EasterSunriseC.

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE

EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE


Gathering
(Often in a park or wooded area)

Silence

Acknowledgement of Country/First Peoples
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.

Welcome

Opening Sentences
We live at mystery's edge
watching for a startling luminescence
or a word to guide us.
All
In fragile occurrence
the Holy One presents oneself
and we must pause...

Daily, there are glimmers,
reflections of a seamless mercy
revealed in common intricacies.
All These circles of grace
spill out around us
and announce that we are part of this mystery.
KWehlander/adapted

Today we celebrate life over death.
Today we celebrate the flame that lives again.
We will light the fire…
Two flames are lit

aware that the power of resurrection
has forever changed who we are,
and given us the courage
to boldly proclaim a living faith.

Today we celebrate:
new life,
new joy,
new possibilities.
All We give thanks for the Spirit of Life
visible in Jesus,
visible in us,
visible in people in all walks of life
(Michael Morwood/pns).

Recognising the Sacred
As we gather together in this season of Autumn and change,
let us also recognise that we gather
in the presence of the Spirit and Source of Life.
People face the North

v1 We turn to face the direction north
the season of summer and the element of water,
for a blessing.

v2 The gift of the north is love,
for it speaks of great endurance.
The Spirit of Love teaches us the power of strength in adversity.
All Spirit of Love
teach us the gentle power of strength in adversity.

Silence

People turn right and face the East
v1 We turn to face east, the direction of the rising sun,
the season of spring and the element of air,
for a blessing.

v2 The gift of the east is truth,
for it speaks of the breath of new life on earth.
The Spirit of Truth teaches us to see clearly.
All Spirit of Truth
teach us to see new possibilities more clearly.

Silence

People turn right and face the South
v1 We turn to the south, the direction of winter
and the element of earth,
for a blessing.

v2 The gift of the south is mystery,
for it speaks of the unknown, the unseen.
The Spirit of Mystery teaches us to be silent and to listen.
All Spirit of Mystery
we ask you to teach us the gift of silence, and to listen.

Silence

The people turn right and face West
v1 We turn to the west the place of the setting sun, the season
of autumn and the element of fire,
for a blessing.

v2 The gift of the west is beauty,
for it speaks of peace and serenity.
The Spirit of Beauty - above us, beside us, beneath us -
surrounds us at all times.
All Spirit of Beauty
you surround us at all times,
at our beginnings and at our endings.

Silence

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 breeath,
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.  Adapt.Christian Aid/htw

Narrative 1

We have come to this sacred place,
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 gong, it was believed, calls the earth back into life, and announces the arrival of Easter

Reading from our broad Religious Tradition

Let us now listen to some reflections of faith
as we celebrate Easter - the season of change.

Contemporary World:
"Autumn Prayer"
By Christine Robinson. UUA Worship Web.

God of the Autumn,
help us to live
with the grace of falling leaves,
the enthusiasm of the flaming (Japanese Maples),
with the serenity of the old trees,
whose roots reach deep into the earth.

God of the Autumn,
help us to know
that living and dying are one,
that life is precious, and beautiful, and limited.
That nothing good is ever lost.

God of the Autumn,
help us to see
in the ways of nature a way for ourselves.

Silence for Private Reflection

Narrative 2

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.

May we strive to be worthy of this great life
that out of the old brings forth the new.

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition 2

In an Australian Accent:
"Easter Morning"
By Bruce Prewer. More Australian Psalms/151.

Black light transforms
the clouds in the east,
the swamphens wake
at this new dawning.

Against the sky
sacred ibis wend
like angel forms,
to hopeless mourning.

The sun comes up
and the magpies sing.
God is alive
in everything this Easter morning.

Silence

Biblical Religious Tradition

Luke 24:1, 5, 9  (Inclusive Text)

On the first day of the week, at the first sign of dawn,
the women went to the tomb
with the spices they had prepared.

Two figures in brilliant clothes
suddenly appeared at their side, and said:
'Why look among the dead
for someone who is alive?'

When the women - Mary of Magdala, Joanna,
and Mary the mother of James, and the other women -
returned from the tomb
they told all this to the apostles...

Silence for Private Reflection

A Celebration of Faith (Optional)
Let us share together a celebration of faith.

God, source of all life, you are alive
All  in the beauty of the earth
in the rhythm of the seasons
in the mystery of time and space.

God, source of all life, you are alive
All  in the tenderness of touch
in the heartbeat of intimacy
in the insights of solitude.

God, source of all life, you are alive
All  in the creative possibility
of the dullest conversation
the dreariest task
the most threatening event.

God, source of all life, you are alive
All  to offer re-creation
to every unhealed hurt
to every deadened place
to every damaged heart.

Set before us is a great choice.
Therefore we choose life.

The dance of resurrection soars and surges
through the whole creation.
It sets gifts of bread and wine upon our table.
All  This is grace, dying we live.
So let us live.  KGalloway/cw-adapted

Prayer/Reflection
We pray:
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 disappointments
or what has come to an end...
v2 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.
Amen.  Michael Morwood/adapted

Narrative 3

Each of us has an important part to play in this world.
And part of that is to know we need each other.

In the spirit of the new and changed life
we know as resurrection,
let us now give and receive a blessing.

Blessing Place your left hand on your neighbour's right shoulder

All May the God who dances in creation,
who embraces us with human love,
who shakes our lives like thunder,
bless us and empower us with power
to fill the world with her justice.

Hymn "O for a Thousand Trees"  (Tune 425 TiS, Richmond 86 86)
O for a thousand trees to sing
And join with us this day,
With ferns and frogs and butterflies:
A forest hymn of praise.

Come celebrate with all the land,
Let species rare begin,
With geese and owls and cockatoos:
A choir of country kin.

How can we hear creation groan,
The outback cry in pain?
With desert dragons we rejoice
When Earth is born again.

Let ev’ry stream and river flow
In song toward the sea;
With whale and seal and albatross
We thank God we are free.

O for a thousand trees to sing,
And join with us this day,
With ferns and frogs and butterflies:
A forest hymn of praise. 
Norman Habel

oo0oo

Please share in hot buns, raisin loaf, and tea/coffee back at (NN)


Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy:
Abbott, M. 2001. Sparks of the Cosmos. Rituals for Seasonal Use. Unley. MediaCom Education.
Duncan, G. (ed). 2003. 
Harvest for the World. A Worship Anthology on Sharing in the Work of Creation. Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Duncan, G. (ed). 1998.
Seeing Christ in Others. An Anthology for Worship, Mediation and Mission. Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Falla, T. C.  (ed). 1994.
Be Our Freedom, Lord. Responsive Prayers and Readings for Contemporary Worship. Revised edition. Adelaide. Open Books Publications.
Habel, Norman. 2004.
Habel Hymns 1. Songs to Celebrate with Creation. Adelaide. Flinders Press.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. 2006. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Morwood, M. 2003.
Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Ward, H.; J. Wild. & J Morley. (ed). 1995.
Celebrating Women. New edition. London. SPCK.

Web sites/Other:
Wehlander, Robinson. UUA Worship Web. 2002. Boston. http://uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/index.php

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