Epiphany2C.17.1.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au
Web site:  www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


For continuing access make sure you 'Favourite' or ‘Bookmark’ my web site:
www.rexaehuntprogressive.com

LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
17 January 2016. Epiphany 2C. (Green).


Acknowledgement of Country/First Peoples
(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) 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


MLK2


GATHERING

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Each new day is a gift.
Each new phase of life brings generous possibilities.
Each new question brings learning and growth (FMacnab/h).

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of the Community Candle
Community Candle is lit

(Note: A suggested process for introducing new hymns, called Hymn of the Month, can be found HERE)

Hymn The people stand, as they are able to sing
Great God of Many Names(Tune: 66 84 + Choru: 444)   39 (v1-3) WNC
Great God of many names:
Jehovah, Allah, Lord,
Christ, Brahman, Spirit, Adonai;
We worship you.
Chorus:
Whatever name,
whichever face,
we worship you.

With pomp and pageantry
Beneath an onion dome,
Or in a bare and simple room,
we worship you.
Chorus:

In chapel, mosque or shrine
we wait to praise your name,
through icon, book or choir
we worship you.
Chorus:
Whatever name,
whichever face,
we worship you.

          Remain standing

Opening Sentences
Let us acknowledge the
awesome mystery embodied in every person.
All  
Through us God comes to unique and personal expression.

Let us give thanks 
for the abundance of life on this earth.
All  
Through it we and all people may be nourished.

OR

v1 A morning mist,
the gleam of a new day,
faintly we discern the possibilities
that are before us.
All
 Energy rising, plans turning to action,
we build our every yesterday
from the living of our days
.

v2  May we live our hope into tomorrow.
All
 May we wrap our lives around
the challenges of today.

v1
And in the quiet of the sacred space,
may we listen at the centre of our being
for the truth of our inner voice
v2
that sets before us the purpose of this day (Adapt.GVosper/ab)

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)

OR

We pray:
God of surprises,
startle us with truth we do not see,
amaze us with your power and grace,
beckon us, and lead us far above
restricted hope and narrow faith (MRose-adapt/sco).
May it be so!

Hymn Great God of Many Names(Tune: 66 84 + Choru: 444)       39 (v4-6) WNC
With tabla or guitar,
or with a thousand lights,
through fasting, feasting, fellowship
we worship you.
Chorus:
Whatever name,
whichever face,
we worship you
.

With formal dress or free,
we meditate or dance,
through pesach, hajj or nam simran
we worship you.
Chorus:

Whatever name or creed,
enlightenment or book,
we seek you through our pilgrimage
and worship you.
Chorus:
Whatever name,
whichever face,
we worship you
. APratt
The people sit after the hymn

OR

Imagining Stars(Tune: ‘Stuttgart’. 87 87)     21 SNS2
When, at night, the stars shine on us
Light years from our tiny earth,
Songs and psalms provoke the questions
Of our fragile human worth.

These gigantic specks are burning
Balls of fire, as at play;
Stars in billions share their light and
Thus create a Milky Way.

We still gaze in raw amazement,
Contemplating timeless space;
Numberless, the stars keep stories
Hidden from our human race.

Tiny holes in heaven’s flooring
Letting light beyond shine through;
Stars invite us to imagine
What it is we cannot view.

Myst’ry stride across the canvas
Of the picture we might paint;
Sacredness is grandly present;
Let us praise without restraint.
(GStuart)

Welcome
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.
Those visiting, please sign our Visitors book.

CENTERING

Meditation
"The Summer Day
By Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth
instead of up and down -
who is gazing around
with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms
and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life? 

OR

“Seeds"
By Thom M. Shuman. 

it's the
word of confidence
to a 9-year-old
which one day leads to
the winning goal 
in a World Cup match;

it's the 
extra practice sessions
after school,
going over word after word,
which bolsters
a young girl
at the Spelling Bee Nationals;

it's the gentle touch
of a mother
in the terror of
a midnight thunderstorm
which leads a child
into nursing;

in a world
which idolizes
success, greatness,
biggie-sized achievements,
remind us
of those mustard seeds
planted deep within us
by so many over the years,
which help to shape us
into the people
you mean us to be,
Tender God. © 2006 Thom M. Shuman

Centering Silence
Let us again take a moment to settle into the silence.

God of life
God of peace
God of wonders that will not cease...

Present with us now.
(Silence)

Music of Reflection

EXPLORING

Reading from our Biblical Tradition
A story from our biblical tradition shall now be read.

Traditional Gospel:
John 2:1-11 (Inclusive Text)

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee.
The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and the disciples
had also been invited.

 When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding
was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, 
‘They have no wine'.

Jesus said, 
‘Woman, why turn to me?  My hour has not come yet.'

His mother said to the servants,
'Do whatever he tells you.'

There were six stone water jars standing there,
meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews:
each could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants,
'Fill the jars with water,’
and they filled them to the brim.

'Draw some out now,' Jesus told them,
'and take it to the steward.'

They did this; the steward tasted the water,
and it had turned into wine.

Having no idea where it came from - only the servants
who had drawn the water knew - the steward
called the bridegroom and said,
'People generally serve the best wine first,
and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink;
but you have kept the best till now.'

This was the first of the signs given by Jesus;
it was given at Cana in Galilee.

Jesus let his glory be seen, and the disciples believed in him.

Contemporary Exploration
• A Sermon suitable for this day can be found in my book, Against the Stream. Progressive Christianity Between Pulpit and Pew.

Silence for Personal Reflection

CELEBRATING

A Celebration of Faith (Optional)
In response to the word reflected on
let us stand and share together a celebration of faith.
The people stand as they are able

We celebrate our God
All  
who is not afraid of our minds
with all their questions,
and all their doubting searchings
for the truth.

We celebrate our God
All  
who knows and loves our deepest hearts,
whose compassion is always greater than ours
so that the measure of our kindness
is always less than that of God.

We celebrate our God
All  
who engages with our souls,
linking us with the mystery of the universe,
the endlessness of eternity,
yet is as close to us in our beings
as a parent with a child. © DMcRae-McMahon/plpm

(If celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day…)
How beautiful are the feet of those…
All
 Who walk with a sense of purpose and reality,
Who walk unafraid to be challenged and to change,
Who walk with an understanding of people and an open faith,
Who have the courage to tread unknown paths.

How beautiful are the lips of those…
All
 Who speak aloud the message of Justice,
Who question deeply why poverty exists and why there are poor,
Who dare to choose imagination and live creatively
our universal partnership.

How beautiful are the feet of those…
All
 Who have the courage to walk through darkness
asking questions about human rights,
Who are to be compassionate leaders – inclusive
of the poor and understanding of them,
Who are willing to enter into humble partnership.

How beautiful are the lips of those…
All
 Who proclaim aloud that we must never hesitate
to amplify the voice of those who go unheard,
Who recognised the deafness in our land,
the sound of all our people who are dispossessed,
Who celebrate the goodness of the human person
in every race and colour and walk of life.

How beautiful are the feet of those…
All
 Who walk in compassionate love,
Whose way proclaims a spirituality of action,
Who walk a partnership of justice, peace, love, and friendship,
Who know that every step we take is holy,
Who celebrate the goodness of the human person
in every race and colour and  walk of life.

- Adapted from Litany for the Journey, edited from Solidarity with the Poor; Sharing the Tradition. Shaping the Future Series, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. C3Exchange, 2011

Sharing 'The Peace
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.

May a heart of peace rest with you. (DGalston/q)
All  Thanks be to God.
All are invited to greet a neighbour

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"The Majesty of Mountains"   139 AA
The majesty of mountains,
the sovereignty of skies,
the regal rock that arch above
where veils of vapour rise,
are gifts of God, the Lord of love,
the worshipful, the wise.

The running of the river,
the surging of the sea,
the grass that grows high on the hill,
the flower and fruiting tree,
our Saviour sends us, by whose will
all creatures came to be.

The Glory of the Godhead,
the Spirit and the Son,
the Father, faithful down the days:
to them, the Three-in-One,
while life shall last, be perfect praise
and highest honour done! MPerry
The people sit

The Offerings
Let us bring our offerings, symbols of ourselves and our world, to this table.

The Presentation 
Let each person find a window
to see beyond their own enclosure.
Let each person find a door
To open into a new being.

OR

God of splendour,
your goodness sustains us,
and your graciousness gives us hope.

Use us and this money to further the way
of love, hope, and justice in the world.

Reflections and Prayers
Care Candle:
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our
joys and our concerns.
Joys and concerns shared

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response:
In this abundant blessing
All  
We share the joy.
In this, our time of need
All  May love abound. (GVosper/wwg)

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 that is appropriate.

All  Loving Presence, luminous in all creation,
hallowed be your name.
Thy kin-dom come.
May we reflect on earth
the yielding perfection of the heavens.

Help us to receive an illumed measure from the earth this day.
Forgive us when we trespass against others,
human and other than human,
as we forgive others who trespass against us.

Keep us on the path of wisdom
when we are tempted to take the selfish path.

May it be your rule we follow,
your power we exercise,
and your radiance that allures.

May this be the truth that guides our lives,
the ground from which our future will grow,
until we meet again. (BSanguin/dddc)

SCATTERING

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
Amazing Love(Sung to 'Amazing Grace')  Verses 1-4
Amazing love that Jesus told,
Two thousand years ago,
A story new, a story old,
A love we all can know.

He spoke to crowds in Palestine,
He speaks to us today,
He tells us all of love divine,
To us he shows the way.

The realm of God is one of love,
Of justice and of peace.
It’s not about a realm above -
Through love this world release.

What we want done to us, can be
The rule by which we live;
To follow it will make us free
To share, to love, to give.

Parting Words
Let us embrace the wonder of this week
with expectation and imagination…
The Community Candle is extinguished

Be assured that God’s presence goes with us.
All  
We face the world 
with renewed faith and hope;
God’s word abides with us.

Let your hearts burn within you
as you dare to trust.
All  
God’s love is real and alive in us.
Live in gratitude each and every day;
All  We will love sincerely and live confidently.

Words of Blessing
Go boldly into the future 
which has been claimed by God.
Know that the God who holds all things will be there,
that Christ who calls us friend will walk beside us,
and the Spirit who makes all things new
will mark our way with light and hope.
All  Amen! 
May it be so!

Hymn (Cont.)Amazing Love(Sung to 'Amazing Grace')  Verses 5-7
The story comes to challenge us,
It’s not the easy road,
For us to love, as Jesus loved,
To bear another’s load.

The realm of God is here with us
When love and peace we share,
Although we fail, we know God’s grace,
It’s love that helps us there.

Amazing love that Jesus told,
Two thousand years ago,
A story new, a story old,
A love for all to know. MRolfe
The people sit after the hymn, then prepare to leave

Recessional Music


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:
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa.  Hymns and Songs for all Churches. 1993. Raumati: New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Duncan, G. (ed). 1998. Seeing Christ in Others. An Anthology for Worship, Mediation and Mission. Norwich: The Canterbury Press.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2006. Brisbane: Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
McRae-McMahon, D. 2001. 
Prayers for Life's Particular Moments. Thornbury: DesBooks.
Macnab, F. 1996.
Hope:  The Deeper Longings of the Mind and Heart. Richmond: Spectrum Publications.
Mitchell, R. C.. & G. A. Ricciuti. 1992.
Birthings and Blessings. Liberating Worship Services for the Inclusive Church. New York: Crossroads.
(WNC) Pratt, A. 2002. 
Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and Songs. London: Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Sanguin, B. 2007. 
Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos. An Ecological Christianity. Kelowna: CopperHouse.
(SNS2) Stuart, G. 2009.
Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Volume 2. Toronto: George Stuart.
Vosper, G. Another Breath. Prayers for Celebration and Reflection. Brisbane. CPRT> 2009.
Vosper, G. With or Without God. Why the Way we Live is More Important than What we Believe. Canada. Toronto. HarperCollins, 2008.

Web sites/Other:
Thom M Shuman. "Seeds". [w-rcl] Liturgy web site.
Mary Oliver. "The Summer Day" Reprinted from 'The Hopewell Centre Newsletter', 7/10.
"Amazing Love".
Margaret Rolfe. 2004. Canberra ACT.
David Galston. Quest Learning Centre for Religious Literacy. <http://www.questcentre.ca/>

rexae74@gmail.com