Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community (MMOJ) and St. Andrew UCC Celebrate Ecumenical Liturgy of Blessing of the Animals, Presiders Pastor Greg Russell and Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP


At this joyful liturgy, two faith communities in Sarasota came together with their pets to praise God for the gift of divine love and healing that God's beautiful creatures bring into our lives and world. 


The dogs were fully attentive and participated with a few wonderful barks! 
It was a definite first for all who came!

The dogs came with their human families and were all sizes and shapes.

Loving God, we ask you to bless these precious pets.  

Blessed are you, our God, you are present in glory in all our pets. 

By the power of your love, enable our pet to live healthy and happy lives
according to you plan. 

May we always rejoice in your goodness reflected in all God's creatures. 



Pastor Greg shared a touching story about his cat, whom he called a "cat in an angel suit," who woke him up from a sound sleep when his wife was seriously ill. His wife later died that same day. 
All were invited to share stories of how their pets reflect God's love and healing during dialogue homily. 


Community prayed blessing over pets
Pastor Greg and Bridget Mary lead Ecumenical Liturgy.
We gave treats out to dogs after shared homily. Some dogs and owners left, others stayed for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.




See Attached Homily Starter and Liturgy below:
ECUMENICAL BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS 

Pastor Greg: Story: "an angel wrapped in a cat"

Mindy Lou Simmons: Song-"Goddog"

Bridget Mary: Blessing of Pets: Hold or pet your animal and repeat



Franciscan Blessing of Animals:
Blessed are you, loving God, makerof all living creatures.  You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless these pets. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to you plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, our God, in all you creatures. Amen.



Shared Reflection How do God's creatures/ my pet reflect God's love, healing, peace and joy?


LITURGY
GREETING
Presider: In the name of God our creator, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit our wisdom,
All: Amen.
Presider: God, Lover of Creation, is with us.
All: And with all.

OPENING PRAYER 

Presider 1: Nurturing God, You embrace each person and every living thing with delight. May we live our oneness with all creation in Your Heart of Love.
Presider 2: We rejoice that you speak to us each day through Earth’s creatures, especially these pets gathered here today. We ask you to bless us all in the circle of life. We ask this through Jesus, our brother and the Holy Spirit, our wisdom.
All: Amen.


LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading Genesis 1:20-25 Responsorial Psalm Psalm 148

Second Reading Laudato Si “On care for our Earth Home,” Pope Francis Gospel Acclamation

Gospel Matthew 6: 26-29

HOMILY:  BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS Pastor Greg: Story: "an angel wrapped in a cat"
Mindy Lou Simmons: song-"Goddog"
Bridget Mary: Blessing of Pets: Hold or pet your animal and repeat
Franciscan Blessing of Animals:
Blessed are you, loving God, maker of all living creatures.  You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless these pets. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to you plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, our God, in all you creatures. Amen.
Shared Reflection How do God's creatures/ my pet reflect God's love, healing, peace and joy?
(PHOTOS of Liturgy will be on Blog!)


Profession of Faith


ALL: We believe in God, the fountain of life, flowing through every being. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who reflects the face of God and the fullness of humanity. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God in the cosmos, who calls us to care for Earth as the common home we share with all creation. We believe that every living being is our sister and brother and a reflection of God’s goodness in the circle of life. Amen to loving actions on behalf of environmental healing and transformation!



GENERAL INTERCESSIONS



Presider 1: Mindful that God speaks today to us through the sufferings of all beings on Earth, we pray …


After each petition, Response is:
O Holy One, may we work for healing for our earth and justice for all.


Presider 2: Healing God, we trust that you hear our prayers. May we celebrate the beauty of nature and work to heal our Earth. We make this prayer through Jesus, our brother, in union with the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.




PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS

(Please gather around the table)

Presiders (raise bread and wine):

Ever gentle God, as co-creators of our planet, we offer you the gifts of bread, wine and our lives. May we celebrate our oneness with all creatures great and small in the family of God. We ask this through Christ Sophia, the wisdom of God. Amen.


Presider 1: Pray that we become one with all in the Cosmic Christ.


All: We are gathered as a community to celebrate the gift of life pulsating around us in the glories of Nature everywhere.


EUCHARISTIC PRAYER


Presider 2: Our loving God, who speaks to us through wild flowers, butterflies and our beloved pets, dwells on Earth,


ALL: And in every living being.



Presider 1: Lift up your hearts.


ALL: We lift them up to our Creator in whom all beings live.



Presider 2: Let us give thanks for the Source of Life.


ALL: It is right to give the Living God thanks and praise.



ALL: Holy, holy, holy God, Spirit of love and peace, Earth’s abundance reflects your glory: Hosanna in the highest. Blessed are all living things who reflect the beauty of God. Hosanna in the highest.



Voice One: Holy One, we bring you these gifts that they may become the Christ Presence. Fill us with tenderness toward our sisters and brothers, our pets here with us today.



(All extend hands) ALL: On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. This is my body. Do this in memory of me.” (Pause)

In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink Do this in memory of me.”


The Mystery of Faith:


ALL: We are one body, in Christ in communion with all creation.



Voice Two: Christ of the Cosmos, we thank you that there are 18 galaxies for every person, that our bodies are made of stardust and that every place we turn, you are present, loving us. You call us “beloved” and invite us to join the dance of creation, one with all living things in your divine embrace. We rejoice that our beloved pets speak your words of living presence to us each day.



Voice Three: Christ of the Cosmos, we remember all within our world and church who are working for environmental healing, human rights and justice for all.



Voice Four: Christ of the Cosmos, we remember St. Francis who sang canticles to brother sun and sister moon. We remember our sisters and brothers who have cared for earth’s creatures and have blessed our world with their loving service to God’s people most in need. May we praise you in union with them and give you glory by working for a more just and peaceful world.


GREAT AMEN

ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in unity with the Holy spirit, all glory, honor and praise to you, loving God forever and ever.
Sing: Amen, Amen, Amen.
ALL: Prayer of Jesus (“Our Father and Mother”)



Sign of Peace: Group joins hands in circle in symbolic “hug” that goes out to all the creatures and all people as they sing this song of peace:
Let there be peace on earth (sung)


LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD


Presider:        Christ of the Cosmos, may we live our oneness with youand all creation.
Christ of the Cosmos, may we work for healing of the earth.
         Christ of the Cosmos, may we celebrate justice rising up in a 
          global communion everywhere.

COMMUNION

Presider 1: This is the Cosmic Christ in whom all creation lives and moves and has its being. All are invited to partake in this banquet of love and to celebrate our oneness with all living beings on the planet.
 ALL:                We are the Body of Christ.

HYMN:      (sung to the tune of Lasst Uns Erfreuen, pg 541 Breaking Bread2014)

All creatures of our God now sing
Lift up your voices, let them ring, Alleluia! Alleluia!
O burning sun with golden beam, O silver moon with softer gleam, O praise God, O praise God, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O rushing winds that are so strong, You clouds that sail in heavensalong: O praise God,Alleluia!
O rising moon, in praise rejoice, You lights of evening, find a voice: O praise God, O praise God, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O mother earth who day by day, unfolds rich blessing on our way: O praise God, Alleluia!
The fruits and flowers that verdant grow: Let them God’s praise abundant show,
O praise God, O praise God, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


BLESSING

(with hands extended in prayer)


ALL: May our nurturing God bless all gathered here in the name of the Creator,

In the name of Mary’s child, and in the name of the Spirit

as we serve one another and care for our pets and the Earth.


Presider: Go in the peace of Christ, let the service begin!


All: Thanks be to God.


RECESSIONAL (sung to the tune of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands) Using: “God’s got the whole word in his/her hands” 

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