Fathers Day resources

Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September in Australia. The secular practice of honouring fathers on a particular day began about a hundred years ago.

We give thanks to God for Dads who are being celebrated today. We also acknowledge this day can be a difficult for many due to a variety of reasons. May we be mindful and prayerful towards those experiencing sadness, grief and other emotions that this day can bring.

“Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation.” —Barack Obama, Father’s Day 2008, Apostolic Church of God, Chicago, IL

Christine Longhurst’s re-worship site has a great collection of resources including music.

The Uniting Church in Australia (SA Synod) has prepared resources for a children and families service, with a focus on Fathers Day.

A Fathers Day liturgy (Anglican Church in Bristol)

Interesting resources here (African American lectionary site)

The Church of England has published a new prayer for children to pray in church, or on their own, on Fathers’ Day:
Loving God,
We thank you for the gift of good dads,
and everything that they do for us.
Help them to have
patience when we’re difficult,
wisdom when we can’t see the way,
strength when we need comforting,
and love at all times,
so that, though them,
we get a little glimpse of how you feel about us,
our heavenly Father. Amen.

The Church of England has also published this one:
Heavenly Father,
you entrusted your Son Jesus,
the child of Mary,
to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.
Bless all fathers
as they care for their families.
Give them strength and wisdom,
tenderness and patience;
support them in the work they have to do,
protecting those who look to them,
as we look to you for love and salvation,
through Jesus Christ our rock and defender. Amen.

Opening Prayer
Most Gracious Lord, Master, Messiah and Saviour,
we greet you with all humility.
You are the first and the last,
the divine light and the spirit of guidance, alpha and omega. Your light is in all things, Your love in all beings:
in a loving mother, a kind father,
in an innocent child, in a helpful friend,
and in an inspiring teacher.
Allow us to recognize you in all Your holy names and forms. May the message of God reach far and wide,
illuminating and making the whole of humanity
as one single family in the parenthood of God. Amen.
(Source: Church of Scotland Starters for Sunday)

Call to Worship and Opening Prayer for Father’s Day
Our relationships with our fathers are complicated.
For some of us, our father’s love is like God’s love – too deep, too long, too wide, too strong to measure.
Some of our dads are here; some were never here.
For some of us, God’s love fills in the empty spaces our fathers left behind.
All of us are shaped by the relationship or lack of relationship with our fathers.
On this day when we remember what it means to have a father or be a father, we recognize the importance of fathers in our communities. We pledge as a congregation to love and nurture the fathers among us so that they will manifest the love of God in all that they do.
Opening Prayer
Loving God, you who are our father and our mother, we thank you that you have shown us how important it is to follow your example as we grow in faith. Teach us to be obedient to your will, respecting you as children ought. Thank you for your mercy despite our disobedience. Strengthen us to stand up against the challenges of this world, honoring your name and trusting your grace. In the Name of your Son, we pray. Amen.
(Source: Rev. Dr. LaGretta Bjorn, pastor, United Methodist Church)

God our Father, we pray for all fathers:
for new fathers, coming to terms with both the joys and demands of fatherhood;
for those who are uncertain or confused about their role as fathers;
for those whose work keeps them from spending time with their children;
for those who are afraid of the responsibilities of parenting;
for those who are unable to provide for their children through unemployment or sickness;
for those whose children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities;
for those who are violent or unloving towards their children;
for those whose own fathers abused them or failed to love them;
for those who are separated from their children by marriage breakdown, divorce or death;
for those who care for the children of others;
for those whose desire to be a father has not been fulfilled;
and for those whose children have rejected their love.
Bless all fathers, so that their love may be tender and strong,
and that they may lead their children to know and do what is good,
living not for themselves, but for God and for others.
(Source: LCA)

Prayer of Confession
Gracious God,
you are the Creator of the ends of the earth,
and yet you call us your children.
You are greater than we can ever begin to imagine,
and yet you invite us to call you “Our Father”.
Always you have loved us:
forgive our feeble response.

You do not keep us at arm’s length,
remote in your holiness,
but you reach out your hands in love,
wanting us to relate to you, one to one.
Always you have loved us:
forgive our feeble response.

Gracious God,
Forgive us that we call you “Our Father”
but fail to live as your children.
We do not trust you as we should,
preferring instead to follow our own inclinations.
We are reluctant to accept your will,
repeatedly disobeying your instructions.
We are slow to ask your guidance,
but swift to forget you and wander from your side.
We all too rarely thank you for what we have,
but all too often complain
when we do not receive what we ask for.
Always you have loved us:
forgive our feeble response.

Gracious God,
We have returned your love by acting as spoilt children,
yet still you have kept faith.
Accept our thanks that, despite our willfulness,
you refuse to give up on us,
working instead to draw us closer.
You are always there for us,
waiting to welcome us back
and set us on our feet again.
Always you have loved us:
forgive our feeble response.

Gracious God, our Father,
we praise and thank you for your undeserved goodness,
and we resolve today
to live more faithfully as your children.
Always you have loved us:
forgive our feeble response.
In the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
(Source: Nick Fawcett, and posted on the Mother’s Union website)

Fathers Day litany
Blessed are you Lord our God, creator and redeemer of all; You father us from all eternity giving life to creation and pouring your love into all you have made.
From the beginning we have known you as “Father”, and all our families have their origin in you. Through the love of earthly fathers you give us a glimpse of your everlasting love.
We give thanks for those fathers who strive to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice. And we pray for those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become good fathers.
We thank You for those fathers who by their own account were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support.
We also give thanks for those fathers who, despite divorce, have remained in their children’s lives and for those fathers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has offered healing.
We thank you for those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earn their step-children’s love and respect.
And we ask your special blessing on those fathers who have lost a child to death, and who continue to hold those children in their hearts.
We also give thanks for those men who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own. We pray for those men who have “fathered” us in their role as mentors and guides
We ask your blessings on those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children.
And we continue to pray for those fathers who have died, but live on in our memories and whose love continues to nurture us.
May the love of our earthly fathers draw us ever nearer to you and perfect in us the image of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
(Source: St. John’s Episcopal Church website)

Prayers of the People
You, O God, love us from the moment of our conception,
You know us and you love us in the womb,
You love us and you call us from before the moment of our first breath,
and you love us when we first see the light of day.
As a mother/father loves her/his child before she/he ever sees it,
and then embraces it gently from the moment of its birth,
so you love us—and we thank you.
Help us dear God to love one another in this way….
Lord hear our prayer.

You love us, O God from the time of our naming
You love us in our growing and hold us as we take our first steps.
You love us and walk beside us
as we explore the world with eager hands and eyes
As a mother/father loves her/his child as she/he sees it grow and develop
so you love us—and we thank you.
Help us dear God to love one another in this way….
Lord hear our prayer…

You love us, O God, as we mature and seek our way,
You love as we become aware of the world around us,
You love us as we smile and play,
you even love us when we say no and when we begin to stray.
As a mother/father loves her/his child as she/he sees it become proud and tall,
so you love us even when we sin and fall..
Help us dear God to love one another in this way….
Lord hear our prayer…

We thank you God for loving us when we are unloving
for caring for us when we are uncaring,
and for calling to us when we go far away….
Help us dear God to love one another in this way…
Lord hear our prayer…

Lord hear our prayers of love this day for those around us,
for those we have held before you in our time of sharing,
and for those we have thought of in our moments of caring:
(add your own prayers)

Lord hear our prayer….

We ask all these things in the name of Christ Jesus,
who is our Lord and our brother. Amen

(Source: Rev. Richard J. Fairchild (adapted slightly), and posted on Kir-shalom)

An order of service for Fathers Day (Church of England)

‘A new liturgy’ here by Aaron Niequist may have some ideas for a Fathers Day service, with related music resources here.

We remember the refugees, and the fathers who risk the dangers of the ocean to try and bring their family to safety. We lament when lives are lost at sea. We think today particularly of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi and his 4 year old brother Galip, and their mother Rehen, who drowned at sea trying to reach safety in Europe from war torn Korbane in Syria, and the grief of the father Abdullah losing all that was precious to him in life. The image of Aylan on the Turkish beach has brought a new impetus to responding to the Syrian refugee crisis. We think of all those refuse children who have lost fathers, and fathers who have lost children.

This year (2016) we think of the devastation in other parts of the world, including the Italian earthquake where so many children have died.

Prayer for Father’s Day (for fathers around the world)
Our Father in heaven,
we pray today for the many fathers around the world
who are struggling to provide for their families:
those who despair about finding safe shelter,
who watch in anguish as their children starve,
who desperately search for adequate medical care,
or safety from violence that surrounds them.
Be with these fathers this day.
Strengthen and encourage them as they seek to care for their families.
Grant them grace and courage in the midst of impossible circumstances,
and bless them with hope as they look toward the future. Amen.


Aylan RIP


Kobane 2015


Kobane 2015


Aylan RIP

Artists respond to Aylan’s death here.


a father’s joy in finally finding safety with his family, despite the odds.


About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.