Revd Rex A E Hunt
Web site: www.rexaehuntprogressive.com
LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
31 October 2010. Pentecost 23C. (Green).
10.30am. Contemporary liturgical worship.
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 worship
The gong is sounded three times
'Today is a day the Lord has made',
says an old religious writer,
'let us therefore rejoice and be glad in it'.
It is indeed!
So 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
"God of all time" (Tune: Infinite) 49 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.
Let us not die
from poverty of caring,
let us not starve,
where love is to be shared.
Come, break us
open to receive your healing:
your broken body
be our wine and bread. SEMurray
Our suburbs reflect your face, O God.
All In wrinkles of kindness
and hands touching hand.
Our suburbs sound with your voice, O God.
All In calls for new justice
and laughter in the streets.
Our suburbs breathe with your life, O God.
All In green grass in bitumen,
and new hope in the people.
Prayer of awareness
each sunrise and sunset
reminds us of your constant presence.
Awaken in each of us
the possibility for new life, new vision
and renewed energy. (TWatts/s)
Hymn "From season to season" (Tune: 578TiS, 11 11 11 11 anapaestic) 111 WNC
From season to season, through death and re-birth,
this world, through its phases, shows love has no dearth.
Such love is for sharing, to do good to all,
to nurture well-being, to echo God's call.
Through sensitive reason we fathom the need
of neighbours, of nature; we subjugate greed.
We offer each other the kiss of God's peace,
embracing earth's harmony, hatred will cease.
Through summer and autumn, through winter's release,
we welcome spring's coming with nature's increase.
All praise for the gifting of harvest and life,
all power to the ending of all human strife. (APratt)
The people sit after the hymn
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.
“We build temples in the heart”
By Patrick Murfin.
We have seen the great cathedrals, stone laid upon stone,
carved and cared for by centuries of certain hands;
seen the slender minarets soar from dusty streets
to raise the cry of faith to the One and Only God;
seen the placid pagodas where gilded Buddhas squat
amid the temple bells and incense.
We have seen the tumbled temples half-buried in the sands,
choked with verdant tangles,
sunk in corralled seas, and
old truths toppled and forgotten.
We have even seen the wattled huts,
the sweat lodge hogans,
the wheeled yurts,
and the Ice Age caverns
where unwritten worship
raised its knowing voices.
But here we build temples in our hearts.
Side by side we gather.
Let us take a moment to settle into the silence.
In these brief moments of silence and meditation may we find strength.
May our lives be rich in affection,
deep in understanding and
sympathy for each other.
May the blessings of life be known to all. Bob Holmes/adapted
Reading from our religious tradition
A story from our religious tradition shall be read by (NN).
May we be struck by the
wisdom of these words
and marked by hearing them.
All For within story lies meaning, and
within meaning, the wisdom for which we seek. (GVosper/ab)
Gospel: Two people went up to the temple to pray, The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer, 'I fast twice a week. I pay tithes on all I get.' The tax collector stood some distance away, This one, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not.
Luke 18:9-14 (Inclusive Text)
Jesus told the following parable to some people
who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else.
one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector.
'I thank you, God, that I am not grasping,
unjust, adulterous, like the rest of humankind,
and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here.
not daring even to look up to heaven, but in humility said,
'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'
For all who exalt themselves will be humbled,
but those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Two people went up to the temple to pray,
The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer,
'I fast twice a week. I pay tithes on all I get.'
The tax collector stood some distance away,
This one, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not.
Luke 19:1-10 (Inclusive Text)
Jesus entered Jericho and was going through the town
when a wealthy person whose name was Zacchaeus appeared.
Zacchaeus was one of the senior toll collectors.
Zacchaeus was anxious to see what Jesus was like,
but was too short and could not see Jesus for the crowd;
so Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree
to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way.
When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke:
'Zacchaeus, come down.
Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.'
And Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed Jesus joyfully.
They all complained when they saw what was happening.
'He has gone to stay at a sinner's house,' they said.
But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to Jesus,
'Look, I am going to give half my property to the poor,
and if I have cheated anybody
I will pay back four times the amount.'
And Jesus said to Zacchaeus,
'Today, salvation has come to this house,
because you too are a descendant of Abraham;
for the Promised One has come to seek out and save what was lost.'
Silence for personal reflection
A celebration of faith
In response to the word reflected on, let us join together in a celebration of faith.
The people stand
In desert and bushland, mountain and water,
we see the signs that God is with us.
All In grass that grows through cities
of concrete and brick,
we see the signs that God is with us.
In the faces of people whom God so loves,
All we see the signs that God is with us.
In our brokenness,
there is the hope of wholeness.
All In our emptiness, there is the hope of fullness.
In our deaths,
All lies the hope of resurrection life.
This is the Word in Christ to us.
All The flame of the Holy Spirit
lives in this place and travels with us. Amen. (Adapt/ D McRae-McMahon/eoj)
Let us take some time 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
“Come celebrate…” (Tune: ‘Gift of life’, CGibson) 17 HoS
Come celebrate the gift of life:
creation’s journey from the star
whose first great flaring forth of light
responded to God’s word of power.
Enable us, O God, to see
your living word is in us still;
this vibrant possibility
within our human lives fulfil.
Come celebrate the gift of love,
potential in each human soul,
revealed by Jesus as he strove
to heal our world and make us whole.
Enable us, O God, to choose
beyond the inborn needs of self;
in loving, be prepared to lose
our boundaries, and find new life.
Come celebrate the gift of power:
the flow of God within each soul,
which calls us in this present hour
to see creation as a whole.
Enable us, O God, to know
your life is present in all things;
and may our lives, within that flow,
reflect the joy creation sings. (MBond)
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 this abundant blessing
All We share the joy.
In this, our time of need,
All May love abound (GVosper/wwg)
In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
of the presentness of God among us,
and to see the new possibilities of the now.
The Care candle is lit
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as that is appropriate
All Life-Giver, Pain-Bearer, Love-Maker.
Source of all that is and that shall be.
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed
by all peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever. Amen. (UIW2)
Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
“Celebrate all human beauty” (Tune: Nettleton’, 87 87D. 392 TiS)
Celebrate all human beauty
caught in colour, form and face,
celebrate the human body
made to move with speed and grace.
Celebrate the human spirit
leaping high to reach a goal,
celebrate our Maker's wisdom
crafting body, mind and soul.
Celebrate our own endeavours
to achieve and to arrive
over handicap and hurdle
when against ourselves we strive,
iron will and summoned courage
sweeping obstacles aside,
sweating out our inner conflict
to acquit ourselves with pride.
Words of mission
Let us embrace the wonder of this week with expectation and imagination...
The community candle is extinguished
God of wonder
All Send us out with hearts full of praise.
God of wilderness
All Send us out with lives full of courage.
God of the rainbow covenant
All Send us out to live at one with all people.
God of the cross and resurrection
All Send us out in joyful service. EWelch/ljrd
Go now, into the world God loves so much,
to bear the fruit of love and compassion.
Go in peace and with delight for Creativity God goes with us.
In this is great blessing!
Hymn (Cont) “Celebrate all human beauty” (Tune: Nettleton’, 87 87D. 392 TiS)
Sport and faith both speak a language
universal, sensed and known;
where there's shared exhilaration,
new community is grown,
friendship found in common focus,
effort turned to common goal,
honouring our maker's purpose,
health in body, mind and soul. (SEMurray/sco)
The people sit after the hymn
'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.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2003. Let justice roll down. A worship resource for lent, holy week & easter. OH: Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press.
Duncan, G. (ed). 1998. Seeing christ in others. An anthology for worship, mediation and mission. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Holmes, R. H. 1972. The Bob Holmes worship materials. Vol 1. NY: Little Falls. Self published.
(HoS) Hope is our song. New hymns and songs from Aotearoa
New Zealand. 2009. NZ:
Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona abbey worship book. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1993. Echoes of our journey. Liturgies of the people. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.
(WNC) Pratt, A. 2002. Whatever name or creed. Hymns and songs. GtB: London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.
(SLT) Singing the living tradition. 1993. MA: Boston. UUA.
Uniting in Worship 2. 2005. NSW: Sydney. Uniting Church Press.
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.
Murfin. UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. UUA. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>