Revd Rex A E Hunt
Web site: www.rexaehuntprogressive.com
LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
9 September 2012. Season of Creation 2B/Pentecost 15B. (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
With respect and gratitude for the original custodians of this land,
we gather together this day
to affirm in hope and faith,
that we can create a sacred space of welcome
for all who live in Australia.
So let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life
in the presentness of God.
Lighting of the Community Candle
The candle is lit
v2 Fountain of life...
Pulse of life...
Breath of life...
All Earth is filled with the presentness of God.
v1 A planet filled with the presence of God
All a living green blue planet,
peoples from every corner of creation,
the vast reaches of space above us,
and the rocks and hills and wonders of the wild.
v2 Together this day,
let us sense the face of God in all creativity.
Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
“For the Music of Creation” 41 AA
For the music of creation,
for the song your Spirit sings,
for your sound's divine expression,
burst of joy in living things:
God, our God, the worlds composer,
hear us, echoes of your voice:
music is your art, your glory,
let the human heart rejoice!
Psalms and symphonies exalt you,
drum and trumpet, string and reed,
simple melodies acclaim you,
tunes that rise from deepest need,
hymns of longing and belonging,
carols from a cheerful throat,
lilt of lullaby and lovesong
catching heaven in a note.
All the voices of the ages
in transcendent chorus meet,
worship lifting up the senses,
hands that praise and dancing feet;
over discord and division
music speaks your joy and peace,
harmony of earth and heaven,
song of God that cannot cease! SEMurray
Remain standing after the hymn
Peoples from every corner of creation,
All Celebrate with all creatures on Earth!
Young and old across the planet,
All Rejoice in the day that God has made!
Indigenous peoples of every land,
All Help us sense the spirit deep in each land!
Black and white and brown and grey,
All Celebrate with us the colours of creation!
All humanity on Planet Earth,
All Praise God for our planet home.
Sing, peoples, sing!
All Sing, creation, sing! (Adapt.NHabel/soc)
Act of Awareness
We are born to make manifest
the glory of the Sacred 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.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others (Adapt.Marianne Williamson/ep)
Creativity God, whose renewing breath fills our planet,
may we discern your vibrant presence among us.
And may our spirits be lifted
as we celebrate the kinship between humanity
and the rest of creation, this day.
May it be so.
Hymn “Children of the Human Race” (Tune: ‘Aberystwyth’, 77 77D. 211(i) TiS) 302 SLT
Children of the human race,
off-spring of our Mother Earth,
not alone in endless space
has our planet given birth.
Far across the cosmic skies
countless suns in glory blaze,
and from untold planets rise
endless canticles of praise.
Should some sign of others reach
this, our lonely planet Earth,
differences of form and speech
must not hide our common worth.
When at length our minds are free,
and the clouds of fear disperse,
then at last we’ll learn to be
Children of the Universe. (JAStorey)
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.
Take the symbol (rosemary/gum leaf/lavender)
you received at the door, rub it between your fingers,
smell it, and share with the person next to you a memory
of moving into a new neighbourhood
and making new friends.
We remember the challenges of moving
to new places and meeting
new people - of all ethnic origins.
We celebrate our kindship one with another
and with the whole of creation.
All We remember and rejoice.
Now away from the busyness of life
and in the silence of this place,
let us give thanks
for the gift of one another!
We celebrate the song of all humanity!
All Sing, peoples, sing! (NHabel/soc)
Music of Celebration
Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
A reflection and a story from our broad religious tradition
shall now be offered.
From the world around us:
"Made from this earth..."
By Susan Griffin. Earth Prayers /25.
We know ourselves to be made from this earth.
We know this earth is made from our bodies.
For we see ourselves.
And we are nature.
We are nature seeing nature.
We are nature with a concept of nature.
Nature speaking of nature to nature.
The red-winged blackbird flies in us, in our inner sight.
We see the arc of her flight.
We measure the ellipse.
We predict its climax.
We are amazed.
We are moved.
We watch her wings negotiate the wind,
the substance of the air, its elements
and the elements of those elements,
and count those elements found in other beings,
the sea urchin's sting,
ink, this paper,
the flesh of our tongues with which we make
the sound "blackbird,"
the ear with which we hear,
the eye which travels the arc of her flight.
And yet the blackbird does not fly in us
but in somewhere else free of our minds,
and now even free of our sight,
flying in the path of her own will.
Mark 7: 24-30 (NRSV)
Jesus set out and went to the region of Tyre.
He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there.
Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman
whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him,
and she came and bowed down at his feet.
Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin.
She begged Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her,
"Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair
to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs."
But she answered him,
"Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
Then Jesus said to her,
"For saying that, you may go. The demon has left your daughter."
So she went home, found the child lying on the bed,
and the demon gone.
Mark 7:31-37 (Inclusive Text)
Returning from the region of Tyre,
Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee,
right through the Decapolis region.
And they brought to Jesus a deaf man
who had an impediment in his speech;
and they asked Jesus to lay his hand on him.
Jesus took him aside in private, away from the crowd,
put his fingers into the man's ears,
and touched his tongue with spittle.
Then looking up to heaven, Jesus sighed and said:
'Ephphatha', that is, 'Be opened'.
And the deaf one's ears were opened,
and the ligament on his tongue was loosened,
and he spoke clearly.
And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it,
but the more he insisted,
the more widely they published it.
Their admiration was unbounded,
'He has done all things well', they said,
'he makes the deaf to hear and the mute speak'.
Alternate Reading - Season of Creation
When the other ten heard [what James and John had been talking about]
they began to feel indignant with [them], so Jesus called them and said,
'You know that among the gentiles their so-called rulers
lord it over them, and their great ones
make their authority felt.
'This is not to happen among you.
No; anyone who wants to become great among you
must be your servant, and anyone
who wants to be first among you must be slave of all.
'For the Human One did not come
to be served, but to serve...'
Silence for Personal Reflection
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
The people of God have a human face.
All We laugh, we weep, we wait in hope.
We lift our eyes
All and stub our toes,
All and struggle,
All we stand, and always we stand
on trembling ground.
But God is God and Jesus is our Companion
and the Spirit will lift up our feet.
All God is in the centre, God is at our endings.
Nothing lies beyond the love of Creativity God (Aadapt./Pitt St. UCA)
God makes peace within us. Let us claim it.
God makes peace between us. Let us share it. (nwi)
Let us greet another as a sign of God's peace.
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 People stand as they are able, to sing
“Spirit of Springtime” (Tune: ‘Verdure’) 59 FFS
Spirit if springtime in creation’s garden,
tingling the senses,
tickling the earth,
sap that is rising where the seed was sleeping,
push for a new world
coming to birth!
Heard in the song that sweeps from bush to ocean,
seen in the sunlight,
felt in the blood,
surge of delight at every greening, growing,
God in the promise,
blossom from bud.
Fresh as the rain that washes clean our vision,
keen as the wind on
bright as the Spirit in the life of Jesus,
bold as the mindset
thinking his way.
Springtime of hope from out of winter’s clutches,
warm us to witness
woo us to see
beauty will break through rotted leaves and ashes,
joy will erupt, and
life will leap free! (SEMurray)
Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,
shall now be received.
Spirit of God,
among the streets of business
and in places of healing and learning:
All Renew the face of the earth.
Among the budding orchards
and in the grassless paddocks:
All Renew the face of the earth.
Among the tired and broken families:
All Renew the face of the earth.
Among these people and with these gifts:
All Renew the face of the earth. (WCC/isit)
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
In the light and beauty of day
All We give thanks in awe and wonder.
In the dark and stillness of night
All We dream of healing and hope (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 Good caring presence within us, around us, and above us;
Hold us in a sense of mystery and wonder.
Let the fullness of your goodness be within us and around us.
Let all the world know your ways of caring and generosity.
May we find we have all we need
to meet each day without undue anxiety.
Overlook our many stupidities,
and help us to release everyone from their stupidities.
May we know we are accepted.
Strengthen us that we will reach out to the best,
always with the faith
to rise above the ugly realities of our existence.
And we celebrate the gifts you have given us:
the rich kingdom of life’s possibilities,
the power to do good and the triumphs of good,
and the moments when we have seen
the glory and wonder of everything.
You are life’s richness.
You are life’s power.
You are life’s ultimate meaning.
And for everyone.
And for ever more. Amen. (FMacnab/fwb)
Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
“The Day Will Come…” (Tune: 654 TiS. O Waly Waly 2)
The day will come, must come, and soon
when we will sing a song of joy
with sisters, brothers, not like us,
who share the image of one God.
Whatever name, which ever faith,
at heart we share a common bond,
a shared humanity in God,
whose name and character is love.
Words of Mission
Let us go in faith to ponder in our hearts
the mystery and the wonder of this season...
The candle is extinguished
Hold again the fragrant symbol in your hands
and go forth to serve.
v2 Will you care for Planet Earth?
All We will remember our planet home!
We will nurture our planet!
We will act graciously to all humanity!
We will celebrate life!
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. (Adapt. Gaelic)
Hymn (Cont). “The Day Will Come…” (Tune: 654 TiS. O Waly Waly 2)
That love will drive us to the day
when every wall is broken down,
when love and joy and song are one:
that day will come, must come, and soon. APratt.
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:
(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.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. 2000. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Holy Bible. NRSV. 1989. TN: Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. QLD: Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
In Spirit and in Truth. A Worship Book. 1991. Switzerland: Geneva. World Council of Churches. Seventh Assembly.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Macnab, F. 2006. A Fine Wind Is Blowing: Psalms of the Bible in Words That Blow You Away. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1993. Echoes Of Our Journey. Liturgies of the People. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.
Roberts, E; E. Amidon. 1991. Earth Prayers From Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. NY: New York. HarperCollins.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993. MA: Boston. UUA.
The St Hilda Community. 1996. The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. GtB: London. SPCK.
Vosper, G. 2008. With or Without God. Why the way we live is more important that what we believe. Canada: Toronto. HarperCollins.
Norman Habel Creation Liturgies. <www.seasonofcreation.com>
Andrew Pratt. "The Day Will Come...". Andrew Pratt Hymns and Words blog site. UK. <http://hymnsandbooks.blogspot.com/>