My good friend and homo-mentor Michael forwarded two "Coming Out Day Ceremonies" for people in the religious communities from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) website. As National Coming Out Day is October 11th, I thought I'd pass along a sample of the ceremony, as well as the press release below.
It's fascinating, because in my Lutheran tradition, there is a religious ceremony for almost anything - from the dedication of a new home to commemoration of a stillborn infant. But mainline religious traditions neither see homosexuals as people of ceremony or ritual, not as people whose "coming-out" processes are bound-up in their journey of faith. So I found these two ceremonies a blessing.
As another mentor, Ted Menten, would say, I would not treat this as a "How-to" guide so much as a "how you might" guide. As the pamphlet itself says, these ceremonies were created by people whose faith and journey may be much different than my own. So do not let specific language or concepts in these ceremonies imprison or hinder you.
As a good friend says, "we are blessed to be a blessing..."
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Litany of Blessing
A worship leader invites all to stand for the following litany of blessing:
One: Blessed be God who calls us all out of our tombs of fear, who bids us live in with yet more spirit, in yet more truth, who surely did not bring us this far to leave us!
Many: Blessed be God forever.
One: Holy One, as we bless your name, bless us. Sustain all those who risk speaking truth despite the risk, witnesses to Your love and hope and mercy.
Many: Blessed are those who “come out”!
One: Temper the hearts of those who receive “coming out” stories, that disappointment may become honor, that confusion and shame may become empathy
and support, all according to your great mercy!
Many: Blessed are those who have ears to hear, whose hearts are open, to those who “come out”!
One: Embrace those who cannot “come out” because jobs or housing might be lost, because of fear of rejection from those they hold dear, because of hostility and threats of violence, because they might lose family, children, security
Many: Blessed are those who cannot “come out”! May they one day be free!
One: Encourage those who are weary of “coming out,” stand by them, nourish their tired spirits, sustain them in the long journey toward truth and justice!
Many: Blessed are those who keep “coming out”!
One: Build up this community in acceptance, faithfulness, forbearance, solidarity and love, make us sisters and brothers, make us one Body, that we might serve neighbors, strangers— even our enemies— in your gracious name.
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Coming Out Day Rituals Released
Celebrate Coming Out Day with Jewish and Christian Resources
In preparation for Coming Out Day on October 11th, we offer two imaginative and scripturally-grounded Coming Out Rituals, one written from the Jewish tradition by Jay Michaelson and the other from the Christian tradition by Dr. Scott Haldeman. These rituals take seriously the religious and spiritual grace we give to ourselves, our families and our friends when we live full and authentic lives.
We hope you'll consider using these rituals for Coming Out Day or to pull together a service for someone you love. Please also consider using them throughout the year, as coming out is something that can be celebrated at any time. We also hope that if you are not Jewish or Christian these rituals will spark ideas for other coming out rituals. No matter how or when you use these rituals, please write us at email@example.com to let us know how you put them to use. To live honestly and openly is a holy act, and these rituals honor the holiness in all of us and in our faith communites.
For other Coming Out Rituals please vistit RitualWell
and The Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation
For regular Scriptural Commentaries from an LGBT and straight-allied perspective please sign up for Out In Scripture
by visiting http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/ct/m1zEfWn1JzuL/.
For weekly Jewish commentaries on the Torah passages please see
Torah Queeries at
You can also order free copies of HRC's resource Living Openly
in Your Place of Worship by writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.