I’m looking to find liturgical elements in Service and Hymn Book for the Unitarian League of Lay Centers drawn from contemporary Unitarian works — and there were several. I thought it would be helpful to see what family of resources and what influences were in play.
The American Unitarian Association Book of Common Worship (1913) — only responsive readings — begins with, of all things, the late antique hymn of praise, the Te Deum, under the appropriate title “Praise to God.” It’s unusual because it’s hardly the most unitarian of texts, and so I include it here.
We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all creatures cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein;
The vast array of thy creation continually doth worship thee, holy, holy, holy. Lord, God of the universe;
Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praise thee;
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee;
The noble army of martyrs praise thee;
The holy church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee, the Father of an infinite majesty:
The everlasting Light of all that live, Spirit of grace and truth, the Comforter.
Thou art the King of glory, O Lord; thou art the ever blessed God our Father.
When thou lookest upon us in our low estate, thou dost not despise our humble prayer.
Thou settest us free from the bondage of sin, and dost open the kingdom of heaven unto all the faithful.
Thou callest upon us to enter in and to dwell with thee for ever.
We believe that thou art Judge of all the earth.
We therefore pray thee, help thy children, to whom thou hiast revealed the knowledge of thy love;
May we be found faithful in the keeping of thy law.
O Lord, save thy people, and bless thy heritage.
Govern them, and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify thee, and we worship thy name ever, world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have we trusted; let us never be confounded.