Monday, September 16, 2019

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for September 15, 2019 - Presiders: Donna Rougeux, ARCWP, and Kim Panaro, ARCWP


Donna Rougeux, ARCWP, and Kim Panaro, ARCWP, led the Upper Room Liturgy with the theme: The call to cultivate the gifts in ourselves and in others.

Welcome and theme
Welcome to you all. Today we are praying a special liturgy in solidarity with our friends in Ohio who are dedicating Hildegard Haus.  On September 28 one of our ARCWP priests,  Rev. Dr. Shanon Sterringer,  will be here to lead us in a retreat on the theme of Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard  has been named a saint and a doctor of the church because she contributes unique and timeless wisdom to our understanding of the gospel.  As Hildegard House, a center for Hildegard based teaching is dedicated, we pray for the success of that ministry. We also introduce ourselves in the first reading to a piece of her wisdom. Both Hildegard and the gospel writers known as Luke challenge us to look at the need to focus on that which is in need of help, that which is lost and that which can be unseen and unattended.

Opening Prayer
We are in the presence of all that is holy and lifegiving. We need only to breathe, pay attention and listen with the ears of our heart to the wisdom available to us. We dedicate this time together to hearing the words that will challenge us to look within our own hearts and minds to illuminate the places where we need to grow in courage , generosity and understanding. Amen

Opening: We Are Many Parts by Marty Haugen

First Reading
Letter from Hildegard to Pope Anastasius IV

You, O man, who are too tired, in the eyes your knowledge, to rein in the pomposity of arrogance among those placed in your bosom, why do you not call back the shipwrecked who cannot rise from the depths without our help? And why do you not cut off the root of evil which is choking out the good and beneficial plants of sweet taste and delightful aroma? You are neglecting the King’s daughter who was entrusted to you, that is, heavenly Justice herself. You are allowing this King’s daughter to be thrown into the ground; her beautiful crown and tunic torn asunder by the crudeness of those hostile people who bark like dogs and who, like chickens trying to sing at night raise up their ineffectual voices. They are charlatans, crying out, ostensibly, for peace, but, all  the while, biting each other in their hearts, like a dog that wags its tail among those known to him, but bites the honorable knight indispensable to the king’s household…But you, O man…rise up and run quickly to Justice, so that you will not be accused before the great physician of failing to cleanse his sheepfold and of neglecting to anoint his flock with oil.

Luke 15:1-10

Meanwhile, the tax collectors and the “sinners” were all gathering around Jesus to listen to his teaching, at which the Pharisees and the religious scholars murmured, “This person welcomes sinners and eats with them!”

Jesus then addressed this parable to them: “Who among you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, doesn’t leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and search for the lost one until it’s found? And finding it, you put the sheep on your shoulders in jubilation. Once home, you invite friends and neighbors in and say to them, ‘Rejoice with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.

What householder, who has ten silver pieces and loses one, doesn’t light a lamp and sweep the house in a diligent search until she finds what she had lost? And when it is found, the householder calls in her friends and neighbors and says, ‘Rejoice with me! I’ve found the silver piece I lost!’ I tell you, there will be the same kind of joy before the angels of God over one repentant sinner.”

Donna’s Homily Starter:  Lost and Found

This strong letter from Hildegard to Pope Anastasius IV vividly names central Christian truths that were being lost. What was being lost was proper focus to what matters.  She courageously laments a lack of compassion to lost ones and says that evil is “choking out the good and beneficial plants.” She is pointing out the need to take care of the lost but more importantly she challenges us all to look at why people are lost in the first place. Hildegard sees the need for healthy spiritual and physical growth of individuals and communities who are like plants in a garden. The implication is the pope needs to be a leader in inviting all people to the table and to be a strength spotter instead of a fault finder. Belongingness, talent finding and nurturing are core elements of a heathy community.

Her message to the pope is the solid wisdom that we today still find challenging and are called to implement. We must begin with the care we give ourselves then expand that care to others.

It is challenging to nurture our own strengths and talents when we listen to negative voices inside ourselves that say we are not thin enough, smart enough or not doing enough. We must replace these thoughts with positive awareness of what God has given us. When we are able to nurture our own strengths, we become equipped to spot and focus on the talents of others. This then emerges into a desire to nurture our community by asking and encouraging others to share their unique strengths.

To be better strength spotters we need to identify the uncelebrated gifts like a listener who doesn’t interrupt, or one who sets up the chairs and makes the coffee, the one who remembers to pray for those in need, the one who looks up and smiles and says “hello” to a stranger. Generosity of time, presence and hospitality are foundational to these uncelebrated talents.

As we reflect on Jesus’s lost and found parables we must ask ourselves if we are part of creating lost people, lost gifts and lost growth or are we part of celebrating found people.  We must celebrate the way our community flourishes when all are invited to the table and all are using their unique talents. This is the way we build the kingdom. We are many parts but one body which means that we each need to see ourselves and the other though the eyes of the creator who bestowed these qualities on us.

What did you hear? What will you do? What will it cost you?

Communion: St. Teresa’s Prayer. Sung by John  Michael Talbot

Closing: City of God by Dan Schutte



Opening Homily - Dedication of Community of St. Hildegard by Shanon Sterringer ARCWP

September 16, 2019





  
In the Gospel we just heard, Jesus tells his disciples, they will expel you from the synagogues. I have told you these things so that when the time comes, you’ll remember that I told you ahead of time. 

While preparing for this liturgy, my husband asked me if I was going to start the homily with a joke. I thought about it and here goes: “They will expel you from the synagogues” – and then they will send you letters of excommunication and post your name in parish bulletin… 

History has shown us time and time again, no individual or institution, regardless of its perceived power, can stop the work of the Holy Spirit. 
On May 10th of this year, when criticized for again dragging their feet on making a decision regarding the reinstatement of the female diaconate – for which solid evidence supports existed in the Roman Catholic Church for centuries, Pope Francis responded that the Catholic Church is not going to ordain women – but, and this is a direct quote, “If someone wants to make another church, they are free to do so." And here we are! On September 10, just a few days ago, when criticized for the fact that the Catholic Church is breaking off into a number of different factions today – conservative and liberal, Pope Francis replied that while he does not like it, he is not afraid of break-away groups. The pope stated, “There has always been a schismatic option in the church, always.” I fully agree with Pope Francis in that the whole history of the Church has been the result of very diverse factions struggling to find common ground, battling with one another over who has the truth. The Roman Catholic Church was built as the result of a schism. Jesus and his disciples, initially known as “The Way”, broke off from traditional Judaism. Jesus was a Jew, he died a Jew, and he loved his Jewish faith, but by Jewish standards he was not a very good Jew – he dissented and as we know, Holy Week resulted. So much of Jesus’s vision and ministry has been lost and distorted over the last two thousand years, shaped into nationalism, clericalism, sexism, and many other “isms” that were not a part of his message. Let’s jump ahead to the Protestant Reformation – Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk and a Catholic priest. He loved his faith, but he reacted and resisted the injustices of the institution. The prophetic act of hammering his 95 Theses was intended to reform the Church from within. But, instead, he was expelled, and had he not had the proper protection, he would have been killed. Martin Luther did not set out to create a new denomination – he set out initially to reform the Church that he loved. He was not well received by the hierarchy and as we know from history, his expulsion did not stop the Protestant Reformation, but rather it planted the seeds for a new generation of Christianity. A new way of being Church.

What we are experiencing today, in this liturgy, is a historical event. Historical not only in the sense that we are creating something new - though it feels new - but historical in the sense that we are reclaiming our divinely ordered place – a place given to women, by Jesus himself. Contrary to popular belief, Jesus did not select and ordain twelve men at the Last Supper. Jesus did not ordain anyone. Throughout his ministry he called many women and men to follow him. To lead others to God by modeling what he himself witnessed – humility, understanding, compassion, forgiveness, radical acceptance, and selfless love.  Jesus did not sit down with Peter and compose the Code of Canon Law – Canon Law developed in the middle ages From the scriptures we know that during his life, Jesus himself repeatedly broke the religious laws of his day by the way he loved those the institution had deemed unlovable and he charged his disciples to do the same. Love God and love one another – this is the only law Jesus established – the ten commandments, Jesus said, are encompassed in this one command - LOVE.  

Sounds simple enough. Yet, here we are, two thousand years later, with a Code of 1,752 Canons to enforce unjust, unloving, man-made laws, several of which unfairly expel faithful Catholics from their parishes and diocese. Like many of you here today, I am a cradle Catholic. Catholicism is in my blood. I have been a Roman Catholic minister – seminary trained – for two decades. Like you, I have always been taught that Catholics do not build or open our own Churches – that is what the other Christians do. Rather, we go to Church and we follow the rules and we do what the priest or bishop tells us to do. The problem with this, is not only that the rules are often unjust, but the institution is not even following its own rules.  Certainly, there are good priests, we are blessed to have one here in Fairport Harbor. However, we are all well aware that our parishes and dioceses are inundated with scandals, dysfunction, and toxic leadership – this is evident simply from turning on the news. In the last 15 years, dozens of dioceses here in the U.S. have filed bankruptcy, a diocese filing bankruptcy – its astounding - as a result of paying out compensation for criminal acts. Like so many other moments in history, as Pope Francis himself acknowledged just a few days ago, sometimes we are left with no other option but to be expelled and create something new. 

The readings for today were selected because they capture St. Hildegard’s charism and her understanding of the integral relationship between the sacred and mundane. Every part of creation – from inanimate stones to angels – all are a part of God’s divinely ordered universe. St. Hildegard of Bingen, as you may know, was a creative genius. She was a visionary (many of her visions are depicted on our walls, including her vision of the fallen stars here in the sanctuary), a mystic, a theologian, an artist, a musician, a preacher, a philosopher, a natural healer, a prophet, a letter-writer, and honestly, she was a pain in the ass to the hierarchy of her day. She challenged the law – religious and secular – when it contradicted the Gospel. She took her faith seriously and when the institution, entrusted with protecting, preserving, and passing on the faith failed in its mission, and we know it often fails, she did not hesitate to challenge it with scathing letters, profound preaching, and prophetic witness.  And yet, Pope Benedict XVI, in 2012 not only canonized her, but named her the 4th female Doctor of the Church, putting her on the same level with the male doctors of the Church, including St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, and St. Anthony of Padua.


I would like to read an excerpt from one of St. Hildegard’s letters to the “Shepherds of the Church” aka the bishops, around the year 1163AD. This letter was a copy of a homily she preached in Cologne:
“The one who was, and is, and is about to come, speaks to the shepherds of the Church… The trumpet of the Lord is the justice of God which you should meditate upon zealously in holiness, and make it known to the people at the proper time with holy discretion, rather than pounding them mercilessly with it. But you are not doing this on account of the waywardness of your own will. Thus the luminaries are missing from the firmament of God’s justice in your utterances, as when the stars do not shine, for you are the night exhaling darkness, and you are like people who do not work, nor even walk in the light because of your indolence. But just as a snake hides in a cave after it has shed its skin, you walk in filth like disgusting beasts…” 

Hildegard’s courage to stand strong in her convictions did not come without a personal cost and consequences. She spent several months during the last year of her life under an interdict which was only lifted shortly before she died. An interdict is another form of expulsion - she and her entire convent were forbidden from singing the liturgy of hours or participating in the sacramental life of the church, including receiving communion. At the age of 80 years old, she traveled from Bingen to Mainz to hand deliver a lengthy letter to the bishops regarding the interdict. In this letter she wrote:

And I heard a voice saying thus: Who created the heavens? God. Who opens the heavens to the faithful? God. Who is like God? No one. And so, O men of faith, let none of you resist God or oppose him, lest he fall on you in his might and you have no helper to protect you from his judgment. This is a womanish time because the dispensation of God’s justice is weak. The strength of God’s justice is exerting itself, a female warrior battling against injustice, so that it might fall defeated.

Eventually the interdict was lifted, thanks to her friend, Philip, the Archbishop of Cologne who advocated on her behalf. What was the reason for the interdict? She broke Church law. She buried an excommunicated soldier who had died in her infirmary in the abbey cemetery and refused to exhume the body when ordered by the bishops to remove it from sacred ground. She showed the soldier love and in return she and her sisters were punished. Hildegard’s faith was stronger than her fear. She fiercely believed in the presence of Living Light, the greening power of viriditas, and the potential for personal, social, and ecclesial transformation in every circumstance. 

Something new is unfolding all around us. In the words of St. Hildegard, it is a womanish time. New life – viriditas – is bursting forth through every crack and crevice waking us up to a new way of understanding what it means to be human, to be in relationship with one another, with God, and with all of the created world. As old systems are crumbling, there is a lot of debris, dust, and mess creating chaos and fear. Fear of change. Fear of ambiguity. Fear of letting go of the way we have always done things.  Fear causes us to desperately grab on to whatever remnants of the old remain.  During times of change, there is always a temptation to fall back on rigid rules and unyielding policies because they provide a false sense of security. 

The readings for today paint a beautiful image of a recreated world. Where the walls of the new Jerusalem are shining with gemstones and precious metals. A place where the sun and moon are no longer needed because God’s Living Light is perpetually shining brightly. We are being called to build this place through radical, selfless, unconditional love. It is risky, awkward, uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous, but it is the only way. Love one another as I have loved you. This is the only mandate Jesus gave to us. No other rules, no Canon Law, no fine print. Jesus did not, and does not, expel anyone from the synagogues or any faith community.    

I am only able to stand here in front of you today, as an ordained minister, in spite of an institution that stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the vocation of women to holy orders, because of the love and support of so many, in places I did not even realize existed. The Hildegard Haus simply would not be a reality without the work of so many hands within the community. Every aspect of this space – from the vestments I am wearing to the table we are about to consecrate, came from members here in this congregation and I sincerely thank all of you.  

At this time, we will bless the altar. As part of the blessing we would like to invite anyone who would like to participate to come forward and either lay hands on the wood or anoint it with some of the salve here in this bowl. This salve was made only a few days ago with beeswax and honey from our hives and biblical oils. Blessing this altar is not the task of the ordained ministers. It takes many hands, and it will take many more hands to continue to create something new, vibrant, and sustainable here in this sacred space. Bishop Mary Eileen will lead us first in the prayers of dedication and then we invite you up a row at a time to join us in consecrating the Eucharistic table we will share. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Media Interviews in Ireland with Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP






Bridget Mary Meehan, based in Florida in the US, is speaking at the event. Explaining the purpose of the association, Meehen said: “It is a renewed ...
https://www.thejournal.ie/women-priests-meeting-dublin-4807255-Sep2019/



Radio Interview with Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Ordaining Woman on SoulWavesRadio.ie

https://www.soulwavesradio.ie/2019/09/12/ordaining-women



Radio Interview with Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Ordaining Woman on SoulWavesRadio.ie

https://www.soulwavesradio.ie/2019/09/12/ordaining-women


Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan is an ordained Bishop and Priest with the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, ARCWP.org .


 Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

While the Vatican has decreed formally that a woman who attempts to be ordained a Catholic priest and the person attempting to ordain her are automatically excommunicated, Dr Bridget argues that her ordination and those of here fellow women priests are valid because of the mystical connection that we all have with the divine, recognising that we are all one. She also sees the women priests’ movement as linked to global justice and  a revival within the church of the original message of Jesus – reaching out to the most marginalised and oppressed. She rejects the idea that anything or any institution, even the Vatican, can cancel the baptismal connection that she feels she has with the mystical union of oneness.
Dr Bridget will be holding a conference in the Maldron Hotel Sat 14th from 2pm to 4 pm on strategies to empower women on their way to justice and equality. Other panel members are Mary Theresa Streck from the ARCWP in the U.S.A. and Angela Hanly-theologian and author from Athlone.

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests (ARCWP) Liturgy at St. Andrew, Rialto, Dublin, Ireland on September 15, 2019, Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP

https://www.thejournal.ie/women-priests-meeting-dublin-4807255-Sep2019/

Irish Community celebrates Liturgy  in Dublin Sept. 15, 2019, Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Theresa Streck 

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP - Liturgy St. Andrew in Dublin 

Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP in red stole and Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP in green on right








Liturgy: The Spirit Welcomes All

Opening Prayer
We celebrate the spirit of Divine Presence in all creation as we behold the beauty of every living creature on earth.  With St. Brigid, we light the fire of God’s desire as prophets of a new vision that welcomes all to the Banquet Table of Infinite Love.

Opening Song: Light the Fire
In honor of St, Brigid (composed by Liam Lawton, January 1993)

There travels forth from the passages of history
A woman’s voice that is heard across the plains,
That calls once more, for a people of new vision
To heal our wounds and green our Earth again,
To heal our wounds and green our Earth again.

She spreads her cloak ‘cross the land and far beyond it,
A shadow cast on a people void of hope.
She speaks of peace and the chains that weigh upon it
And there her light shall glimmer from the oak
And all that binds the people shall be broke.

So light the Fire of God’s desire
Within all hearts, let sorrows end.
So light the Fire of God’s desire
God’s chosen one, Your peace upon us send.

And we today need a prophet of new vision,
To lift the low – the forgotten child to heed,
To be the voice of the wounded and the weary,
To plant anew a fresh and peaceful seed
To dance the dance of God’s own Blessed BrĂ­d.

So light the Fire of God’s desire
Within all hearts, let sorrows end.
So light the Fire of God’s desire
God’s chosen one, Your peace upon us send.

First Reading

Consecrated. 
All has been consecrated.
The creatures in the forest know this, 
the earth does, the seas do, the clouds know,
as does the heart full of love.
Strange, a priest, would rob us of this
knowledge
and then empower himself
with the ability
to make holy what
already was. 

These are the words of St. Catherine of Siena and we affirm them by saying: Thanks be to God.

Psalm Response: Amen. Truly I say to you, gather in my name, I am with you. (2x)

Psalm 146

Praise be to you, Divine Lover,
I will praise you with all my being;
I will sing joyfully
And with thanksgiving
To you, Heart of my heart!

Response

Blessed are those
whose strength is in the Beloved,
Whose trust is in You, O Divine Lover,
Who gave birth to the universe–
The heavens, earth, and sea –
And all that is within them.
You are forever faithful,
Bringing balance and harmony to earth,
nourishment to body and soul.

Response

May You, who lives forever in our hearts,
loose the fetters of fear that bind us,
That we might praise you always
With free and joyful song!
May it be so!

Response

Second Reading: A passage inspired by Celtic theologian Pelagius (360-418)

Look at the animals roaming the forest: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the birds flying across the sky: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the tiny insects crawling in the grass: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the fish in the river and sea: God’s spirit dwells within them. There is no creature on earth in whom God is absent. When God pronounced that creation was good, it was not only that the Holy One's hand had fashioned every creature; it was that the divine breath had brought every creature to life. Look, too, at the great trees of the forest; look even at your crops. God’s spirit is present within all plants as well. The presence of God’s spirit in all living things is what makes them beautiful; and if we look with God’s eyes, nothing on the earth is ugly. Go out into the natural world and look with God’s eyes; listen with God’s ears; know your place within God’s good creation.

These are the words of Pelagius, Celtic theologian and we affirm them by saying: Thanks be to God.

Alleluia sung by Jan Phillips

Gospel - Luke 15: 1-10

By this time a lot of men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.

 “Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”

These are words from the Gospel of Luke, and the community affirms then by saying: Thanks be to God.

Shared Homily  


Homily Starter 

 With St. Brigid of Kildare, we light the fire of God’s desire as prophets of a new vision that welcomes all to the Banquet Table of Infinite Love.

The point of Jesus parables about the lost sheep, and the lost coin  is that just as the shepherd goes to every byway to find the lost sheep, and the woman uses precious lamp oil in her search for the missing coin, both the shepherd and the woman are evocative images for the Holy One working through each of us to procure the return of the lost and hosting an exuberant celebration in their honor.

Scripture scholar Barbara Reid sums up the message in these words: “Like Woman Wisdom (Prov 9: 1-6), Jesus “ has welcomed a scraggly array of all types to dine with him. We can stay outside and grumble, or we can enter into the party and allow ourselves to be surprised by the host.”

Since the first ordination of 7 women on the Danube on June 29, 2002, Roman Catholic Women Priests have been offering a new model of priestly ministry in a community of equals within the Roman Catholic Church. We now have 265 members, on 5 continents, in 13 countries and 34 states in the U.S.

Women Priests are leading, not leaving the Church as we deconstruct patriarchal theologies and rites that exclude, and create theologies and rites that include.  Our mission is to live the Gospel and the mystical, prophetic and sacramental treasures of our sacred tradition. 

Our movement ordains women called to liturgical and prophetic ministry in inclusive communities of faith that welcome all  to celebrate sacraments. 

As prophets of a new vision on the inside edge of the Roman Catholic Church, women priests have, like our Sister Brigit of Kildare,  lit the fire, and the party has already begun!



What did you hear in our readings today?

Statement of Faith:
We believe in one God, a divine mystery
beyond all definition and rational understanding,
the heart of all that has ever existed,
that exists now, or that ever will exist.

We believe in Jesus, messenger of God's Word,
bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion,
bright star in the firmament of God's 
prophets, mystics, and saints.

We believe that We are called to follow Jesus
as a vehicle of God's love,
a source of God's wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of God's peace in the world.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the life of God that is our innermost life,
the breath of God moving in our being,
the depth of God living in each of us.

We believe that God's kin-dom is here and now,
stretched out all around us for those
with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it,
and hands to make it happen.

Presider 1: As we prepare for this sacred meal, we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns. please feel free to voice your intentions beginning with the words “I bring to the table….” And respond with: Holy One You hear us.  

Presider 2:  We pray for all of these intentions and all unspoken concerns. Amen.

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Presider 1: Blessed are You, God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made.  It will become for us the bread of life.

All:  Blessed be God forever.

Presider 2: Blessed are You, God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink.

All:   Blessed be God forever.

Eucharistic Prayer
                                            
Presider 1: Our God is with you.

All:  And also with you.

Presider 1: Lift up your hearts.

All: We lift them up to our God.

Presider 1: Let us give thanks to our loving God.

All: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Voice 1:  O Divine Fire of Love, glowing embers dance in our hearts. Our souls are purified by the searing truth that ignites our spirits and by the fire that penetrates the cold around us, setting our hearts aglow with tenderness.

Voice 2: How often have we felt tender love that is without limits or boundaries! How often have we been consumed with delight by love in a human touch!  How often have we been embraced through Earth's beauty, a part of the beloved creation that surrounds us! We are energized to work for justice and peace in our world and we raise our voices with grateful hearts as we say:

Holy, Holy, Holy are You, Source of All Creation,
Heaven and earth are filled with Your glory,
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed are we who come in Your Name,
Hosanna in the highest!

Voice 1:  Holy Mystery, may we listen with assurance and excitement as the infinite, boundless, depths of love are revealed within and among us. May we awaken to the promise that we are always, no matter what the obstacles or setbacks we experience, embraced with love and compassion.

Voice 2: May we be consumed with such a hunger and thirst for justice that our words and actions inflame others to become signs of justice. May we have eyes to see human need, hearts to care for our sisters and brothers and hands and feet to lighten others' burdens.

Voice 1: We are thankful for Jesus, and his strong, but gentle presence, whose message blesses and transform our lives. He showed us how to live as your new creation.

Presider 2:  I invite you, the People of God, to extend your hands and pray together:

All: Loving God, intensify the presence of Your Spirit in these our gifts, as they, and we, become the Body and Blood of Jesus the Christ for our wholeness and the wholeness of all creation. 

Presider 1:
 (lifts bread as community prays the following:)

All: On the night before Jesus died, he gave us a special gift of love divine. He took bread, broke it and shared it with friends who gathered around the table saying:

Take and eat of the Bread of Life 
Given to strengthen you  
Whenever you remember me like this  
I am among you. (pause) 

Presider 2  (lifts the cup as community prays the following: )

All: Jesus then raised a cup of blessing, spoke the grace saying: 
Take and drink of the covenant 
Made new again through my life in you. 
Whenever you remember me like this, 
I am among you.  (pause)

Presider 1: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

All: Christ dies, Christ rises, Christ comes again and again.

Voice 1: May we become Spirit-Fire, as we fan the flames of love over the entire cosmos. May all of our families and friends, the young and old, the sick and dying and all those in need experience nurturing love this day.

Voice 2: Inspire our leaders, both religious and political, so that they act without fear to bring your justice. May they become peacemakers who transform your church and society so that all living beings and our planet may thrive.

Presider 1: You have gathered us around this table in friendship, with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the apostles, and all the saints. May all who are suffering in any way be strengthened and consoled by your Presence. You bless all who have gone before us and bring them into the lasting joy and peace of your presence.

Presider 2: You gather together women, men and children of every race, language, religion and way of life to share in your one, eternal   banquet. In your presence, we give you glory with all creation and with Jesus through whom your goodness flows.

Presiders hold up bread and wine
  
All: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, may all glory and honor be Yours, all-loving God, forever and ever.

All: Great Amen (sung)

Presider 2: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:
ALL:  Our Father and Mother, who art in heaven ….

Sign of Peace:
Presider 1: Jesus said, “My peace I give you.” Let us share that peace with one another.

Song: Peace is Flowing Like a River by Carry Landry

Presider 1: Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread: (Presiders break the bread)

ALL: Holy One, we are called to live the Gospel of peace and justice.  We will live justly.
We are called to be presence of Love in the world.  We will love tenderly
We are called to speak truth to power.  We will walk with integrity in your presence.

Presider 2:  This is the Bread of Life and the Cup of Blessing, through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.

ALL:  What we have heard with our ears, we will live our lives; as we share communion we will become communion, both love’s nourishment and love’s challenge.

Presider 1: Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive. You are a spark of the Divine and nothing can separate you from Divine love. All are welcome to receive at this table.  Please pass the bread and the cup with the words “You are the Body of Christ.”  

Communion Meditation: Deer’s Cry (Celtic Woman)

Presider 2Holy One, we are thankful for this holy meal which reminds us of the need to willingly give of ourselves completely. Our hearts are fueled with divine energy. May we share the love we have experienced with all of creation and may we live always as instruments of faithful love. Amen.

Final Blessing:

Presider 1: Please extend your hands in blessing.

All:  In the spirit of St. Bridget of Kildare, we welcome the poor and sick to the feast, for they are God’s children. We welcome the marginalized and excluded to the feast, for they are God’s joy. Together, in a circle of love, we dance a new Church of hospitality and welcome embracing all.
Amen




Closing Song:  We Are Called
By David Hass

Come, Live in the light!
Shine with the joy and the love of our God!
We are called to be light for the kin-dom,
to live in the freedom of the City of God.

Refrain
We are called to act with justice,
We are called to love tenderly,
We are called to serve another;
To walk humbly with God!


Come, open your heart!
Show your mercy to all those in fear.
We are called to be hope for the hopeless,
So all hatred and blindness will be no more!

(Refrain)

(Liturgy is by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP. Permission is given to use or adapt.)


For more information about the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, visit our website at: https://arcwp.org and visit Bridget Mary’s Blog at: http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/




For more information about the People’s Catholic Seminary, visit our website at: https://pcseminary.org.





Bridget Mary Meehan: sofiabmm.bmm@gmail.com
Mary Theresa Streck: mtstreck@gmail.com