Advent1C.2.12.2012

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au
Web site:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
2 December 2012. Advent 1C. (Blue).
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


GATHERING

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
v1  The season of Advent challenges us
to see God's vision of what is yet to be,
to hear God's voice calling anew,
to smell the scent of God in our world.

v2  Peace be upon all who enter this house.
Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Music of Celebration

THE ADVENT WREATH WITH THE CHILDREN
Advent 1
Summer is in the air:
we look for the joys ahead;
for holy-days and recreation,
waiting and discerning.
All Come, companion Jesus, and walk with us.

v1  Let us prepare a manger in our hearts
for the birth of the sacred.
v3  Why do we light one candle?
v2 T his candle reminds us of the light of hope.
A candle is lit.

v4  hope
like a seed buried deep within the earth;
hidden, covered by layers,
disappointment, struggle, pain;
buried yet stretching,
growing and becoming.

hope
like a seed becoming new life.
This is why we light a candle for hope. KHawker

Presentation of the Christmas Bowl

Hymn  In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing...
Anna’s Song    55 (v1) ISIT
Lift this child to the sun,
Raise this child to the sky;
God has come from above,
Come to earth from on high.
Lift this child, lift this child to the sun.  © NHabel.
The children depart for Sunday Club.

Opening Sentences
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.  (MMorwood/adapt/pns)

Act of Awareness
Marvel at life!
Strive to know its ways!
Seek wisdom and truth,
the gateways
to life’s mysteries!

Wondrous indeed is life! (Adapt. Rabbi Rami  M Shapiro/ep)

OR

We pray:
Holy and Creative Light, may we continue
to love this earth, our home.

This quiet star, marbled blue and white,
was spinning in black space long before we came:
delicate,
self-contained,
easily torn apart!

Holy it is. As caretakers and stewards
may we watch over it, savor its beauty,
and breathe its air.  (CGrady /adapt)
May it be so. 

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
Advent Song”    281 (v1-3) GA
Refrain:
Gather in hope, people of God.
Sing the Advent song!
Song of faith, song of trust,
a song to welcome the Christ.

Let the warmth of our love,
like the long summer days,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.

Let our will for justice,
as strong as the sun,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.
Refrain:

Let our thirst for the truth,
like the dry, parched earth,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.

Let our dream for peace,
as bright as the sky,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.
Refrain:

Let the prophet be heard,
like the blaze of fire,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.

Let the poor and the rich,
as the lamb and the lion,
prepare the way of the Lord,
prepare the way of the Lord.
Refrain:  DBrowne

OR

All Over Creation(Tune: ‘Elizabeth’)    3COC
All over creation
joy spills into light,
stars, candles ablaze this Christmas night;
where Jesus is sleeping,
peace kisses the earth,
O that we could know who Mary has brought to birth!

This child will bring freedom,
this child will release
wellsprings of compassion, ways to peace,
this child will bring healing,
this child will inspire
love answering love, and spirit to Spirit's fire.

This child will befriend us,
this child will invite
all children to share his world's delight:
this Christ will confront us
when, children no more,
we plunder our planet, crying from want and war.

Let there be a moment
held, as in one breath,
when all the earth turns away from death,
peace nursing creation,
peace spreading her wing,
O that we could know what Christmas is meant to bring! (SEMurray)
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.

CENTERING

Reflection
"Prayer of the Earth"
By Andrew Hill.

Space-hanging Earth,
fragile as a Christmas babe
delicate as a Christmas Tree ornament:
nurture us as a mother nurtures children,
like Mary nursing Jesus.

Forgive our hurtful ways.
Help us to fairer sharing.
And so may you sustain all earth's children and all earth's beings
even your Earthly self
unto all generations and
into all time to come.

Silence
In this familiar place, listen:
to the sounds of breathing,
creaking chairs,
shuffling feet,
clearing throats,
and sighing all around.

Know that each breath, each movement, holds a life within it.
(Silence)

These are signs that we choose to be in this safe place.  BPescan/adapt.

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Some stories from our broad religious tradition shall now be read.
The reader is (NN).

Reader:  Into this day will break moments of awareness,
tiny shards of light that illumine
the whole reality of existence.
All May these readings be such a moment
and may we be blessed by their gift
(GVosper/ab)

From the mystics:
"In your midst"
By Hildegard of Bingen. The Essential Mystics/192.

I, God, am in your midst.
Whoever knows me can never fall,
Not in the heights,
Nor in the depths,
Nor in the breadths,

For I am love,
Which the vast expanses of evil
Can never still.

Gospel:
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36  (Inclusive Text)

• Introduction
This is a strange reading.  The predictions, like the images of horror and hope, fail the reality test at one level.
But at another level these same predictions also point to reality. A sense of potential doom and danger of global proportions is not to be despised.

oo0oo

Jesus said to the disciples:
'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars;
on earth nations in agony, bewildered
by the clamour of the ocean and its waves;
people dying of fear as they await
what menaces the world,
for the powers of heaven will be shaken.

'And then they will see the Promised One
coming in the cloud with power and great glory.

When these things begin to take place,
stand erect, hold your heads high,
because your liberation is near at hand...'

'Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened
with dissipation and drunkenness and the cares of life,
and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap.

'For it will come down on every living person
on the face of the earth.

'Stay awake, praying at all times
for the strength to survive all that is going to happen,
and to stand with confidence before the Promised One.'

Contemporary Exploration

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

Advent Litany
The people stand as they are able

v1 Among the poor,
v2 among the proud,
v3 among the persecuted,
v2 among the privileged,
v1 Christ is coming.
All Is coming to make all things new.

v3 In the private house,
v2 in the market place,
v1 in the wedding feast,
v2 in the judgement hall,
v3 Christ is coming.
All Is coming to make all things new.

v1 With a gentle touch,
v2 with an angry word,
v3 with a clear conscience,
v2 with burning love,
v1 Christ is coming,
All Is coming to make all things new.

v3 Within us,
v2 without us,
v1 among us,
v2 before us,
v3 in this place,
v2 in every place,
v1 for this time,
v2 for all time,
v1 Christ is coming,
All Is coming to make all things new. (wgwg)

Sharing of 'The Peace'
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.

May a heart of peace rest with you. (DGalston/q)
All  And also with you.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn of the Month  People stand as they are able, to sing
This Land of Bursting Sunrise(Tune: ‘Andujar’, 76 86D) 82 SLT
This land of bursting sunrise,
all lavender and blue,
its cloud-strewn, light-swept day skies flow,
and every day renew.
To east the glow of dawning,
to west the blaze of night,
‘round all the long horizon’s rim,
the everlasting light!

This land of open vistas,
life rooted deep and free,
the canyoned plains, the mountains vast,
plumb earth’s immensity.
Here in life’s fragile balance,
the sun and stars above,
find hand in hand, and heart to heart,
the everlasting love. (JHHolmes)
People sit

Reflections and Prayers
Care Candle:
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concern.
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 this special care candle
The care candle is lit

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
of the presence of the sacred among us,
and to see the new possibilities of the now.

The 'Abba' Prayer
You are invited to pray the Lord's Prayer in your original language,  as that is appropriate.

All Father, may your name be holy.
May your rule take place.
Give us each day our daily bread.

Pardon our debts, for we ourselves pardon
everyone in debt to us.
And do not bring us to trial
into a trying situation.  (B Mack/Q)
Amen.

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
Offerings
Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be presented.

Presentation
Open your eyes:
the landscape of life shows the sacred is near:
a rose in bloom,
a single green leaf,
the red and green flash of a parrot.

May we be a people of adventure and life,
grace-filled companions, offering
courage and hope in unexpected places.

Welcome
May Love be with you.
All And also with you!

May our hearts be opened.
All We open ourselves to life.

Creator of light, Bearer of life, Source of love,
All your ancient love stirs within us.

Thanksgiving
The sacred emerges for us everywhere:
in the rhythm of the oceans
in the magnificence of the stars,
in the beauty of all beings.
All We are grateful for the gifts of our story.

In this season, we listen for the voices crying in the wilderness.
We sing the song of angels who quiet our fears.
We find ourselves in the company of shepherds and magi
who search for what is coming to birth
in unlikely places among unlikely people.

In the company of courageous parents,
we dare to birth the holy among us.

In the divine, we live and move and have our being.
For all that is born of a sacred love,
we give our thanks and praise.
The advent of the holy is among us in every moment.
All In Jesus of Nazareth, we see new possibilities,
new ways of being in the world.

He was moved by the plight of the poor.
He made his home with the homeless
and shared his table with those
who could not command a seat at any table.

He dreamed of a world where enemies
learned to love one another,
where the abundance of creation was shared fairly,
and where love was the law of every land.

The Story
Near the end of his life, Jesus shared a sacred tradition of his people
and shaped it into something new.

Around a simple table, he celebrated the liberating story of Passover.
He dreamed of another revolution:
a world without a Pharaoh or a Caesar;
a world governed by the love which brought it into being.

Together with his friends,
Jesus broke the bread of freedom
and shared the cup of compassion.

Breaking the Bread of Freedom
In silence

Pouring the Cup of Compassion
In silence

The Invitation
Come from loneliness into the welcome of this table.
All Come from anxiety into the peace of this table.

Come from tensions into the joy of this table.
All Come from conflict into the love of this table.

Come and share the bread which leavens our hope.
All Come and share the cup which strengthens our compassion.

Come to enliven our capacity to work for transformation.
All Come, let us lay aside those things that shield our hearts.

Let us be open to the holy we meet
in the manger, and in the mirror.

Sharing the Bread and the Wine
The Bread and the Wine is shared with everyone

After the Sharing
v1 Spirit of life, though we live in a world of need:
Mn Here we have tasted hope and
hunger for a world more just.

Wn Here we have glimpsed the dream of creation renewed.
v2 May we have the courage to be bread and wine for one another. (Adapted.Nancy L.Steeves, 2008)

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"The Ceaseless Flow Of Time(Tune: 459(i) TiS, McKee  86 86)   350 (v1-2) SLT
The ceaseless flow of endless time
no one can check or stay;
we'll view the past with no regret,
nor future with dismay.

The present slips into the past,
and dream-like melts away;
the breaking of tomorrow's dawn
begins a new today.

Parting Words
Celebration need not cease.
All It can echo in our lives,
in our words,
in our deeds,
in our moods,
in our dreams.

Carry wounder and celebration with you wherever you may go.
All We will be a blessing in our
going out and your coming in.  (Adapt/G BMcKeeman)

Words of Blessing
May the God you see in all the colours of creation
arouse in you a sense of awe and wonder.
May the God who is a sacred presence be real to you.
May the God who is a source of inspiration and courage
keep calling you forward.

May your God go with you, and bless you. (FMacnab)
All Amen.

OR

May the embrace of our Mother Earth,
who unites us all in mystery,
move us to embrace and care for
all our kindred Earth beings,
whose orange clay and breath from God
we share in this our planet home.
All   May it be so! (Habel/rm)

Hymn (Cont.) "The Ceaseless Flow Of Time(Tune: 459(i) TiS, McKee  86 86)    350 (v3) SLT
The past and future ever meet
in the eternal now:
to make each day a thing complete
shall be our Advent vow. JStorey/adapted
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:
(COC) Carol Our Christmas. A Book of New Zealand Carols. 1996. Raumati: New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
(GA) Gather Australia. 1995. Ashburton: NLMC Publications.
Habel, N. Rainbow of Mysteries. Meeting the Sacred in Nature. Kelowna: Copper House/Wood Lake Publishing, 2012.
Harvey, A. (ed). 1996. The Essential Mystics. New York: HarperSanFrancisco.
(ISIT) In Spirit and In Truth. A Worship Book. 1991. Geneva: World Council of Churches. Seventh Assembly.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2007. Brisbane: Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Mack, B. L. 1993. The Lost Gospel. The Book of Q and Christian Origins. New York: HarperSanFrancisco.
Morwood, M. 2003. Praying a New Story. Richmond: Spectrum Publications.
Roberts, E; E. Amidon. 1991. Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York: HarperCollins.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993. Boston: UUA.
Vosper, G. 2009/2010. Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. 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.
Wild Goose Worship Group. 1997. Cloth For The Cradle. Worship Resources and Readings for Advent, Christmas & Epiphany. Glasgow: Iona Community.

Web sites/Other:
Grady, Hill, Pescan, McKeeman. UUA Worship Web. Boston: <http://uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/index.php>
Kathy Hawker. Outside The Box. 2006. <liturgyoutside.net/AdventCandleOutside.html>
Holy Communion. Nancy L.Steeves, 2008. One of several non-theistic resources found at: <http://www.ualberta.ca/ST.STEPHENS/resources> 
Francis Macnab. "Blessing Words". St Michael's Church, Melbourne, Web site.
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. <http://www.questcentre.ca/>

rexae@optusnet.com.au