Revd Rex A E Hunt
Web site: www.rexaehuntprogressive.com
LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
26 July 2015. Pentecost 9B. (Green).
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
We live in between winter cold and summer heat:
in between birth and death.
In these perpetual between-times... (Adapt. JM.Rickard)
let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.
Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit
(Note: A suggested process for introducing new hymns, called Hymn of the Month, can be found HERE)
Hymn “Mothering God…” (Tune: ‘Winchester New’, 88 88)
Mothering God, you gave me birth
in the bright morning of this world.
Creator, source of every breath,
you are my wind, my rain, my sun.
Mothering Christ, you took my form,
offering me your food of light,
grain of life and grape of love,
your very body for my peace.
Mothering Spirit, nurturing one,
in arms of patience hold me close,
so that in faith I root and grow
until I flower, until I know. © JJansen/cw
People remain standing
“People Are God’s Language” (Tune: ‘Ellers’, 10 10 10 10. 301 RCH) 71 SNS2
People are language through whom God can speak;
Heard by the list'ners, found by those who seek;
Heard in a whisper, never in a roar;
Heard in compassion, not through formal law.
People are language through whom God can care
With words of comfort when we see despair;
Spoken in kindness, yet with certainty;
Heard with delight when calming misery.
People are language through whom God can plead
For peace and mercy, for the ones in need;
Spoken in strength, with poise and dignity,
Calling for justice and for liberty.
Sharing of love with acts of gentleness,
Sharing the load with deeds of thoughtfulness,
We can ensure the message can be heard;
For we are language of God's living word (GStuart).
People remain standing
Come. Let us be joined
in seeking the aspirations of the heart.
Come. Let us be joined
in giving voice to those melodies
which can heal the wounded soul.
All Come. Let us be joined
in speaking the words which set us free. CODame
Act of Awareness
Marvel at life!
Strive to know its ways!
Seek wisdom and truth,
to life’s mysteries!
Wondrous indeed is life! (Adapt. Rabbi Rami M Shapiro/ep)
Gathered in this sacred place, may we
feel ourselves as integral parts
of God’s continuing growth of meaning
throughout the universe.
A kinship to all that is.
May it be so.
All May it be so with us.
Hymn "We Are Your People” (Tune: ‘Whitfield’. 54 55 7. 468 TiS)
We are your people:
Spirit of grace,
you dare to make us
to all our neighbours
of every nation and race.
Joined in community,
treasured and fed,
may we discover
gifts in each other,
willing to lead and be led.
Rich in diversity,
help us to live
closer than neighbours,
open to strangers,
able to clash and forgive.
Glad of tradition
help us to see
in all life’s changing,
where you are leading,
where our best efforts should be.
Give, as we venture
justice and care
waiting or risking)
wisdom to know when and where.
Christ, as we serve you
in different ways,
may all we’re doing
show that you’re living,
meeting your love with our praise. BWren
Welcome 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.
By Peter Millar. Waymarks/xiv.
Lord of every new day
when the road ahead is
or far too comfortable,
so that having made them our own,
we travel on with
as our constant companions.
Now let silence gently enfold us.
Breathe deeply… unclench your hands
and let your shoulders and neck relax.
Allow your face muscles to relax and sit comfortable,
for side to side you are connected with those
who wish well for you.
Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives
and the world awaits the emerging wonders
we are and will yet be.
Deep peace to you all (Adapt. RKleinheksel/C3Exchange,2012).
Music of Reflection
Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Two readings from our broad religious tradition shall now be offered.
Reader: May we open ourselves to the seeds of wisdom
that lies dormant in this reading.
All And may our minds be fertile soil
in which it may grow strong and true (GVosper/ab)
The World Around Us:
"Just a Housewife"
By Cordelia Baker-Pearce. Celebrating Women/44.
I packed five cakes of bread and two small fishes,
Sent him off, my youngest lad,
To take his father's dinner to the field.
Came back alone he did, all goggle-eyed.
My fresh-baked bread that varmint gave away
To some young travelling preacher out of Galilee.
It fed five thousand people.
What a tale!
It can't be true... but if it is.
What kind of dough did these hands knead
John 6: 1-15 (Inclusive Text)
Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee - or of Tiberias - and a large crowd follwed,
impressed by the signs Jesus gave by curing the sick.
Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with the disciples.
It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover.
Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip,
'Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?'
Jesus said this only to test Philip, knowing exactly
what he was going to do.
'Two hundred denarii would only buy enough bread to give them a small piece each.'
One of the disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said,
'There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish;
but what is that between so many?'
Jesus said to them,
'Make the people sit down'.
There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand people sat down.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks and gave them out to all who were sitting ready,
and then he did the same with the fish,
giving out as much as was wanted.
When they had eaten enough Jesus said to his disciples,
'Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing gets wasted.'
So they picked them up, and filled twelve hampers with scraps left over
from the meal of five barley loaves.
The people, seeing this sign that Jesus had given, said,
'This really is the prophet who is to come into the world.'
Jesus, who could see they were about to come and take him by force
and make him king, escaped to the hills alone.
Mark 6: 35-44 (NRSV)
It had grown dark, so the disciples came to Jesus and said:
‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late;
send them away so they may go into the surrounding country and villages
and buy something for themselves to eat.’
But Jesus answered:
‘You give them something to eat.’
‘Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread,
and give it to them to eat?’
‘How many loaves have you? Go and see.’
When they had found out, they said:
‘Five, and two fish.’
Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down
in groups of hundreds and of fifties.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish,
he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves,
and gave them to his disciples to set before the people;
and he divided the two fish among them all.
And all ate and were filled;
and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish.
Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.
Silence for Personal Reflection
An Affirmation of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on, let us stand
a share an affirmation of faith.
The people stand as they are able
v1 I believe in God's World,
All In beauty of earth and sky and sea;
In sunbeams playing on rippling water;
In moon and stars milking the midnight sky;
v2 I believe in God's World,
All In green life pulsing through brown earth,
In miracle of bud and flower and fruit;
In great trees raising gnarled arms 'gainst rain and wind;
v1 I believe in God's World,
All In cry of new born seeking the lifegiving breast;
In gnarled old age dozing in the sun;
In sweating backs bent over unyielding soil;
v2 I believe in God's World,
All In the Man hung 'twixt earth and sky,
In the giving of one's life in the service of humanity,
I believe in God's World. (Adapt.GRose/lol)
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
“We Come by Many Different Paths” (Tune: DLM) 84 WNC
We come by many different paths,
each certain that our way is true.
As sisters, brothers, let us talk,
a way to peace is overdue.
Caged in a creed, we think we’ve caught
the source of all that is to be,but God cannot be thus confined:
the Spirit’s flying, wild and free.
We think that we alone have found
the secret goal of all the earth;
we make our rules, oppress the weak,
with shackles hold them from their birth.
Within four walls we idolise
the treasures of our certainty.
We worship all that we have made.
Outside God sits in poverty.
So, prophets of this present age
disturb us in our arrogance
to let the Spirit freely blow,
to offer love’s extravagance.
For love can shake our self-conceit,
tear up each creed, each guarantee;
confronting cant and human pride,
God demonstrates love’s quality. (Andrew Pratt)
Our offerings for the celebration of life in this place and beyond,
shall now be received.
There is dignity here – we will exalt it.
There is courage here – we will support it.
There is humanity here – we will enjoy it.
Let them that have ears to hear, hear
Let them that have eyes to see, see (Adapt. PAndrews/bot).
Conversation 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 we have courage in uncertain times,
All Let it all happen. No mood is final.
May we recognise new beginnings
in what seem to be endings,
All Let it all happen. No feeling is final. (3C Exchange)
And so we take this flame and light our special care candle...
The Care candle is lit
For ourselves, for those named or remembered,
and in solidarity with those who have not the freedom
to express their concern or celebration
for fear of discrimination or condemnation.
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 new possibilities of the now.
The 'Abba' Prayer:
You are invited to pray in the spirit of the Lord's Prayer, and in your original language, as appropriate
All Holy Being,
whom we call by many different names,
Blessed are you.
Blessed are we in you.
May we create with you
a realm of mercy, peace and justice.
May love be done in the here and now
as it is in the infinite.
May we share life in bread and hope.
For our failures to love, we need forgiveness.
May we find the paths of reconciliation.
In the midst of evil's every incarnation,
From the powers that possess our spirits and our structures,
May we find liberation.
In the power that is love, we seek
to live and move and have our being.
May it be so,
now and forever. (NancyLSteeves/StSC.N-TP)
Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
“Of the Multitude of Words” (Tune: ‘Vienna’, 77 77) 16 (v1-3) TMT
Of the multitude of words
held within the Bible's wall,
some bring life and some spread death,
some can liberate us all.
Should our use of sacred words
put all other views to flight?
Does our inner certainty
justify abuse of might?
Are our ways of using strength
open for the world to see?
Do they hide behind the texts
masking our transparency?
Let us embrace the wonder of this week
with expectation and imagination...
The candle is extinguished
In our lives, may we know the holy meaning,
the mystery that breaks into it every moment.
All May we live at peace with our world
and at peace with ourselves.
Words of Blessing
As the sun in its shining brings glory
As the stars in the night scatter dark
As the moon gives us hope in its radiance
So may the light of God
fill your heart
and your mind
and your life.
All Amen! May it be so!
Hymn (Cont). “Of the Multitude of Words” (Tune: 440 TiS) 16 (4-5) TMT
Loving God, the source of truth,
help us clearly to discern
what brings death and what brings life,
life for which our spirits yearn.
Then O God of spirit life,
we shall live with openness,
giving all the right to be
their true selves with graciousness. (WWallace)
The people sit
'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. Santa Rosa. Polebridge Press.
Hilton, D. (ed). 1991. Liturgy of Life. An Anthology. Birmingham. National Christian Education Council.
Holy Bible. NRSV. 1989. Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Inclusive Readings. Year B. 2005. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Iona Community. 2001. Iona Abbey Worship Book. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
Millar, P. 2000. Waymarks. Signposts to discovering God’s presence in the world. Norwich. Canterbury Press.
Morely, J. (ed). 1992. Bread of Tomorrow. Praying with the World’s Poor. London. SPCK/Christian Aid.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. & B. Hesle. 2005. Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, Liturgy, and Songs Without Violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press.
(WNC) Pratt, A. 2002. Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and Songs. London: Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Roberts, E. & E. Amidon. 1991. Earth Prayers from Around the World. 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York. HarperCollins.
(SNS2) Stuart, G. 2006. Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Second edition. Sydney. CPRT Sydney.
The St Hilda Community. 1996. The New Women Included. A Book of Services and Prayers. London. SPCK.
Vosper, G. 2009/2010. Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Brisbane.
(TMT) Wallace, W. L. 2001. The Mystery Telling. Hymns and Songs for the New Millennium. Kingston. Selah Publishing.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, & J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating Women. New edition. London. SPCK.
Rickard, Dame, UUA Worship Web. Boston. <www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/>
Kleinheksel. C3Exchange, Spring Lake. MI. <www.c3exchange.org>
Nancy L Steeves. “Praying in the Spirit of Jesus”. One of several non-theistic resources found at: <http://www.ualberta.ca/ST.STEPHENS/resources>
Wren. Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com