Revd Rex A E Hunt
GATHERING FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
5 April 2015. 6.30am.
EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE
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.
Life is a gift for which we are grateful.
All We gather in community to celebrate
the glories and mysteries of this great gift. MMontgomery/slt
Look at this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth,
the glory of action,
the splendour of beauty.
For yesterday is but a dream,
and tomorrow is only a vision,
but today, well lived, makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day. (Sanskrit)
We discern the presentness of God
in this sanctuary called Earth.
All A planet filled with this presence:
quivering in the forests,
vibrating in the land,
pulsating in the wilderness,
shimmering in the rivers.
In the beginning,
in the very beginning,
God gave birth to,
the heavens and the earth.
Yes, out of the womb
of fertile divinity
emerged our mother,
the earth. (MTWinter/wpws).
In the beginning the earth was made,
round and blue and beautiful.
A circle is drawn in the earth.
We bring brown,
colour of the earth,
source of growth,
surrounding and feeding sleeping seeds.
The colour brown is put in place across the circle
We bring blue,
colour of water,
source of life,
refreshing and cleansing people and land.
The colour blue is put in place across the circle
We bring white,
colour of air,
source of breath,
moving and shaking sky and trees.
The colour white is put in place across the circle
We bring red,
colour of fire,
source of energy
warming and giving life to growing things.
The colour red is put in place across the circle
All We give thanks for life and for the gifts of the earth.
We have come to this sacred place again this year,
out of the busyness of the world.
From the noise and colour and frenzy around us.
Here we can gather together,
listening for the sounds that silence brings,
and the gentle murmurings that nature offers us.
And witness the breaking of a new day.
As we listen and as we watch,
let our minds wander, and our feet
connect us to the earth.
Sounds of Silence
A silence is kept
Sounds of Celebration
The sound of the bell/gong, it was believed, calls the earth back into life, and announces the arrival of Easter
Readings from a broad Religious Tradition 1
Let us now listen to some reflections of faith
as we celebrate Easter - the season of change.
The Seasons of the Year:
"The Cycles of Nature"
By William Wallace. Harvest for the World/174.
Interwoven web of life
holding as one
stream and song,
sinew and silence,
seedtime and harvest,
how I delight in you
and you in me.
You are the universal face of God
the touch of true divinity,
the infusion and expansion,
the beyond and the within,
the growing and the dying,
the separation and the merging.
In you the threads are woven,
the sea surges,
the sun shines
and the earth nurtures.
Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.
The World around Us:
“A Sacred Place”
By Wilfred Pelletier & Ted Poole. Earth Prayers/61.
Wherever you are is home
And the earth is paradise
Wherever you set your feet is holy land…
You don’t live off it like a parasite.
You live in it, and it in you,
Or you don’t survive.
And that is the only worship of God there is.
We listen and we watch...
In the cycle of seasons we come again to Easter.
Out of our hearts we feel the urge to new being -
to worship at the shrine of our hopes,
to gain perspective on our lives,
to reorder the chaos of our years,
to reflect on the way our hearts should go,
to reaffirm our deepest aspirations…
In the holy quiet we come:
we want peace and that quiet serenity born of insight,
we want beauty, the inner sanctuary of
sounds and sights and air,
we want courage, the inner fortitude to
live our own lives. (RNHelverson/clf)
May we strive to be worthy of this great life
that out of the old brings forth the new.
Reading from a broad Religious Tradition 2
From the Christian scriptures:
Mark 16: (selected verses) (Inclusive Text)
When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome,
bought spices with which to go and anoint Jesus.
And very early in the morning on the first day of the week
they went to the tomb, just as the sun was rising…
On entering the tomb they saw a youth in a white robe
seated on the right-hand side,
and they were struck with amazement.
But the youth said to them:
There is no need for alarm.
You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified:
Jesus has risen, and is not here….
They went out and fled from the tomb,
for both terror and amazement had seized them.
And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
A Celebration of Faith
Let us share together a celebration of faith.
We are a tapestry of diverse colours
made from many gifts and graces.
All We are the people flowing forth from Creativity God,
surprising ourselves with the things which can be done.
We are raw material for rewarding relationships
as our lives interweave,
All contributing one to the other, holding each other firm
when one is weak or breaking.
We are each worthy of being respected and cared for
All essential to the pattern,
skilled in our appointed tasks,
sources of laughter and sharers of tears.
We commit ourselves to work together,
All that one day, this world may be a place
where all people live in justice, freedom and peace. (Adapt.DMcRae-McMahon/bst)
We believe that death is not the end,
but rather a transformation into new possibilities.
Nothing that exists is ever completely destroyed.
A star exploding
or a leaf falling:
both offer new possibilities and will 'live on'
in ways unknown to stars and leaves.
Winter gives way to Spring;
what seems lifeless now abounds with life,
new possibilities and delights.
We, too, experience new possibilities arising from our failures
or what has come to an end...
We give thanks for all the influences in our lives
that have helped us see beyond the present
and have called us to live in hope and trust
whatever endings we have experienced.
We give thanks for the Spirit of New Life
active in our lives
as it was in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
Here we have gathered the elements of our lives.
Aware and unaware,
we have carried them to this place -
the joy of waking and living,
the blush of health,
the pain of illness,
the grief of loss,
and the gift of love.
Some of these we have carried a long way.
Some have bent our backs...
Some have carried us upward...
All we have carried through the seasons of our lives
has brought us here
to this place we make sacred
by our coming together…
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. (SMShick/ctl)
Words of Blessing (Place your left hand on your neighbour's shoulder)
All May the blessing in the strength of the Brindabellas,
the calm of Lake Burley Griffin
the freshness of gum tree and wild flower
remain with you...
And may God's strength, peace and creativity
go with you always.
You are invite 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:
Duncan, G. (ed). 2003. Harvest for the world. A worship anthology on sharing in the work of creation. Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Helverson, R. N. 1981. “Spring”. Church of the Larger Fellowship. Religious Education Department. Boston. UUA
Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
McRae-McMahon, D. 1996. The Glory of Blood, Sweat and Tears. Liturgies for Living and Dying. Melbourne. JBCE.
Morwood, M. 2003. Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. 1991. Earth Prayers from around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York. HarperCollins.
Shick, S. M. 2004. Consider the Lilies. Meditations. Boston. Skinner House Books.
Singing the Living Tradition. 1993. Boston. UUA.
Winter, Miriam T. 1987. Women Prayer. Women Song. Resources for Ritual. Hartford. Meyer Stone Books.