Revd Rex A E Hunt
Web site: rexaehuntprogressive.com
CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
The earth has gone the round of seasons:
from the vibrant green of spring's new life
to the lush richness of warm summer,
to the brilliant fulfillment of riotous autumn,
to the generosity and self-giving of winter.
Now we stand again, touched by the promise
of new life in the spring. (David Bumbaugh/cb)
Thus it is fitting that as we celebrate the renewal of life and hope,
we also celebrate the presentness
of the Spirit of Life and Hope and Creativity,
everywhere around and within us.
Loving and caring God, how fertile your genius!
You shape everything.
You fill the world with what you do.
You search us out and know us.
All that we are is open to you.
When our days become over-busy
and our spirits are bleached like spinifex...
All May we be flooded with a downpour of encouragement!
When we take things for granted
and gratitude goes to sleep...
All May a new song be put on our tongues.
When life’s abrasive pressures fray us,
loosing our hold on the Still Centre...
All May we be told again about sparrows and nesting magpies,
about daffodils and prunis blossom,
and the Parent who knows our every need.
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey,
you are welcome at this table with it's symbols of God's Creative Presence.
All In company with all who seek nourishment at this table,
we come to celebrate community, and to share
these life-giving symbols. (J Stinson/adapted)
Let us greet another as a sign of God's peace.
The peace and presence of God is here... to stay.
All Thanks be to God.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.
It is right and our joy to give thanks
world-gazing, hope-cheering God, our cherisher.
We celebrate the changing mood of nature:
for sunshine and showers of a spring day.
for the nesting and cheerfulness of birds,
and the flowers of bush and garden...
wattle, heath, and bottle brush.
We give thanks, O Holy One.
All We give thanks.
We who hold all such good things in trust,
in the company of each other,
and in company with people throughout the world
declare as generations before us have declared:
All Holy, holy, holy, hope-breathing God,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
All Hosanna in the highest.
And we celebrate our knowledge of Jesus the Companion,
who taught all to care for
the birds of the air,
and the grass of the paddock;
living expressions of the Spirit of Life in our midst.
We remember that night among friends,
reclined at table... Jesus again shared a meal with his friends.
Through grain and grape, bread and wine,
and in fellowship together,
Jesus spoke of his enduring love for each of them.
So we take this bread and this wine
mindful of the Spirit at work in our lives.
Thus making our living a source of renewal and hope.
Bread and Wine
Bread is broken.
We break this bread in celebration of the great truth
that on this tiny planet, hurtling through cold, empty space,
death is made the servant of life,
and out of death, life is forever resurrected.
Wine poured out.
This cup with its fruit of the vine,
is a celebration that things are not always as they seem:
that out of faithfulness and steadfastness,
out of suffering and sorrow,
may come unsought blessings.
To eat and drink together reminds us
of the deeper aspects of human fellowship,
for from time immemorial
the sharing of bread and wine has been
the most universal of all symbols of community.
Bread and wine served in the pews
We give thanks that we have
gathered together in this sacred place,
and been refreshed at this table.
We rejoice in the giftedness of each person here.
We are grateful for who we are for each other.
May we go forth into the world in courage and peace.
Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy:
Abbott, M. 2001. Sparks of the cosmos. Rituals for seasonal use. SA: Unley. MediaCom Education.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona abbey worship book. GtB: Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Lee, B. J. (ed). 1987. Alternative futures for worship. Vol 3. The eucharist. MN: Collegeville. The Liturgical press.
Morely, J. 1992. All desires known. Expanded edition. GtB: London. SPCK.
Morwood, M. 2003. Praying a new story. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Prewer, B. D. 2000. Australian psalms. Revised and expanded. SA: Adelaide. OpenBook Publishers.
Seaburg, C. (ed). 1993. The communion book. MA: Boston. UUMA.
Stinson, J. 2006. “The encounter of progressive christian theology with the language of prayer and ritual on Sunday morning”. Westar Institute/Westar Leaders Seminar. March 2006.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating women. New edition. GtB: London. SPCK.
Withrow, L. 1995. Seasons of prayer. Resources for worship. GtB: London. SPCK.
Sherri Weinberg. St Paul's Presbyterian Church. NZ: Devonport.