Christmas2A.2.1.2011

Revd Rex A E Hunt


eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au

Web site:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

2 January 2011. Christmas 2A. (White).

Celebrating community: Sacrament of the Lord's style of Supper



Acknowledgement of land

(An act towards reconciliation)


For thousands of years Indigenous people have walked

in this land, on their own country.

Their relationship with the land is at the centre of their lives.


We acknowledge the (NN) People and their stewardship

of this land throughout the ages.



(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of

race, creed, age, cultural background or sexual orientation




GATHERING

Gathering music


Entry into celebration

The gong is sounded three times


How beautiful is this day.

How warm and inviting the air. 

How clear the sky. 

How full of life the teeming earth. 

And we are alive! (Adapt.SCampbell)


Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life in the presentness of God.


Lighting of the community candle

The candle is lit


The light waits – 

Who will keep the light burning in our day?

Who will take the light into the world?

Who will carry the light into a new year?

All Who will carry the light if we do not?

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing

Colour and fragrance(Tune: ‘O Barvy Vune’, 55, 55, 11, 11) 78 (v1-4) SLT

Colour and fragrance, magical rhythm,

sweet changing music will change us with them:

life within life, inner light gently glowing,

surely you seem to be God’ vision growing.


O starry heavens, worlds of all splendour,

suns without number, new life engender:

wheel in a wheel with the light brightly glowing,

moving in harmony, God’s vision growing.


Handful of pebbles, high mountain passes,

depths of the ocean, dew on the grasses:

great things and small, with the light gently glowing,

word of the wordless song, God’s vision growing.


Delicate beings, lace-wing and sparrow

in field and forest, clover and yarrow:

life greeting life with the light brightly glowing,

none are too small to be God’s vision growing.

Remain standing


Opening sentences

A new year has dawned; the old is past and gone.

This is a time for beginnings,

a time to encounter Creativity God anew.

All You are the Alpha and the Omega,

the beginning and the end.


Look around you at the amazing variety of the universe.

All God has lured everything suitable for its time.

Consider again what Creativity God

has nudged us to do and to be…

All To show compassion to the least of God's children.


Prayer of awareness

We pray:

God of surprises,

startle us with truth we do not see,

amaze us with your power and grace,

beckon us, and lead us far above

restricted hope and narrow faith (MRose-adapt/sco).

Amen.


Hymn Colour and fragrance(Tune: ‘O Barvy Vune’, 55, 55, 11, 11) 78 (v5-6) SLT

In human eyes burns the soul of living,

illumines altars of loving giving:

greeting, we meet, seeing light brightly glowing,

share in a greater life, God’s vision growing.


Shaper of all things, to us you’ve given

our chance to keep here on earth, a heaven.

Moving in harmony, light gently glowing,

may we be, gratefully, God’s vision growing. (NFCapek/GUlp)

The people sit after the hymn


Welcome

In your own words


A warm welcome is extended to all.

Especially those who are worshipping at (NN) for the first time

or who have returned after an absence.


Your presence both enriches us and this time of celebration together.

Refer to printed liturgy.

Fellowship hour following worship.

Those visiting, please sign our Visitors book.


Silence

Amid all the noise in our lives, we take this moment to sit in silence:

to give thanks for another day;

to give thanks for all those in our lives

who have brought us warmth and love;

to give thanks for the gift of life.

(Silence)


Let us open ourselves to the process of becoming more whole:

of living more fully;

of understanding more completely

the meaning of our lives here on this earth. (Adapt.THaley)

(Silence)


Music of reflection


EXPLORING

Reading from our biblical tradition

A reading from our biblical tradition shall be read by (NN).


Gospel:

John 1:10-14 (NRSV)


He came in the world, and the world came into being through him;

yet the world did not know him.


He came to what was his own, and his own people

did not accept him.  But to all who received him,

who believed in his name,

he gave power to become children of God,

who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh,

or of the will of man, but of God.


And the Word became flesh and lived among us,

and we have seen his glory,

full of grace and truth.


Contemporary word

Silence for personal reflection


AFFIRMING

Recognising the sacred 2

As we gather together for the first time this year

and in these seasons of Christmas and Summer,

may we give thanks for the past,

and celebrate the future, yet unknown,

which shall be woven out of our possibilities and realities,

our hopes and our fears.


v4 Now the earth was formless and empty and

the shadow of a breath caressed the surface.

And the emptiness quivered with potential

and life became known…

A rope circle ‘world’ is placed on the floor of the worship space


v5 The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean.

From it we have learned most of what we know.

Recently, we have waded a little out to sea,

enough to dampen our toes or, at most, wet our ankles.

The water seems inviting.  The ocean calls (CSagan).

Silence


People face the North

v1 We turn to face the direction North

the season of Summer and the element of water,

and search it for a blessing we might carry into that future.

v2 The gift of the North is love,

for it speaks of great endurance.

Love offers us, above all else, the power of strength in adversity.


v1 May we hold love in our hearts…

All May we hold love in our hearts…

and bring to our future the gentle power

of strength in adversity.

All and bring to our future the gentle power

of strength in adversity.


v3 We bring blue, colour of water,

stronger than any obstacle, and place love

in our circle, the world.

A blue cloth is brought forward and placed at a ‘corner’ of the earth rope

Silence


People turn right and face the East

v1 We turn to face East, the direction of the rising sun,

the season of Spring and the element of air,

and search it for a blessing we might carry into that future.

v2 The gift of the East is wisdom.

In the morning light we can see and know and understand more clearly.

it speaks of the breath of new life on earth.

Wisdom offers us, above all else, the confidence

to know ourselves more fully.


v1 May we hold wisdom before us and with it,

All May we hold wisdom before us and with it,

bring to our future the confidence to know

ourselves more fully.

All bring to our future the confidence to know

ourselves more fully.


v3 We bring white, colour of air, wrapping all life,

and place wisdom in

our circle, the world.

A white cloth is brought forward and placed at a ‘corner’ of the earth rope

Silence


People turn right and face the South

v1 We turn to the South, the direction of Winter

and the element of earth,

and search if for a blessing we might carry into that future.

v2 The gift of the South is mystery, for,

in the silent darkness of the earth, possibility

stretches toward its future light.

Mystery offers us, above all else, the courage to dream

and wait and dream again.


v1 May we hold mystery in our depths of our being

All May we hold mystery in our depths of our being

v1 and bring to our future the courage to dream

and wait and dream again.

All and bring to our future the courage to dream

and wait and dream again.


v3 We bring green, colour of the earth,

fertile with possibility, and place mystery

in our circle, the world.

A green cloth is brought forward and placed at a ‘corner’ of the earth rope

Silence


The people turn right and face West

v1 We turn to the West the place of the setting sun,

the season of autumn and the element of fire,

and search if for a blessing we might carry into that future.

v2 The gift of the West is beauty,

for it speaks of great peace and serenity.

Beauty offers us, above all else, the freedom to live

in wonder and gratitude.

v1 May we carry beauty in our lives

All May we carry beauty in our lives

v1 and bring to our future the freedom

to live in wonder and gratitude.

All and bring to our future the freedom

to live in wonder and gratitude.


v3 We bring red, colour of fire, dancing

and casting light, and place beauty

in our circle, the world.

A red cloth is brought forward and placed at a ‘corner’ of the earth rope


v6 Look at this day!

For it is life, the very life of life.

In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence:

the bliss of growth,

the glory of action,

the spendour of beauty.


For yesterday is but a dream,

and tomorrow is only a vision,

but today, well lived, makes every yesterday

a dream of happiness

and every tomorrow a vision of hope.


Look well, therefore, to this day. (Sanskrit)

(MTWinter/wpws. Adapted by GVosper & RHunt for the Common Dreams2 Conference, Melbourne 2010)


The peace

Let us greet another as a sign of God's peace

and of our shared friendship.


The peace of God is here... to stay.

All Thanks be to God.

You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.


Hymn “Spirit of love” (Tune: ‘Weaver’)   125 AA

Spirit of love, you move within creation

drawing the threads to colour and design;

life into life, you knit our true salvation,

come, work with us 

and weave us into one.


Though we have frayed the fabric of your making,

tearing away from all that you intend,

yet, to be whole, humanity is aching,

come, work with us 

and weave us into one.


Great loom of God, where history is woven,

you are the frame that holds us to the truth,

Christ is the theme, the pattern you have given,

come, work with us 

and weave us into one. SEMurray


Reflections and prayers

Care candle:

We are people of all ages who enter this space

bringing our joys and concerns.

Joys and concerns shared.


Listening response:

In joy and in sorrow

All We do not walk alone (GVosper/wwg)


In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful

of the presentness of God among us,

and to see the new possibilities of the now.

The Care candle is lit


Pastoral prayers:

The Abba Prayer:

You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as that is appropriate


All O Birther!  Father-Mother of the Cosmos

you create all that moves in light.

Hear the one Sound that created all others,

in this way the Name is hallowed

in silence.


Your rule springs into existence

as our arms reach out to embrace all creation.

Let all wills move together

in your vortex, as stars and planets

swirl through the sky.


Grant what we need each day in bread and insight:

subsistence for the call of growing life.


Lighten our load of secret debts as

we relieve others of their

need to repay.


Keep us from hoarding false wealth,

and from the inner shame of

help not given in time. (MFox/ormw)


CELEBRATING

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S STYLE OF SUPPER

Offering

Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place and beyond,

and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.


Presentation The people stand as they are able, for the presentation of gifts

May our eyes, our ears, and our mouths be opened.

May we be doers of the word and not hearers only,

taking on those tasks set before us, with

uncommon vision and wholehearted expectation.

The people sit


Invitation

In faith and love, gathered in this place,

we celebrate the brightness of community

and the summer season.


Thanksgiving

v3 In the early spring, pale green blades of wheat

broke through the earth's surface.

v4 This hand of mine began to take shape millions of years ago

as the first leaves stretched out for nourishment and light.

v5 Eons ago the earth itself was glowing with heat

as it separated itself from the sun.

All (singing) You send your breath.

And they come to life.

You give the earth

the bloom of youth.


v3 By mid-summer the wheat stems sway heavily

in the breeze for acres and acres

of green and golden earth.

v4 The early species of kangaroo,

able to move quickly and nimbly in a way

we can only imitate, learned which plants

were best for them to eat and sought them out.

v5 The ground we stand on carries in it

the remnants of volcanos and oceans

which once dominated the landscape.

All (singing) You send your breath.

And they come to life.

You give the earth

the bloom of youth.


v3 This morning we gather around the bread,

which comes from the wheat in the paddocks.

v4 This morning we celebrate our oneness

with the plants and the animals,

which precede and surround us.

v5 This morning we remember we are earth people,

united with each other and to all on this globe

by the ground under us.

3,4,5 One body, one history, one home for us all.

All (singing) You send your breath.

And they come to life.

You give the earth

the bloom of youth.


3,4,5 One body, one history, one home for us all.

All (singing) You send your breath.

And they come to life.

You give the earth

the bloom of youth.

Silence


3,4,5 One body, one history, one home for us all.

All (singing) You send your breath.

And they come to life.

You give the earth

the bloom of youth.


The tradition

On the night of his handing over, so the story is told,

Jesus shared again a meal with his friends.

He took the bread, offered thanks, broke it,

and gave it to them, inviting them to eat.

Afterwards, he poured a cup of wine,

offered thanks, and gave it to them,

inviting them to drink.

And we remember…


v3 Life grows from the earth.

The kernel of wheat lives in the soil before it breaks ground.

As it stretches itself skyward, it also reaches deeper into the earth.

v4 Water and nourishment blend with sunlight as the stalk

begins to produce kernels of its own.

v5 This bread holds those kernels, that sunshine, that soil and water.

As we take it into ourselves, we affirm our own roots in the earth.

This is the ground we stand upon,

the earth yearning to be inside us.

It is the life we have taken in order to live ourselves.


v3 Life flows toward us from the Source beyond us.

It is a stream that creates us anew each day.

v4 It is a stream that wants to make its way through us.

A stream that flows through the city and country.

v5 A stream that readies a harvest in every season.

This is the life we have received from the earth

and from our forbearers.


This is the pulsing energy that has made a home in us

and that we give on (Smith&Taussig/mt).


Communion

The bread and the wine will be served 'coming forward' around the Table


Bread, that was once scattered as grain in a paddock

and gathered together

and baked into a loaf.

Bread broken


Wine, that was once grapes grown on a hillside

and gathered together

and pressed into juice.

Wine poured out


Bread and wine…

Let us eat and drink.

Let no one be forgotten or denied.


After communion

We have eaten broken bread and have tasted poured out wine.

Let us now commit ourselves to a life of justice and compassion.


SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing

Love now ascending” (Holy, Holy, Holy) Tune: ‘Nicaea’, 1 12 12 10. 132 TiS

Holy, holy, holy, love now ascending

Early in the morning our song shall rise to you.

Holy, holy, holy, joy that has no ending

Giving, forgiving, breathing life anew.


Holy, holy, holy, love without a limit

Care that binds creation in sacred unity,

Holy, holy, holy, birthing every minute,

Christ, Love's revealer, sets our spirits free.

Remain standing


Words of mission

The presentness of God reaches beyond this place...

The community candle is extinguished


After the words, a quiet.

After the songs, a silence.

After the crowd 

only the memory recalls the gathering. 

All Peace and justice have need of us 

after the words, the music, and the gathering. 


God grant you the depth for dedication to justice. 

All God grant us the will 

to be apostles of peace. (Adapt.MCoots) 


Blessing words

May you always stand tall as a tree.

Be as strong as the rock Uluru.

As gentle and still as the morning mist.

Hold the warmth of the campfire in your heart.

And may the Creator Spirit

always walk with you (EPike/grpe)

All Amen!


Hymn (Cont)Love now ascending” (Holy, Holy, Holy) Tune: ‘Nicaea’, 1 12 12 10. 132 TiS

Holy, holy, holy, infinite compassion,

Makes a place for every soul in God's eternal reign,

Holy, holy, holy, truth beyond religion,

Love that endures should nothing else remain.


Holy, holy, holy, raise your voice in singing,

Join the cosmic chorus in praise of Love divine,

Holy, holy, holy, God beyond all naming,

Echoes our song in harmony sublime. JBurklo

The people sit after the hymn


'This week' at (NN)

Notices

Birthdays and anniversaries

Significant events

Journey candles


Music


Fellowship

Morning tea is now served.

You are invited to share in the moment of fellowship.



You are invited to keep this copy of the liturgy and take it home with you

to share with another member of your family, or with a friend



I recommend the use of

LicenSing - Copyright cleared music for churches



Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy:

(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa.  Hymns and songs for all churches. 1993. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.

Duncan, G. (ed). 1998.  Seeing christ in others. An anthology for worship, mediation and mission. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.

Fox, M. 2000.  One river, many wells. Wisdom springing from global faiths. NY: New York. Tarcher/Penguin Publishing.

Holy Bible. NRSV. 1989. TN: Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Iona Community. 2001.  Iona abbey worship book. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.

Liebelt, P; N. Nicholls. (ed). 1996.  Gentle rain on parched earth. Worship resources for rural situations. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.

Seaburg, C. (ed). 1993.  The communion book. MA: Boston. UUMA.

(SLT) Singing the living tradition. 1993.  MA: Boston. UUA.

Smith, D. E.; Hal E. Taussig. 1990.  Many tables. The eucharist in the New Testament and liturgy today. OR: Eugene. Wipf & Stock.

Vosper, G. 2008.  With or without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.

Winter, Miriam T. 1987.  Women prayer. Women song. Resources for ritual. CT: Hartford. Meyer Stone Books.


Web sites:

Campbell, Haley, Coots. UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>

Jim Burklo. USA. Musings. <www.jimburklo.com>

rexae@optusnet.com.au