Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Liturgy for Mother's Day by Mary Weber, ARCWP

         


A Liturgy To Celebrate Mother’s Day


Welcome and Centering Time: Audio Music: Taize or Shamanic or Shared Song of Choice


Let us begin : In the name of our Mother and Father God, in the name of Jesus, our brother and in the name of the Holy Spirit, Sophia ,our sister, our nurturer, our healer. All: Amen


Presider: My sisters and brothers God is here with us! All: God is always with us!


Calling forth of the nurturing gifts of each!


All: Let us pray: Holy One you call each of us to be mothers. You wish wholeness for men and women, you show us through Jesus how to create, birth, and nurture love. You beckon us regardless of our gender, sexual orientation or vocation to be parents to the unwanted, to the disenfranchised, to the motherless. Grace us to touch others gently and with full acceptance as a new mother does with her infant.





Presider: Let us put aside stereotypes of mothers, and so called feminine characteristics and realize that each of us rather male or female is called to parent God’s people, to birth the new creation, to be a midwife of change and growth, to labor for peace and justice.


Mother’s Day: Reader One


The history of Mother’s Day... Anna Reeves Jarvis and the women who originally celebrated Mother’s Day saw it as an opportunity to use their status as mothers to protest violence and injustice. In 1858, Anna Reeves Jarvis organized Mother’s Work Days in West Appalachian communities to protest the lack of sanitation and to advocate for women’s rights. During the Civil War, Jarvis urged women to care for the wounded – no matter which side they fought for. After all, each wounded soldier was someone’s child. She spoke out encouraging all to stop the violence.


Mother’s Day: Reader Two


The movement gained momentum when, in 1870, Julia Ward Howe – a suffragist, abolitionist, pacifist, and writer in Boston – called for a special day for mothers to oppose war. Motivated by her witnessing the bloody civil war, she dreamed of the establishment of an international Mother’s Day Festival dedicated to the international solidarity among women.





Mother’s Day: Reader Three


An excerpt from the original Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870:


Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism is that of water or of tears! Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. The earth says in the words of Mrs. Howe “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”


All: In the name of God who desires that all peoples live in peace and dignity, may we renew our commitment to be peacemakers, to speak for those who are voiceless, to weep with those who are who are ravaged by war and hatred. Grace us with the wisdom of Sophia that we may find ways to stop the carnage, bind up the wounds and be the Word and Bread for our broken world. Amen


Liturgy of the Word


READER 4: First Reading: Poem


Always with you..."


Your Mother is always with you.
She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the
street, she's the smell of certain foods you remember,
flowers you pick and perfume that she wore, she's the
cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well,
she's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day.
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep…
the colors of a rainbow; she is Christmas morning
Your Mother lives inside your laughter.
And she's crystallized in every teardrop.
A mother shows every emotion...happiness,
sadness, fear, jealousy, love, hate, anger,
helplessness, excitement, joy, sorrow...and all the
while, hoping and praying you will only know the good feelings in life.
She's the place you came from, your first home, and
she's the map you follow with every step you take.
She's your first love, your first friend, even your
first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you. Author: Unknown / Pause to reflect and absorb


READER 5: Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-2


READER 6: REFRAIN: FROM THE BEGINNING YOU HAVE COMFORTED US, O GOD, LIKE A MOTHER HEN GIVING REFUGE IN THE SHADOW OF YOUR WINGS!


GOD CRIED OUT LIKE A WOMAN IN LABOR… CAN A WOMAN FORGET HER NURSING CHILD, OR SHOW NO COMPASSION FOR THE CHILD OF HER WOMB? EVEN THESE MAY FORGET, YET I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!…SO GOD KEEPS VIGIL, HEARS OUR CRIES,AND COMFORTS US AT A MOTHER’S BREAST. REFRAIN


BLESSED ARE YOU, O GOD WHO WIPES AWAY OUR TEARS...SHALL I OPEN THE WOMB AND NOT DELIVER, SHALL I, THE ONE WHO DELIVERS, SHUT THE WOMB? AS A MOTHER COMFORTS HER CHILD, SO I WILL COMFORT YOU….THAT YOU MAY NURSE AND BE SATISFIED. REFRAIN


AS A MOTHER COMFORTS HER CHILD, I WILL COMFORT YOU… I HAVE BORNE YOU FROM BIRTH, CARRIED YOU FROM THE WOMB; EVEN


TO YOUR OLD AGE, I AM THE ONE WHEN YOU TURN GRAY I WILL CARRY YOU! *REF.


Adapted from A Prayer Book For Remembering Women


Pause to reflect and absorb


READER 7: A reading from the Gospel according to John ALL: Glory to you O God. GOSPEL: John: 10:11-18 (The Good Shepherd) Reader: The Good News of Jesus. ALL: Glory and Praise to Jesus the Christ.


Shared Homily


Profession of Faith: All: We believe in God, creator of beauty and promise who dwells with us and the entire cosmos as mercy, infinite love and incomprehensible mystery. We believe in God made known to us in Jesus, Wisdom teacher and healer, prophet of peace and justice who challenged the Law in favor of reverence and respect for our human conditions.


We believe in the power of Holy Spirit-Sophia who renews the whole of creation, who strengthens us in hope and gives us courage on our faith journey.


We believe in the People of God together in community learning forgiveness of self and others, reconciling alienations and divisions, and with God in unfolding a new creation.


We believe in eternal life for all and in the holy continuation of the inter-dependence of all species and elements of our planet and the cosmos.


GENERAL INTERCESSIONS


Presider: let us be mindful of those who have not been mothered, nurtured, affirmed or fed by loving parents. Response: Heal and comfort them through us, O God.


For the forgotten, those held captive, those who are without hope or joy, and those who need a loving parent. R. Heal…


For moms, grandmothers, aunts, step moms, single moms godmothers, pregnant moms and all who have been like a mother to us. Refrain: We are grateful, O God.


For those who have been good shepherds to us. R. We are grateful, O God.


Other Intentions...


PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS: Presider: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation. ALL: Blessed be God for forever.


Presider: God dwells in you. ALL: And also in you. Presider: Lift up your hearts.


ALL: We lift them up to God. Presider: Let us give thanks to our God. ALL: We thank you for your mother love.


EUCHARISTIC PRAYER


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

In the birthing forth of creation you call us into being.
You gift us with the unconditional love of a mother; you make us whole; you nurture us throughout our lives. 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. You call us to birth a new church.
For the blessing of your gifts, and the challenge of your call to us,
we lift our voices as we acclaim your gracious love: ALL: Holy, Holy, Holy, God of birth and life, heaven and earth are filled with your love. Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed are You who dwell among us. Happy are we who are called to be fed at this banquet of unending joy. Hosanna in the Highest.


Presider:
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,
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 joyfilled liberation.
All extend hands and pray as one:
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 life changing energy
symbolized in our gifts of bread and wine,
given to nourish and sustain us into the fullness of life. I
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 that I laid down in the name of Love.
In prophetic solidarity, it is poured out for you and for all.
Sustain one another in the power of sacred memory.
Nurtured by your word, nourished by your food;
Called anew to be your people, we rejoice in this meal.
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 and nurturance for all who hunger and thirst for the fullness of life.

With grateful hearts we receive the gifts of this table.
May Sophia who provides these gifts,
activate in our hearts, too, a hunger for that justice
that will guarantee food, peace and justice 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 Mother 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, Mother and Father,
Creator, Liberator, and Holy Spirit, in whose power we gather here,
nourished and sustained, now and forever. Amen.


ALL: THE PRAYER OF JESUS: Our Mother, who is within, we celebrate your many names. Your wisdom come. Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us. Each day you give us all that we need. You remind us of our limits, and we let go. You support us in our power, and we act with courage. For you are the dwelling place within us, the empowerment around us, and the celebration among us, now and forever. Amen. The Prayer of Jesus as interpreted by Miriam Therese Winter.


The Sign of Peace: Presider: Jesus, You said to your disciples and you say to us:, “My peace I leave you. My peace I give you.” Look on the faith of all and grant us the peace and unity of your kindom where you live forever. ALL: Amen. Presider: May the peace of Christ Sophia be always with you. ALL: And also with you. Presider: Let us share this peace with each other.






LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD


ALL: Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power, give us the courage. Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice, keep us passionate. Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. Inspire us anew.


Presider: Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ! ALL: Amen


ALL: PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION


Mother of the cosmos, you have loved us into being. You sustain us with mother love. May we continue to move together towards the wholeness of unconditional love for all peoples. Empower us to feed as we have been fed. Help us grow into the church that you envision for us. Lead us to new life and inspire our work and play with creativity and joyful enthusiasm. ALL: Amen


CONCLUDING RITE


Presider: Christ Sophia is with you


ALL: and also with you.


BLESSING


(everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)


ALL: May we go forth as renewed parents and mystic visionaries of our cosmic communion with all life, in the Name of our Mother God, in the Name of the Healer, in the name of the Spirit who breathes new life into us. Amen






DISMISSAL


Presider: Go in the peace of Christ Sophia. Let the service begin! ALL: Thanks be to God.





Liturgy composed and designed by Mary Weber





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The Eucharistic Prayer was adapted from O’Murchu.





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