Revd Rex A E Hunt
Web site: www.rexaehuntprogressive.com
LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
19 February 2012. Transfiguration B. (White).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion
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
Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times
We have come into this place of hope
where our hearts and minds are opened to the future.
We have come into this place of justice
where we set aside our fear
to name freely every oppression.
We have come into this place of song
where we unite our voices in the somber
and the beautiful melodies of life. (LDStoddard/adapt)
So let us celebrate this richness and diversity of life
in the presentness of God.
Lighting of the Candle
The community candle is lit
Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"God Of All Time" (Tune: Infinite) 49 (v1-3) AA
God of all time,
all seasons of our living,
source of our spark,
protector of our flame,
blazing before our birth,
beyond our dying,
God of all time,
we come to sing your name.
Here in this place
where others have been building,
we come to claim
the legacy of faith,
take, in our turn
the telling of your story,
and though we tremble,
speak your hope, your truth.
Spirit who draws
our fragile selves together,
Spirit who turns
a stranger to a friend,
be at this table
where we greet each other,
be in the peace
we pass from hand to hand. SEMurray
Let us acknowledge the awesome mystery embodied in every person.
All Through us God comes to unique and personal expression.
Let us give thanks for the abundance of life on this earth.
All Through it we and all people may be nourished.
Prayer of Awareness
Abiding God, grant us the joy of feeling ourselves
a part of your vast magnificence,
your all-encompassing love.
Hymn “Maker Of Mystery” 47 FFS
Maker of mystery,
dreamer of what will be,
well-spring and fertile ground of all our growing:
tending the buried seed,
foreseeing every need,
you draw us into life beyond our knowing.
Christ, strong and living vine,
spreading through space and time,
deep rooted in the love of God our mother:
dying, you live and share
your strength with us, to bear
ripe fruit in season for the life of others.
Wild Spirit, springing green,
coiled in the depths unseen,
promise of fruit within the seed maturing:
new life, you grow and swell,
burst from the outgrown shell,
hundredfold yield in every age ensuring.
Living and loving God,
sing in the pulse of our blood,
help us to know you in your own creation,
love you, the life of all,
serve you and hear your call
from our first forming to our full salvation. MBarrell
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.
“Inner presence, outer purpose”
By Eckhart Tolle. A New Earth.
Being at one with what is doesn’t mean you no longer initiate change or become incapable of taking action.
But the motivation to take action comes from
a deeper level, not from egoic wanting or fearing.
Inner alignment with the present moment opens your consciousness
and brings it into alignment with the whole,
of which the present moment is an integral part.
The whole, the totality of life, then acts through you.
Let there now be a quiet time among us.
May we find within ourselves the courage to be who we are.
May we trust one another and know there are many ways to go through life.
May we know that though we cannot change some of what life gives to us,
we can choose how we deal with what we are given. BHamilton-Holway
Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be read by (NN).
From the world around us:
“Tell them they are loved”
By Colleen McCullough, from A Creed for the Third Millenium/lol
…what else would you tell them?'
His voice dropped to rumbling, purring warmth.
'I would tell them they are loved.
No one seems to tell them they are loved any more.
That's a large part of the trouble.
‘Modem administrations are efficient, caring, dedicated.
But they dismiss love the way an insecure and weak man will neglect to tell his wife or his mistress
that he loves her because, he will say defensively,
surely she ought to know that without being told.
‘But oh… we all need to be told we are loved!
To be told you are loved lights up the day!
‘So, I would tell them they are loved.
I would tell them they are not evil,
they are not festering with sin,
they are not beneath contempt,
they are not simple nuisance value.
‘I would tell them that they already have every resource they need
in order to save themselves and make a better world…
‘I would try to make them see that God put them here for a purpose,
and that purpose is to make something of the world He put them in,
not channel their thoughts into an existence
they can only enter by leaving this world, by dying.
‘Too many people are so busy earning salvation in the next life
that they only end by screwing this one up.’
"Boroka Lookout - The Grampians"
By Richard Treloar. Searching & Finding/57
We arrived at the hilltop;
the sun shone despite the cloud,
we paused, drew breath, drinking in
the vision splendid.
Briefly our hands touched,
There was beauty,
the beauty of life,
We turned from the hilltop;
the cloud shadowed the sun,
the panorama disappeared,
the hilltop was but a brief glimpse of joyous beauty.
We could not stay,
but the memory remains.
Mark 9:2-9 (Inclusive Text)
Jesus took Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain
where they could be alone by themselves.
There in their presence Jesus was transfigured;
Jesus' clothes became dazzling white, whiter than any bleacher could make them.
Elijah appeared with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter spoke to Jesus,
“Rabbi, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tent dwellings,
one for you,
one for Moses,
and one for Elijah.”
Peter did not know what to say, they were so frightened.
And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud,
“This is my Beloved, my Own. Listen to this One!”
Then suddenly, when they looked around,
they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they came down the mountain,
Jesus warned them to tell no one what they had seen,
until after the Promised One had risen from the dead.
Silence for Personal Reflection
A Litany: Commitment to Life
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
and share a special litany for today.
The people stand as they are able
In the midst of hunger and war
All We celebrate the promise of plenty and peace.
In the midst of oppression and tyranny
All We celebrate the promise of service and freedom.
In the midst of doubt and despair
All We celebrate the promise of faith and hope.
In the midst of fear and betrayal
All We celebrate the promise of joy and loyalty.
In the midst of hatred and death
All We celebrate the promise of love and life.
In the midst of sin and decay
All We celebrate the promise of salvation and renewal.
In the midst of death on every side
All We celebrate the promise of the Living Christ (pod)
“Life should be a pattern of experiences to savour, not endure” PD’Arcy
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 People stand as they are able, to sing
“We Gaze in Wonder…” (Tune: ‘Gaze in wonder’, 11 10 11 9) 30 WNC
We gaze in wonder at the morning’s dawning,
positive witness to God’s faithful grace;
we turn our backs, and in the shadow standing,
shield the light we need to find our place.
In arrogance, in darkness we will stumble,
screening our eyes, we turn away from light.
We venerate our skill, the rocket’s rumble,
deadens sense, distorting wrong and right.
As stewards of love, let’s contemplate creation,
filigree frosting of a winter’s pain;
God hold in hand elation, desperation,
born in death that we might live again. (APratt)
Conversation with the Children
Children gather on the conversation mat
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)
Reflections and Prayers
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and concerns shared.
As one heart is lifted
All May we share its celebration
As one heart is burdened
All May we share the pain it knows (GVosper/wwg)
Burnt, dead leaves placed on table
And so we take this flame and light our special care candle.
The Care candle is lit
v2 May we find in this day
an awareness of the freedom we are given
to know life unshackled from fear,
v1 and embrace the possibilities of the present,
with every breath we take. (GVosper/ab)
Green leaves, symbols of hope, placed over the burnt leaves
The 'Abba' Prayer:
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as appropriate
All God, lover of us all, most holy one.
Help us to respond to you.
To create what you want for us here on earth.
Give us today enough for our needs.
Forgive our weak and deliberate offences,
just as we must forgive others when they hurt us.
Help us to resist evil and to do what is good.
For we are yours, endowed with your power
to make our world whole.
Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.
Presentation People stand as gifts are presented
Do all you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can...
All We open ourselves again to the disparities of our world.
Do all you can in all the places you can, at all the times you can...
All We open ourselves to new ways of being, sharing and receiving.
Do all you can to all the people you can, as long as you ever can...
All We open ourselves up to being the changes we wish to see in the world.
The importance is that we commit time, energy, resources, abilities
- and not just money, while avoiding making others dependent upon us.
Social justice and the progressive way involve
working alongside rather than doing something for another. (C3Exchange/Community Church)
May it be well with you.
All And also with you.
Life is a gift and we its celebration.
All May we rejoice in the beauty that we are. (GVosper/wwg)
God of the summer’s day and this "whirling, expanding, living, dying, cosmos", (BSanguin/idp)
All Praise and wonder be.
God of the lingering sunset and early dawn,
All Praise and wonder be.
God of the hot north wind and the refreshing shower,
God of the shady tree and the cool water bag,
God of the ripening harvest and sparkling sea,
All Praise and wonder be.
All creation blesses this creativity, the Source of Energy and Life.
For all things bright and beautiful.
For all things dark and mysterious and lovely.
For all things green and growing and strong.
For all things weak and struggling to push life up through rocky earth.
For all human faces, hearts, minds, and hands which surround us.
And for all non human minds and hearts,
paws and claws,
fins and wings... (G A Ricciuti/bb)
All Praise and wonder be.
So we join our praise with all your people
across the generations, saying
All Holy, holy, holy, Celebrating God,
heaven and earth are full of your glory!
In our praise and thanksgiving
we also remember the ways of Jesus
who walked the dusty roads of Galilee,
who taught from seashore and mountainside,
who told stories of the sower and the seed,
the lilies of the field,
and the birds of the air.
May we, too, know your presentness
in this evolving miracle of life.
And we remember our tradition...
On the night of his arrest, Jesus shared a meal with his disciples.
Bread taken, blessed, broken in silence
Wine taken, poured out in silence
Through grain and grape, bread and wine,
he spoke of his coming death and new life,
asking his disciples to remember him.
Be present with us now, Enfolding God,
as we share this sacrament.
Let your Spirit brood among us...
as it is through this bread and wine.
All May we be blessed with a desire to praise in song and story and poetry.
May we be blessed with a sharpened awareness of the Sacred in all.
May we be blessed with deep compassion.
May we be blessed with the patience and daring of the mystics. (Adapt.MAbbott/sc)
Served kneeling at the front rail.
This is an open table.
This Bread and Wine is available to all
Generous Giver of life, you supply us with all good things.
May this bread and wine be the nourishment we seek,
and may it transform us so all of creation
is lifted up into the heart of the Holy.
Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
"Warm is the Word" (Tune: 184.108.40.206. Dactylic)
Warm is the word we shall speak to our neighbour,
offering the love that has come from the heart.
Bridges we're building to span gulfs of hatred;
now is the time we must make a new start.
Follies have threatened our task from the outset,
words have been shallow and actions misplaced.
Help us to listen with care to our neighbour,
then may our answers disarm by their grace.
Words of Mission
As we prepare to leave this sacred space where we have met together,
let us return to our work and schooling, enlivened and renewed...
The candle is extinguished
May God's breath stream within us.
May God's breath renew us.
May God's breath invigorate us.
All We walk with confidence into this week. (Adapt/Sinfonia Oecumenica/lol)
May we be wholly present in our own lives,
ready to be surprised by the wonder of each ordinary moment.
May the light around us guide our footsteps.
May the darkness around us nurture our dreams and give us rest.
Blessed be. (Unknown)
Hymn (Cont). "Warm is the Word" (Tune: 220.127.116.11. Dactylic)
Let us avow by our words and intentions
never to stultify love at its source,
but by our dialogue, here and hereafter,
always to value and never to force.
Then as we utter each fond acclamation,
joined as if sisters and brothers from birth,
let us continue to break down dissension,
working for peace and renewal on earth. APratt © 2000 Stainer & Bell Ltd
The people sit
'This Week' at (NN)
Birthdays and anniversaries
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:
Abbott, M. 2001. Sparks of the Cosmos. Rituals for seasonal use. SA: Unley. MediaCom Education.
(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.
Burgess, R; K. Galloway. (ed). 2000. Praying For The Dawn. A resource book for the ministry of healing. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a new day. 2000. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Hilton, D. (ed). 1991. Liturgy of Life. An anthology. GtB: Birmingham. National Christian Education Council.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. QLD: Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Mitchell, R. C; G. A. Ricciuti. 1992. Birthings and Blessings. Liberating worship services for the inclusive church. NY: New York. Crossroads.
(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. Vancouver: EOS.
Treloar, R. 1984. Searching & Finding. Prayers and Meditations. QLD: Toowoomba. Darling Downs Institute Press.
Tolle, E. 2005. A New Earth: Awakening to your life's purpose. NY: New York. Dutton Adult.
Vosper, G. 2009/2010. Another Breath. Prayers for celebration and reflection. QLD: Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.
Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. GtB: London. SPCK.
Stoddard, Hamilton-Holway, UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Andew Pratt. "Warm is the Word". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
C3Exchange/Community Church, Spring Lake. MI. <www.c3exchange.org/>