Revd Rex A E Hunt
Web site: www.rexaehuntprogressive.com
LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
Pentecost 3A. (Green).
DUE TO A LATE EASTER IN 2011 ANOTHER LITURGY IS AVAILABLE
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
Blessed be the changing seasons of our living.
Blessed be the reliable balancing act of nature.
Blessed be the rededication of values and meaning of life.
Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of this time, this life
in the presentness of the God.
Lighting of the candle
The community candle is lit
Come, Spirit, embolden us to embrace change.
Come, Spirit, inspire us to work for change.
Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"God molds the shape of life" (Tune: Little Conard 66 66 88. 469 TiS) 38 TMT
God molds the shapes of life,
drawing the flow of tides,
firing the sunlight's blaze,
glazing the night with pride:
God gives the love which warms and moves
the patterned rhythm life provides.
Ponder the rising sap
changing to leaf's decay;
think of the winter's death
turning to spring's new day,
and in these cycles find the shapes
of all God dreams and all God makes.
Pulse of the veins and lungs,
seasons of human hearts -
patterns that intertwine,
shaping our thought and art;
all these are part of nature's flow -
the life of God we reap and sow.
Sing to the God of change,
chaos, and fine design;
hallow the ordered forms
filled with the life divine.
In God the universe is one
and sings the hymn which God first sung! WWallace
Out of the wind and the water and the wilderness
we came through birth into life:
All With the Spirit of Creativity God within us.
From the life of God the universe unfolded into being
All With the Spirit of Creativity God within it.
From the heart of God creation goes on till the end of time
All With the Spirit of Creativity God within it
and with our spirit within it. (Adapt.Pitt St Uniting/eoj)
Spirit of life, we gather grateful for
the companionship of hearts and minds
seeking to speak the truth in love.
And we gather grateful for the gift of life itself,
mindful that to respect life means both
to celebrate what life is
and to insist on what it can become.
Amen. M S Milner
Hymn "Great lover calling us to share" (Tune: 'Galilee', 88 88. 402 TiS)
Great Lover, calling us to share
your joy in all created things
from atom-dance to eagles' wings,
we come and go, to praise and care.
Though sure of resurrection-grace,
we ache for all earth's troubled lands
and hold the planet in our hands,
a fragile, unprotected place.
Your questing Spirit longs to gain
no simple fishing-ground for souls,
but as life's story onward rolls,
world more joyful and humane.
As midwives who assist at birth,
we give our uttermost, yet grieve
lest folly, greed or hate should leave
a spoiled, aborted, barren earth.
Self-giving Lover, since you dare
to join us in our history,
embracing all our destiny,
we'll come and go with praise and care. BWren
The people sit
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.
Let us listen to the silence of this sacred space…
A space made ready for us by willing hands.
May this silence invigorate our questionings.
May our faith be made stronger by our coming together.
May new friendships be made and old friendships renewed,
bound together by care and affection.
Music of reflection
Readings from our broad religious tradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be read.
The reader is (NN).
The world around us:
“Beyond passing seasons”
Stephen M Shick. Consider the lilies/19
There is no less magic now,
no less mystery now,
than when your comet first caught our eye.
Crossing seasonal space you captured
from cold indifference, sparks of hope,
from weary stillness, light waves of resilience,
from the dark, the light of distant stars
that once burned bright and also died.
Looking where you passed
will not reveal your eternal radiance.
But look further –
out there beyond seasonal change,
deep in the galaxies of the human spirit,
flares of passion have been released
to shape justice
and move the world toward peace.
Matthew 7:21-29. (Scholars Version)
Matthew's Jesus is speaking...
"Not everyone who address me as 'Master, master', will get into Heaven's domain -
only those who carry out the will of my Father in heaven.
"On that day many will address me:
'Master, master, didn't we use your name when we prophesied?
Didn't we use your name when we exorcised demons?
Didn't we use your name when we performed all those miracles?'
Then I will tell them honestly:
'I never knew you; get away from me,
you subverters of the Law!'
"Everyone who pays attention to these words of mine
and acts on them will be like a shrewd builders who erected a house on bedrock.
"Later the rain fell, and the torrents came, and the winds blew
and pounded the house, yet it did not collapse,
since its foundation rested on bedrock.
"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and doesn't act on them
will be like a careless builder, who erected a house on sand.
"When the rain fell, and the torrents came,
and the winds blew and pounded the house, it collapsed.
"Its collapse was colossal."
And so, when Jesus had finished this discourse,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching, since he had been teaching them
on his own authority, unlike their [own] scholars.
Silence for personal reflection
An affirmation of faith
In response to the word reflected on
let us stand and share together an affirmation of faith.
The people stand, as they are able
We believe in God, Holy One
All Creativity in the universe;
life indescribable and beyond our describing,
yet closer than our breathing.
We believe in Jesus, Companion
All Challenger of false values;
the life of God inviting us to new imagining.
We believe in the Spirit, Encourager,
All Breathing into us renewing power,
interpreting our longing for truth,
and probing with us,
the depths of God's wisdom.
We believe in the company of God's people;
All Called to live the way of Jesus;
heirs to the promises of God,
which sustain us in what we know,
inviting us to travel on in discovery and hope. (From NZ/ adapted)
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
“Beautiful presence” (Tune: ‘Beautiful presence’) 9 HoS
Beautiful presence, how can we name you?
Words are too small for the one who is all.
How can we speak of your gentleness in us,
the warmth of our hearts in response to your call?
Beautiful presence, ocean of love,
strong as forever, soft as a dove.
Words often fail us, but this we know true,
you live within us as we live in you.
There have been times of spiritual blindness,
when error and pain have distorted our sight.
Beautiful presence, you were there with us,
to show us how darkness can turn into light.
Nothing that happens to us will be wasted,
all of our living is grounded in grace.
Gently you take down the walls of division,
leading us on to a larger place. (Joy Cowley)
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place,
shall now be received.
Presentation People stand as the gifts are presented
The riches of God's gracious love have been entrusted to us.
May we share the beauty of God
with all who walk with us, in caring service.
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.
May our thoughts be filled with transformation,
All May our words reflect the yearnings of our hearts.
And may the spirit that binds within us as we gather
All Hallow each and every passing moment
we know here together (Adapt.GVosper/ab).
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
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 Indwelling God,
infused throughout all existence,
we honour you with many names.
Your realm is within the human heart.
We accept life for all that it can be,
on earth as throughout all creation.
May we continue to draw sustenance from this earth,
and may we receive forgiveness equal to our own.
May we ever move from separation toward union,
to live in grace, with love in our hearts,
forever and ever. Amen. Fred F. Keip
this Winter season" (Tune: ‘Tyrolese’, 86 86D. 235
TiS) 22 (v1-2) TMT
Throughout this winter season,
in nature’s darkened womb,
Christ, grant your life and laughter
to lighten frosty gloom;
to lift our flagging spirits
beyond these short-lived days
to Advent and each coming
which fills our lives with praise.
come as puddles crackle
beneath the children’s feet;
you come in leafless branches
outlined against the sleet;
you come when lives diminish
as cold envelops all;
you come as snow which blankets
earth’s grime beneath its fall.
Words of mission
The God we worship is never confined to this holy place.
So go and travel with the God
who is found in ordinary and surprising places.
The candle is extinguished
As we depart one from another, let our hearts be secure
through every human season.
All Let our hearts be secure
in seasons of anguish as in seasons of joy,
in seasons of failure as in seasons of success,
in seasons of uncertainty as in seasons of security.
Let our hearts be secure in this dual reality:
we are worthy recipients of love and support we can never earn,
All and we are worthy providers of love and support
others cannot earn.
Let our hearts be secure,
All for hearts know and understand
and will respond if invited in. JAHobart.
May the rhythms of our coming together,
the melodies of our worship, and
the harmonies both of our greetings and farewells,
make musical our living,
soothing our spirits
and uplifting our souls,
this day and into the beckoning future. RGilbert
Hymn (Cont) "Throughout
this Winter season" (Tune: ‘Tyrolese’, 86 86D. 235
TiS) 22 (v3-4) TMT
You come as fire and candle
and all that warms the heart;
you come in party feasting,
in music, dance, and art;
you come in ancient stories,
of years that are no more;
you come as liberation
and power for all the poor.
seek to know your presence
in grey days and in bright,
in all the earth’s abundance
and during nature’s night;
but when we can not see you
through blindness or through pain,
enfold us in your dying
and rise in us again. WWallace
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:
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.
Funk, R. W; R. W. Hoover. 1993. The Five Gospels. The search for the authentic words of Jesus. NY: New York. Macmillan Press.
(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.
Morwood, M. 2003. Praying a New Story. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Shick, S. M. 2004. Consider the Lilies. Meditations. MA: Boston. Skinner House Books.
(TMT) Wallace, W. 2001. The Mystery Telling. Hymns and songs for the new millennium. NY: Kingston. Selah Publishing.
Vosper, G. 2009/2010. Another Breath. Prayers for celebration and reflection. QLD: Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.
Keip, Hobart, Gilbert. UUA Worship Web. MA: Boston. < http://www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Brian Wren. "Great Lover calling...". Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com