Revd Rex A E Hunt
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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
15 June 2014. Trinity A. (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
It is God, in the dawning,
In the renewal,
In the arrival,
In the new day.
Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.
Lighting of the Community Candle
The community candle is lit
We light this flame as a symbol
of the creativity of our faith:
the creativity to explore new avenues of religious insight;
the creativity to develop a caring community;
the creativity to envision a world of peace and freedom. (Adapted/Wm J. Gardiner)
Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Where The Road Runs Out" 156 AA
Where the road runs out and the signposts end,
where we come to the edge of today,
be the God of Abraham for us,
send us out upon our way.
Lord, you were our beginning,
the faith that gave us birth.
We look to you, our ending,
our hope for heaven and earth.
When the coast is left and we journey on
to the rim of the sky and the sea,
be the sailor's friend, be the dolphin Christ,
lead us in to eternity.
When the clouds are low and the wind is strong,
when tomorrow's storm draws near,
be the spirit bird hovering overhead
who will take away our fear. CGibson
Remain standing after the hymn
God beyond all names and images,
All we worship you in faith.
God in the Christ One with human face
All we worship you in truth.
God who moves, draws, forms and enlightens our life,
All we worship you in Spirit.
God in relationship.
God the beginning and God the end.
You are God. (Adapted/Pitt St. Uniting/eoj)
In the beginning was diversity:
All puddle and creek, mountain and paddock,
dandelion and daisy, kookaburra and sparrow,
fox and cow, you and me.
And it was good!
All From the beginning, diversity confused us.
We created categories:
race, rank and religion;
colour, class and creed;
language, looks and learning.
All And divisions came to be!
We gather to honour diversity:
All To love creation, to celebrate difference,
to embrace all within the sacred's
unending circle of love (Adapt/NLSteeves:St Stephen’s Project)
Act of Awareness
It is good to be alive!
To share life with each other
in this wonder-filled and evolving universe.
We are most grateful.
May wisdom dawn in us
so we may see all things in clarity.
God of mystery,
whose silent depths arise encompassing us;
whose unknown, unknowable face hides from us;
clothe us in your darkest chasm ...tenderly. (RNichol)
May it be so.
Hymn “Maker of Mystery” 47 FFS
Maker of mystery,
dreamer of what will be,
well-spring and fertile ground of all our growing:
tending the buried seed,
foreseeing every need,
you draw us into life beyond our knowing.
Christ, strong and living vine,
spreading through space and time,
deep rooted in the love of God our mother:
dying, you live and share
your strength with us, to bear
ripe fruit in season for the life of others.
Wild Spirit, springing green,
coiled in the depths unseen,
promise of fruit within the seed maturing:
new life, you grow and swell,
burst from the outgrown shell,
hundredfold yield in every age ensuring.
Living and loving God,
sing in the pulse of our blood,
help us to know you in your own creation,
love you, the life of all,
serve you and hear your call
from our first forming to our full salvation. MBarrell
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.
"Water moving through stone"
By Thomas Troeger. Borrowed Light/14.
Water moving through stone,
fire in zero cold,
wind dispersing heavy air:
come and enfold
my heart as your own.
As we gather let us claim
God calls us to renew ourselves and our life's purpose
as we gather with others who are searching.
Let us continue to be in silence together.
Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Two stories from our religious tradition shall now be read.
Our reader is (NN).
Genesis 1:26-28, 30b-31 (NRSV)
'Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness;
and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the birds of the air,
and over the cattle,
and over all the wild animals of the earth,
and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.'
So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, and God said to them,
'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it;
and have dominion over the fish of the sea
and over the birds of the air
and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.'
And it was so.
God saw everything that he had made,
and indeed, it was very good.
And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
From the world around us:
'Moment of Connection'
By M. Maureen Killoran
Here is where it all begins. It cannot be otherwise.
Here we have come to listen,
we have come to hear.
An old woman sat here yesterday on a park bench,
a brown bag at her side, her eyes sparkling
as children frolicked on a carousel.
"Nice day," I said.
"You're right," she said, and smiled.
We built a bridge and sat there silently.
And a policeman came, took the brown bag,
led the woman away.
I said nothing; there was nothing to say.
And the world moved on,
and pain and joy were strangers once again.
And yet here in the moment of connection
is where it all begins,
it cannot be otherwise.
The city's named and nameless stories are what we are to hear.
Someone's child is hungry.
Someone has lost a job.
Someone's marriage hurts so much there are no words.
Someone needs a friend.
The stories come - oh, pray that we may hear,
and we may tell.
Pray that we may bridge city streets, with caring,
that we may give and receive the blessing of love.
Matthew 28:16-20. (Inclusive Text)
The eleven disciples set out for Galilee,
to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them.
When they saw Jesus they worshiped him, though some hesitated.
Jesus came up and spoke to them,
'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
'Go therefore, make disciples of all the nations;
baptise them in the name of the One who sent me,
and of the Incarnate Word
and of the Holy Spirit,
and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.
'And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time."
Silence for Personal Reflection
A Traditional Litany for Trinity Sunday (Optional)
The people stand as they are able, to say.
Worthy of praise from every mouth,
All worthy of confession from every tongue,
worthy of worship from every creature,
All is your glorious name, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
For you created the world in your grace,
All and by your compassion you saved the world.
To your majesty, O God,
ten thousand times ten thousand bow down and adore,
All singing and praising without ceasing, and saying:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts;
All heaven and earth are full of your praises.
Hosanna in the highest. Nestorian Liturgy, 5th Century – UIW
A Litany for Refugees Week (As appropriate)
v1 Sisters and brothers,
us stand and affirm what we have discovered
God’s will in the company of each other.
The people stand as they are able
v1 We believe in God who
cares for all,
All especially vulnerable and powerless people.
v2 We affirm the right of
decent living conditions:
All housing, health services,
food and clothing, fun and leisure.
v3 We assert that God is
with us in all that life brings us;
God loves us as we are and invites us
participate in Christ’s mission of word and action.
All To share justly the
earth’s land and resources.
rejoice in the diversity of human culture.
preserve human life in all its beauty and frailty.
To accompany the uprooted and to welcome the stranger.
v4 We hope for the day
that will come
God’s justice and mercy, love and peace,
be realities in this world.
All To take the risk of
speaking out on behalf of those
who are different from us,
to see that
when we minister to the stranger, the uprooted,
we are serving the Christ in our Neighbour. (UCA Resources)
Sharing 'The 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 to remain seated, to sing
(To be sung several times...)
“Blow Through Me Breath of God”
Blow through me breath of God
Blo-----w through me
Like a pipe, like a flute, like a reed, making melody
The cosmic song in me, breath of God. (MTWinter)
Reflections and Prayers
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns.
Joys and concerns shared.
In caring for one another
All May we be untiring.
In sheltering one another
All May we be strong.
In holding one another
All May we be tender (GVosper/ab).
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 Dear One,
closer to us than our own hearts,
farther from us than the most distant star,
you are beyond naming.
May your powerful presence become obvious
not only in the undeniable glory of the sky,
but also in the seemingly base
and common processes of the earth.
Give us what we need, day by day,
to keep body and soul together, because
clever as you have made us,
we still owe our existence to you.
We recognize that to be reconciled with you,
we must live peaceably and justly with other human beings,
putting hate and bitterness behind us.
We are torn between our faith in your goodness
and our awareness of the evil in your creation,
so deliver us from the temptation to despair.
Yours alone is the universe and all its majesty and beauty.
So it is. Amen. (JBurklo, 2010)
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)
CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
Our offerings for the work of ministry in this place,
and our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.
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.
May it be well with you.
All And also with you.
Life is a gift and we its celebration.
All May we rejoice in the beauty that we are. GVosper/wwg
give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.
For that mystery we name Creativity God…
For the sage we name Jesus…
For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit…
For the nurturing given in Nature...
of winter, the unpopular, slandered season;
God of lightning, wind and storm;
God of brisk winter mornings, frosted back lawns and stark hillsides;
of warm socks, coats and gloves,
raincoats, umbrellas and warm fires,
we open ourselves to all the possibilities life offers us.
we join our celebration to all people, saying:
All Holy, holy, holy, re-creating 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.
We remember the times when the sage Jesus faced difficult decisions and destructive forces:
- in the days and nights of his searching,
- in finding ways to free others from images and ideas
that kept them captive and dependent and fearful of God,
- in breaking down social and religious barriers,
- in facing failure,
- in facing death (MMorwood/pns. Adapted).
we too experience the winter of our lives
may we find the courage to let go
and trust in your guiding, warming light.
As we eat together at this table
we remember the importance and the words
and the actions of all meals in the tradition of the Jesus Movements…
took bread, gave thanks, broke it,
and gave it to his friends.
poured a cup of wine, offered thanks for it,
and gave it also to his friends.
Everyone is welcome to be here.
All In this way, we lift up a world of inclusion,
where all people live with respect and dignity.
Everyone present will receive a share.
All In this way, we lift up a world of generosity,
where, as in the examples of Jesus,
abundance overcomes scarcity so all are fed.
Everyone is invited now to take a portion,
and to see others also receive.
All In this way, we lift up a world of sufficiency,
where entrenched systems of privilege are challenged,
wealth is shared equally, and all are satisfied with enough. (JNelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)
So in the meal tradition of Jesus we break and share bread and drink wine,
pledging ourselves to allow the spirit
that moved in Jesus
to move freely in our lives.
Bread broken and wine served in the pews
God of amazing grace,
in the cold of the winter months
we are grateful for your presence, warming us.
May this presence strengthen us
to follow in the way of Jesus, in this city.
Hymn “Playful God” (Tune: ‘Joyful God’. 77 87) 75 (v1-2) RP
Playful God, you laugh and dance
at every indication
that we have caught a glimpse, a glance
of magic in creation.
Tearful God, you weep and mourn,
you share our desolation;
in every doubt, in pain and grief,
we need your consolation.
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 candle is extinguished
Blessed be God
All Blessed be the earth
Blessed be those who compost and nurture the earth
All Blessed be the petals, leaves and stems
that become compost for the seeds of the plant
Blessed be the life cycle that sustains and nurtures
All Blessed be God who creates and co-creates
Blessed be those who walk on the earth with respect.
All Blessed be all who care for the earth
Blessed be all! Maggie Abbott/sotc
Words of Blessing
Go into this week,
held together by the love of God
clothed with the nature of Jesus the Christ
reinforced by the strength of the Holy Spirit.
All Amen. May it be so.
Hymn (Cont) “Playful God” (Tune: ‘Joyful God’. 77 87) 75 (v3-4) RP
Joyful God, we praise your name
in every situation.
Your love will even live through death,
you promise resurrection.
Mighty God, creative heart
and source of our elation,
accept our praise, our lives, our all,
our ceaseless adoration. APratt
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:
Abbott, M. 2001. Sparks of the Cosmos. Rituals for seasonal use. Unley. MediaCom Education.
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and songs for all churches. 1993. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Binkley, C. G. & J. M. McKeel. 2001. Jesus and his Kingdom of Equals. An international curriculum on the life and teaching of Jesus. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press.
(FFS) Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a new day. 2000. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Holy Bible. NRSV. 1989. Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers.
(HoS) Hope is Our Song. New hymns and songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Inclusive Readings. Year A. 2004. QLD: Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. 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.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, J & B. Hesle. 2005. Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, liturgy, and songs without violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press.
(RP) Pratt, A. Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a spiritual journey. 2006. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Troeger, T. 1994. Borrowed Light. Hymn texts, prayers, and poems. New York. Oxford University Press.
Uniting in Worship. Leader’s Book. 1988. Melbourne. Uniting Church Press.
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.
Winter, Miriam T. Women Prayer. Women Song. Resources for Ritual. Hartford. Meyer Stone Books, 1987.
Gardiner, Killoran, Nichol, UUA Worship Web. Boston. <http://www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Jim Burklo. <http://www.jimburklo.com/>
Nancy L Steeves. One of several non-theistic resources found at: http://stephen.srv.ualberta.ca/publications/non-theistic-liturgy-resources/#sthash.0Sd5KwzN.wLO2Tlw4.dpbs