ChristmasDayB.25.12.2020

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail:  rexae74@gmail.com  OR  rexae@optusnet.com.au
Remember to always favourite/bookmark my Web site:
www.rexaehuntprogressive.com

Details on the availability of my books, supporting progressive religious thought, HERE
Suggestion:
’Refresh’ each page before reading to make sure to get my latest edition

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

“There is a need for the religious traditions… to appreciate that the primary sacred community
is the universe itself, and that every other community
becomes sacred by participation in this primary community.”


25 December 2020. Christmas DayB. (White).

Worth Pondering
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it.
It just blooms”
(Kenkei Shibayama)

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 or 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 gather regardless of
race, creed, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation


GATHERING

Gathering Music

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/Video 

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

May the love and creativity that breathes life
into all humanity
and all of creation
All  Be born in us today.

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

On this (Australian) Christmas morning,
let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
"O Come All Ye Faithful(Tune: ‘Adeste Fideles’, Irreg.)                                                  23 FSSC
O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold this child born of Mary.
Refrain:
O come, let us adore them;
O come, let us adore them;
O come let us adore them;
Mother and child.

Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all you messenger's of God's holy word.
Glory to God in-carnate, all glory.
Refrain:

Christ-child, we greet thee, born this happy morning,
Born of the Woman Mary, glory given;
Word of creation, now in flesh appearing.  
(Genia P Haddon/adapt)
Refrain:
People remain standing

OR

"Good Christian Friends, Rejoice!”  (Tune: Traditional)                                                   60 SiF
Good Christian friends, rejoice, 
with heart and soul and voice!
Give ye heed to what we say:
News! News!
All our dreams are born today.
Love has come to lead the way
and will with us forever stay,
Dreams are born today!
Dreams are born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice, 
with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye hear of endless bliss:
Joy! Joy!
Every child was born for this.
Love has opened heaven’s door
and we are blest for evermore.
Joy is born today!
Joy is born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice, 
with heart and soul and voice!
Wondrous news have we to tell:
Peace! Peace!
Love with us is born to dwell.
Born within, it outward grows
and then to all the world, it flows. 
Love is born today!
Love is born today!  (John Mason Neale, 1853, alt., Gretta Vosper, 2007)

Opening Sentences
On a gentle summer’s breeze, a peaceful Word is whispered,
All  
From the mountain tops, a triumphant Word rings out,

From the depths of the ocean comes the roar of a mighty Word,
All  The birds sing out a joyous Word,

All of creation calls out the Word:
All  Jesus the Christ is born today, Hallelujah.
(www.mccchurch.org)

Act of Awareness
Life is a gift for which we are grateful.
We gather in community
to celebrate the glories and
the mysteries of this great gift. (MMontgomery/slt)

OR

We pray:
Days of bright sunlight, clear blue skies and sunbaked earth,
colourful birds,
fiery bottle brush,
pastel jacaranda,
the fragrance of each season beneath the Southern Cross...

We offer our praise and thanks,
for Creativity God is in our midst.
May it be so with us.

Hymn/Song "Carol Our Christmas(Tune: Reversi)                                                              9 AA
Carol our Christmas,
an upside down Christmas;
snow is not falling and
trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and
welcome the Christ Child,
warm in our sunshine and
sweetness of air.

Sing of the gold and the
green and the sparkle,
water and river and lure
of the beach.
Sing in the happiness
of open spaces,
sing a nativity summer
can reach!

Shepherds and musterers
move over hillsides,
finding, not angels,
but sheep to be shorn;
wise ones make journeys
whatever the season,
searching for signs of the
truth to be born.

Right side up Christmas
belongs to the universe,
 made in the moment
 a woman gives birth;
 hope is the Jesus gift,
 love is the offering,
 everywhere, anywhere,
 here on the earth.
(Shirley Erena Murray)
People sit

OR

Troublesome Carol(Tune: By Colin Gibson)
The Christmas Child is a troublesome child,
as troublesome as the Word
that stirred the waters from the deep
and let God's voice be heard.
The Christmas Child is a spirited child
who questions given rule,
who flouts convention's pious face,
who laughs and plays the fool.

The Christmas Child is a generous child,
extravagant in excess,
who spends the coin of life and hope
to recreate and bless.
The Christmas Child is a dangerous child
when to a prophet grown,
whose vision takes a thorny path,
whose cross may be our own.

The Christmas Child is a troublesome child,
as troublesome as the Word
that stirred the waters from the deep
and let God's voice be heard.
The Christmas Child is a luminous child
whose peace the angels sing,
whose star no darkness overcomes,
whose life lights everything.  (© Shirley Erena Murray, 2011)

Welcome
A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are gathering here at (NN) for the first time
or who have returned during this festive season
to be with family and friends.

Your presence both enriches us and this time of celebration together.
Refer to printed liturgy.
Those visiting, please sign our Visitors book.

Lighting of the Christmas Candle
v1  As we find ourselves wrapped in the season of wonder and light,
the astonishment that is life ignites our spirits,
and we feel, if merely for a moment,
that we are as we were meant to be.


v2  May we hold fast to this sliver of mystery,
this truth upon which we set the whole of who we are.

v3  May we call ourselves back to it time and again,
until we are filled with the wonder that is our life:
its hope, its peace, its joy, its love.

v4  Infused, then, with all that we are, may our energies
be given to the transformation of this world:
from despair into hope;
from darkness into light;
from fear into love.

May we be bold.
May we be daring.
May we be love.

Light candle

Love lights the world this Christmas. (Gretta Vosper)

OR

Over the past four Sundays we at (NN) have lit our Advent candles.

We light them again and remember...
the ways peace, hope, joy and love
are always brought to birth
in, through, and among, all creation.
Four candles lit

Last night we lit our Christmas Eve candles.
It was a time for memories and remembering.
To wonder and to give thanks…

And of quiet awakening to beauty
that still lives on through the strife of personal griefs
and an economically challenging world.

Now we come to light our Christmas candle.
It is a friendly candle.
It brings light and love
as we celebrate in the warmth of summer.

It is a candle of understanding which drives away fear.
It is a candle of truth.
It will lead one in unknown paths
to learn more about the mysteries of life.
All  Once upon a time a baby was born
who taught us to love and understand one another.
And they called his name, Jesus.
The Christmas Candle is lit

Presentation of the Christmas Bowl
Let us remember that without peace, joy, love, and hope,
people struggle to find their way.