Monday, December 29, 2014

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy at Sun City for New Year's Eve Celebration by Katy Zatsick, ARCWP

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community at Sun City Center
Thanksgiving and Gratitude
New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2014
“Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation. It is a mindful acknowledgment of all that we have been given. When we focus on the abundance in our lives, we discover a greater capacity for generosity, cheerfulness, and contentment.”

ALL: In the name of the Source of all being, Jesus our brother and Sophia, the Holy Spirit who calls us to thanksgiving. Amen.

Opening Prayer ALL:
Loving God you who live outside of time, and reside in the imperishable moment, we ask your blessing this New Year’s Eve upon your gift to us of time.  May our calendar remind us of birthdays and other gift-days, as they teach us the secret that all life is meant for celebration and contemplation.  Bless Loving God this New Year, each of its 365 days and nights.  Bless us with new moons and full moons.  Bless us with happy seasons and a long life.  Grant us O loving God the new year’s gift of a year of love. Amen.

First Reading: from ---Andrea Axtell, Nez Perce Elder and American Indian. 
The release that my family is finding is going back to the spiritual ways.  We have a longhouse.  We don’t have services, it isn’t like a set service where you go in there at ten and you are out by eleven.  It’s just a process where we all get together.  We are not in a hurry.  That’s everybody else’s problem, we go and sit and visit.  Then we sing our songs and then we’ll eat our traditional foods.  Every time we get together, we thank the Creator for water, salmon, our venison, and our roots, our berries, and then we’ll sing and thank again.  Thank the water again, without the water we could not exist.  Then afterwards, we sit and visit again.  This too is the Word of God All: Thanks be to God

From Psalm 34
Response: I will always thank my God

I will thank our God at all times,
I will always praise God’s name.
My soul will boast of our God;
Those who are poor will hear and be glad.
Response: I will always thank my God

Join with me in the praise of our God;
Together we shall sing God’s praise.
I called, and God answered my plea;
From my fears our God set me free.
Response: I will always thank my God

Look to God and shine with joy;
You will never be ashamed.
I begged God to listen to me;
God took my burdens and fears away.
Response: I will always thank my God

Second Reading
Several years before his death in 1972, a remarkable rabbi, Abraham J. Heschel, suffered a near–fatal heart attack from which he never fully recovered.  A dear friend visiting him found him woefully weak.  Just about able to whisper, Heschel said to him: “Sam, when I regained consciousness, my first feeling was not of despair or anger.  I felt only gratitude to God for my life, for every moment I have lived. I was ready to depart. “Take me, O God,” I thought, “I have seen so many miracles in my lifetime.”  Exhausted by the effort, Heschel paused then added: “That is what I meant when I wrote (in the preface of his book of Yiddish poems): “I did not ask for success; I asked for wonder. And you gave it to me.”  This too is the Word of God All: Thanks be to God

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-26
Then Jesus prayed, “Abba God, Creator of heaven and earth, to you I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the clever, you have revealed to the youngest children.  Yes, Abba, everything is as you want it to be.”
This is the Good News of Jesus our brother
All: Praise to you Jesus Christ.

Dialog homily: sharing from your gratitude list for 2014

Response: All: Loving God, giving you thanks; hear our prayer.

Blessed are you, God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer which earth has given and human hands have made.  We give you thanks individually and as community. This bread is our community with Sofia at our center coming together to worship you with grateful hearts.  This will become the bread of life for us.
All:  Blessed be God forever.
Blessed are you, God of all creation.  Through your goodness we have this juice to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. This drink is our never ending desire to offer you thanksgiving for all life brings for us.  We know you hold us in unconditional love. This will become our spiritual drink.
All:  Blessed be God forever.

My sisters and brothers let us pray together that these our gifts may be acceptable to God our Creator.
All:  May God accept these gifts from our hands, for the praise and glory of God's name, for our good and the good of all the People of God.

Presider:  Ever gentle God, Jesus was born of Mary to share his Presence-Emmanuel-“God with us,” and your Spirit of Power.  Accept these our gifts and our gratitude.  By offering ourselves may we be filled with your Spirit of Compassion as we minister to others in our coming year we ask this through Christ, our brother.  All:  Amen.

Canon from sheet 
Our Father and Mother holding hands
The Sign of Peace, sung “peace is flowing…love is flowing…Alleluia…

The Bread is Broken.
All: This is the Lamb of God Jesus who heals our brokenness and that of our entire world.  You are our brother, may this bread we eat from one loaf nourish thankfulness in our lives each day.  How blessed are we who are called to the supper of Jesus. May we be who we are—the Body of Christ.  May we be what we eat—the Body of Christ. Amen.
Please say “We are the body of Christ, we are the blood of Christ” when passing the bread and wine.

After Communion meditation:
May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, And pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.-- St. Theresa of Avila

Community prayers of thanksgiving
May YHWH, who through the childbearing of Mary willed us great kindness to heal the human race, be pleased to enrich us with God’s blessing.
All: Amen
May we know always and everywhere the protection of Mary through whom we have been found worthy to receive the author of life. 
All: Amen
May we who have devoutly gathered this night, carry away with us 
the gifts of spiritual joys, God’s peace and heavenly rewards. 
All: Amen
And may the blessing of Almighty God, Jesus our brother and Sofia come down on us and remain with us forever.
All: Amen
Our liturgy has ended; let us go forth to welcome our New Year.
All: Thanks be to God and A Happy New Year!  Alleluia.
Litany of Gratitude for 2014
If you can, from 2014 make a gratitude list, one for each letter of the alphabet. Go back further if you need to.


























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