EasterC.17.4.2022

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.

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

A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE

...in the end the universe can only be explained in terms of celebration.
It is all an exuberant expression of existence itself”

17 April 2022. Easter Day. (White).
Celebrating Belonging in Baptism
Celebrating Community in the Tradition of the Meal

Worth Pondering
“Whatever conclusion one might end up with about Jesus,
it must be a possible Jesus and not an incredible one.
A possible Jesus is a Jesus situated in his historical circumstances
and who did things and said things that a real person
could have reasonably believed or done at that time”
(David Galston)

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.
xxx


(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, 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/Video 

Entry into the Celebration
The Gathering 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

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Lighting of Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

v1  Whenever we gather we light a candle as a symbol of our intentions
to live in ways that seek 
light, that reflect light,
and honour light in one another and in all others.

v2  We light this candle on this Easter Day
to call ourselves into newness – into the freshness of a
new day, a new week and a new beginning.

All  May the light of this candle draw us to better words, deeper courage,
greater compassion, 
more openness to accept what is and what will be.

In this light, may we see the world with Easter eyes,
 trusting in the resilience of life to bring 
forth life.  (St Stephens)

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) Specific resources on Terrorism HERE
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Hymn/Song  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Praise to God, the World’s Creator”  (Tune: 'Abbot's Leigh’, 87.87D)
Praise to God, the world’s creator,
Source of life and growth and breath,
Cradling in her arms her children,
Holding them from birth to death.
In our bodies, in our living,
Strength and truth of all we do,
God is present, working with us,
Making us creators too.

Praise to God our saving Wisdom,
Meeting us with love and grace,
Helping us to grow in wholeness,
Giving freedom, room, and space.
In our hurting, in our risking,
In the thoughts we dare not name,
God is present, growing with us,
Healing us from sin and shame.

Praise to God, the Spirit in us,
Prompting hidden depths of prayer,
Firing us to long for justice,
Reaching out with tender care.
In our searching, in our loving,
In our struggles to be free,
God is present, living in us,
Pointing us to what shall be.
  Jan Berry/cw
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...
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.  
(Michael Morwood/pns)

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 terror and joy, you arise to shake the earth.
Open our graves and give us back the past;
so that all that has been buried
may be freed and forgiven,
and our lives may return to you.
May it be so.

Hymn/Song  Easter 2”   (Tune: ‘Omni Die’, 87.87)
Stripped of leaves trees tell the story:
naked possibility.
Colours, rampant, rage before me
reaching for eternity.

Now the cross is grazed and gory,
petals fall around its head.
Christ has suffered death, not glory,
buried in that stone cold bed.

No more cross, the tomb is empty,
leaves and petals mark the place;
place of hope and new creation,
barren earth, the ground of grace.  (
© Andrew Pratt 11/2005)

OR

Easter 5(Tune: ‘Dijon’, 87.87)
In our end is our beginning,
cosmic riddle of our birth,
why the Alpha and Omega
came in flesh and came to birth.

Death will no more signal ending,
love survives beyond this life,
not diminished or extinguished
by  our common human strife.

When the tears of life have ended,
when the rivers all run dry,
love exists, will flow forever
on beyond each dying sigh.

Jesus, Alpha and Omega,
Word before all worlds began,
ground of confident existence,
infinite beyond life’s span.  (© Andrew Pratt 25/3/2013)
The people sit after the hymn

Welcome
 In your own words

A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are gathering 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 the Gathering
Those visiting, please sign our Visitors book.

Music of Celebration

CELEBRATING BELONGING IN BAPTISM (Optional)
A Liturgy is available

Baptism Hymn/Song
Now let (NN) receive the gift of the congregation
as we stand and sing the Baptism Hymn...

When a Baby...”   (Tune: 'Infant Holy', 447D.444477)
When a baby in your arms
grips your little finger tight,
but cannot tell you why,
or say your name,
remember Christmas,
a shining star above,
and tiny fingers,
clutching from the cradle,
holding you with love,
holding you with eternal love.

When a baby in your arms
gives a yelling, bawling cry,
then wails a nameless need
you can't ignore,
remember Christmas,
a shining star above,
and hear the crying,
crying from the cradle,
calling you with love,
calling you with eternal love.

When a baby in your arms
gazes deep into your eyes,
and you're the only face
that baby knows,
remember Christmas,
a shining star above,
and eyes a-gazing,
gazing from the cradle,
meeting you with love,
meeting you with eternal love.  (Adapt.Brian Wren)
Parents and God parents return to their seats

Recollection of Baptism
In the very early Christianities,
when the people gathered to worship on Easter morning,
they would also be reminded of their baptism
as they witnessed the baptism of others.

This morning we, 20 centuries later, follow in that tradition...

v2  Come, Sage of Wisdom,
refresh the lives of all your faithful people.
As water is sprinkled over the congregation...

Always remember you are baptised and be thankful.

EXPLORING

Wisdom from the World/ Religious Traditions
xxx

xxx

• xxx

OR

• "Did The Sun Come Up This Morning?”
By Victoria Safford. UUA Worship Web

The dead shall rise again.
Have you seen the trees? Have you seen the maple buds?
The magnolias, swelling?
Poplars, the first lacy, pale spray across the shoulder of the hills?
The forsythia (or as one child I know calls it, the three-sythia, the two-sythia),
and those three small, flowering, perfect crabapple trees in the park,
strong little trees begging children to climb them and get lost for a while in their magical, pink canopies?

Did you smell the rain this week, and the muddy, ready earth receiving it?
Did you smell the musty, lusty, mouldy pile of leaves all thawed now,
and underneath, the moist and living earthworms, wide awake?

Is it safe, I wonder, to presume that we have all seen the dead resurrected?
Can we presume, just quietly among us, this basic fact?
Can we admit, however carefully at first, however foolish it may sound,
that once or twice in our lives or perhaps over and over and tumbling over,
we have seen events miraculous? 

Choose the words you will, whatever words you need.
If 'miracle' cloys, try 'unexpected.' 'Surprising.' 'Unanticipated.' 'Lucky.’ ‘
That which has been given us, that second chance, that second wind,
by the grace of God knows what.’
The dead shall rise again.

We know, because we’ve seen it…
Did the sun come up this morning, no thanks to us and all for us,
and did the earth awake again, or did it not?

We will testify to resurrection.

OR

• “The Freedom Within”
By Kenneth Patton. Songs and Services for the Celebration of Life/82-83

A man once lived who changed his mind about the world.

He made a new set of answers about the heavens.
He changed the location and the significance of mankind in the scheme of things.
His mind was his free world, where he lived unmolested with his new answer’s.
He lived in a new world, while all of his fellows lived in the old world still.
He was not only wise; he was cagey.
He knew that the world of religion and politics was not as free
        as the world he maintained in his head.
He knew that his own mind was a roomier, saner,
        more charitable world than human society.
So he kept his freedom and his answers to himself.

His theories were published as he lay dying,
        when the angry priests and their torturers could not get to him.
After all, why should he make himself the victim of other men’s stupidity and cruelty?
They raged against him, but he was safe within the fortress of the grave.
But while he lived, he maintained his freedom and chance
        to do his work by living within the fortress of his own mind.

Since there was no freedom outside, he kept to his freedom within.

His name was Copernicus.
We named the universe after him.

• Luke 24:1-12 (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.

They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb,
but on entering discovered that the body of Jesus was not there.

As they stood there not knowing what to think,
two figures in brilliant clothes suddenly appered at their side.
Terrified, the women lowered their eyes.

But the two of them said,