We believe the most fruitful efforts around vocation involve a 3-pronged approach: pray, study, and work. Drawing from the Rule of Saint Benedict—which infuses the Collegeville Institute’s approach—we encourage congregations to pray as they discern how to engage calling.
Prayers, Poems, and Hymns
To Bless Our Callings: Prayers, Poems, and Hymns to Celebrate Vocation is an ecumenical collection of prayers, blessings, poetry, and sacred song from diverse traditions.
- Part I: Ages and Stages gathers prayers for children, teens, young adults, and adults in mid-life, later and older adulthood
- Part II: Work and Profession offers blessings for traditional professions and overlooked occupations—from nurses to truck drivers, janitors to lawyers, salespeople to stay-at-home parents
- Part III and Part IV: Seasons of the Church Year and Celebrations of the Calendar Year highlight times to preach and pray about vocation throughout the year
- Over 200 prayers and hymns from Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, and non-denominational traditions
To Bless Our Callings is a perfect resource for catechists, musicians, worship leaders, spiritual directors, retreat leaders, campus ministers, and chaplains. The book, written by Laura Kelly Fanucci, is one of multiple books produced by the Collegeville Institute Seminars staff.
Nearly all of our partner congregation teams use sermon time as an opportunity to form their congregation on themes and insights of calling. Some developed a month-long sermon series on a particular vocational topic. Others preach about calling at particular points in the lectionary cycle or liturgical year. Below are a few examples.
- Edgewood United Church of Christ – lay leader Jonathan Ritz preaches on finding our place in the kingdom story.
- First Congregational Church of Christ – community members contribute to a sermon series on stewardship. (Links in the resources section.)
- Pax Christi Catholic Community – Fr. Michael Byron preaches on following our call in light of the parable of the unjust judge.
- Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church – Pastor Kate Lepard preaches on calling + Epiphany. Pastor Martin Wells preaches on calling + Pentecost. (Links in the resources section.)
- Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church – Rev. Kelly Kirby preaches on how other people help articulate our callings, and Rev. Benjamin Hart preaches on storytelling as a faithful act.
- Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church – Pastor Stephen Zeller preaches about calling not just being about what we do, but also about who we are during a Lenten service. Pastor Kim preaches about our shared calling to tell people about Jesus.
The seasons and feast days of the liturgical year offer opportunities to pause and reflect on particular aspects of our individual callings and the callings of our church communities.
- Advent Offering – a simple prayer, reflection, and chants for the season of Advent.
- Resources for Lent: Sin, Forgiveness, & Calling – a compilation of calling-related prayers, hymns, reflections, and practices for the season of Lent.
- Resources for Easter: Commissioning, Pentecost, & Calling – a compilation of calling-related prayers, hymns, reflections, and practices for the season of Easter.
One of the guiding practices of the Communities of Calling Initiative is lectio divina, an ancient prayer practice of meditating and contemplating on Scripture text or other spiritual reading. Through the movements of lectio divina, God’s word sinks deeper into our hearts and imaginations. Such a posture helps prompt good discernment.
Click here for a guide for practicing lectio divina in groups.
Download the Ritual app for guided lectio divina with Kathleen Cahalan.