Revd Rex A E Hunt
Web site: www.rexaehuntprogressive.com
LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
9 August 2009. Pentecost 10B. (Green).
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
Come into this sacred space.
Come in bringing all of who you are.
Rest and quiet your week-worn spirit,
for you are here to touch again
eternal springs of hope and renewal (COwen-Towle/adapt).
v1 Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life in the presentness of God.
Lighting of the community candle
The candle is lit
Hymn "God of our every day" (Tune: Jansen) 52 AA
God of our every day,
friend who will walk our way,
light who can change the
focus of our seeing:
capture our heart and mind,
be in the work we find,
till all we do becomes
your mode of being.
Speak to the spirit's void,
hands that are unemployed,
lives that are lived without
a true direction:
gifts that are hid, unearth,
lift us to know our worth
that in ourselves we see
your own reflection.
Shine through our winter's grey,
break through depression's day,
live in the little deaths
we die in growing:
meaning for whom we grope,
home of our strongest hope,
power and peace, through all
creation flowing. SMurray
Like wind swaying through the trees on the (local hills)
or surging through thickets of wattle,
All so, is God's presence with us.
We rejoice in your presence
All Creator Spirit, Life-giving Spirit, Nurturing Spirit.
Prayer of awareness
In all our living, may we
be freed to see things afresh,
be more fully alive,
and have the courage to keep faith in the future of humanity,
Creator Spirit, Life-giving Spirit, Nurturing Spirit.
Hymn "We celebrate the web of life" (Tune: 'Wiltshire', 86 86, 112 TiS) 175 SLT
We celebrate the web of life
its magnitude we sing;
for we can see divinity
in every living thing.
A fragment of the perfect whole
in cactus and in quail,
as much in tiny barnacle
as in the great blue whale.
Of ancient dreams we are the sum;
our bones link stone to star,
and bind our future worlds to come
with worlds that were and are.
Respect the water, land, and air
which gave all creatures birth;
protect the lives of all that share
the glory of the earth. (ASCarpenter)
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.
By Rosemary Mitchel. Birthings and blessings/94.
with new life!
God is present!
God is with us!
nothing can separate us!
Even when we feel unsure,
even when we feel broken to the core of our being -
We hold fast to God's love,
we are always welcome in God's household.
We will each, once again,
feel like a well-watered garden.
Full of life!
Radiant in the sun!
It will be good.
It is good.
Now let silence of this place once again gently enfold us.
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…
Music of reflection
Reading from biblical tradition
A reading from our biblical tradition shall now be offered.
John 6: 41-51 (Inclusive Text)
The Jewish people were complaining to one another about Jesus, because Jesus had said,
I am the bread that came down from heaven.
'Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph and Mary', they said.
'We know his father and mother. How can he now say:
‘I have come down from heaven?'
Jesus said in reply,
'Stop complaining to one another.
'You can not come to me unless drawn by the One who sent me,
and I will raise you up at the last day.
'It is written in the prophets:
They will all be taught by God, and to hear the teaching of God,
and learn from it, is to come to me.
Not that anybody has ever seen God,
except the one who comes from God.
'I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes has eternal life.
'I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert and they are dead,
but this is the bread that comes down from heaven,
so that one may eat it and not die.
'I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.'
Silence for personal reflection
A celebration of faith
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand and share a celebration of faith.
The people stand as they are able
We are a cloth of diverse colours
made from many gifts and graces.
All We are the people flowing forth from Creator God,
surprising ourselves with the things which can be done.
We are raw material for rewarding relationships as our lives interweave,
All contributing one to the other,
holding each other firm when one is weak or breaking.
We are each worthy of being respected and cared for
All essential to the pattern,
skilled in our appointed tasks,
sources of laughter and sharers of tears.
We commit ourselves to work together,
All that one day, this world may be a place
where all people live in justice, freedom and peace. (Adapt.DMcRae-McMahon/bst)
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.
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 are God’s language” (Tune: ‘Ellers’, 10 10 10 10. 301 RCH)
People are language through whom God can speak;
Heard by the list'ners, found by those who seek;
Heard in a whisper, never in a roar;
Heard in compassion, not through formal law.
People are language through whom God can care
With words of comfort when we see despair;
Spoken in kindness, yet with certainty;
Heard with delight when calming misery.
People are language through whom God can plead
For peace and mercy, for the ones in need;
Spoken in strength, with poise and dignity,
Calling for justice and for liberty.
Sharing of love with acts of gentleness,
Sharing the load with deeds of thoughtfulness,
We can ensure the message can be heard;
For we are language of God's living word (GStuart).
Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,
shall now be received.
Eternal God, speak to our inner selves
of the wide human need,
of the opportunities of generosity, and
of the choice we have in our time to help build a better world. (FMacnab/h)
The people sit
Conversation with the children
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.
In this abundant blessing
All We share the joy.
In this, our time of need,
All May love abound (GVosper/wwg)
And so we take this flame and light our special care candle.
The Care candle is lit
In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
of the presentness of God among us,
and to see new possibilities of the now.
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.
Hymn "God gives us a future" (Tune: ‘Camberwell’ 65 65D) 687 (v1-2) TiS
God gives us a future
daring us to go
into dreams and dangers
on a path unknown.
We will face tomorrow
in the Spirit's power
we will let God change us
for new life starts now.
We must leave behind us
sins of yesterday
for God's new beginning
is a better way.
Fear and doubt and habit
must not hold us back:
God gives hope, and insight
and the strength we lack.
Words of mission
The God we worship is never confined to this holy place.
So go and travel with the God who is found
in ordinary and surprising places.
The candle is extinguished
May the quality of our lives be our benediction.
All And a blessing to all whom we touch. PRGiles
He who has called you will not leave you without encouragement.
Let the great God be between your shoulders,
to look after you at your coming and going.
Let the Son of Mary be very close to your heart.
And the lovely Spirit be poured upon you...
Yes, the lovely Spirit be poured all over you! (From a Celtic blessing)
Hymn (Cont). "God gives us a future" (Tune: ‘Camberwell’ 65 65D) 687 (v3) TiS
Holy Spirit, teach us
how to read the signs
how to meet the challenge
of our troubled times.
Love us into action
stir us into prayer
till we choose God's life, and
find our future there. EJSmith.
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:
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.
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.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1996. The glory of blood, sweat and tears. Liturgies for living and dying. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.
Macnab, F. 1996. Hope: The deeper longings of the mind and heart. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Mitchell, R. C; G. A. Ricciuti. 1992. Birthings and blessings. Liberating worship services for the inclusive church. NY: New York. Crossroads.
Singing the living tradition. 1993. MA: Boston. UUA.
Stuart, G. 2006. Singing a new song. Traditional hymn tunes with new century lyrics. Second edition. NSW: Sydney. CPRT Sydney.
Together in song. Australian hymn book 2. 1999. NSW: Sydney. HarperCollins Religious.
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.
UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. UUA. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>