EasterA.12.4.2020

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail: rexae74@gmail.com  OR  rexae@optusnet.com.au
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The Other Lectionary’ - a suggested ‘southern hemisphere’ Lectionary (with a few Resources added) offered in parallel to,
or even replacement of, the RCL which is in standard use by many.


A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
12 April 2020. Easter A. (White).
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

We need a new configuration of liturgy and climate to celebrate Easter in Australia.
In the southern hemisphere we cannot exploit the theme of Spring’s new life. 
Perhaps the theme of refreshing coolness would be an excellent substitute to enrich our appreciation of the Easter event.
April in Australia is a pleasant, refreshing month.
Its arrival brings a sense of relief from the thick blanket of summer
as we are rejuvenated by a touch of coolness. 
For us, this is Eastertime


Worth Pondering
“If your Christianity makes emperors feel comfortable
and oppressed people feel unsafe,
it’s time for a grand reversal”
(John Martin)

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) People of the (NN) Nation, past, present, emerging,
and their stewardship
 of this land throughout the ages.

First Peoples Statement to the Nation 2017 called “Uluru Statement from the Heart” HERE
A Response from Common Dreams5 Conference of Religious Progressives,
Australia/South Pacific 2019 HERE

(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


GATHERING

Rich and Striking Visuals
          “The function of beauty… is to make us aware of a reality which is richer and deeper
          and more marvellous than anything we can dream or conceive.” (Henry N. Wieman)
          Artwork OR Floral/Symbols display (cloths, candles, stones, wood, leaves, flowers, earth, water) OR projection of Film/Slides 

Gathering Music   (Including Solo Song just before Entry)
Being Here”  (Tune: Original, C. New)                                                                                 1 OHV
We move our spirits
We move our spirits
from thoughts of getting here.

We move our spirits
We move our spirits
t’ward the gift of being here.  (Christopher New)

Entry into the Celebration
The sacred space has been changed since we left it on Good Friday morning.
The wooden cross is no longer present. All that remains is the outline of the cross 
made from the petals and leaves scattered by the women of the congregation

The gong is sounded three times

v1  This day we shall let the hills embrace us,
the trees comfort us,
and the sun enlighten our minds.

This day we shall let the sap rise within us
and dance the music of the Cosmos.
  (Adapt/William L  Wallace/wb)

v2  Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Note: (i) A suggested process for introducing new hymns, called Hymn of the Month, can be found HERE
(ii) Additional Special Purpose Hymns that cover major international events or themes can be found HERE  They include these categories: 1. Bush (Brush) Fire, 2. Tsunami, Storms/Cyclones, 3. Earthquakes, 4. War/Remembrance, 5. Caregiving, 6. God as Mother, 7. Human Trafficking, 8. Disabled, 9. Migration/Refugees, 10. Terrorist Attacks, 11. Science/Cosmology
(iii) Some specific resources on Terrorism HERE
(iv) On Wonder, Awe, and Nature HERE

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Easter 1”  (Tune: ‘St Magnus, 86.86)
So bleak with possibility,
bare branches reach for hope,
a promise in this barren time
of love of boundless scope.

We look beyond this season's end,
through winter's lengthened night,
to longer days, and new found growth,
the cross no more a blight.

Each healing hand, each watchful eye,
each grief or joy we share,
lives out that resurrection love,
our calling and our care. 
© Andrew Pratt

OR

Rainbow Colours”  (Tune: ‘Halton Holgate’, 87.87)                                                        112 MTH
Help us trace your rainbow colours
through these days of change and choice,
holding firmly to your promise:
all the world can praise, rejoice.

In a world of contradictions
let your justice change our ways,
then with mercy fire compassion,
let no bias mar our praise.

Let us nurture fresh expressions,
different ways of being church,
sharing love and understanding,
joining people in their search.

Let us go with common purpose,
though distinctive from our birth;
welcome all to share our vision,
go as one to all the earth.

Through diversity and difference,
rainbow colours of our race,
let us share without distinction
God’s demanding, loving grace.  (AndrewPratt. © Stainer & Bell)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
v2  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

v1  Today we celebrate life over death.
Today we celebrate the flame that lives again.
We will light the fire…
(Go to Candle lighting)

OR

Jesus lives! He lives in the hearts
and minds of all who love him.
All  This is the way we will remember him!

On this day called Easter, we celebrate
the indestructible love and wisdom that
Jesus showed to the world.
All  We will gladly follow in his Way!

We will remember Jesus as we live our lives.
All  We will remember him as we forgive,
and not hold on to hurts.

We will remember Jesus as we live our lives.
All  We will remember him as we give
until it makes a difference.

We will remember Jesus as we live our lives.
All  We will remember him as we resist war
and all forms of violence.

We will remember Jesus as we live our lives.
All  We will remember him as we feed the hungry,
shelter the homeless and befriend the lonely.

We will remember Jesus as we live our lives.
All  We will remember his faith in a God
who loves, forgives and restores our hope.

We will remember Jesus as we live our lives.
All  We will remember his guidelines
for life and for loving.  
 (2012 Easter Liturgy, PCNVic) 

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is 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.

OR

With heat and light, the Great Radiance blazed forth
With heat and light, ancestral stars fused atoms, exploding in awesome power
With heat and light, the fire on our Ancestors’ hearth cooked their food
With heat and light, modern scientists harnessed new energy sources
With heat and light, we light our flame today,
looking toward a sustainable future.  (Adapt.JCH. Public domain)

Act of Awareness
In the seed is the flower,
In the weed and the apple tree,
In the chrysalis hides a promise
Of life that soon will be free.
In the deathly cold of winter storms
Waits the spring for you and me,
In the silence is the song
In which dreams come alive.  (Robert Halsey/vv)

OR

We pray:
God of all life, we give thanks for the signs
of your care and creativity
that surrounds us and blesses us.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  "When Mary Through The Garden Went" (Tune: 'Was Gott Thut', 88.88.8)                    267 SLT
When Mary through the garden went,
there was no sound of any bird,
and yet, because the night was spent,
the little grasses lightly stirred,
the flowers awoke, the lilies heard.

When Mary through the garden went,
the dew lay still on flower and grass,
the waving palms above her sent
their fragrance out as she did pass.
No light upon the branches was.

When Mary through the garden went,
her eyes, for weeping long, were dim.
The grass beneath her foot-step bent,
the solemn lilies, white and slim,
these also stood and wept for him.  (Mary Coleridge)

OR

God Who Sets Us On A Journey(Tune: ‘Canvas’’)                                                          32 FFS
God who sets us on a journey
to discover, dream and grow,
lead us as you led your people
in the desert long ago;
journey inward, journey outward,
stir the spirit, stretch the mind,
love for God and self and neighbour
marks the way that Christ defined.

Exploration brings new insights,
changes, choices we must face;
give us wisdom in deciding,
mindful always of your grace;
should we stumble, lose our bearings,
find it hard to know what's right,
we regain our true direction
focused on the Jesus light.

End our longing for the old days,
grant the vision that we lack –
once we've started on this journey
there can be no turning back;
let us travel light, discarding
excess baggage from our past,
cherish only what's essential,
choosing treasure that will last.

When we set up camp and settle
to avoid love's risk and pain,
you disturb complacent comfort,
pull the tent pegs up again;
keep us travelling in the knowledge
you are always at our side;
give us courage for the journey,
Christ our goal and Christ our guide.  Joy Dine