Lee Breyer presided at lighting of Paschal Candle
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, Sally Brochu ARCWP, |
Janet Blakeley ARCWP, Katy Zatsick ARCWP, RC Priest Lee Breyer
Musicians: Linda Lee Miska, Mindy Lou Simmons, Cheri McDonough
Lectors: Mary Al Gagnon, Kevin Connelly , Jack Duffy
Part 1: Service of Light
Blessing of the Fire and Paschal Candle
We will gather around the place of the new fire- in the courtyard outside the main doors of the sanctuary. Presiders will invite each person to mention the names of those who have gone before and who have ignited faith and love and wisdom in her/his life. After each set of names, the congregation will respond: They walk with us!
Lee: On this most sacred night, in which Jesus Christ passed over from this earth to a new life, the People of God everywhere come together to watch and pray. If we listen to the word of God and live it, and if we honor the memory of his death and resurrection, we will have the sure hope of sharing his victory over death and living a resurrected life with our Creator.
Lee sets the fire. When lit, the fire is blessed.
Lee: Let us pray. O God who, through Jesus, bestowed upon us the fire of your glory, sanctify (+) this new fire -- and grant that, by these paschal celebrations, we may be inflamed with new hope. Purify our minds by this Easter celebration and bring us one day to the feast of eternal light.
Preparation of the Paschal Candle
Lee: Christ, yesterday and today (pause) The Beginning and the End
While saying: The Alpha and Omega (put in the first pin)
While saying: All time belongs to God (put in the second pin)
While saying: And all the ages (put in the third pin)
While saying: To Jesus, be glory and power (put in the fourth pin)
While saying: Through all time and all places, Amen (put in the fifth pin)
ALL: May the light of Christ - rising in glory - dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.
Lee: We Rejoice. We Remember.
ALL: The Christ - a spark that lit the cosmos at the beginning of time.
We Rejoice. We Remember.
ALL: The Christ - a spark that is expanding across time.
We Rejoice. We Remember.
ALL: The Christ - a spark that was borne, sheltered and passed to us by our ancestors.
We Rejoice. We Remember.
ALL: The Christ - a spark that was fanned into flame by those who ignited our lives in love and wisdom and joy.
We Rejoice. We Remember.
ALL: The Christ - a spark that is a sacred trust held by us to pass on to generations yet to come.
ALL: We rejoice. We remember. We celebrate. (Alexander J. Shaia)
Cheri will bring the candle into the Sanctuary singing 3 times: “The Light of Christ”
Response: Thanks be to God!
BMM: May God be with you. ALL: And also with you.
BMM: Lift up your hearts. ALL: We lift them up to our God.
BMM: Let us give thanks to our God. ALL: It is right to give God thanks and praise.
Cheri (at the front in the sanctuary) sings: The Exsultet, “Rejoice, heavenly powers!
[adapted by Jim Marsh ARCWP]
Rejoice, heavenly powers!
Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation in God’s presence!
Jesus, the Anointed One, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of life renewed!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of our God!
Christ has risen!
Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes forever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church !
Exult in glory!
The Risen One shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the song of all God’s people!
My dearest friends,
standing with me in this holy light,
Join me in praising God,
as we sing this Easter song.
Our God is with you.
R. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to our gifting God.
R. It is right to give God thanks and praise.
It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices,
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful creator,
and the beloved one, Jesus the Cosmic Christ.
On this night, we remember our ancestors who escaped their slavery through the waters of the Red Sea .
Abba God, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your infinite love!
To gift us with Jesus, your beloved,
born of Miriam and Joseph.
Yet, this is our Passover feast,
for Jesus, the Christ, broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.
This is the night when Christians everywhere
bathed in grace freely given,
promise to reject all that is evil and grow together in holiness.
Therefore, O Holy One,
in the joy of this night,
hear our evening song of prayer and praise.
Accept this Easter candle,
may it dispel all darkness and evil,
and renew our confidence and bring us joy.
May Christ, the morning Star,
who sheds peaceful light on all creation,
find this hope burning brightly in our lives,
today and evermore.
Part II: Liturgy of the Word
Reading: Story of Salvation History – adapted from the Books of Hebrew Scriptures
These are the inspired words of our prophets. ALL: Thanks be to God.
Responsorial: Sung Alleluia
The Gospel: John 20: 1-18 (Jack Duffy and Janet Blakeley)
This is the Good News of Salvation.
Response; Glory and praise to you, Jesus, the Christ.
Homily Starter - Bridget Mary
Chant: “Come Be Beside Us” – Jan Philips
Come be beside us, come be around us,
Come be within us, Come be among us. X5
Like Mary of Magdala, we embrace the Risen Christ who call us to be apostles of Easter joy.
The Good News is the God who raised Jesus from the dead, triumphs over evil, suffering, oppression, injustice and death today.
On Holy Thursday, Roman Catholic Priests Janice Sevre Duszynska, Jane Via and Roy Bourgeois occupied the steps of the Vatican Embassy in an overnight Vigil of fasting and prayer for women's ordination and for equality for gays in the church. The good news is that the pope's representative in the United States, the Vatican Nuncio, turned down police requests for their arrest and engaged in two conversations on women's ordination.
Let us rejoice that Christ is rising up in our movement as we begin a dialogue with church officials for justice and equality.
This week we witnessed horrific suffering in Belgium when hundreds of innocent people were killed and injured in a suicide bombing there.
While we may not have answers to the age old question of why there is suffering or evil in the world, we do believe as Corrie Ten Boom, survivor of the Holocaust, reflected: there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still.
The Risen Christ is beside us, among us, within us and before us, in all our worries, setbacks, hurts.
Like Mary of Magdala we rise each day to embrace Christ anew and are sent forth as apostles to proclaim Easter joy. May those whom we encounter, respond as the disciples did to Mary of Magdala in the Gospel of Mary (40:7-8) "And they knew the truth of her and were all filled with great joy and believed."
So our question is how is Christ rising up each day in us as we are sent forth to witness God's love triumphing over suffering, oppression, injustice in our world today?
Chant: “Come Be Beside Us” X5
Part III: Liturgy of Baptismal Water
Blessing of the Water
Kathryn & Seth: May God renew us and keep us faithful to the Spirit we have all received.
ALL (with arms extended):
God, our Father and Mother, we know you are with us as we recall the wonders of creation. Bless this water that you have made a servant of your loving kindness to us. Your Spirit, “in the beginning of the universe, hovered over the surface of the waters” so that its very substance would take on the power to sanctify. Through water, you set your people free from bondage and quenched their thirst in the desert. With water, your prophets announced a new covenant that you would make with humanity. By water, you made holy by Jesus in the
Kathryn: Holy people of God, through the Pascal Mystery we have been buried with Christ in Baptism and we now walk with our God in newness of life. And so let us renew the promises that brought us to this point in our lives and will support us until we walk with our God in the next.
Hymn: “Come to the Water” #609 (during the water sharing rite)
Renewal of Baptismal Promises (adapted from Jay Murnane)
Katy: Let us renew the promises we made in baptism and try to fulfill in the years since.
ALL: I promise to see what is good for my sisters and brothers everywhere, rejecting injustice and inequality, and living with the freedom and responsibility of the family of God.
I promise to work for the realization of God’s vision of harmony and right relations among people, rejecting the idols of money, property, race, gender, and position.
I promise to seek peace and live in peace in one human family, rejecting prejudice in every form, and all barriers to unity.
I promise to cherish the universe and this precious planet, working creatively to renew and safeguard the elemental sacraments of air, earth, and water.
I believe in God, the Creator, in Jesus, the teacher of justice and love, who lived among us so that all might live with abundant fullness;
I believe in the Spirit, the breath of God, who continues the work of birthing and blessing, of forgiveness and reconciliation, of challenge and hope, so that together we all can continue the work of creation.
Katy: God has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May God also keep us faithful to Jesus the Christ forever and ever. Amen.
Profession of Faith
Janet: Now that we have renewed our promises originally made years ago, let us now express the beliefs that give us strength and courage today.
ALL: We believe in God, the fountain of life, flowing through every being. We believe in Jesus, the Risen 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 love and serve without counting the cost. We believe in our global communion with all in the circle of life. Amen to loving actions on behalf of justice, healing, compassion and equality for all in the cycle of life. In all of this, we surely do believe.
Part IV: The Prayer of the Faithful
Sally: Always mindful of God’s love and care for all creation, we bring the needs of the people to our loving God. Response: Loving God, hear our prayer.
Sally: For what shall we pray?
Sally: Healing God, we know that you hear our prayers. May we celebrate our planetary oneness in our works for justice, equality, and peace. We ask this through the risen Jesus, our brother, and the Spirit, our sanctifier. Amen.
from left to right, Lee Breyer, Bridget Mary Meehan, Sally Brochu, Janet Blakeley, Katy Zatsick
Part V: Liturgy of the Eucharist
Preparation of the Gifts
BMM: (raise the bread and the wine): Ever gentle God, as co-creators of our planet, we offer you these gifts of bread, wine and our lives. May we celebrate our oneness with all creatures, large and small, in your earthly family. We ask this of you through Jesus, our brother, and Sophia, our wisdom. ALL: Amen
Sally: Pray that we become more aware of our oneness in the Cosmic Christ through the grace of the Risen Jesus.
(Please join us around the altar)
ALL: We are gathered as a community to celebrate the gift of life pulsating in the glories of Nature everywhere.
Janet: Holy One, You stirred the waters of creation, and you dwell in us.
ALL: And in every living being.
Katy: Lift up your hearts.
ALL: We lift them up to our Creator in whom all are one.
Lee: Let us give thanks for the Breath of life in all forms throughout the Universe.
ALL: It is right to give glory to God, present everywhere and in everything, with thanks and praise.
ALL (sing): We are holy (3x); You are holy (3x); I am holy (3x); We are holy (3x). (Karen Drucker.)
ALL: Holy One, we bring you these gifts that they may become the Christ Presence. Fill us with reverence for all creatures, great and small.
ALL: (extend arms): On the night before Jesus died, while at supper with his friends, he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying: Take this all of you, and eat. 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.
BMM: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.
ALL: This bread is you; this bread is me. We are one body in communion with all creation.
Voice 1: Christ of the Cosmos, we thank you that our bodies are made of stardust and that every place we turn, you are present, loving us. You invite us to join the dance of creation in a mystical celebration of our oneness with all living things in your divine love.
Voice 2: Risen Christ, we remember that it was you who said: “Anything I have done in the name of the Creator, you can do too…and even more.” So we remember all those in our world who are working for environmental healing, human rights and justice for all.
Voice 3: Christ of the Cosmos, we remember Mary, mother of Jesus, faithful disciple, and we remember St. Francis who sang canticles to brother sun and sister moon. May we praise you in union with them and live your compassion now.
BMM & Sally: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in unity with the Holy Spirit, all glory, honor and praise to you, loving God, forever and ever. ALL: (sung): Amen (5x)
ALL (sung): Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven….
Sign of Peace
Lee: Risen Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you, my peace I give you.” Look on the faith of all those gathered here.
ALL: Grant us your peace. Help us to spread your peace throughout the world, always and everywhere, no exceptions. Amen
BMM: May the peace of God be always with us, and we will start by offering a sign of that peace among ourselves. Let us experience that in a group hug.
Peace hymn: “Peace is Flowing Like a River” - #501
Litany for the Breaking of the Bread
ALL: Christ of the Cosmos, may we live our oneness with you and all creation…may we work for the healing of the earth…may we celebrate justice rising up in a global communion everywhere. Amen.
Sally: This is the Cosmic Christ in whom all creation lives and moves and has its being. All are invited to share in this banquet of love and celebrate our oneness with all living beings on the planet.
ALL: We are the Body of Christ.
Communion Hymn: “Room at the Table” – Mindy Lou
Prayer after Communion
Janet: Lover of the Universe, fill us with awe at your extravagant love flowing through us. May we immerse ourselves in the beauty of nature speaking to us each day. We ask this through our brother Jesus, in union with the Holy Spirit. ALL: Amen.
Kathryn & Seth: The Risen Christ is with us. ALL: and loves through us.
ALL: Christ has come back as spring comes back out of the ground, renewing the earth with life, to be a continual renewing of life in our hearts, that we may continually renew one another’s life in his love, that we may be his Resurrection in the world. We are the resurrection, always on going, always giving back Christ’s life to the world.
Caryll Houselander, The Risen Christ.
Closing Community Blessing
All (with arms extended): The blessing of God is upon us as we go in the peace of the Cosmic Christ to live justice! Thanks be to God.
BMM: Let us go forth in peace and share the good news: The Risen Jesus is with us today and for all time.
ALL: Thanks be to God. Let it be so!
Closing hymn: “We Will Rise Again” #447