What difference will Christmas make in your life this year?
Gregorian chant: Proclamation of Christmas: St. Meinrad Schola
Voice One: In the name of a God who renews us through the birth of a baby, in the name of the newborn child who shows us the way to live and in the name of the Spirit who enlightens, comforts and advocates for us. ALL: Amen. My sisters and brothers, God is within you! ALL: And also within you. As we prepare to celebrate this amazing feast of the birth of Jesus, we open our minds and hearts to hear God’s word and wisdom. ALL: We take your Word into our minds and hearts, open to new understanding.
Voice Two: We ask for the grace to continually acknowledge our need to grow in goodness and caring for ourselves and for others. ALL: We accept your love and forgiveness for the times that we have lost sight of the wonder and hope that Christmas brings us. May we live into and through that mystery that gives new birth to our spirits. Amen.
Voice Three: Today we are filled with awe as we reflect and embrace the message of Christmas. We are called to be God’s Light in the darkness of fear, hate and exclusion. We are beckoned to dry the tears of our world and to bring hope to the despairing. Let us renew our desire to incarnate God’s promise and possibility to our sisters and brothers everywhere. May the one whose birth we celebrate this season be born anew in us. All: Amen
LITURGY OF THE WORD
FIRST READING: “Holding On To Our Amazement” by Mark Nellsen
SECOND READING: “The Light Is Here and Now” by John Philip Newell from The Rebirthing of God
Psalm 97 REFRAIN: ALL: A light will shine on us this day: a child is born for us.
From Nan Merrill’s Psalms For Praying
Gospel: A reading from the holy gospel according to Luke 2-15-20
Reader: The good news of Jesus the Christ. All: Glory to you, Jesus the Christ!
STATEMENT OF FAITHFULNESS Michael Morwood
We believe that God’s Spirit is in everyone. Response: We hold this truth in our hearts.
We believe that God’s Spirit is seen when people love and care and when they try to be neighbor to one another. We hold this truth in our hearts.
We believe that God’s Spirit is blocked when people hurt one another and when they turn to violence and war. We hold this truth in our hearts.
We pray that people everywhere will listen to the presence of God’s Spirit in them and that they will respect the presence of God’s Spirit in other people. We hold this truth in our hearts.
We pray that war and violence and hatred will come to an end. We hold this truth in our hearts.
We commit ourselves to respecting God’s presence in other people and to being peace-makers. We hold this truth in our hearts. Amen
Mary: May each of us be renewed during this season of light! Response: May our lights shine!
That the darkness of greed, hate and exclusion be vanished by our actions. Response:
For all those that we have promised to pray for. Response:
That we may embrace the rebirthing of God by reaching out to all. Response:
For what else shall we pray?
Eucharistic Prayer – Gratitude (by Jay Murnane) edited
Voice Four: O Holy One, we are amazed by the world around us, and we respond with deep thanks. We are blessed by the lights of the heavens: the sun and moon, planets and comets and stars; we are blessed by the darkness which keeps us from being blinded by the light, and eases us into contemplation and rootedness. We are blessed by the generous oceans, and the cliffs and shores which embrace them and allow us to be touched, and to touch. We are blessed by streams and lakes and rivers, by snow and rain. We are blessed by mountains, which teach us of solitude; where we can feel the power of the softest wind. We are blessed by all the harmonies of creation, which charge our souls with hope. We are blessed by the children whose open arms and imaginations teach us enthusiasm and delight at living in the now. We are blessed by friends who share with us the dark and the light, the tears and the laughter – our companions on the journey. We are filled with appreciation for all these blessings, as we become aware that all is oneness and oneness is all. And so we say:
Voice Five: Holy, Holy! Holy, Holy! Holy Source of wonderful life. All of creation is filled with your glory; Deep compassion all around us! Blessed are those who come in the name of the Source of wonderful life; Because of the pain in our hearts and the immensity of the world’s pain, we often walk this good earth without appreciation and awareness. We are blessed by all those who have asked us to look around, open up, breathe deeply and really see. We appreciate our elders in the family of life – whale and wolf and sunflower and wheat – who simply live with joy and abandon. We celebrate the troubadours and the truth-tellers who have gone before us, and who are with us now. We celebrate Jesus, who lived fully in love to show us how to live, and who died only for the sake of integrity and life.
ALL: On the night before he died, he sat at a table with friends and relived with them his work, his teaching and wisdom of the universe. Then he went among them as servant, washing their feet, touching their hearts. When he returned to his place, he took bread, gave thanks and offered it to them saying:
Take this bread and eat it; It is my life. (pause)
He lifted a cup of wine, gave thanks and offered it: Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life poured out for you and for everyone that you might really be free.
Whenever you remember me like this, I am among you. ( pause)All extend hands over the bread and wine and say:
THEREFORE, WE ASK THAT YOU SEND YOUR HOLY SPIRIT AFRESH UPON US AND UPON OUR GIFTS THAT THEY MAY BECOME FOR US AND WE FOR THE WORLD, THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS THE CHRIST AT WHOSE INVITATION WE CELEBRATE THIS EUCHARIST!
Voice Six: As we are joined with all of creation, so are we joined with Jesus in life and ministry, death and resurrection. We are joined with him in standing with the broken and wounded of the earth, with hands open and ready to serve, creativity turned to healing, resolution and reconciliation. We journey towards greater and fuller openness and awareness, a living sense of gratitude and amazement, always opening up to the amazing energies of your creative spirit, we enter into life as Jesus did, as his companions, and truth-tellers, breathing with your own spirit, we are able to mirror your own glory, O Holy One, as we live ever fuller openness and awareness, a living sense of gratitude. Always opening up to the amazing energies of your creative spirit, we enter into life as Jesus did, as his companions, and truth-tellers, breathing with your own spirit, we are able to mirror your own glory, O Holy One, as we live every day. Amen
The Prayer of Jesus Our Father/Mother
The Sign of Peace
Mary: Jesus, You said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you. My peace I give you.” Look on the faith of all and grant us your peace and unity. ALL: Amen.
God’s peace is with us and everyone! Let us offer each other a sign of peace.
LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD
ALL: Light of our lives, You call us to spirit-filled living; guide us by your Spirit. Light of our lives, You call us to spirit-filled service; strengthen us to serve with compassion. Light of our lives, You call us to be Your spirit in the world, grant us peace. (Someone hold up the bread and cup) This is Jesus, who liberates, heals and transforms our world.
All: Jesus you have made us worthy to receive you and become you for others. We are the Body of Christ.
Prayer After Communion
Loving God, may the Eucharist that we celebrate bring us to rebirth Christ in our lives again... May we continue to bring light and amazement to the mission and ministry of spreading the Good News of God’s unfailing love. May we strive to feed all at the Banquet of Love. May we accept the liberating power of the Holy Spirit who is with us still. This we ask in the name of Jesus, the Christ. ALL: Amen.
Mary: God is always within us All: God will never leave us!
BLESSING (Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing.) ALL: May our loving God, bless all here gathered in the name of God our light and life, in the name of Jesus our liberator, and healer in the name of the Holy Spirit, our nurturer, and companion, as we care and minister to one another in love, and as we embody amazement and light. Amen.
DISMISSAL: Go in the peace of Christ!
ALL: Thanks be to God.