Revd Rex A E Hunt
For continuing access make sure you 'Favourite' or ‘Bookmark’ my web site:
My books, suitable for progressive religious thinkers…
• Against the Stream: Progressive Christianity Between Pulpit and Pew. Preston: Mosaic Press, 2012.
• Cards, Carols, and Claus. Christmas in Popular Culture and Progressive Christianity. Preston: Mosaic Press, 2013.
• (Edited with John W Smith) Why Weren’t We Told? A Handbook on ‘progressive’ Christianity. Salem: Polebridge Press, 2012.
• (Edited with John Smith) New Life: Rediscovering Faith. Stories from Progressive Christians. Preston: Mosaic Press, 2013.
• (Edited with Gregory Jenks) Wisdom & Imagination: Religious Progressives and the Search for Meaning.
Preston: Mosaic Press, 2014.
Should you wish to read Reviews or Order/Purchase any,
click HERE. Or contact me direct at:
I offer them at discounted prices plus postage. (RAEH)
LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
18 May 2014. Easter 5A. (White).
Acknowledgement of Country
(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
Arise, O living Spirit, embrace the day ahead,
awake our eyes and ears for revelation.
All Invoke anew the wisdom which is our daily bread.
Protect anew the pilgrim of the dawn. (DO’Murchu)
Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.
Lighting of the Community Candle
The community candle is lit
Our light may seem small and flickering, but
it bears the flame to another and another,
just as the flame of love is passed
from person to person. PBrooks/li-adapt
Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
“God Who Fills the Universe” (Tune: ‘Francis David’. 77 66 7) 37 SLT
God who fills the universe
from the atom to the stars,
make firm my changeful heart
so I may do my part
and bring joy to all the earth.
God who webs the universe
with amazing mysteries,
make glad my fragile soul
so I can see life whole
and bring hope to all the earth.
God who keeps the universe
by the truths of living love,
make strong that love in me
so I can set it free
and bring peace to all the earth. (CGSeaburg)
"God's Love Gives Freedom" (Tune: ‘Hymn of Joy’ 87 87D. 158TiS) 15 SNS
God is love. Our gospel story.
Told so we might comprehend;
Through Christ's life we see God's glory.
Not as despot, but as friend.
Seen as humble, seen as serving.
Not omnipotent, severe;
But as love to undeserving.
Not as distant, but so near.
God is love, we need not tremble.
God forgives and does not blame.
We, confessing, don't resemble
Those weighed down by guilt and shame.
Punishment for past wrong-doing,
In God's dealings, has no place.
Love in constant, keeps pursuing
Humankind of every race.
God is love and love gives freedom;
Freedom from all fear and guilt.
God is love and love gives welcome;
Broken lives can be rebuilt.
And this love grows even stronger
As disciples live this way.
For to love and serve one's neighbour
Is to do God's will each day. GStuart
There is a song in my soul.
It rises from the very depths demanding expression.
All I can only hear this song in the very deepest silence.
The melody is compassion. The lyrics are service.
All The rhythm is activity. The harmony is fellowship.
The song will end when I become the song.
All The song, the singer, and the singing. All become One. (Fred Stella)
Our suburbs reflect your face, O God.
All In wrinkles of kindness and hand 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. (DMcRae-McMahon/eoj-adapt)
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)
We have gathered again in this sacred place.
May we create here a circle of love,
ever expanding, ever growing.
A place of wisdom.
A place of connection.
A place of hope.
May it be so.
Hymn "Peace Is Generosity" (Tune: 'Trial', Swee Hong Lim) 32 PaT
Peace is generosity,
peace is right and duty,
not diminishment of life
but its zest and beauty,
not the silence of the dead
not the tears of grieving
but the dynamic of a world
rich beyond believing.
Peace is not the child of fear
nor what terror teaches,
peace is quick to give and serve
where compassion reaches;
not oppression in return,
but the good of all for all
and the gift of heaven. (SEMurray)
“Gather the Spirit” (Tune: ‘Gather the spirit’, 9 9 9 10/Refrain) 347 SLT
Gather the spirit, harvest the power.
Our sep'rate fires will kindle one flame.
Witness the mystery of this hour.
Our trials in this light appear all the same.
Gather in peace, gather in thanks.
Gather in sympathy now and then.
Gather in hope, compassion and strength.
Gather to celebrate once again.
Gather the spirit of heart and mind.
Seeds for the sowing are laid in store.
Nurtured in love, and con-science refined,
with body and spirit united once more
Gather the spirit growing in all,
drawn by the moon and fed by the sun.
Winter to spring, and summer to fall,
the chorus of life resounding as one.
Refrain: Jim Scott
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.
“The Web of Life”
By Robert T Weston. Day of Promise: Collected Meditations, Vol. 1 Ed. Kathleen Montgomery
There is a living web that runs through us
To all the universe
Linking us each with each and through all life
On to the distant stars.
Each knows a little corner of the world, and lives
As if this were his all.
We no more see the farther reaches of the threads
Than we see of the future, yet they’re there.
Touch but one thread, no matter which;
The thoughtful eye may trace to distant lands
Its firm continuing strand, yet lose its filaments as they reach out,
But find at last it coming back to him from whom it led.
We move as in a fog, aware of self
But only dimly conscious of the rest
As they are close to us in sight or feeling.
New objects loom up for a time, fade in and out;
Then, sometimes, as we look on unawares, the fog lifts
And then there’s the web in shimmering beauty,
Reaching past all horizons.
We catch our breath;
Stretch out our eager hands, and then
In comes the fog again, and we go on,
Feeling a little foolish, doubting what we had seen.
The hands were right. The web is real.
Our folly is that we so soon forget.
Come apart from the busyness of family and work,
and dwell in the presence of God
who is our source of being.
God calls us to renew ourselves and our life's purpose
as we gather with others who are searching.
Let us be in silence together.
Music of Reflection
Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Some stories from our broad biblical tradition shall now be read. Our reader is (NN).
Early church (extra-biblical):
Gospel of Mary: 6-7
Peter said to Mary,
'Sister, we know that the Saviour loved you more than any other woman.
Tell us the words of the Saviour that you know, but which we haven't heard.'
'I will report to you as much as I remember that you do not know.
And she began to speak these words to them.
'I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to him,
"Lord, I saw you today in a vision."
'He said to me,
"Congratulations to you for not wavering at seeing me.
For where the mind is, there is the treasure."
'I said to him,
"Lord, how does a person who sees a vision see it - with the soul or with the spirit?"
'The Saviour answered,
"The visionary does not see with the soul or with the spirit,
but with the mind which exists between these two - that is what sees the vision..."
John 14:1-7a. (Inclusive Text, adapted)
Jesus said to the disciples:
'Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house, if there were not, I should have told you.
'I am now going to prepare a place for you and after I have gone to prepare you a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am, there may you be too.
'You know the way to the place where I am going.'
Thomas said to him,
“We do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Nobody can come to the One who sent me except through me.
If you know me, you know the One who sent me.'
Silence for Personal Reflection
A Litany (Optional)
The people stand as they are able
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and our concerns.
All We come together in hope.
We greet each other warmly with our voices and our smiles.
All We come together in peace.
We share our growth and our aspirations.
All We come together in wonder.
We share our losses and our disappointments.
All We come together in sorrow.
We share our concern and our compassion.
All We come together in love.
We sing and pray and listen.
We speak and read and dream.
We think and ponder and reflect.
We cry and laugh and reflect.
We mourn and celebrate and meditate.
We strive for justice and for mercy.
All We come together to worship God. (Adapted.Carol Meyer)
Sharing 'The Peace'
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Creation thrums with Being
and peals the Word - 'I am'.
All We sometimes remember
to whisper the antiphon, 'We are'. (VArnold/es)
In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
of the presentness of the sacred among us,
and to see the new possibilities of the now.
The Care candle is lit
The 'Abba' Prayer:
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as that is appropriate
All Most compassionate Life-giver,
may we honour and praise you:
may we work with you to establish
your new order of justice, peace and love.
Give us what we need for growth,
and help us, through forgiving others, to accept forgiveness.
Strengthen us in the time of testing,
that we may resist all evil.
For all the tenderness,
strength and love are yours, now and forever.
Amen. (W Wallace)
THE LITURGY OF THE BANQUET
3 (Of the Justice Imperative)
Let us bring our offerings and our gifts of bread and wine …
From each according to ability.
All To each according to need (DGalston/q).
Welcome to this banqueting table.
This is a table of hospitality, of sharing, and of celebration.
We break bread and pour wine
because these are the gifts that strengthen our journey together.
Remembering our Common Humanity…
v1 We remember and honour the justice imperative
that is the biblical heritage:
justice is not belief but action,
not silence but voice,
not tolerance but compassion.
v2 A banquet reminds us of our common humanity
and our common need for just relationships.
All Jesus said, “If you love those who love you,
what merit is there in that?
An outlaw can do the same thing.
And if you give only to those who give back to you,
do you really expect congratulations?
Rather, love your enemies, do good,
and lend without expecting anything in return.”
Bread and Wine
v1 The call to follow justice is easy to issue,
but the resolve to follow justice is difficult to muster.
Together, let us be a community
that not only issues the word but follows the dictate.
v2 May our community be one that holds
the strength of compassion and the resolve to act.
May we be a people who unites our words with our deeds.
All For the dignity of life and the hope of humanity,
may it be so.
v1 We break bread as an act of solidarity.
We pour wine as an act of sharing.
Welcome to this banquet celebration.
You are invited to participate (DGalston/q).
“Our World is One World” (Tune: ‘Chernobyl’, 58 86 4) 134 (v1-2) SLT
Our world is one world
what touches one affects us all:
the seas that wash us round about,
the clouds that cover us,
the rains that fall.
Our world is one world
the thoughts we think affects us all:
the way we build our attitudes,
with love or hate, we make,
a bridge or wall.Remain standing
Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place.
As we do, may we embrace the challenges of our lives and our world...
The community candle is extinguished
Go in peace.
Hold in your heart the certainty that the spirit of life is with you always.
All When our hearts are torn asunder or when we soar with sweet joy,
we are never alone, never apart,
from the spirit that resides within us
and cherishes us always.
All Blessed be. Adapted/Enid A.Virago
Words of Blessing
Go in courage and celebration!
And may all the faces of the Holy God
be turned towards you in love,
the earth itself speak to you of its creativity,
and who we are, each and all,
be honoured in our authentic journeys.
All Amen. May it be so. (D McRae-McMahon/ith)
“Our World is One World” (Tune: ‘Chernobyl’, 58 86 4) 134 (v3-4) SLT
Our world is one world
it’s ways of wealth affects us all:
the way we spend, the way we share,
who are the rich or poor,
who stand or fall.
Our world is one world
just like a ship that bears us all:
where fear and greed make many holes,
but where our hearts can hear,
a different call. (CTaylor)
'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:
Butcher, J. B. (2002). An Uncommon Lectionary. A Companion to Common Lectionaries. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press.
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2009.
Inclusive Readings. Year A. 2004. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Johnson, D. A. 2003. The Light Invisible. Brookline. Self published.
McRae-McMahon, D. 2001. In This Hour. Liturgies for Pausing. Thornbury. DesBooks.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1993. Echoes of our Journey. Liturgies of the People. Melbourne. JBCE.
Montgomery, K. (ed) 2001. Day of Promise: Collected Meditations, Vol. 1. Boston. Skinner House.
(TEL) Murray, S. E. 2008. Touch the Earth Lightly. New hymns written between 2003 & 2008. Carol Stream. Hope Publishing.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. 1993. Boston. UUA.
(SNS) Stuart, G. 2006. Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Second edition. NSW: Sydney. CPRT Sydney.
The St Hilda Community. 1996. The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. London. SPCK.
Meyer, Virago. UUA Worship Web. Boston. < http://www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
V Arnold. Eureka Street eZine 20, 23. 23/11/10.
Diarmuid O’Murchu. <http://www.diarmuid13.com/the-cosmic-walk/the-cosmic-walk-1/home-1>
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. http://www.questcentre.ca/
Fred Stella. http://www.c3exchange.org/bulletins/Bulletin03_02_14.pdf