Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Our call to action has to do with the responsibility that God has given each of us to care for creation, the creation that God saw was good.
Suzanne Thiel, RCWP: Welcome to this liturgy celebrating God’s creative love in the majesty of our Mother Earth and her children. As we come together this morning, and in the tradition of our Apache and Navajo brothers and sisters, please allow the opening music to open your hearts and minds as we imagine the power of God’s creative, generative love and the majesty of creation. The rising sun, the eternal seas, the vastness of the universe, and our breathing in and breathing out, the gift of life in all her forms as we celebrate today.
Procession of Four Elements:
Gospel Book: Maria McClain, RCWP
Wind/Air with Large Feathers: Donnieau Snyder, RCWP
Sun/Fire with small incense bowl: Juanita Cordero, RCWP
Earth with basket of fall bounty: Mary Blanchard, ARCWP
Rain/water with bowl of water and sprinkling branch: Penny Donovan, RCWP
Elements are raised up as Opening Prayer proceeds:
Sun Prayer - Jen O’Malley, RCWP:
O fiery Holy Spirit, inspire us with your sun and its sacred awareness so we might cherish the health and survival of our earth and her inhabitants, especially our children and future generations.
ALL: We praise you for the gift of fire.
Rain Prayer - Maureen Mancuso, RCWP:
Creator God, whose Spirit moves over the face of the waters, who gathers the seas and directs the courses of rivers, who sends rain upon the earth, you who bring forth life,
ALL: We praise you for the gift of water.
Wind Prayer – Irene Senn, RCWP:
O Gracious God, as we listen to your voice heard in the soft breeze, you who give us air – the breath of life,
ALL: We praise you for the gift of air.
Earth Prayer – Carol Giannini, ARCWP:
O God, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. You place us in your creation and you command us to care for the earth in reverence and praise.
ALL: Teach us and show us the way.
(Four elements are place in front of altar.)
Opening Hymn and Greeting: By Breath (Sara Thomsen)
Ree Hudson, RCWP, Kathleen Miller, Kathy Wimmer, Diane O’Donnell, RCWP, Mary Eileen Collingwood, ARCWP
Refrain: By breath, by blood, by body, by spirit, we are all one. (x2)
The air that is my breath is the air that you are breathing;
And the air that is your breath is the air that I am breathing.
The wind rising in my breast is the wind from the east, from the west,
From the north, from the south, breathing in, breathing out. R
The water that is my blood, my sweat, tears from crying
Is the water that is your blood, your sweat, tears from crying.
And the rising of the tide is in our veins and in the ocean wide.
We are in the rising steam, rushing river, running stream. R
The earth is dust, the earth is clay, flow’rs blossoming and fading;
We are dust and we are clay, we are blossoming and fading.
Every color, every sound, every place is holy ground.
Oh, every living thing, can you hear it laugh? Can you hear it sing? R
The fire in my heart, my soul flame burning;
Is the fire in your heart, your soul flame burning.
We are Spirit burning bright, by the light of day, in the dark of night.
We are shining like the sun, and like the moon, like the Holy One. R
Suzanne Thiel, RCWP: May the grace of God, the love of our brother Jesus, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit be with each of you.
ALL: And also with you!
The Word of God
Joan Shrout: A reading from Native American Spiritual Teachings:
“The first peace, which is the most important,
Is that which comes within the souls of people
When they realize their relationship, their oneness,
With the universe and all its powers,
And when they realize that at the center of the universe
Dwells the Great Spirit,
And that this center is really everywhere,
It is within each of us.”
ALL: Thanks be to God.
ALLELUIA (David Haas)
Maria McClain, RCWP: A reading from the Gospel of Matthew (6:26-33):
“Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet our God in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you more important than they?
Which of you by worrying can add a moment to your lifespan? And why be anxious about clothing? Learn a lesson from the way the wildflowers grow. They don’t work; they don’t spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in full splendor was arrayed like one of these. If God can clothe in such splendor the grasses of the field, which bloom today and are thrown on the fire tomorrow, won’t God do so much more for you – you who have so little faith?
Stop worrying, then, over questions such as, ‘What are we to eat,’ or ‘What are we to drink,’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ Those without faith are always running after these things. God knows everything you need. Seek first God’s reign, and God’s justice, and all these things will be given to you besides.”
ALL: Praise to you O Mother God of Creation!
Homily: Slideshow Presentation
Readers: Ree Hudson, RCWP, and Mary Eileen Collingwood, ARCWP
Our Earth Community – Dancing with the Spirit of Mother Earth (author unknown)
Today, now is the moment.
I promise myself to reach out and touch the Earth.
I will dig my fingers into the soil and remember what it is that sustains me.
It is this that I touch, the sacred soil,
The fertile land, the holy Earth.
Now is the moment I promise to reach out and touch our brothers and sisters.
I will run my hand along feathers, shells, fur and sand to remember what sustains us.
It is the ocean eternal,
The infinite sky,
Our holy Earth.
Today, I promise to reach out and embrace understanding.
I will hold in my heart that my fellow creatures and I are equal in the Mother’s love.
Earth is blessed. It flourishes with radiant beauty.
Blessed are the waters. They flow with clarity and quench our thirst.
Blessed are the trees. They absorb toxins and give us breath.
Blessed are the birds. They soar stately in the sky.
Blessed is the fire. It melts all walls of separation with energies of love.
Blessed are those who live in the universe, are inclusive of all, and celebrate the re-sacralization of the planet.
They shall experience beauty in all that is revealed.
Mary Eileen Collingwood:
Give us hearts to understand never to take from creation’s beauty more than we give.
Whose dry lands thirst, help us to find the way to refresh your lands.
Whose waters are choked with debris and pollution, help us to find the way to cleanse your waters.
Whose beautiful Earth grows ugly with misuse, help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.
Whose creatures are being destroyed, help us to find the way to replenish them.
Whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption, help us to find the way to restore our humanity. Amen.
Presentation of the Gifts: Juanita Cordero, RCWP, Tom Mormon, Penny Donovan, RCWP, Tom Hill, Mary Blanchard, ARCWP, Betty Hill
Offertory Song: Song of the Body of Christ (David Haas)
Refrain: We come to share our story. We come to break the bread. We come to know
our rising from the dead.
We come as your people, we come as your own, united with each other, love finds a home. R
Bread of life and cup of promise, in his meal we all are one, in our dying and our rising, may your kin-dom come. R
Bread and wine presenters stay on altar holding up bread and wine and praying together:
Blessed are you, O God of all creation.
Through your goodness, we have this bread and wine to offer,
Which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life and our spiritual drink.
ALL: Blessed be God forever!
(Lowering bread and wine, presenters remain on the altar)
Sun/Fire – Jen O’Malley, RCWP: As the scattered grains become one bread,
ALL: Gather us together. As the grapes are combined to make this wine, ALL: Gather us together.
Rain/Water – Maureen Mancuso, RCWP: From the farthest ends of all the earth,
ALL: Gather us together. At this table of Christ Jesus, ALL: Gather us together.
Wind/Air – Irene Senn, RCWP: May God be with us. ALL: And with the whole world. Lift up your hearts. ALL: We lift them up to God. Let us give thanks to God. ALL: It is right to give God thanks and praise.
The assembly is divided into four parts, praying:
God, the Musician, we honor you. You who make flutes of the willows by the lakeside and of the reeds on the river bank; in the morning music of the blackbird; you who blow your wind on the sun-parched plains; and you who hold all of these sounds in the silence of a star-studded night sky, we honor you.
God the Architect, we honor you. You who silently whisper the secrets of home-building in the hearts of weaver-birds and ants; in the hearts of spiders and mice; in the scared geometry of the temple-makers, and in the wombs of mammal mothers, we honor you.
God, the Awakener, we honor you. You who patiently call forth more and more complete images of Yourself. You who send prophets into every age to nudge religion towards spirituality and to move us from mere belief-in-gods to experiences of the God-within and the God-among-us, we honor you.
You who are the Commissioner of the Christ, we honor you. You who continue to awaken us from illusion. You who are the Gentle Mother watching while the great crises of our times are understood for what they really are: great opportunities for seeing beyond the separation into Oneness, our origin, our mission and our home, we honor you.
ALL: Holy, Holy, Holy, FIRE OF LOVE. Heaven and Earth yearn for your love. Blessed are you who comes to show us the depths of your desire for us. Hosanna in the Highest!
Altar Presenters extending hands over the elements:
Gracious God, let Your spirit come upon these gifts and make them holy, so that they may become for us the body and blood of Jesus the Christ.
(Bread is held up)
TOGETHER BY ALL: On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, he took bread, said the blessing broke the bread and give it to them saying; “Take this, all of you and eat. This is my body. Do this in memory of me.” (pause)
(Wine is held up)
TOGETHER BY ALL: In the same way, he took the cup filled with wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends, and said, “Take this all of you and drink. This is by blood. Do this in memory of me.” (pause, and all at altar bow)
EARTH GROUP – Carol Giannini, ARCWP: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
ALL: When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim our faith in You, Jesus Christ, and our hope in the face of our earth’s survival.
Fiery Spirt, enflame us with the fire of Your healing love and compassion for all of creation.
O current Energy permeating all in the heights upon the earth and in all depths, you bind and gather all people together.
Gracious, quick to forgive, loving and tender-hearted God, open our minds and hearts to the sure knowledge that we are one world, one people.
Altar presenters hold up bread and wine.
ALL: Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is Yours, O God, forever and ever. Amen!
The Prayer of Jesus
ALL: Our Mother, our Father who art in heaven… but deliver us from evil. For the din-dome, the power and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.
Sign of Peace
Suzanne Thiel, RCWP: May the peace of God be always with you.
ALL: And also with you.
Assembly invited to exchange a sign of peace with those seating nearby.
SUN/FIRE GROUP: Loving God, you call us to spirit-filled living.
ALL: Guide us by Your Spirit.
RAIN/WATER GROUP: Loving God, you call us to live the Gospel of justice and peace.
ALL: Strengthen us to serve with compassion.
EARTH GROUP: Loving God, you call us to be your spirit in the world.
ALL: Grant us peace.
WIND/AIR GROUP: Loving God, you call us to be your Presence in the world.
ALL: We will walk humbly with our God.
Suzanne Thiel, RCWP: Gives direction for communion announcing all are welcome at our Eucharistic table.
Communion Ministers: Suzanne Theil, RCWP, Penny Donovan, RCWP, and Juanita Cordero, RCWP
Communion Hymn: One Bread, One Body (John Foley)
Refrain: One Bread, One Body. One God of all, one cup of blessing which we bless. And we, though many, throughout the Earth, we are on body in our one God.
Gentile or Jew, servant or free, woman or man, no more. R
Many the gifts, many the works, one in the God of all. R
Grain for the fields, scattered and grown, gathered to one for all. R
Mary Eileen Collingwood, ARCWP: We give thanks and praise that we have all been called to form one sacred community with our Mother Earth and her children.
Suzanne Thiel, RCWP: Discusses donation procedures and the equal division between RCWP and ARCWP. Donation Collectors: Maria McClain, RCWP, and Mary Blanchard, ARCWP
Mary Eileen Collingwood, ARCWP: Please stand and place your right hand on the shoulder of the person next to you or extend your hand and say together:
ALL: We commit ourselves to care for all gifts of Creation.
We commit ourselves to explore and understand environmental concerns.
We commit to work with others for environmental justice for all.
Mary Eileen Collingwood, ARCWP: Then please extend your hands out in a blessing and continue:
ALL: May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries,
May the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world and know it’s beauty all the days of your
life. (Apache Blessing)
Closing Hymn: Canticle of the Sun (Marty Haugen)
The heavens are telling the glory of God, and all creation is shouting for joy! Come dance in the forest, come play in the field, and sing, sing to the glory of our God! (Repeat)
This Mass and prayers were inspired in part by the following:
Fr. Sean’s “A Liturgy Celebrating Christ Consciousness,” Sisters of the Holy Family’s Earth Day Prayer Service, United Methodist Church “Worship Festival of God’s Creation,” National Council of Churches Call to Worship, “Earth Day Celebration of the Senses,” A Mass Celebrating Hildegard of Bingen, and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and the Environment, Native American Spiritual Teachings, Apache Women’s’ Prayers, Native American Ten Commandments, and the Manataka American Indian Council.
Music: Diane O’Donnell, RCWP, Kathleen Miller, Kathy Wimmer, and Ree Hudson, RCWP.