>Lately, I have noticed my Episcopalian Facebook friends, especially those of the collared set, to be posting on their status updates that they are participating in the “Post-Liturgical Nap.” So just for them, I’ve created an order of worship for it!

An Order of Worship for Post-Liturgical Napping

By Kirkepiscatoid

(with apologies to The Book of Occasional Services of the Episcopal Church, particularly pages 166-173)

The service begins as appointed following returning home from a celebration of Holy Eucharist, particularly after one with an obtuse, disjointed sermon, a painfully tense Coffee Hour, or a long drawn-out vestry or committee meeting following worship.

Celebrant: Grace and peace be with you, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

People: And also with you.

Celebrant: Let us pray.

The Celebrant says this or some other appropriate Collect:

O God of peaceful slumber, you have taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in sleeping and napping shall be our strength: By your Holy Spirit, allow us to snooze in your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever,

Celebrant and People: Amen.

One or two Lessons are read before the Gospel. A Psalm, hymn, or anthem may be sung or said between the lessons.

For the first Lesson, one of the texts below or another suitable text may be used.

If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land. And I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid; I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword shall go through your land. Leviticus 26:3-6

Or this

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Or this

“Do not human beings have a hard service on earth, and are not their days like the days of a laborer? Like a slave who longs for the shadow, and like laborers who look for their wages, so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me. When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I rise?’ But the night is long, and I am full of tossing until dawn. Job 7:1-4

Suitable Psalms include:

Psalm 3 (“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the LORD sustains me”)

Psalm 4 (“I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you, alone, O LORD, make me lie down in safety”)

Psalm 23 “(He makes me lie down in green pastures”).

For the second Lesson, one of the texts below or another suitable text may be used:

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything. II Corinthians 6:1-10

Or this

Yes, brother, let me have this benefit from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. One thing more—prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping through your prayers to be restored to you. Philemon 1:20-22

Or this

For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this place it says, “They shall not enter my rest.” Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a certain day—“today” —saying through David much later, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.

Hebrews 4:4-10

For the Gospel, one of the following texts or another suitable text may be used:

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29

Or this

The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. Mark 6:30-31

Or this

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. Luke 9:28-36

A meditation or period of silence, or both, may follow the Gospel.

The service continues with the Creed, or the Prayers of the People.

For the Prayers of the People, a Litany of Napping, as follows, may be used.

Litany of Napping

The Celebrant introduces the Litany with this bidding

Let us name before God those for whom we offer our prayers before napping.

The People audibly name those for whom they are interceding.

A Person appointed then leads the Litany

Leader: God the Father, your will for all people is sufficient rest for our health and salvation;

People: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Leader: God the Son, you came that we might have life, and nap more abundantly;

People: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Leader: God the Holy Spirit, you make us on our best behavior when we are asleep;

People: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Leader: Holy Trinity, in you we sleep and snore and have our dreaming;

People: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Leader: Lord, grant your healing grace to all who are insomniacs, weary but cannot unwind, keyed-up, and wound up, that they may nap and be made whole;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: Grant to all who seek the healing powers of sleep, and to all who are constantly interrupted by the phone, spouses/significant others, small children and pets at nap time, a knowledge for them to leave us alone in our few hours of slumber;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: Mend the annoying details of the things that keep us awake, and restore those in metabolic distress from too much coffee, tea or soft drinks;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: Bless quiet background music, the mute button on the TV, and those bedroom clocks with ambient sounds of nature that help us fall asleep;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: Grant to those who are so tired they feel they are about to die, the ability to “sleep like the dead” for a short time and awake restored and refreshed in new life;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: Restore to wholeness the dirty dishes in the sink, the dirty laundry in the basket, and all the things of this life we left undone simply to take a nap;

People: Hear us, O Lord of life.

Leader: You are the Lord who does wonders;

People: You have declared your power among the peoples.

Leader: With you, O Lord is heavenly rest;

People: And in your arms we find divine rest.

Leader: Hear us, O Lord of the Holy Nap;

People: Restore us, and make us whole as we sleep.

(Note: It is permissible to fall asleep during the Litany, if the spirit of sleep overtakes the people, or if spirits overtake the people should they have imbibed a couple of tequila shooters prior to the service.)

Leader: Let us pray.

A period of silence follows (if the People are not already asleep.)

If the Celebrant is not also already asleep, the service concludes the Prayers with one of the following, or some other suitable Collect

Almighty God, giver of life and naps: Send your blessing on all who are awake yet weary, and upon those who snuggle up to them, be they human, canine, or feline, that all insomnia be vanquished by the triumph of the risen Christ; who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Leader and People: Amen.

Or this

Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear what we ask in the Name of your Son; Accept and fulfill our subconscious as we dream, even though some of the dreams may seem a little weird; you are able to sort out the Jungian manifestations of them and discern what is truly in our hearts; not as we dream in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Leader and People: Amen.

Or this

O Lord our God, accept the fervent prayers of your sleepy people; in the multitude of your mercies look with compassion upon our weary, tired selves and all who turn to you in a semi-somnolent state; for you are gracious, O lover of souls, and to you we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever.

Leader and People: Amen.

The Celebrant then dismisses any still remaining awake with this blessing

May God the Father rest your weary head, May God the Son close your eyes with his love, and may God the Holy Spirit fill your upper airways with heavenly snoring. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your door while asleep, save your ears from extemporaneous noise, and bring you in somnolence to his heavenly country, where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Leader and People: Amen.

All are dismissed with the following

Leader: Nap in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God.

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