been thinking for a while to create space to teach about lament in the Christian walk and thought the book of Lamentations would be a good place to start. We did all of this in place of the sermon so we start with a 10 minute intro Lamentations and the purpose of lament, then contented with songs and videos that gave people space to lament. The service turned out really well and we had a great response from people.
So here’s few creative worship ideas, songs, and videos you could use in a worship service about lament. If you have other ideas feel free to add some suggestions in the comments.
Intro Notes & Thoughts on Lamentations:
The book of Lamentations is five poems written in a hebrew acrostic… each line begins with a letter of the hebrew alphabet. It’s interesting that the form of lament is intentional and artistic.
The writer is looking out at city in ruins, a people who have been captured, hope has been lost, and fear runs rampant, things don’t look good in general. I heard someone say it would be similar to looking out your window in the middle of the holocaust.
The writer describes the city and God’s people as a woman… the poems then include both a narrator and the woman’s voice crying out.
There aren’t a lot of answers in Lamentations. Just honest feelings of grief, sadness, doubt, confusion, anger, frustration, and questioning.
The book of Lamentations teaches us 3 things.
1) We cannot avoid suffering and pain. It is part of the human experience, regardless of whether you are Christian or not.
2) I find I avoid movies that I know will be sad and heart-breaking even if I know they are excellent movies. Our first instinct is to avoid pain. Sometimes we would rather just not go to the funeral. It’s easier to just not think about the abuse.
3) Lament is about creating space for our pain to breathe. We acknowledge it, we are honest about it, and we come before God with our feelings and frustrations. There is something strange in the way that we get a sense of healing by just being honest about our suffering even if the situation doesn’t change.
After the intro we simply tried to create space for the congregation to Lament through song, video and prayer. Here’s what we used and few other ideas you could use.
This is a song I recently wrote trying to capture a sense of lament and struggle.
Comfort in The Midst of Mystery – Shift Worship
During the song Hard Times we invited people to write out their laments on a card. They were collected later during the song “Take These Burdens”
Take These Burdens
Psalm 42 – Shift Worship
Blessed Be Your Name
-We did a mellow and reflective version of Blessed be your Name.
-We used the same foggy road motion loop for this song as the Psalm 42 video.
Great is Thy Faithfulness
We used this instrumental version of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by Kevin Boese and put the passage of Lamentations 3:1-21 up on the screen for people to read.
Never Once – Matt Redman
Here’s a few other ideas you could use in a lament service.
Storm – Lifehouse
I Lift My Hands – Chris Tomlin
When the Tears Fall – Tim Hughes