Tuesday, June 9, 2015

CIVIL UNREST IN BALTIMORE MD Gloria R. Carpeneto May 2015, Liturgy of the Great Commission for Peacemaking Trinity Sunday Living Water Inclusive Catholic Community

Unlike Lake Wobegon, it hasn’t been a quiet week in Baltimore. Businesses have been looted, buildings set on fire, police and protesters alike hospitalized. Words of accusation have flown back & forth all week. Our Democratic mayor was said to be slow in responding to the crisis. Our Republican governor was accused of wanting only a swift & strong show of force to maintain public safety.  A 10:00 p.m. curfew was supposed to help calm tensions – and looting – in the City. But that same curfew cost shop owners and other businesses thousands of dollars in revenue, and we saw an economic downturn in the City last week. It was excruciating to watch, at the same time that it was impossible to keep our eyes averted from the 24-hour news cycle of Baltimore Crumbling and in Flames.
            And yet concurrent with all of this, plenty of peace was breaking out in Baltimore as well. More than one hundred ministers of City churches walked as one, praying for peace, and marching for justice. Local gangs of Bloods, Crips, and the Black Guerilla Family came together in a united effort to protect police and property. Fathers and mothers brought their children – black, white, and yellow – to learn firsthand the civics lesson of peaceful protest. A very small child was filmed holding a sign that read This is what democracy looks like. Yet another was seen handing out bottles of water to police in riot gear. Very early on Tuesday morning, after a long night of looting and fires and  property destruction, hundreds of ordinary citizens came from all over the City armed with shovels, garbage bags, and brooms to clean up their neighborhoods and try to start over again.
                So no, since the arrest of Freddie Gray on April 12, and his subsequent death on April 19, Baltimore hasn’t been anything like the fictional, placid Lake Wobegon. In reaction to his arrest and death, the violent  response has been palpable and even surreal. Things calmed down a bit on Friday, May 1, when the State’s Attorney officially charged the six officers who arrested and transported Freddie Gray with charges ranging from misconduct in office to homicide. And this Sunday evening, May 3, the curfew will be lifted. But what underlies what happened in Baltimore is still very much just beneath the surface and ready to erupt again if we continue to refuse to address it.. And when you think about what that is, it couldn’t be easier to understand.
            For all that Freddie Gray wanted was to have his voice heard. He was arrested, he was a prisoner in transport (apparently unlawfully), but still he had the right for his voice to be heard. He wanted an inhaler. He wanted a medic. He wanted someone to hear and acknowledge his pain. And what he got instead was to be handcuffed and shackled and thrown into the back of a police van, face-down, unsecured, possibly incurring the severe spinal cord injuries that cost him his life. And no one heard his voice.
            Freddie Gray just wanted to be heard. The population of disenfranchised youth in Baltimore just wants to be heard. People living in poverty, with minimal resources for housing, education and income just want to be heard. Bottom-line that’s what all the violence in Baltimore has been about this past week. For too many years, too many people have not heard the cries of the poor. Oh, we’ve set up food banks and feeding programs, and shelters and clothing drives and Code Blues in the winter when the temperatures drop below 13 degrees and homeless people might literally freeze on our streets. But the prophetic call for a full revamping of our society's sinful structures – including our criminal justice system -- has not been heard. This week has reminded me of many of the prophetic books in the Hebrew scriptures – Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah – but most of all Amos, wherein Yahweh says,
They have sold the upright for silver,
and the poor for a pair of sandals.
They have crushed the heads of the weak into the dust,
and thrust the rights of the oppressed to one side.
(Amos 2:6-7)
            It’s been scary to be in Baltimore this week. It’s been alternately depressing and uplifting. It’s been shameful, knowing that our institutions, our culture, our very way of being have, indeed, thrust the rights of the oppressed to one side. But it’s also been – and remains – hopeful. People seem more willing to come together. People seem more willing to hear voices other than their own. People seem more willing to consider the common good. People seem to want to work, and pray, and play and live together in peace. People seem saturated with the Holy Spirit. As St. Ignatius might remind us, God’s in the midst of it all, and that is cause for joy.   
All are welcome at this Eucharist
that celebrates Christian discipleship;
 where we gather as a community of equals,

we share the dream of a world  
where all our brothers and sisters live in peace.

Liturgy of the Great Commission for Peacemaking
Trinity Sunday
Living Water Inclusive Catholic Community

(parts excerpted and edited from Liturgies for Peace, PCUSA;
All Desires Known, Janet Morley;
Prayer in America, American PBS)

Brief Announcements

Procession & Opening Song

Introductory Rites
Presider:  Let us begin in the name of the God who has created us, who loves and empowers us, and who sends us forth each day to bring Divine Love into our world.

All:  Amen.

Presider:  May our God be with you.

All:  And also with you.

Presider:  As we prepare to celebrate the mystery of Christ’s love, let us acknowledge that there are times when we fall short, and ask our God for pardon and peace.

Deacon or Presider:  God of our journeys, you beckon us to follow, but sometimes we turn away in fear. God, have mercy.

All:  God, have mercy.

Deacon or Presider:  God dwelling among us, you tell us that we are to see your face in every sister or brother we meet, but sometimes we refuse to look. Christ, have mercy.

All:  Christ, have mercy.

Deacon or Presider: God of infinite patience, again and again you show us that you walk our road with us; yet we fail to trust in your abiding presence. God have mercy. 

All:  God, have mercy.
Presider:  Good and gracious God, we long to be a people who walk in your ways. Inspire us with a faith that does not count the cost.  Forgive us our weakness and our fears, and give us the courage to be peacemakers.

All:  Amen.

Glory to God
Presider:  Let us offer words of love and praise to our God.

All:  Glory be to God who is all in all,
and on earth peace, peace among those of good will.

We praise you, we bless you, we worship you, we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
holy God, tender God, God our beloved creator.

Christ our desire, fullest embodiment of God,
bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh,
foolishness of God, still greater than human wisdom;
poverty of God, still stronger than human pride;
emptiness of God, still full of our redemption;
you take away the brokenness of the world, have mercy on us.

Beloved One, You are seated at the right hand of God, receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are our desire.
You alone, O Christ,
filled with the Holy Comforter of fire
are radiant with the grace and glory of our Mother-Father God.

Opening Prayer
Presider:  Eternal God, Consuming Fire, who every day gives us the gift of your Holy Spirit, fill us with longing to speak your  word to a broken and wounded world, that we may lead others to the warmth of your light. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One.

All:  Amen.

First Reading  (Read from the Lectionary, and conclude as follows.)
Lector:  The Word of God
All: Thanks be to God. 

All:  Sing or recite Responsorial Verse with Lector.

Second Reading  (Read from the Lectionary, and conclude as follows.)
Lector:  The Word of God
All:  Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation
Gospeler:  Alleluia (sung) or Alleluia!

Gospel Reading
Gospeler:  Our God be with you.
All:  And also with you.
Gospeler:  A reading from the holy gospel of …
All:  Glory to you, O God.

(Conclude Gospel reading as follows.)
Gospeler:  The holy gospel of Jesus, the Anointed One
All:  Glory and praise to you, O Christ.


Profession of Faith 
Presider:  Let us join together in our profession of faith, hope, and love.

All:  O God, the source of our being and the goal of all our longing,
we believe and trust in you.
The whole earth is alive with your glory,
and all that has life is sustained by you.
We commit ourselves to cherish your world and to seek your face.

O God, embodied in the human life of Jesus,
we believe and trust in you.
Jesus our brother, born of the woman Mary ,
you confronted the proud and the powerful,
and you welcomed as your friends those of no account.
Holy One of God, you emptied yourself of power
and became foolishness for our sake.
You labor with us on our crosses,
and you bring to us the hope of resurrection
from all that threatens to tear our world apart.
We commit ourselves to struggle against evil and to choose life.

O God, life-giving Spirit,
Spirit of healing and comfort, of integrity and truth,
we believe and trust in you.
Warm wing-ed Spirit, brooding over all creation,
rushing wind and Pentecostal fire,
we commit ourselves to work with you to renew our world as an abode of peace for all.

Prayer of the People

Presider (conclusion of the prayer):  Loving God, we offer you the prayers we have spoken aloud, and those that remain deep in our hearts, and ask them in the name of Jesus, our brother and your Anointed One.

All:  Amen.

Song for the Preparation of the Gifts
(If a collection is being taken, baskets will be passed at this time.)

Preparation of the Altar

Offertory Procession
(Those who bring up the bread and wine offer them to the Presider & Deacon. Then all walk around to stand behind the altar. The Presider prays the first prayer, commingling wine and water, then offers the bread & wine to ministers to her/his left and right, who pray over the gifts.) 

Offertory Prayers
Presider: (pouring water into the cup):  By the mingling of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, as Christ has come to share in our humanity.

Presider or Bread Minister:  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.  It will become for us the bread of life.

All:  Blessed be God forever.

Presider or Wine Minister:  Blessed are you, God of all creation.  Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands.  It will become our spiritual drink.

All:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider:  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 church.

Presider:  (Prayer inspired by St. Hildegard of Bingen, 12th century) Everlasting God, you sent to us your Holy Spirit, root of all being, absolver of all faults, balm of all wounds. Infuse our hearts with your unquenchable fire, that we may be filled with passion for your gospel. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Christ.

All:  Amen.
(Bread and Wine Ministers remain at the altar.)

Eucharistic Prayer  (Please stand for the Eucharistic Prayer, and remain standing until after Communion has been received.)

Presider:  May our God be with you.

All:  And also with you.

Presider:  Lift up your hearts.

All:  We lift them up to our God. 

Presider:  Let us give thanks to our loving God.

All:  It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Presider: We gather today with grateful hearts to remember the abundance you promise us, O God, and we thank you for the feast of  bread and wine that is before us. We remember too that each of us, like the many grains of buckwheat in this bread, once scattered in the field, have been brought together around this table by our common passion for peace. Like this bread, the God of Life has kneaded us with loving hands, making us strong in our desire for justice.

Bread Minister: God breaks open and creates a space for peace whenever we speak truth to power.

Wine Minister: God breaks apart and makes room for new growth when we witness against oppression and suffering.

Bread Minister: God breaks through and wraps us in loving arms when we remember we are God’s Beloved.

Wine Minister: God breaks in, through walls of hatred, fear and despair, when we proclaim the vision for which Jesus gave his life.  

Presider:  As we prepare to break this bread, we remember the body of Jesus, broken for a vision that he would not betray. 

As we prepare to share this cup, we remember the blood of Jesus, poured out upon the seeds of nonviolence which he sowed with courage,  tenderness and  eternal love.

As we prepare to eat this bread and drink this cup, we remember the brokenness of our world, our nation, our city; we pray that as peacemakers we might be agents of healing ; and we join in an unending hymn to the praise of your love, your compassion, your wisdom and your mercy.

All:  Holy, holy, holy God, Spirit of Love and Peace.  Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is the One who comes in the name of our God.  Hosanna in the highest.

Presider:  How wonderful the work of your hands, O God! All creation rightly gives you praise. All life, all holiness, all blessing and encouragement come from you, through Jesus, your Anointed One, and the working of the Holy Spirit. From age to age, you gather a people to yourself so that, from east to west, from north to south, from all races, all genders, and all walks of life, a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name.

Presider:  And so, Abba, we bring you these gifts. Loving God, let your Holy Spirit move in power over us and over our earthly gifts of bread and wine, that they may become for us, and we, for all the world, + the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Words of Institution
All:  On the night before he met with death, Jesus came to table with the women and men he loved.  He took bread and praised you, God of all creation.  He blessed and broke the bread, and gave it to his disciples saying:  Take this, all of you, and eat it:  This is my body which will be given up for you.

All:  When supper was ended, he poured a final cup of wine, and blessed you, God of all creation. He passed the cup among his disciples and said:  Take this, all of you, and drink from it.  This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.  It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.  Do this in memory of me.

Deacon or Presider:  Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.

All:  Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

Presider:  (adapted from the St. Hilda Community) Come now, Spirit of integrity, of tenderness and judgment: touch our speechlessness, kindle our longing, reach into our silence, and fire our words with your truth; that each may hear proclaimed in his or her own language the mighty works of God.

Let your Spirit also come upon our leaders, both religious and political, so that they might act without fear. Move our minds and our hearts also, that we too might act without fear. May we, together with our leaders, become peacemakers – to transform your church and to protect your world.

Strengthen and console all who are suffering in any way. Bless all those who have gone before us in faith, and bring them into the everlasting joy and peace of your presence.

We ask that you gather together women, men and children of every race, language, religion and way of life to share in your one, eternal banquet. Then, in your presence, we shall give you glory, with all creation and with Jesus, through whom your goodness flows.

(Bread and Wine Ministers elevate the bread and wine.)
All:  For it is through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, that all glory and honor are yours, All-Loving God, forever and ever.

Prayer of Jesus
Presider:  Let us pray together to our Loving God as Jesus taught us:

All:    Our father/mother in heaven
          Hallowed be your name
          Your kin-dom come
          Your will be done
          On earth as it is in heaven.
          Give us this day our daily bread
          And forgive us our trespasses
          As we forgive those who trespass against us
          And lead us not into temptation
          But deliver us from all evil.
          For yours is the kin-dom, and the power and the glory
          Forever and ever. Amen.

Deacon or Presider:  The peace of God be with you all.

All:  And also with you.

Deacon or Presider:  As we share our joy, let us take one another’s hands and remind our neighbors that today we are commissioned to live as peacemakers.

(Bread and Wine Ministers share the Sign of Peace, then be seated.)

Presider:  This is the Lamb of God, who promises that swords will be beaten into plowshares, and spears molded into pruning  hooks. Jesus is the peacemaker who takes away the brokenness of our world.  How blessed are we who are called to this table.

All:  Jesus, you make me worthy to receive you. By your word, I am healed.

Presider:  This is the welcoming table of Jesus Christ. All are invited and welcome to participate in this meal.

Sharing of Communion & Communion Song

Post-Communion Meditation Song (optional)

Closing Prayer
Presider: O God, we believe that peacemaking means planting seeds, though we may never see the flowers or taste the fruit.  May we work unceasingly toward that world you have promised us, where kindness and faithfulness shall be one, and where justice and peace may kiss. We ask this in the holy name of Jesus, your anointed one and our brother.


Final Blessing
Presider:  Our God be with you.
All:  And also with you.
Deacon or Presider:  Let us raise our heads and pray that God’s blessing be with us.

Presider:  With God’s grace, may we become at all times, now and forever,
a protector for those without protection

All:  Amen.

Presider:  a guide for those who have lost their way

All:  Amen.

Presider:  a ship for those with oceans to cross

All:  Amen.

Presider: a bridge for those with rivers to cross

All: Amen.

Presider: a safe haven for those in danger

All: Amen

Presider: a lamp for those without light

All: Amen

Presider: a sanctuary of peace for those in the midst of violence

All: Amen

Presider: and a fearless servant to all in need.

All: Amen

Presider:  And may our loving and compassionate God bless us all, the God Who made us for love, Who saved us by love, and Who loves us still.

All:  Amen.

Deacon or Presider:  This Mass is ended. Go in the peace of Christ to carry out his commission  to preach the Gospel of peace to all the world.

All:  Thanks be to God.

Closing Song & Procession

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