This year, more than ever, I am feeling the emotional roller-coaster of being LGBT+ through the liturgies and readings of Holy Week. We have eaten with friends around tense tables, coming out, begging them to remember us. We have been betrayed by those who sleep in the garden, ignoring our prayers. We have been disowned and mocked, put on trial simply for being ourselves. We have been stripped and humiliated, the public has called for our crucifixion, and some of us die and are buried in graves with a name that is not our own. This week, perhaps more than at any other time, we are part of the body of Christ.
In abundant mercy, hear our prayers.
God, you know what it feels like to tell friends frightening truths about yourself around a dinner table. We pray that our friends, our families and the churches to which we belong, or have left, or have been shut out of, might remember us as they remember you.
God, you know what it feels like to pray desperately for mercy whilst others sleep, ignorant of your fear and pain. We pray that people around the world might hear your call to stay awake; waking up to the injustice and oppression that we suffer, and speaking out for justice.
God, you know what it feels like to be betrayed, mocked and denied. We pray for those who have betrayed our identities, outed us, mocked us or denied our existence. May they recognise our existence and our humanity.
God, they called out for your crucifixion. And today, around the world, all sorts of people, some with worldly power, call out for our silencing and even our deaths. We pray for those who live under the threats of silence, abuse, violence, and death. In particular we pray for LGBT+ folk in Brunei. May politicians and public alike put down their stones and follow your way of love.
Finally, God, we pray for all of those who have been buried in graves that bear names not their own. You call them by their name. You call us by our names.
We commit again to speaking up and acting out.
In the name of God, human, crucified, and yet bearing seemingly impossible hopes,