Prayer Service—Sabbath Space

July-August 2000


Call to Prayer

In Christianity time has a fundamental importance. Pope John Paul II reminds us, "Within the dimension of time the world was created; within it the history of salvation unfolds, finding its culmination in the 'fullness of time' of the incarnation . . . . From this relationship of God with time there arises the duty to sanctify time. This is done, for example, when individual times, days or weeks are dedicated to God." As part of the jubilee year, we look at our own sabbath time—the manner in which we rest that we may be renewed.

Father of time, mother of creation, we thank you for the gift of jubilee which sanctifies both time and space. Teach us the wisdom of sabbath rest that we may be recreated and refreshed for continued work in Catholic healthcare ministry.

A seeker went to visit the holy one hoping for enlightenment. The holy one invited the seeker into her cell and offered her a drink. "Yes, a drink would be fine," said the seeker. The holy one poured until the seeker's glass was full and then kept pouring. The seeker watched until she could take it no longer. "It is overfull," the seeker said. "No more will go into it." "Like the glass," the holy one said, "you are full of many things. You cannot be enlightened until you first empty your glass."

  • What things need to be emptied from your glass before you can be filled?
  • What needs to be emptied from this organization's glass before it can be filled?
  • In what way(s) is God calling you to more sabbath time?
  • In what way could our organization create some sabbath time/space?
Response Sabbath Space (alternate stanzas)

Some wheat, some barley
grains become bread,
grapes crushed for wine
we are nourished and fed.

A time of waiting,
remembering grain, wine and oil,
ordinary elements in ritual
become the sabbath soil.

Sabbath soil, sabbath center
sanctuary in time,
dwelling place for resting God
peace in God most sublime.

Gather me, hold me
within me dwell,
whisper to my heart
your secrets to tell.

Waste time, my God says
come with me to play,
don't save your story
for some far-off special day.

A gift to yourself
create a resting place,
a gift from your God
creating sabbath space.

Closing Prayer Sabbath God, we thank you for bringing us together and calling us to live life differently in the new millennium. You draw us to your sacred sabbath space that we may be filled again with you. Help us to believe we can make a difference; that, renewed in sabbath time, we can radiate the presence of Jesus in our healing ministry to others. We pray in faith. Amen.


Tom Cordaro and Madelyn Gould, Jubilee Justice: The Times Call Us, Pax Christi USA, Erie, PA, 1999.

This prayer service focuses on the concept of creating a sabbath space within yourself and your organization. Feel free to adapt the service to suit your own needs.
Sr. Barbara McMullen, CDP, is executive director of the Women of Providence in Collaboration and consultant for Prayer and Liturgy Resources. She can be reached at Providence Center: 314-209-9181.

"Prayer Service," a regular department in Health Progress, may be copied without prior permission.


Copyright © 2000 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Prayer Service - Sabbath Space

Copyright © 2000 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.