Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter Vigil & Rite of Baptism and Confirmation of Christopher Seth Winners at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community on March 31, 2018, Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and team, Representatives of MMOJ Godfamily: Mary Al Gagnon & Lee Breyer Music Minister: Mindy Lou Simmons


Video of Seth's Baptism and Confirmation at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

Kathryn and Stephen baptize their son Seth, Lee Breyer and Mary Al Gagnon, Sponsors
Confirmation

Blessing of Seth by Community

Sharing Eucharist with Seth and Community















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 community 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) - Kathryn
While saying:     All time belongs to God                                (put in the second pin) - Sally
While saying:     And all the ages                                             (put in the third pin) - Russ
While saying:     To Jesus, be glory and power                       (put in the fourth pin) - Lee
While saying:     Through all time and all places, Amen           (put in the fifth pin) - Bridget Mary

ALL: May the light of Christ - rising in glory - dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.
(Alternate sides – left and right – for each sentence)
We Rejoice. We Remember.
The Christ - a spark that lit the cosmos at the beginning of time.
We Rejoice. We Remember.
The Christ - a spark that is expanding across time.
We Rejoice. We Remember.
The Christ - a spark that was borne, sheltered and passed to us by our ancestors.
We Rejoice. We Remember.
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.
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


Procession
Cantor:  Lumen Christi, light of Christ. (3 Xs)

All: Deo gratis.   Thanks be to God!  

Michael Rigdon & Cheri McDonough:  Exultet

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.
Part II: Liturgy of the Word
The first Reading is the Story of Salvation History – (adapted from the books of the
Hebrew Scriptures). – (Proclaimed by Mary Al Gagnon & Anna Davis )  

THE STORY OF SALVATION HISTORY

Mary Al: The first Reading is the Story of Salvation History (adapted from the books of the Hebrew Scriptures by Jay Murnane)

In the beginning, there was only chaos and a void. God breathed life into it and said, "Let there be light." And there was light: sun and moon and stars in the heavens. There emerged vast bodies of water filled with live creatures. Then, birds flying across the breadth of the skies, and on the earth, reptiles and animals of every kind, color and shape. And all had a purpose. God saw what had come to be, and God found it very good.

God then said: "Let us make human beings in the divine image; women and men together to take care of all of this, and one another! When this was done, God viewed the whole of creation, and loved it, for it was very, very good.

Anna: But human beings did not take care of creation and each other. Human beings corrupted the good-ness of what God had made. Rain fell, a torrential, purifying rain, covering the earth and washing away all the corruption to which people had given birth. Only Noah, his family, and living creatures from every species on earth floated above the flood in an ark made of wood.

After forty days, the rain subsided, so that the water was no longer a flood, and the ark came to rest on high, dry ground. The people and the animals looked up into the sky and saw something beautiful. God said: "That is my rainbow, the sign of my presence with you and my love for you. It will forever be the sign of my relationship with you, and your responsibility to take care of creation, and each other."

Mary Al: From these survivors of the flood, creation was begun all over again. Many, many years went by and there were many gatherings of people all over the face of the earth. One of these was the people, Israel, and among all of God's precious people, the Jews were very precious. During a time of famine, the Jews were invited by the Egyptians, their neighbors, to share their land and their food. But some centuries after this hospitality, a cruel leader in Egypt forgot the old relationship and made the Jews into slaves.
They lived this way for a long time, until Moses came among them and risked his safety and security to convince the Jews that God loved them and wanted them to be free. So, they left Egypt, filled with the Spirit of God, led by Moses and Miriam through the desert in search of a new home where they could be free again.

During this difficult journey, they were often disillusioned and resentful, and they complained bitterly. Moses asked God for help, and God offered the ten commandments, so that the people might know the simplest possible way to love God and their fellow human beings. And from these survivors of oppression, Israel began all over again.

Anna: But the people forgot the simple way of God and were not always faithful, and at times they were as oppressive to each other and to strangers as the Egyptians had been to them. They paid lip service to God, but their hearts were very far from God, and therefore, from justice and compassion. People of wisdom came from among them to remind them of the rainbow of their journey to freedom, and of their promise to God about caring for creation and each other. These were the prophets, and like Moses, they risked everything to convince the people to come home to freedom and responsibility, compassion and justice, faithfulness and integrity.

The prophet Isaiah said: "God is displeased with your prayers and your liturgies because the hands you lift in prayer are covered with blood. God wants prayer from the heart.    God wants justice for the oppressed. God wants food for the hungry. God wants true peace!"

Mary Al: The prophet Amos said: "Some of you have grabbed power and made your own people no better than slaves. You have stripped people of their dignity as God's children, buying and selling them as if they were groceries or sandals. Greed is your god and selfishness, your liturgy!"

The prophet Micah said: "My people, you struggle blindly to know what God wants, and you act as if you remember nothing from your history, as if you know nothing. From the beginning of time, there has been one message from God. What God wants is this, ONLY this: That we live justly, that we love tenderly, that we walk with integrity in God's presence!
These are the inspired words of our prophets. ALL: Thanks be to God.

Responsorial: Sung ‘Celtic Alleluia’ – Mindy Lou Simmons

The Gospel according to John (20:1, 11–18) – (Proclaimed by Mary Theresa Streck)
Response: Glory and praise to you, Jesus, the Christ.

The Good News of the Resurrection, attributed to John
20:1,11-18

Early in the morning, on the first day of the week, while it was still
dark, Mary of Magdala went to the tomb and saw that the stone had
been rolled away from the entrance.
Mary stood, crying, outside the tomb. While weeping, she stooped
down and saw two angels inside. They were dressed in white and
were sitting, one at the head and one at the feet of where Jesus' body
had lain.

The angels asked Mary, “Why are you weeping?” She answered,
“They have taken away my Teacher, and I don't know where they
have put him.” As soon as Mary said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. She did not recognize him. Jesus asked her, “Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

Thinking Jesus was the gardener, Mary said, “Sir, if you have taken
his body away, please tell me, so I can go and get him.” Then Jesus
said to her, “Mary!” She turned. She said to him, “Rabbouni” --
which means “Teacher.”

Jesus then told her, “Don't hold on to me! I have not yet gone to the
Beloved. But tell my other disciples that I am going to my Beloved
and your Beloved, my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene then
went to the disciples with the message, “I have seen the Teacher!”
And she told them what he had said to her.

These are the inspired words of John, disciple of Jesus.

Responsorial: Sung ‘Celtic Alleluia’ – Mindy Lou Simmons

Video Homily  – Kathryn and Stephen

Baptismal Reflection – “Come to The Water” – sung by Mindy Lou Simmons
https://youtu.be/uJJVrZKqKNE

Rite of Baptism and Confirmation
Christopher Seth Winners

WELCOME
BRIDGET MARY: Welcome. It is with great joy that we, the Mary Mother of Jesus Community, join with Kathryn and Stephen to welcome Seth to the Christian community through the sacrament of Baptism and confirm his call to live the message of Jesus through the sacrament of Confirmation.

BRIDGET MARY: Let us begin our ceremony with a prayer to the Source of all Life.
O Holy One, from the beginning of time you have loved your creation and have always been with us. May Seth continue to grow in his understanding of your infinite love as he learns the meaning of faith through service. May he come to appreciate his responsible place as co-creator of his life in You. Amen.
(pause)

BAPTISMAL RITE
Reception of Seth

BRIDGET MARY: I invite Seth to come forward with his parents, Kathryn and Stephen and the community representatives, Mary Al and Lee Breyer.

BRIDGET MARY: (to Seth) Seth, what do you ask of this Christian Community?

Seth: I ask to be baptized.

BRIDGET MARY: By asking for baptism within the Christian community, you are promising to live justly, to love tenderly and to walk with integrity for all to see and celebrate. You are promising to learn about Jesus, your brother by name, and his message of love.  Do you promise to do this to the best of your ability?

Seth: Yes.

BRIDGET MARY: (to the community representatives) Mary Al and Lee, do you, on behalf of this community, promise to support Kathryn and Stephen as they teach Seth about the Source of All Life and about Jesus, our brother?

Mary Al and Lee: We will.

Baptism and Confirmation Rite

BRIDGET MARY: In our ritual today, we use many sacramental symbols and signs. We begin the baptismal rite with a blessing of the water and the oil.

Kathryn: O Holy One, Source of all that is, we experience your grace through sacramental signs, which tell us of your unseen presence.

Stephen: At the dawn of creation, Your Spirit breathed on the waters making them the wellspring of all holiness.

Mary Al: The water of the Red Sea, through which our ancestors traveled, is a symbol of our liberation from all that holds us captive. In the waters of the Jordan River, our brother Jesus was baptized by his cousin, John, and anointed with your Spirit.

Lee: After the resurrection, the disciples of Jesus celebrated baptism in water and the Spirit with those who answered Your call to holiness.

Kathryn: From age to age, oil has been used to anoint your priests, prophets, leaders and visionaries.

BRIDGET MARY: (to all present) Please extend your hands in blessing the water and oil .
O Holy One, you call us to be co-creators of a world filled with blessing and abundance. As co-creators with you, we bless this water and oil as a symbol of your grace filled presence in our community.  (pause)

Baptismal Promises

BRIDGET MARY: In this part of the ritual, Seth proclaims his baptismal promises as the community renews their baptismal promises. Please respond, “I do,” to each of the following:

Do you promise to see what is good for your sisters and brothers everywhere, rejecting injustice and inequity, living with the freedom and responsibility of children of God?

All: I do.

BRIDGET MARY: Do you promise to work for the realization of God’s vision of harmony and right relations among all peoples, rejecting the idols of money, property, color, sex and position?

All: I do.

BRIDGET MARY: Do you promise to seek peace and live in peace in one human family, rejecting prejudice and half-heartedness in every form, and all barriers to unity?

All: I do.

BRIDGET MARY: Do you promise to cherish the universe, and this precious planet, working creatively to renew and safeguard the elemental sacraments of air, earth, water and fire?

All: I do.

BRIDGET MARY: Do you believe in the Holy One, the Source of all life, in Jesus, our brother who loved and lived among us so that all might live with abundant fullness; in the breath of the Holy One’s center, the Spirit who continues the work of forgiveness and reconciliation, birthing and blessing, challenge and hope, so that together we can continue the work of creation?

All: I do.

BRIDGET MARY: Seth, please come to the baptismal font with Kathryn, Stephen, Mary Al and Lee.

Pouring of Water

BRIDGET MARY: (as Kathryn and Stephen pour water over Seth’s head)
We baptize you, Seth
-       in the name of our God who is the Source of all life,
-       in the name of our God revealed in Jesus, our brother, and in our own humanity,
-       in the name of our God whose Spirit invites and inspires us as co-creators. Amen.

Anointing with Oil

BRIDGET MARY: (as Kathryn and Stephen anoint Seth’s forehead)
Seth, you are a child of God. We anoint you with this oil in recognition that human life is sacred, that you are sacred.

Presentation of Stole

BRIDGET MARY: (as Mary Al places stole on Seth) Seth, we present you with this stole. May it remind you that, like Jesus your brother, you carry in the depths of your being the Spirit of Life and Love itself. 

Lighting Candle

BRIDGET MARY: (as Lee lights Seth’s candle from Paschal candle) Seth, may this candle remind you of Jesus, who opened peoples’ minds and hearts to see the “light” of God’s presence within them.

CONFIRMATION RITE

Laying on of Hands

BRIDGET MARY: (Bishop, parents and community representatives lay hand on Seth.) Seth, we lay our hands on your head to confirm that you are and have always been the Face of God to all you meet.  Continue to follow your brother Jesus with love and compassion.

BRIDGET MARY: Seth, what special name have you chosen to remind you that you are the Face of God?

Seth: Theo, which means Child of God

BRIDGET MARY: (as anointing Seth) Seth, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. We confirm your desire to be like Jesus, your brother by name. We commission you to teach others about Jesus and his commandment to love God and to love one another Peace be with you.

Seth: And also with you.

Blessing of Seth

BRIDGET MARY: Please stand and extend your hands in blessing for Seth

Mary Al: May the Spirit of Air inspire you to see the world through fresh, open eyes, to be a soulful visionary, and to lend optimism and hope to all you encounter.

Lee:  May the Spirit of Fire transform all you touch with Light, and grant you courage and protection as you go forth in your Divine Life Mission.

Kathryn: May the Spirit of Water bring you purity in body, mind, and spirit to nurture you as you nurture others, to support your inner knowing and intuition as you navigate the seen and unseen worlds.

Stephen: May the Spirit of Earth grant you wisdom as you seek Divine Truth, Integrity of thought and action, and fortify you with the strength you need to shine your Divine Light in the physical world as only you can.

BRIDGET MARY: And May you always remember, the Source of All lives as a Divine Spark within you to inspire, renew, and uplift you and all that you meet along your journey.  Amen.
(blessing adapted from Sofia’s blessing written by Mary Anne Nolan)

Presentation of Seth to Community

BRIDGET MARY: It is with great joy that we welcome Christopher Seth Theo Winners to the Christian Community.

Part V:  Liturgy of the Eucharist
Offertory Song: “Down to the River to Pray” – Allison Krauss 
https://youtu.be/zSif77IVQdY

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.

Eucharistic Prayer

Janet:  Holy One, You stirred the waters of creation, and you dwell in us.
ALL:  And in every living being.

Mary T: 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.)
https://youtu.be/nyVAyQi_wdg


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.

Elena: 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.

All Presiders:  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
Elena: May the peace of God be always with us, and we will start by offering a sign of that peace among ourselves by holding hands and singing…
Peace hymn: “Peace is Flowing Like a River” 

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.

Communion

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.

ALL (sing):  You are the face of God; I hold you in my heart.  You are my family; you are the face of God.  (Chant by Karen Drucker)

Communion Song: Instrumental
Post- Communion Meditation: “Joy Overflowing” – Daniel Nahmod (sung by Mindy Lou)  https://youtu.be/eNHsX4vwqoc

Prayer after Communion

Mary T: 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.

Concluding Rite

Seth, Kathryn & Stephen: 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.

Seth, Kathryn & Stephen:  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: Witness
https://youtu.be/sxGArDtJDaA
Witness
Words and Music by Daniel Nahmod

This day is a witness
To my sacred purpose
To all I was meant to be

This day is a witness
To my sacred purpose
To all I am meant to be

(Chorus)
Letting it go
Letting it flow
Letting it go where it will go
Letting the power of Your presence show the way
Letting it in, letting You know
I’m letting you lead that I might follow
Being a witness to Your presence every day

This soul is a witness
To my holy purpose
To all that I’m born to be
This soul is a witness
To my holy purpose
To all that I’m born to be

(Chorus)

This life is a witness
To my rightful purpose
To all that I’ve come to be
This life is a witness
To my rightful purpose
To all that I’ve come to be

I will bear witness to your love
I will bear witness to your love
I will bear witness to your love for all my life
I will bear witness to your love
I will bear witness to your love
-->
I will bear witness to your love for all my life

Stephen and I want to extend our deepest appreciation to Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and
Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP for writing this beautiful liturgy and baptism and confirmation rite. 
We are also very grateful to Mary Al Gagnon and Lee Breyer for representing our MMOJ Godfamily in this beautiful moment in Seth Theo’s life,
And we are grateful to our family and friends who have supported us over all these years and who continue to support us,
And we are grateful to God for placing this child of God with our family.  We are all so blessed because he is here.