26 January – Australia Day, Years A, B & C

These resources may be adapted for any National Day.

  • Altar colour: Green (or the colour of the season)
  • Decoration
    For this occasion the church could be decorated with Australian native flowers and foliage. Flowers could be the colours of the flag: red, white and blue; or the Australian colours of green and gold.

    Drawings, paintings and photos of Australian scenes or subjects could be displayed on the walls, on banners or posters, or on an overhead screen at appropriate times during the service, eg during prayers, confession, songs, readings or sermon. These could be ‘theme’ or ‘mood’ pictures showing God’s creation or blessings or aspects that need praying for or our confession (eg scenes of poverty).

    A display could be set up consisting of a dark blue drape (or green and/or gold) with a collection of memorabilia, and perhaps the Australian flag.

    Symbols
    An Australian Christian symbol similar to Luther’s rose could be made and displayed (the larger the better): a black cross on a red Australia shape, on a bed of wattle blooms and leaves, on a sky-blue background, surrounded by a gold ring representing God’s eternity. This could be made of solid objects, eg wooden cross on clay or cloth Australia on real or artificial flowers and leaves. An explanation of the symbolism could be given in the talk with children or sermon or written or oral announcements (but don’t over-explain!).

  • Bible readings:
    FIRST READING Deuteronomy 28:1-9 The Lord will bless the land (Begin: ‘Moses said to the people: . . .’)
    PSALM Psalm 145:1-9
    SECOND READING Romans 13:1-8 Respect for governing authorities
    GOSPEL Mark 12:13-17 Give God what belongs to God
  • Sermons:
    Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon.

    Based on Psalm 145: Pr Vince Gerhardy
  • Order of service:
    Australia Day – Service of the Word (doc)
  • PowerPoint background for Australia Day: click here to download
  • The Great Southland of the Holy Spirit : click here for a YouTube clip featuring this song and lovely images of Australia. Consider using this clip as part of your service if you have the necessary technology! (Words and music by Geoff Bullock).

  • Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH
    Suitable hymns for this occasion may be found in the following sections of the Lutheran Hymnal with Supplement:
    Harvest (560-568)
    National (569-577) although these are rather dated in imagery and language
    Creation (808-813)
    Work and Society (814-821)

    In particular, consider the following:

    Supplement to Lutheran Hymnal
    804    The church of Christ, in every age
    808,809    Go out, my heart
    810    Let all things now living
    859    Seek, O seek the Lord

    All Together books
    217    Shine, Jesus, shine
    330    These good gifts
    356    Give glory
    361    Here we are
    416    We will rise up
    427    God’s time
    433    You were in this place
    493    Follow the Saviour (for children)
    494    For you, deep stillness

    Together in Song
    135    All things bright and beautiful (Australian version)
    166    Sing a new song
    188    Where wide sky rolls down
    456    Your hand, O God, has guided (LH 194 Thy hand . . . )
    464    Seek, O seek the Lord
    472    Father of mercy, God of consolation
    614    O God of love, whose heart is ever yearning
    615    Almighty God, lift up your eyes
    671    Made in God’s likeness
    672    Lord of earth and all creation

    Psalm 145
    The following paraphrase by David Schütz may be sung to LH 503 Quam dilecta or LH 416 St Cecilia. Verse 10 of the psalm is included for the sake of versification.

    I praise you, God and King,
    I bless your holy name,
    forever every day,
    I bless your name always.

    Great is the Lord our God,
    and greatly to be praised,
    his greatness is beyond
    all human power to know.

    And every age will tell
    each other of your works,
    and everyone declare
    the mighty things you do.

    And I will meditate
    upon your wondrous works,
    the beauty of your face,
    the splendour of your ways.

    Your awesome deeds are told
    and I declare you ‘Great!’
    We know your righteousness;
    we sing and celebrate!

    For gracious is the Lord,
    and he is merciful,
    he’s slow to show his wrath,
    abounds in steadfast love.

    The Lord is good to all,
    compassionate and kind.
    And all your works give thanks,
    your faithful bless your name. 

    OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR CHURCH MUSIC
    While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
    Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
    Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
    Song Select: you can search for more modern songs (eg. Hillsongs) by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
    Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.

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