Pentecost24B.11.11.2012

Revd Rex A E Hunt



eMail: rexae@optusnet.com.au

Web site:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com




LITURGY FOR THE 
CELEBRATION OF LIFE

11 November 2012.  Pentecost 24B. (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



GATHERING

Gathering Music


Entry into the Celebration

The gong is sounded three times


As we gather together on this spring day

may we recognise and affirm:

the pieces of possibility,

the bits of good, we bring,

allowing our individual gifts

to weave a patchwork of peace.


Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life

in the presentness of God.


Lighting of the Community Candle

The candle is lit


Hymn The people stand, as they are able, to sing

"Spirit of God, Creation's Force" (Tune 245 TiS Fulda, 88 88)

Spirit of God, creation's force,

and power of evolution's course,

gave breath of life to humankind

and then inspired inventive mind.


Spirit of history's linked events

has shown repeated evidence

of hidden influence, working through

all our world leaders try to do.


Spirit of prophet's utterance

proclaimed in needy circumstance

a word of God, through human voice

with challenge to courageous choice.


Spirit of power and truth and grace,

renews today the human race,

bestowing gifts, producing fruits,

promoting godly attributes.


Spirit, possess and fill us whole,

fill every heart and mind and soul,

infuse our being with your power

that we may serve this present hour. RFirth/adapted. (c) Stainer & Bell Ltd

Remain standing


Two further Hymns for consideration by those sharing in Remembrance Day
(i)  “Honour the Dead”. (Tune: ‘Anzac’, 10 10 10 10) 61 HoS

Honour the dead, our country's fighting brave,

honour our children left in foreign grave,

where poppies blow and sorrow seeds her flowers,

honour the crosses marked forever ours.


Weep for the places ravaged by our blood,

weep for the young bones buried in the mud,

weep for the powers of violence and greed,

weep for the deals done in the name of need.


Honour the brave whose conscience was their call,

answered no bugle, went against the wall,

suffered in prisons of contempt and shame,

branded as cowards, in our country's name.


Weep for the waste of all that might have been,

weep for the cost that war has made obscene,

weep for the homes that ache with human pain,

weep that we ever sanction war again.


Honour the dream for which our nation bled,

held now in trust to justify the dead,

honour their vision on this solemn day:

peace known in freedom, peace the only way. SEMurray


(ii) “Remembrance(Tune: ‘Little Cornard’)

Once crimson poppies bloomed

out in a foreign field,

each memory reminds

where brutal death was sealed.

The crimson petals flutter down,

still hatred forms a thorny crown.


For in this present time

we wait in vain for peace,

each generation cries,

each longing for release,

while war still plagues the human race

and families seek a hiding place.


How long will human life

suffer for human greed?

How long must race or pride,

wealth, nationhood or creed

be reasons justifying death

to suffocate a nation's breath?


For everyone who dies

we share a quiet grief,

the pain of loss remains,

time rarely brings relief,

and so we will remember them

and heaven sound a loud amen. © Andrew Pratt 15/10/2012


Opening Sentences

We live at mystery's edge

watching for a startling luminescence

or a word to guide us.

All In fragile occurrence the Holy One is present,

and we must pause...


Daily, there are glimmers,

reflections of a seamless mercy

revealed in common intricacies.

All These circles of grace spill out around us

and announce that we are part of this mystery. KWehlander


Act of Awareness

We come together in this hour...

in a wider search for truth and purpose.


In this quest, may we

greet one another with open hearts and minds;

inspire each other to consider new questions

and seek deeper meaning;

and cultivate both wisdom and compassion.


Let all who enter this sacred place

find comfort in this community.


OR


We pray:

We have come together in this quiet space

to reflect upon our lives,

to pray for ourselves and others, and

to deepen our understanding we have for each other.


May we embrace this time together.

May it be so.


Hymn Let My Spirit Always Sing(Tune: 'Rebekah')   41 FFS

Let my spirit always sing,

though my heart be wintering,

though the season of despair

give no sign that you are there,

God to whom my days belong,

let there always be a song.


Though my body be confined,

let your word engage my mind,

let the inner eye discern

how much more there is to learn,

see a world becoming whole

through the window of the soul.


Let your wisdom grace my years,

choose my words and chase my fears,

give me wit to welcome change,

to accept, and not estrange,

let my joy be full and deep

in the knowledge that I keep.


Let my spirit always sing,

to your Spirit answering,

through the silence, through the pain

know my hope is not in vain,

like a feather on your breath

trust your love, through life and death. SEMurray

The people sit


OR

Christ Is Our Peace(Tune: ‘Suantrai’)   16 AA

Christ is our peace, Christ is our health,

he the true Word, his the true wealth –

gifts to be shared by the simple and poor:

peace in your land, peace at your door.


Peace in your mouth, peace in the hands

open to truth, to love's demands;

those who would go with Christ also must bleed -

bright is the flower, burst is the seed.


Who work for peace find the true wealth,

who heal the hurt find their own health

peace will flow on through the hearts that believe:

this may we know, thus may we live (SEMurray).
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.


CENTERING

Reflection

"A Springtime Prayer"

By George A Tyger


O' power of springtime,

Spirit of green grasses

and warm breezes;

Goddess of creativity 

     of birth

     of life renewed

You sing all about us at this time.


The birds call your sacred name.

Buds burst forth with your vestment.

The sun reaches higher into the sky

     shining the light of this new day

     through the windows of your cathedral,

     this world.


O power of springtime 

forgive us our speediness

and our racing before your

     eternal grace

that we do not see the myriad 

miracle world we share.


Open our eyes with your warmth

and our hearts with your beauty

slow our minds with awe and wonder.


Dear Spirit of green grasses

and warm breezes;

let us find here 

in these moment of quiet

     the grace of your breath

     as we breathe into our bodies

the spirit of spring.


OR


For those in the Northern Hemisphere...
“Autumn Meditation”

By Elizabeth Strong. (Adapted).


We know the leaves are dying.

We know that their blaze of beauty is a preparation for death.

It is a time when we appreciate the effort of nature

to rise above the ordinariness of life and death.

It is a time when we visibly comprehend glory and wonder.

And we worship with thanks.


We feel now that the air is cold and crisp.

We feel now a clearing from the skies

of the heaviness of the hazes of summer.

It is a time when we appreciate the crispness and sharpness

of the realities of life and death.

It is a time when we physically comprehend the relief

that clarity and insight can bring.

And we worship with thanks.


We hear now the dry rustle of plants and grasses.

We hear now a crackling from the earth

that tells of the withering of the fullness of life.

It is a time when we appreciate approaching rest

        from the frantic fullness.

It is a time when we hear a different voice within,

and know that life is settling down

for a well deserved wintering.


Let it be so within each of our lives

        as we prepare for an autumn in our own life cycle.

For we all need rest and respite if we are to understand

and appreciate the rhythm of life in our soul

that enables us to worship with thanks.


Silence

At this time, let us be embraced

by the silence of this sacred place.

(Silence)


We know so well our own needs.

We know that we, ourselves need

understanding, affection and recognition.


May we this day, increase our resolve

to give more generously of ourselves,

to risk more of ourselves, and

where necessary, stand ready to forgive and begin anew.

(Silence)


Music of Reflection


EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition

Two readings from our broad religious tradition

shall now be read by (NN).


The world around us:

"Spirit of Life"

By Barbara Hamilton-Holway


Spirit of life, in us and around us,

here is our chance, once again,

to live like we wish the world would live.


May we find within ourselves

the courage to be who we are.

May we know when it is time to listen

and when it is time to speak.

May we trust ourselves to be the ones to find

the words that need to be said

or to do what needs to be done.

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.


We are coming into our power,

and together we can make possible justice and love.

We are all connected;

we depend upon one another

more than we know.


We are one body.

So be it. Blessed be.


Gospel:

Mark 12:38-44  (Inclusive Text)


In teaching Jesus said,

'Beware of those scribes who like to walk about in long robes,
and to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares,

to take the front seats in the synagogues

and the places of honour at banquets;

these are the ones who swallow the property of widows,

while making a show of lengthy prayers.

'The more severe will be the sentence they receive.'


Jesus sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people

putting money into the treasury,

and many of the rich put in a great deal.


A poor widow came and put in two small coins,

the equivalent of a penny.


Then Jesus called the disciples and said to them,

'I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in

than all who have contributed to the treasury;

for they have all put in money they had over,

but she from the little she had has put in

everything she possessed,

all she had to live on.'


Contemporary Word


Silence for Personal Reflection


AFFIRMING

A Celebration of Faith...

In response to the word reflected on, let us stand 

and share together a celebration of faith.

The people stand as they are able


God of all living, we have seen your presence

in the rhythm and surprises of our years.

All You have accompanied us through all that is past.

So we give thanks.


We recognise your closeness in this day.

All You challenge and encourage us

in each act and decision.

So we offer our praise.


Now we look to you in the promises which stretch before us.

All You meet us with hope and call us to freedom

to live as your new people.

So we commit ourselves again,

to live as commited people of faith. MDurber.Adapted/sco


The Peace

Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.


The peace of God is here... to stay. (Iona)

All Thanks be to God.

You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.


Hymn of the Month The people stand, as they are able, to sing

"Companions, Let Us Pray Together" (Tune: ‘Companions’) 21 HoS

Companions, let us pray together,

in this place affirm our faith.

Our God who made us is here among us;

we stand together in God's grace.

Refrain:

We are whanau, we are one,

brothers, sisters, of the Son.

We are reaching for our freedom,

the prize that Christ has won.


The broken Christ stands here among us,

shares our suffering and our pain;

in breaking bread we find empowerment

to live in aroha again.
Refrain:


The risen Christ bring light and laughter,

celebrates the life we share;

the poured out wine of Christ's self-giving

inspires us to reach out and care.
Refrain:


Now let us sing to God who loves us

and accepts us as we are;

go out from here and live that message,

proclaim our oneness near and far.
Refrain: 
(DClark/WIhimaera)

The people sit


Offerings

Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place

and beyond, shall now be received.


Presentation People stand, as they are able, as the gifts are presented

We have been blessed abundantly

and given opportunities to share.

All May we who stand upon the shoulders

of those who have gone before, be enabled

to catch a vision of what can yet be.

The people sit


Conversation with the Children
Children gather on the conversation 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)


Reflections and Prayers

Care candle:

We are people of all ages who enter this space

bringing our joys and concerns.

Joys and concerns shared.


Focused Thoughts:


Listening Response

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)


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.


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, who cares for us,

The wonder of whose presence fills us with awe.


Let kindness, justice and love shine in our world.

Let your secrets be known here as they are in heaven.

Give us the food and the hope we need for today.


Forgive us our wrongdoing

as we forgive the wrongs done to us.

Protect us from pride and from despair

and from the fear and hate which can swallow us up.


In you is truth, meaning, glory and power,

while worlds come and go.

Amen. (MFurlong/nwi)


SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand, as they are able, to sing

Nothing Is Lost…(Tune: ‘Greenlane’)   50 (v1-2) FFS

Nothing is lost on the breath of God,

nothing is lost for ever;

God's breath is love, and that love will remain,

holding the world for ever.

No feather too light, no hair too fine,

no flower too brief in its glory;

no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air,

but is counted and told in God's story.


Nothing is lost to the eyes of God,

nothing is lost for ever;

God sees with love and that love will remain,

holding the world for ever.

No journey too far, no distance too great,

no valley of darkness too blinding;

no creature too humble, no child too small

for God to be seeking, and finding.

Remain standing


Words of Mission

Let us embrace the wonder of this week

with expectation and imagination...

The candle is extinguished


For the blessings we each bestow on one another

with our energy, compassion, and prayer,

we give thanks.

All For the blessings we become to others in need,

we give thanks and remember

that we are not alone. (Adapt.DTaylor/fal)


Blessing Words

As the kookaburra gently settles on the tree,

receive the gift of peace.

As the flame rises with light and warmth,

receive the gift of life.

As the wind moves and dances round the earth,

receive the gracious gift of the Spirit. (Adapt.DStewart/wb)

All Amen!


Hymn (Cont). Nothing Is Lost…(Tune: ‘Greenlane’)   50 (v3) FFS

Nothing is lost to the heart of God,

nothing is lost for ever;

God's heart is love, and that love will remain,

holding the world for ever.

No impulse of love, no office of care,

no moment of life in its fulness;

no beginning too late, no ending too soon,

but is gathered and known in God's goodness. (CGibson)

The people sit


'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. 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. Santa Rosa: Polebridge Press.

Duncan, G. (ed). 2000. A World of Blessing. Benedictions from every continent and many cultures. Norwich: The Canterbury Press.

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

(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a new day. 2000. Raumati: New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2009.

Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. Brisbane: Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.

Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications.

Pickett, H & E. (ed). 2005. For All That Is Our Life. A meditation anthology. Boston: Skinner House Books.

The St Hilda Community. 1996. The New Women Included. A book of services and prayers. London:  SPCK.

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


Web sites:

Wehlander,Strong,Tyger, Hamilton-Holway. UUA Worship Web. Boston: UUA. www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>

R Firth. "Spirit of God...". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
"Remembrance".
Andrew Pratt. Direct from the author. andrewpratt@btconnect.com

rexae@optusnet.com.au