TransfigurationA.6.3.2011

Revd Rex A E Hunt


eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au

Web:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com




LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

2 March 2014. Transfiguration A. (White)
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of the Lord's style of Supper



Acknowledgement of Country

(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, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation




GATHERING

Gathering music


Entry into celebration

We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission

to do the same (DLoehr).


So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life

in the presentness of God.


Lighting of community candle

The candle is lit


We light this flame, a living symbol

of the one Life that animates and sustains

all things and all persons,

the one Life in which we all live and move

and have  our being,

and the one Life which perpetually gives of itself

to itself so as to become the many (Adapt.IEllis-Jones/icuu-cl).


Hymn Praises singing(Tune: ‘Praise, my soul’, 87 87 87)   8 SiF

Praise, my soul, the wondrous beauty

to discover everywhere:

painted sunset, morning glory,

cooling rain, and breezes fair.

Praises singing, praises bringing,

for the wonder that we share.


Praise, my soul, the sense of myst’ry,

knowledge we have yet to find,

much awaiting our discovery,

life’s details of every kind.

Praises singing, praises bringing,

for the questing, searching mind.


Praise, my soul, the deep compassion

freely offered, freely giv’n,

care that reaches past the barriers,

care that takes the stranger in.

Praises singing, our lives bringing,

joined with all we share a part.


Praise, my soul, the sense of justice,

seeing others equally,

full respect for rights and honour,

full respect for dignity.

Praises singing, our lives bringing,

t’wards a whole humanity (© SKearns 2008)


Opening

May our brief, fragile lives build on the work of those

who went before us,

All Let it all happen.  No time is final.

May we create a sustainable foundation

for those who follow us,

All Let it all happen.  No age is final.

May we stretch our consciousness with open minds,

and a sense of humble curiosity,

All Let it all happen.  No belief is final.

May we have courage in uncertain times,

All Let it all happen.  No mood is final.

May we recognise new beginnings in what

seem to be endings,

All Let it all happen.  No feeling is final.

We are the universe becoming conscious,

All Let it all happen.  Breathe deeply and live now (C3Exchange web site,6/2010).


Prayer

We pray:

Remind us, O Spirit, that life is worth living.

Remind us, O Creator, that the struggle for justice

is worth undertaking.

Remind us, O Mercy, that love and action are one (JNelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

Amen.


Hymn "The majesty of mountains"   139 AA

The majesty of mountains,

the sovereignty of skies,

the regal rock that arch above

where veils of vapour rise,

are gifts of God, the Lord of love,

the worshipful, the wise.


The running of the river,

the surging of the sea,

the grass that grows high on the hill,

the flower and fruiting tree,

our Saviour sends us, by whose will

all creatures came to be.


The Glory of the Godhead,

the Spirit and the Son,

the Father, faithful down the days:

to them, the Three-in-One,

while life shall last, be perfect praise

and highest honour done! MPerry.

The people sit.


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.


Music of celebration


Silence

Let us now settle into silence and stillness.

(Silence)


Let us centre our minds and our hearts.

We are one with the universe.

We are one with the sun and the stars.

We are one with the earth.

We are one with the One who is mystery…

(Silence)


EXPLORING

A reading from our biblical tradition

A reading from our biblical tradition shall now be read.


Gospel:

Matthew 17:1-9 (Scholars Edition)


Six days later, Jesus takes Peter and James and John

his brother along and he leads them off by themselves

to a lofty mountain.


He was transformed in front of them

and his face shone like the sun,

and his clothes turned as white as light.


The next thing you know, Moses and Elijah appeared to them

and were conversing with Jesus.


Then Peter responded by saying to Jesus:

‘Master, it’s a good thing we’re here.

If you want, I’ll set up three tents here,

one for you,

one for Moses, and

one for Elijah.’


While he was still speaking, there was a bright cloud

that cast a shadow over them.  And just then a voice

spoke from the cloud:

“This is my favored son of whom I fully approve.

Listen to him!”


And as the disciples listened, the disciples prostrated themselves,

and were frightened out of their wits.


And Jesus came and touched them and said:

‘Get up; don’t be afraid.’

Looking up they saw no one except Jesus by himself.


And as they came down from the mountain,

Jesus ordered them:

‘Don’t tell anyone about this vision until the Son of Adam

has been raised from the dead.’


Contemporary word


Silence for private reflection


AFFIRMING

An affirmation

In response to the word reflected on, let us stand

and share an affirmation of our life together.

The people stand


v1 May this time together renew our hope.

v2 May the stories we have shared refresh our courage.

All May the songs we are singing lift our spirits.

v2 May the words we speak invigorate us.

All May the touch of hands, the sound of laughter,

and the sight of faces new and familiar,

restore us in faith (Adapt.CODame)


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 of the month

Wisdom far beyond(Tune: ‘Coronation Road’)  157 HoS

Wisdom far beyond our knowledge,

Word of endless mystery,

God, in whom is comprehended

all that was, is now, will be,

you have set us free to wander,

world on world, through time and space,

haunted by the hope of heaven,

nurtured by your constant grace.


Unimaginable lover,

faithful to eternity,

God, fulfilling and indwelling

all that was, is now, will be,

we can never stray beyond you,

loving Presence, you are here:

called to join your great adventure,

forth we go to find you there.


Beating heart of all creation,

first and final unity,

God who draws all things together,

all that was, is now, will be,

we have heard your distant music,

shared your dream of harmony:

now we go as reconcilers,

makers of community.


Focus of our search for meaning,

truth in our perplexity,

God the One by whom we measure

all that was, is now, will be,

centre of our heart’s devotion,

magnet of our questing mind,

spirit’s birth and soul’s companion,

journey’s end in you we find (CGibson).


CELEBRATING

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:

We affirm we are all truly human,

All no more and no less than that.

None of us has endless energy,

All nor an eternal capacity to cope with

the endless pressures of life.

Whatever happens, we are together

All and we will be there for each other (Adapt. DMcRae-McMahon/rlll).


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 presence and pow’r within us,

Being and Life of all.

How we are filled, how we o’erflow

with infinite love and gladness!


We shall this day sow grace and peace,

and show mercy to all,

and gentle loving-kindness.


And we shall be not so self-serving,

but a constant source of giving.


For ours is the essence,

and the wholeness,

and the fullness forever (PALaughlin/4r)

Amen.


With the children

The children come to the storyteller’s mat


Conversation


"Somewhere someone"

The kingdom of love is coming because:

All somewhere someone is kind when others are unkind,

somewhere someone shares with another in need,

somewhere someone refuses to hate, while others hate,

somewhere someone is patient - and waits in love,

somewhere someone returns good for evil,

somewhere someone serves another, in love,

somewhere someone is calm in a storm,

somewhere someone is loving everybody.

Is that someone you? (jke)


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

The offerings Offerings/bread and wine are presented

Let us bring our offerings and gifts of bread and wine,

as a symbol of our decision to be co-creators with God

in a safer and more inclusive world.


The presentation The people stand as they are able

May Wisdom be in our minds, and in our thinking.

May Wisdom be in our hearts, and in our perceiving.

May Wisdom be with us all the days of our lives (Adapt.DLNeu/cw).

People sit


The invitation

Today we gather around this table to remember and celebrate.

All This day we will celebrate the

interconnectedness that is our life.

May what we touch and taste and remember, remind us

to see the world as a place of wonder,

All And find ourselves in each face we see (Adapt.GVosper/ab).


Thanksgiving

We need thanksgiving, and for thanksgiving we need a voice:

to say the wordless things that lie at the heart of being,

to speak the pulsations of life:

the rising, shimmering sun,

the silent cycle of seasons,

the restless tides of breath,

the interlaced fabric of community,

the interdependence of humanity.

All We need a voice to say Amen to life

in its sameness and its variety,

in its simplicity and complexity,

in its joy and grief,

in its agony and ecstasy (GBMcKeeman/tcb).

(Pause)


We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.

For the love we name Creativity God, and all that is.

For the person we name Jesus

and his message of peace, justice and inclusiveness

that is the realm of God.

For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit

always present on the breath of life.

All We give thanks for the love, peace,

justice, prosperity, strength and freedom,

and for the presentness of God in the midst of life.


We remember the tradition…


When, during a meal with friends, Jesus would tell them

of a re-imagined way of living and being.


A way that did not conform to the standards of the Roman Empire

or any other system of governance

that suppressed people, until

starvation and deprivation resulted in death (SWeinberg).

All In the name of all prophets and sages who sacrificed

their lives to hasten the coming of the reign

of mutual respect, we commit ourselves

to the unfolding of a better world.


Bread and wine

And we remember the stories...


Jesus took bread and blessed it,

acknowledging with gratitude the hands that produced it

and the earthly goodness that made it possible:

v2 the warmth of the sun,

the nourishment of earth,

the heat of the oven,

the skill of the baker, and

the faithfulness of the farmer…


He broke the bread and gave it to his followers

in a spirit of devotion to the new community he dreamed of.

In the same way, we break this bread
and share it with one another.

All We give thanks for this bread.

The bread is broken


Jesus took a cup of wine and blessed it:

v2 symbol of fellowship and hospitality,

symbol of joy and celebration,

symbol of colour and fragrance, and

symbol of satisfaction of thirst…


Thus do we lift this cup and drink this wine,

celebrating the blessedness of our fellowship

and this time together (Adapt.RVJones).

All We celebrate together.

The wine is poured


Bread... the very stuff of life.

Wine... fruit of the vine.


Communion

By eating this bread and drinking this wine

we become one in hope.

The bread and the wine is served.


After communion

v1 The meal is ended.

The bread and the wine has been shared with all.

(Silence)


v2 Nothing else matters much.

Not wealth, nor learning, not even health, without this gift:

the spiritual capacity to keep zest in living.

All That we are able to believe in life (GBMcKeeman/tcb).


SCATTERING

HymnImagination of the heart(Tune: ’Imagination’, 88 86)  104 (1-2) RP

Imagination of the heart

will rise on soaring wings of song;

will elevate our bland desires,

transcend our human wrong.


The spirit will inspire, define

the love that gives this passage worth,

the pain we gather on the way,

the trust of love's new birth.

People remain standing


Words of mission

Let us take on this week’s life

with renewed hope and imagination...

The community candle is extinguished


v1 O Shining One,
you are the flame burning within...

v2 Transfigure us, this day,
as we open into the radiance of the Christ
in each other, in song, in word, and witness.
All  May this be the day of our enlightenment,
when we see with clarity
the sacred life we are called to manifest
(Adapt.BSanguin/idp).


Blessing words

Deep peace of the running wave to you,

Deep peace of the flowing air to you,

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,

Deep peace of the shining stars to you,

Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

All Amen.


Hymn (Cont.).Imagination of the heart(Tune: ’Imagination’, 88 86)  104 (3-4) RP

We emulate that wild design,

the flaunting serenade to peace

that brought a saviour to his knees

that brought a thief release.


High-handed love, incarnate hope,

that freed our stony hearts by grace;

we offer praise, it is your due,

from all the human race (APratt)

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.

Binkley, C. G.; J. M. McKeel. 2001.  Jesus and his kingdom of equals. An international curriculum on the life and teaching of Jesus. CA: Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press.

Funk, R. Hoover, R. 1993.  The five gospels. The search for the authentic words of Jesus. NY: New York. McMillan Press.
(HoS) Hope is our song. New hymns and songs from Aotearoa New Zealand.
2009. NZ: Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.

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

Jones, Robert V. 2005.  “Liturgy: The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper”. In private circulation from the author. L & L Seminar.

(SiF) Kearns, S. 2009.  Sing it forward. Traditional hymns recast and rewritten for non-exclusive spiritual communities. Canada: Toronto. Direct from the  author.

Laughlin, P. A. 2009.  “Pray without seeking. Toward a truly mystical Lord’s Prayer” in The Fourth R 22, 6, 20-24.

McRae-McMahon, D. 2003.  Rituals for life, love and loss. NSW: Paddington. Jane Curry Publishing.

Nelson-Pallmeyer, J; B. Hesle. 2005.  Worship in the spirit of Jesus. Theology, liturgy, and songs without violence. OH: Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press.

(RP) Pratt, A. 2006.  Reclaiming praise. Hymns from a spiritual journey. GtB: London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Sanguin, B. 2010.  If Darwin prayed. Prayers for evolutionary mystics. Canada: Vancouver. ESC/Bruce Sanguin.
Seaburg, C. (ed). 1993.  The communion book. MA: Boston. UUMA.

Vosper, G. 2009/2010.  Another breath. Prayers for celebration and reflection. QLD: Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.


Web sites:

Davidson Loehr. 2008.  <www.austinuu.org>

Dame. UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>

C3Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. (2010)  <http://www.c3exchange.org/

Ellis-Jones. International Council of Unitarians & Universalistshttp://www.icuu.net/resources/chalice_archives/Chalice%20index.html

Sherri Weinberg. 2005. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport.

rexae@optusnet.com.au