Friday, April 3, 2015

Inclusive Catholic Community of the NYS Capital Region/ Holy Thursday Liturgy and Good Friday: Way of Compassion

Nourish Your People

Opening Song – The Servant Song

Opening Prayer:

Presider: God of Divine Nourishment, we gather this evening to celebrate the gift of life that Jesus presented in the symbols of bread and wine, signifying his body and blood, broken and shed for all. Shower us with your blessings, as we come together at table to become communion to each other and to the world, re-membering the call to be humble servants, treating all with dignity and respect.

Sign of Peace/Washing of Hands

Presider: Scripture tells us that if a person is not at peace with someone to “leave your gift at the altar. First go away and make peace with that person. Then come back and offer your gift.” As we prepare to bring our gifts in the celebration of this Eucharist, let us strive to be faithful to the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. And where we struggle, may God transform us to be a healing balm of love. Divine healer of all, we pray.

All: Amen.

Presider: We will share a sign of peace with one another. We then ask that you approach the fountain, in remembrance of Jesus’ witness to service and the creation of a community of equals, and in response to his words, "Such as my love has been for you, so must your love be for each other. This is how all will know you for my disciples: by your love for one another" (John 13, 34-35), and wash the hands of another member of our community.


Reading 1 – With Burning Hearts (Henri Nouwen)

Responsorial Psalm – Taste and See (Haughen)

Gospel – Mark 14: 22- 26

Shared Reflection

Statement of Faith

Presider: Please stand and proclaim our statement of faith:

All: We believe in one God, a divine mystery

beyond all definition and rational understanding,

the heart of all that has ever existed,

that exists now, or that ever will exist.

We believe in Jesus, messenger of God's Word,

bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion,

bright star in the firmament of God's

prophets, mystics, and saints.

We believe that We are called to follow Jesus

as a vehicle of God's love,

a source of God's wisdom and truth,

and an instrument of God's peace in the world.

We believe that God's kin-dom is here and now,

stretched out all around us for those

with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it,

and hands to make it happen.

All: God of life, you nurture and sustain your people. You bless us with abundance; you gift us with your graciousness; you know our every need.

In the birthing forth of creation you call us into being. You gift us with health and wholeness; you sustain our every endeavor. You feed your hungering people.

You call us to work for justice, to share our table with all creation, to feed the needy at our door, to see nobody left in need.

For the blessing of your gifts, and the challenge of your call to us, we lift our voices as we acclaim in song your gracious love:

Holy, Holy, Holy (Words and music by Karen Druker)

We are holy, holy, holy,

We are holy, holy, holy,

We are whole. (2x)

Spirit Divine, Come to Me,

Healing Love, healing Me.

Open my heart, allow me to see,

Beauty and love, lives in me.

You are holy, holy, holy

You are holy, holy, holy

You are whole (2x)

The table we share is adorned with the gifts of creation, gifts given for all to share in equality and justice, a table where all are welcome, and from which nobody is to be excluded, from the greatest even to the least.

As a Christian people we celebrate the open table, proclaimed by Jesus our liberator and our friend, a table of abundant life, inclusive love, and redemptive liberation.

First Invocation:
All: In the power of the creative Spirit, Jesus lived life to the full.
We, too, are blessed in the power of that same Spirit,
which we now invoke upon all gathered here,
to celebrate the transformative energy
symbolized in our gifts of bread and wine,
given to nourish and sustain us into the fullness of life.

While sharing a feast at table, Jesus took bread, blessed you, God of all good gifts.
Jesus broke the bread and along with the cup, shared it among friends, and said:
Take this all of you and eat and drink: this is my body which will be given up for you.

After the meal, Jesus took another cup, poured out in a spirit of solidarity and empowerment.
Jesus gave thanks and shared the cup with his friends, saying:

Take this all of you and drink from it; this is the cup of my life-blood, the life of the new and everlasting covenant.

In prophetic solidarity, it is poured out for you and for all. Sustain one another in the power of sacred memory.

Eucharistic Acclamation:
Nurtured by your word, nourished by your food; Called anew to be your people, we acclaim your praise.

As we celebrate this Eucharistic feast, we call to mind that we are a people nourished throughout the ages; and we look forward in hope to that day when the justice of our God will guarantee food for all who hunger for the fullness of life.

Second Invocation:
With grateful hearts we receive the gifts of this table.
May the creative Spirit who energizes these gifts,
activate in our hearts, too, a hunger for that justice
that will guarantee sustenance for every human being.

In the spirit of this celebration, we rejoice and thank our God for all we have received; but we do so in the painful awareness of all who are excluded from the table of God’s abundant life.

Awaken in us, O God, a passion for equality and generosity of spirit, that all may be brought to the table of abundance, from which our God wants no one to be excluded.

This prayer we make in union with all God’s people, living and dead, and particularly with those laboring for justice in our world.
May we all know the blessing of our loving God, Creator, Liberator, and Holy Spirit, in whose power we gather here, nourished and sustained, now and forever. Amen.

Presider: Let us join then with the disciples of all ages, as we pray together:

All: Eternal Spirit, Earth Maker, Life Giver, Pain Bearer,

Source of all that is and that shall be,

Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in who is heaven

The hallowing of your name echoes through the universe!

The way of your justice be followed by the people of the world!

Your will be done by all created beings!

Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need today, feed us,

In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.

In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.

From the trials too great to endure, spare us.

From the grip of all this is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.

Anglican Church of New Zealand


All: Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.

Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will love tenderly

Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.


Presider: This is Jesus, who called women and men to be partners and equals, and who liberates, heals and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love.

All: Jesus, you invite us to receive you and become you for others. We are the Body of Christ. May the Source of Life whose power now at work in us can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, be given glory through all generations. Amen

Distribution of Bread and Wine: You are the Body of Christ. You are the Blood of Christ.

Communion Song: One Bread, One Body (39)

Final Blessing (all extend hand)

Presider: Let us go forth recognizing that we are Communion and Community, empowered by the body and blood of our brother, Jesus. Go forth, reaching out and feeding those you meet with the good news of God’s ever-present love.

All: Amen

Closing Song: Companions on the Journey (Landry) #31

Good Friday: Way of Compassion

Opening song: Who Will Speak If You Don’t?
by Marty Haugen

‎(The words at the beginning are of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero, El Salvador)

Verse 1 and Refrain

Readers 1 and 2: This is the Gospel about Jesus, written by his disciple, John.
(Jn 18:1-13)


Reader 3: Who will speak for the innocent victims of war if you don’t?
On December 10, 2014, International Human Rights Day, federal Magistrate Matt Whitworth sentenced Kathy Kelly to three months in prison for having crossed the line at a military base that wages drone warfare. Kathy was simply walking the Gospel message of “love thy neighbor” while exercising her First Amendment right (and responsibility) to assemble peaceably for redress of grievance. Her brothers and sisters in Afghanistan had entrusted her with a simple message, their grievance, which they couldn’t personally deliver: please stop killing us.

Reader 4: Who will speak if you don’t?
Chris Nelson, a nurse practitioner who was arrested at Beale Air Force base in November 2014, wrote the following to the commander of the base:  “My husband Michael Pike died in September of Agent Orange related cancer. My husband was Special Forces in Vietnam and came to regret his role in the war and what the US government did. I am here today in loving memory of that fine man to ask you to stop your role in the kill chain which uses the Northrup Grumman Global Hawk drone to identify human targets for extrajudicial execution. This is neither lawful (international and higher law) nor moral and you must know that. Horrible acts, like drone strikes, are leading to the atrocities we are seeing now. Inhumanity met with inhumanity.”

Reader 5:  Who will speak if you don’t?
The U.S. is the undisputed world leader in military dominance. The crimes that most threaten the safety and livelihood of people in the U.S. of course remain the crimes of the powerful, of the corporations that taint our skies with carbon and acid rainfall, peddle weapons around an already suffering globe, shut down factories and whole economies in pursuit of quick wealth, and send our young people to war. Who will speak if you don’t?

Song: Who will speak if you don’t? Vs.2 and refrain

(pause to light first candle)

Reader 6: Jn 18: 19-24


Reader 7:  Who will speak to end violence against women and girls if you don’t?
President Jimmy Carter, Co-founder of the Carter Center in Georgia writes the following in his book: A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power:
Although economic disparity is a great and growing problem, I have become convinced that the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls, largely caused by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts and a growing tolerance of violence and warfare. Some selective scriptures are interpreted, almost exclusively by powerful men leaders within the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and other faiths, to proclaim the lower status of women and girls. This claim that women are inferior before God spreads to the secular world to justify gross and sustained acts of discrimination and violence against them. This includes unpunished rape and other sexual abuse, infanticide of newborn girls and abortion a female fetuses, a worldwide trafficking in women and girls, and so-called honor killings of innocent women who were raped, as well as the less violent but harmful practices of lower pay and fewer promotions for women, and greater political advantages for men. Who will speak if you don’t?

Reader 8: Jim Wallace, author, founder and editor of Sojourners Magazine is quoted in the same book saying:
It's time for all people of faith to be outraged. It's time for our Christian leaders to stand up and say that women, made in the very image of God, deserve better. And it's time for us in the faith community to acknowledge our complicity in a culture that too often not only remains silent, but also can propagate a false theology of power and dominance. There is a growing understanding that women must be central to shaping solutions… There is a new generation of young leaders determined to ensure the bright future of all people regardless of gender. Who will speak if you don’t?

Song: Who will speak if you don’t? Vs.3 and refrain

(pause to light second candle)

Readers 9 and 10:Jn 18: 28-40


Reader 11: Who will speak for the victims of poverty if you don’t?
Poet and prophet Joyce Rupp writes: To my brothers and sisters in developing countries:
While I was deciding which oat bran cereal to eat this morning, you were searching the ground for leftover grains from the passing wheat truck.

While I was jogging at the health center, you were working in the wealthy landowner's fields under a scorching sun.

While I was choosing between diet and regular soda, your parched lips were yearning for the touch of water.

While I complained about the poor service in the gourmet restaurant, you were gratefully receiving a bowl of rice.

While I poured my "fresh and better" detergent in the washing machine, you stood in the river with your bundle of clothes.

While I watched the evening news on my wide screen TV set, you were being terrorized and taunted by a dictatorship government. Who will speak if we don’t?

Reader 12: Who will speak if we don’t?
While I read the newspaper and drank my cup of steaming coffee, you walked the dusty, hot miles to the tiny crowded schoolroom to try to learn how to read

While I scanned the ads for a bargain on an extra piece of clothing, you woke up and put on the same shirt and pants that you have worn for many months.

While I built a 14-room house for the three of us, your family of 10 found shelter in a one-room hut.

While I went to church last Sunday and felt more than slightly bored, you looked out upon the earth and those around you and felt gratitude to God for being alive for one more day.

My brothers and sisters, forgive me for my arrogance and my indifference.  Forgive me for my greed of always wanting newer, bigger and better things.  Forgive me for not doing my part to change the unjust systems that keep you suffering and impoverished.

I offer you my promise to become more aware of your situation and to change my lifestyle as I work for transformation of our world. Who will speak if we don’t?

Song: Who will speak if you don’t? Vs.4 and refrain

 (pause to light third candle)

Readers 13 and 14: Jn 19:1-16


Reader 15: Who will speak for the immigrants if you don’t?
This past summer, tens of thousands of immigrant children and women arrived at our southern border after making the harrowing journey from Central America and Mexico to the north. These children and women fled countries that are not only some of the most violent in the world, but countries where the rule of law is in tatters.
Carolina, a Salvadoran woman, was quick to explain that she left El Salvador because of a common concern among those fleeing Central America: gang violence.
“The crimes, the gangs, it’s terrible. “I left because of fear, because of threats –threats to mothers, saying that if you don’t go along with the gang members they will take your daughters from you.

Carolina said the journey with her 14 and 5 year old daughters took 12 days total; 9 from El Salvador to Mexico and three from Mexico to the U. S. border.  Hunger remained a constant issue throughout the trip. Who will speak if you don’t?

Reader 16:
Antonio remembers leaving Mexico: We ran out of water and food. The only thing we found was an irrigation canal in the middle of the desert. Three days later we arrived in Arizona, dehydrated and with our feet full of sores.  “I can still remember the last time I saw my brother.  I thought I would see him again but I haven’t seen him in nine years.
Who will speak if you don’t?

Song: Who will speak if you don’t? Vs.5 and refrain

(pause to light fourth candle)

Reader 17: Jn 19:17-18 and Jn 19:25-30


Reader 18:  Who will speak for all us affected by global warming if you don’t?
 If current trends continue, this century will witness unprecedented climate changes and ecosystem destruction that will severely impact us all.” “The massive fossil fuel used at the heart of the global energy system deeply disrupts the Earth’s climate and acidifies the world’s oceans.”

 “Energy systems can be made much more efficient and much less dependent on coal, petrol and natural gas to avoid climate change, protect the oceans, and clean the air of coal-based pollutants.

We have the innovative and technological capability to be good stewards of Creation.
Humanity needs urgently to redirect our relationship with nature by adopting the Sustainable Development Goals so as to promote a sustainable pattern of economic development and social inclusion.” Who will speak if you don’t?

Song: Who will speak if you don’t? Vs.6 and refrain

(pause to light fifth candle)

Reader 19: Blessing and Commissioning
May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

Let it be so! Amen!

A Franciscan blessing

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