Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

It all started last winter, when all of my Episcopalian friends started noticing we all seemed to do our laundry on Saturdays. Lisa had talked about it quite a bit, so just for her I created "The Laundry Litany". As this Sacrament seems to be a continuing feature among my Facebook friends, I created an entire liturgy for it...Enjoy!

An Order of Service for Doing Laundry

By Kirkepiscatoid (with apologies to pages 103-108 of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer)

Officiant O God, make speed to save us.
People O Lord, make haste to help us.

Officiant and People

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as
it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Except in Lent, add Alleluia.

A suitable hymn may be sung.

A suggested hymn is below, sung to the tune of hymn #259 in the 1982 Hymnal.

From all that dwell below the skies,
Armed with Clorox and Cheer and Tide!
Alleluia! alleluia!
Let the Redeemer's Name be sung
As washing clothing has begun!
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Alleluia! alleluia!

Eternal are thy mercies, Lord,
Remove stains from clothes we can’t afford:
Alleluia! alleluia!
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore
Clean socks and undies evermore!
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Alleluia! alleluia!.

Psalm 51 is sung or said.

Psalm 51 Miserere mei, Deus

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *

in your great compassion blot out my offenses.

2 Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions, *
and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against you only have I sinned *
and done what is evil in your sight.

5 And so you are justified when you speak *
and upright in your judgment.

6 Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *
a sinner from my mother's womb.

7 For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *
and will make me understand wisdom secretly.

8 Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *
wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.

9 Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
that the body you have broken may rejoice.

10 Hide your face from my sins *
and blot out all my iniquities.

At the end of the Psalm is sung or said

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

One of the following, or some other suitable passage of Scripture, is read:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.” When Moses had told the words of the people to the Lord, the Lord said to Moses: “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who touch the mountain shall be put to death. 13No hand shall touch them, but they shall be stoned or shot with arrows; whether animal or human being, they shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they may go up on the mountain.” So Moses went down from the mountain to the people. He consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes. Exodus19:9-14

or the following

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the ritual of the sin offering. The sin offering shall be slaughtered before the Lord at the spot where the burnt offering is slaughtered; it is most holy. The priest who offers it as a sin offering shall eat of it; it shall be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the tent of meeting. Whatever touches its flesh shall become holy; and when any of its blood is spattered on a garment, you shall wash the bespattered part in a holy place. Leviticus 6:24-27

or the following

Eleazar the priest said to the troops who had gone to battle: “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded Moses: gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, and lead— everything that can withstand fire, shall be passed through fire, and it shall be clean. Nevertheless it shall also be purified with the water for purification; and whatever cannot withstand fire, shall be passed through the water. You must wash your clothes on the seventh day, and you shall be clean; afterward you may come into the camp.” Numbers 31:21-24

People Thanks be to God.

If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has passed
away, behold the new has come. All this is from God, who
through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry
of laundry. Snitched a little from 2 Corinthians 5:17-18

People Thanks be to God.

or this

From the rising of the sun to its setting my Name shall be
great among the nations, and in every place clean clothes shall be
offered to my Name, and a pure offering; for my Name shall be
great among the nations, says the Lord of Hosts. Pinched a bit from Malachi 1:11

People Thanks be to God.

A meditation, silent or spoken, may follow.

The Officiant then begins the Prayers:

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Officiant and People

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our tresspasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

Officiant Lord, hear our prayer;
People And let our cry come to you.
Officiant Let us pray.

The Officiant and People then recite the Litany of the Laundry:

The Celebrant and People together, all kneeling

Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in heaven and on earth,
that we have let our laundry pile up.

The Celebrant continues

We have not paid attention to how many pairs of underwear we have left. We have not realized that the one pair of jeans we love the most lies dirty. We have run out of white socks.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We have been deaf to your call to buy laundry detergent, and our manifold sins in this issue are intolerable to us.
Have mercy on us, Lord.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the
lack of attention to "delicate cycle" and "regular cycle",
We confess to you, Lord.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation
of wearing certain items of clothing after picking them out of the dirty clothes basket,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those
who get their laundry done in a timely manner,
We confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and
our dishonesty in mixing "colors" and "whites",
We confess to you, Lord.

Our negligence in cleaning out the lint filter in the dryer, and our failure to
commend the faith that is in us,
We confess to you, Lord.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done:
for our blindness to our bulging dirty clothes basket, and our
indifference to what remains that we can wear to work and not look like a fool,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our
neighbors who actually IRON their clothes, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those
who never seem to "run out" of any item of clothing,
Accept our repentance, Lord.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of
concern for using "earth-friendly laundry products",
Accept our repentance, Lord.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in us the work of our laundry,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection, white as snow, like bleached socks and underwear.

The Bishop, if present, or the Priest, stands and, facing the people, says

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
desires not the death of laundry slugs, but rather that they may turn
from their wickedness and live, has given power and
commandment to his ministers to declare and pronounce to
his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of
their manifold laundry sins. He pardons and absolves all those who truly
repent, and with sincere hearts believe his holy Gospel.

Therefore we beseech him to grant us true repentance and his
Holy Spirit, that those things may please him which we do on
this day, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure
and holy, so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The officiant then says one of the following Collects. If desired, the
Collect of the Day may be used.

Heavenly Father, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, to
direct and rule us according to your will, to comfort us in all
our laundry afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into
all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessed Savior, at this hour you hung upon the cross,
stretching out your loving arms: Grant that all the peoples of
the earth may look to you as they stretch their clean garments

on the clothesline and be saved; for your tender
mercies' sake. Amen.

Almighty Savior, who at noonday called your servant Saint
Paul to be an apostle to the Gentiles: We pray you to illumine
the world with the radiance of your glory, white as bleached socks,

a brilliant rainbow of color purified with OxyClean, that all nations
may come and worship you; for you live and reign for ever
and ever. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, "Peace I give to
you; my peace I leave with you:" Regard not our sins,
but the faith of your Church, and give to us the peace and
unity of that heavenly city, gleaming with clotheslines

full of crisp blue jeans, clean white sheets and breeze-fresh linens, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and for ever. Amen.

Free intercessions may be offered.

The service concludes as follows

Officiant Let us bless the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.


Oh my, I have trouble turning on the automatic machine (for my housekeeper who is afraid of it) because it disrupts my creative comas...but, no doubt, I´ll never forget your full *service* operation whenever I get near a washing machine...when I´m painting my paintings I hold many services in my brains...some more holy than others...amen!

This is marvelous. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

I will have to copy this into a document to have readily accessible (with full credit). Maybe I will post it by the washing machine and drier down cellar.

As a New Yorker who lugs her family's 60+ pounds of wash to the laundromat each week, and as a lay Anglican Franciscan who often uses machine time to say an Office or folding time to pray, I LOVE IT, esp. the Confession. And please forgive those of us who never learned grandmom's trick of using bleach properly, with bluing, so the whites don't yellow....Amen.

...and are you on the Liturgy Committee in your Diocese??? If not, why not???

A much needed addition that attaches extra to ordinary ... just the ticket in the long green season of extended Pentecost!

This is a great liturgy. But with Lent approaching you will need to select a new hymn! :)

I love this.



Bookmark and Share

About Me

My photo
Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

Read the Monk Manifesto!

Light a Candle

Light a Candle
Light a candle on the site; click on an unlit candle to begin

Blog Archive

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed

Creative Commons License


Sign my Guestbook from Get your Free Guestbook from

Thanks for visiting my blog!