Liturgies for  Hope

A Liturgy for Those Who Have Not Belly Laughed Recently

O Christ, you have called us not servants but friends,

and is there any true friendship in which laughter is not the glue that binds?

Much has been made of your reputation as a man of sorrows,

acquainted with grief,

but perhaps you are a God who rises from the grave

and eats breakfast on the shore with friends,

your love-scarred side splitting with divine laughter,

sharing your joy.

We confess that we have not obeyed the command

to be joyful always,

and have forgotten that you exhort us

to become like little children,

careless in the care of you.

But like Sarah, we only laugh in our


and the cavern of disbelief.

We acknowledge the ever-widening gulf inside us—

the stew of sin

and sorrow

and loneliness,

the pulse of Eden growing faint in our veins.

In the face of all that threatens,

we ask for the impossible:

the loudest, fullest,

belly-deep laugh,

a gift from our scandalously playful Father.

O Lord, we ask that you help us to, as that poet suggests,

“Be joyful though we have considered all the facts.”

Envelop us in divine hilarity.

Take our cynicism and trade it for delight.

Teach us the language of levity.

Grief is but an interlude, a shadow,

and joy is the truest substance for those who know you.

May we laugh deeply with those we love,

and alone, with you, in the secret place.

For in this, we rejoice with the tongues of the redeemed,

and practice resurrection.

There is no shame in laughing with our sorrow;

for to laugh is to trust in you,

to believe that the rug we roll upon will not be pulled out,

to understand that the Author has given us a peek of eternity,

and we know how the story ends.


* Scripture referenced in this liturgy:

Each of these liturgies was prayerfully written based on the promises of God in Scripture. We’ve listed them below with links, for those who wish to study further.

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