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We remember Adam, whose sons did not get along—their rivalry leading to death.

God, who is no stranger to conflict, may we take all our rivalries to the cross.

We remember Abraham, who was asked to place his son on the altar.

God, who should occupy the first place in our hearts, help us to order our hearts aright.

We remember Moses, who was called to fatherhood and to leading a nation out of slavery.

God who calls us in so many ways, help us to weigh and balance our responsibilities to family, work, and other kingdom causes, that your name may be glorified in our homes and beyond.

We remember Jacob, who, at the end of his life, was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. And he blessed them.

God, who is faithful to generation after generation, may we rise up and bless the generations behind and the generations to come.


St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus; Emmaus O’Herlihy

We remember Elkanah, the husband of Hannah, who felt deeply his wife’s barrenness and longed just as much for a child.

God, who fills our emptiness, care for us gently in our longings.

We remember David, whose son, Absalom, turned against him.

God, who knows rejection, soften and turn the hearts of children toward their parents, and parents toward their children.

We remember Jephthah’s daughter, whose father made a rash vow which led to her death.

Healing God, for all those whose fathers have neglected or ignored, abused, left, or hurt them, may you work the long miracle of forgiveness and free them to new life in you.


We remember Mordecai, who adopted Esther and raised her as his own.

Adopting God, we pray for all who have brought children into their family through fostering or adoption. May we care for the motherless and fatherless.

We remember Hosea, whose wife left him for another man and who raised his children alone.

God who is with us in the most exhausting times, give all those who parent alone courage and strength.

We remember the father of the prodigal sons, whose younger son hated him and ran from home, and whose older son resented him, even as he stayed.

God, help us to trust in you as we love and wait for all who wander far from home, or far from love.

We remember Jairus, whose daughter died and was then raised to life by Jesus.

God of the resurrection, may we who grieve place our hope in your victory over the grave.

We remember Paul, who did not marry or have children.

God who establishes us in the family of believers, may we all find ourselves surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ—young and old—and there may we find our home.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we remember and we love you. Thank you for loving us first and for showing us how to love.



*Brother Emmaus O’Herlihy is an Irish monk, studying in Toronto, whose images are intended for liturgical use.

Heidi S. De Jonge

Heidi S. De Jonge is a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church who lives in Kingston, Ontario, with her husband, three children, and a dog.


  • Debra K Rienstra says:

    Love this, Heidi. Especially love the phrase “long miracle of forgiveness.”

  • Mark Bennink says:

    A beautiful litany about fatherhood experiences expressed in Scripture. May I use this at a future Father’s Day service?

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