Saturday, April 11, 2020

Easter Liturgy, Community of St. Bridget – Inclusive Catholic Community,Mary Eileen Collingwood ARCWP

Easter Sunday Liturgy – April 12, 2020

Suggestion: * Please provide a piece of bread and cup of wine/grape juice so
                      that you can participate fully in this liturgy.
* Have a small vessel of water on hand as we renew our baptismal  

My sisters and brothers, we gather in confidence that the Spirit of the Risen Jesus abides with us always!
ALL:  Alleluia!

Gathering Hymn:  Sing With All the Saints in GloryLudwig van Beethoven (acapella)

Sing with all the saints in glory, sing the resurrection song!
Death and sorrow, Earth’s dark story, to the former days belong.
All around the clouds are breaking, soon the storms of time shall cease;
In God’s likeness, we awaken, knowing ever lasting peace.

Today we celebrate the highest of Holy Days: The Resurrection of Jesus.  We raise our Alleluia voices loud and clear as we feast on “the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  And we begin in the name of the Divine: Source of All Being, Eternal Word, and +Holy Spirit.  Amen.

In this Easter Season, we celebrate and reaffirm the Christian initiation of our Baptism with the signing of baptismal waters-- reminding and reaffirming our commitment to the Holy Spirit in our lives.  As we come together today to celebrate Eucharist, we will affirm this initiation each and every time we break bread together this Easter Season.

All present are asked to bless themselves with the sacred water from our Earth, and sing: 
We shall draw water joyfully, singing joyfully, singing joyfully!
We shall draw water joyfully from the wellsprings of God’s mercy!

God has freed us from bondage and brought us to life anew through this
water and the presence of the life-giving Spirit among us.  May the grace
of God renew us as we embrace the promise of Eternal Life.  Amen.

GLORIAAlleluia, Sing! David Haas  (if needed, copy and paste web address to browser)

Blessed be our God! (x2)
Joy of our hearts, source of all life and love!
God of heaven and earth! (x2)
Dwelling within, calling us all by name!
Alleluia, sing! (x2)

Gift of love and peace! (x2)
Jesus the Christ, Jesus our hope and light!
A flame of faith in our hearts! (2)
Proclaiming the day, shining throughout the night!
Alleluia, sing! (x2)

Come, O Spirit of truth! (x2)
Promise of hope, kindness and mercy!
Come and dwell in our hearts! (x2)
Justice and peace, the kin-dom of God in us!
Alleluia, sing! (x2)

Opening Prayer:
  1. O Holy One, it is good news indeed that there is no hiding from the Risen One.  He comes to us breathing the Spirit into our unbelieving hearts and offering us a peace which surpasses all understanding:

  1. …the peace of renewed purpose, of a blessed unrest, of realizing that the Easter story is about our own resurrection after all, and that there is work to be done:

ALL:  …proclaiming God’s love, healing the brokenhearted, speaking out for
         creation, and above all, opening to the evolving push and pull of Spirit’s
         call.  Amen.

We now call upon the Spirit of Our Living God as we listen to the Scripture readings broken open and shared by all.

First Reading:  (Acts 10:34, 37-43)
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles:

So Peter said to them, “I begin to see how true it is that God shows no partiality—rather, that any person of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to God.

“You yourselves know what took place throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee with the baptism John proclaimed.  You know how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how Jesus went about doing good works and healing all who were in the grip of the Devil, because God was with him.  We are eyewitnesses to all that Jesus did in the countryside and in Jerusalem.  Finally, Jesus was killed and hung on a tree, only to be raised by God on the third day.  God allowed him to be seen, not by everyone, but only by the witnesses who had been chosen beforehand by God—that is, by us, who ate and drank with Christ after the resurrection from the dead.  And Christ commissioned us to preach to the people and to bear witness that this is the one set apart by God as judge of the living and the dead.

“To Christ Jesus all the prophets testify, that everyone who believes has forgiveness of sins through this Name.”

The inspired words of the apostle, Luke.

ResponsorialThis is the day Our God has made,
                      let us rejoice and be glad! (x2)

I give thanks to You, Adonai, for You are good, Your love is everlasting!
Let the house of Israel say it, “Your love is everlasting!”  R

Our God’s right hand is winning, Our God’s right hand is wreaking havoc!
No, I will not die, I will live to recite the deeds of the Most High.  R

It was the stone rejected by the builders that proved to be the keystone.
This is Our God’s doing and it is wonderful to see.  R

Second Reading: (1 Corinthians 5:6-8)

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians:

Do you not know that even a little yeast has its effect all through the dough?  Get rid of the old yeast to make for yourselves fresh dough, unleavened bread, as it were; Christ our Passover has been slain.  So let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of corruption and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
The inspired words of the apostle, Paul.  Amen.

Gospel Acclamation:   8 Alleluias
This is the day Our God has made;
                                        Let us rejoice and be glad!  (x2)
                                                8 Alleluias

Gospel:  (John 20:1-9)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John:

Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb.  She saw that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance, so she ran off to Simon Peter and the other disciple—the one Jesus loved—and told them, “The Rabbi has been taken from the tomb!  We do not know where they have put Jesus!”

At that, Peter and the other disciple started out toward the tomb.  They were running side-by-side, but then the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.  He did not enter, but bent down to peer in and saw the linen wrappings lying on the ground.

Then Simon Peter arrived and entered the tomb.  He observed the linen wrappings on the ground, and saw the piece of cloth that had covered Jesus’ head lying not with the wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.  Then the disciple who had arrived first at the tomb went in.  He saw and believed.  As yet, they did not understand the scripture that Jesus was to rise from the dead.
The inspired words of the evangelist, John.  Amen.


We are here today, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus, the triumph of the cross, with a renewed commitment to take on the risks Jesus asks of us in order to love as he did.

It is hard to ignore the strong anti-imperial theology in the Gospels.  This becomes very clear as we read about them in the events of Holy Week.  The imperial procession vs. the peasant procession on Palm Sunday, the Roman soldiers arresting Jesus due to a fear that he was starting a movement that would threaten the Roman rule of law, and the crucifixion of Jesus in efforts of the empire to thwart that movement and maintain control over the Jewish people. 

Amy Jill-Levine, an author, professor, and biblical scholar writes:
“Every time we read the Passion narratives, we become musicians ourselves, for we will always hear the text in a new key.  Each time we read the text, we bring our own new selves to it—experiences, emotions, expectations.”

This year, especially, I have heard this message with a profound recognition of the imperial empire, then and now.  Through my reading, prayer, meditation, and listening, I see clearly the glaring fact that following Jesus means nothing more or less than a call for and effort to achieve justice in our world.  The reality I need to embrace without hesitation is that it is our government that continues to be the dominant imperial power in the world.  And if I want to risk loving as Jesus loves, I need to put myself on the front lines in confronting this behemoth of unbridled power. 

We are all experiencing the affects of the coronavirus pandemic, with the necessary restrictions of physical distancing and protective covering that are vital if we venture beyond the confines of our homes.  Some of us will succumb to the virus ourselves, perhaps being hospitalized or even succumbing to the disease. Many of us have already suffered from the economic downturn as businesses not considered “essential” to society have closed, workers have been furloughed and lower paid employees have lost their jobs permanently.  Stock markets have plummeted, causing many to reprioritize their spending due to the new reality that they are much poorer than they imagine. 

Yet rules are in place as we speak that will financially secure those in the top fifteen percent of our country.  One needs to look no further than to the disproportionate number of people of color who have been infected and died from the coronavirus in our country to see the blatant inequality this country has created with its short-sightedness and exclusionary policies.  Truth be told, it is the cries of the poor among us that plead to rise up!

The poet laureate Maya Angelou reminds us: 

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Yet no journey is meant to be taken alone.  Together we will rise!
Certainly, death is not the end of the story.  There will always be resurrection!

There is a new melody we must learn from our journey with Jesus this past week.  And there is comfort in knowing that the Good News continues not just when people proclaim it, but when they enact it.  Sr. Monica Joan in “Call the Midwife” TV series declares: “The hands of the Almighty are so often to be found at the ends of our own arms.” That’s where we come in.

Our path involves dying to an old way of being and being reborn into a new way of being.  Good Friday and Easter are about this path, the path of dying and rising, of being born again. 

What risks are you willing to take in order to love as Jesus did? 

Renewal of Baptismal Promises:

Freed from bondage and brought to new life through the living water of Jesus’ life and ministry, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, let us renew the promises that brought us to this point in our lives.  By living these promises, may we all rejoice in the Eternal Presence of God and one another.

ALL:  We promise to see what is good for our sisters and brothers everywhere,
rejecting injustice and inequality, and living with the freedom and
responsibility of the family of God.

         We 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.

         We promise to seek peace and live in peace in one human family,
rejecting prejudice in every form, and all barriers to unity.

         We promise to cherish the universe and this precious planet, working
creatively to renew and safeguard the elemental sacraments of air, earth,
and water.

         We 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;

         We 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.

God has given us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit and has broken the chains of the burdens we carry.  May God also keep us faithful to Jesus the Christ now and always.  Amen.

Prayer of the Faithful:  Risen Jesus, we awaken to your call!

Sign of Peace
As we prepare for the sacred meal, we reaffirm that just as Jesus was anointed, so is each of us.  And so we celebrate our Creator’s fruitful love as we extend our blessing to one another with joy.  May the peace that our brother, Jesus, offers be always with us!    Amen.

Blessed are you, Source of all Life! Through your goodness we have this bread, this wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer.  Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation.
ALL:  Blessed be God forever!

Prayer Over the Gifts
Holy Mystery, we offer this prayer in union with the whole Church.  In this bread and wine, you give us food for body and spirit.  May our strength be renewed by your generous blessings that will bring us health of mind and body.  Grant that the healing work which you have begun in the life, death, and rising again of Jesus, bring us to eternal life in your Presence.  We ask this through Jesus, our brother.
ALL:  Amen.

The Holy One is with us, abounding in Love!
ALL:  We open our hearts in Christ, who lives and loves, heals and empowers
          through us!
Let us give thanks to the Source of all Life.

It is truly right and just that we should always sing of your glory, O Holy
One; and we praise you with greater joy than ever during this Easter
Season, as we celebrate Christ’s death and rising to new life as witness
to the life of compassion and love we are all called to live.  As the
universe resounds with Easter joy, the choirs of angels sing this endless
hymn of your glory:
ALL(sing) Holy, Holy, Holy One, Spirit of Love and Peace.
         All of creation is filled with Your glory.  Hosanna in the highest!
         Blessed are all who come in your Holy Name.
         Hosanna in the highest! (x2)

1:      O Holy One, you are the fountain of all holiness, and all creation rightly
         gives you praise.  All life, all holiness comes as you gather a people to
         yourself, so that from east to west a human blessing may be made to the
         glory of your name.

ALL(extend hands) Therefore, we ask that you intensify the presence of Your
         Spirit in these our gifts, as they, and we, become the +Body and Blood of
         Jesus the Christ for the sake of our wholeness and for the wholeness of
         all creation.

2.    On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for supper with the people
closest to him.  Like the least of household servants, he washed their tired and dusty feet, so that they would re-member him.

Back at the table, he took the bread, spoke the grace, broke the bread, and offers it to us now, saying:

ALL:  Take and eat, all of you.  This is my body which I have given to you.

When supper was ended, Jesus took the cup of wine, spoke the grace, and offers it to us, saying:

ALL:  Take and drink of my cup of new life through which the covenant is
         made new again, for you and for everyone-- for liberation from every
         oppression.  Whenever you do this, remember me!

         Let us proclaim the sacred presence of our Loving God:
ALL(sing) Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ is with us now! (x2)
  1. Loving God, we thank you for blessing us and calling us to you.  May all of us who share in the world of your creation be brought together in unity through your Holy Spirit.  You love your human family.  Help us
to grow in love with all of your creation.

  1. We remember our brothers and sisters who have gone before us, and all
the saints who have provided prophetic examples of faith throughout the ages.  We praise you in union with them, and give you glory through Jesus, our brother.

ALL:  For it is through learning to live as he lived,
         And why he lived,
         And for whom he lived,
         That we awaken to your Spirit within,
         Moving us to worship you truly,
         Life-giving God,
         At this time, and all time, and in all ways. (sing) Amen.

Communion Rite
         Let us pray together the Prayer of Jesus:
ALL:  O Holy One, you are within, around and among us.
         We celebrate your many names.
         Your wisdom come, your will be done,
         Unfolding from the depths within us.
         Each day you give us all that we need.
         You remind us of our limits, and we let go.
         You support us in our power, and we act with courage.
         For you are the dwelling place within us,
         The empowerment around us,
         And the celebration among us,
         Now and forever.  Amen.

         Please join in the prayer as this bread is broken for all:
ALL:  Loving God, you call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.
         We will live justly.
         You call us to be your presence in the world.
         We will love tenderly.
         You call us to speak truth to power.
We will walk with integrity in your presence.

P:      This is the Bread of Life and Cup of Blessing.  Through it we are
nourished and we nourish one another.

ALL:  We share this bread and wine today committing ourselves to be Easter
people, people who see beyond the barriers, the pain, the darkness and
hard times, people who live in faith, hope and love in all the seasons of
our lives whatever the ups and downs.

Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive; nothing can separate us from the Holy One’s love.  All are One at this Table of Friendship!

Communion Meditation:  Bread of Life, Hope of the WorldBernadette Farrell  (if needed, copy and paste web address in browser)

Refrain:      Bread of life, hope of the world,
                  Jesus Christ, our brother:
                  feed us now, give us life,
                  lead us to one another.

As we proclaim your death, as we recall your life,
We remember your promise to (be with us now.)  R

The bread we break and share was scattered once as grain:
Just as now it is gathered, make your people one.  R

We eat this living bread; we drink this (blessing) cup:
Sign of hope in our broken world, source of lasting love.  R

Hold us in unity, in love for all to see;
That the world may believe in you, God of all who live.  R

You are the bread of peace, you are the wine of joy,
Broken now for your people, poured in endless love.  R

Closing Prayer:
  1. O Risen One, breathe on us, set us on fire and send us out, that we
     might rise from our graves of fear and go forth boldly as your Easter

  1.  May our faith be not in our words but in our lives, not in what we say but in who we are, passing your love like an infectious laugh:

ALL:  … not worried, not threatening, just shining like the sun, like a starry
          night, like a lamp on a stand, a light for life.  Amen.

Our Risen Christ is with us!  Alleluia!

Let us extend hands to one another for our mutual blessing:
Our Loving God blesses us on this Easter Sunday!  We courageously vow to live
the blessing and example Jesus gave through his willingness to share with us his life and love.  Amen

Through Jesus’ life and ministry, wholeness has been restored.
We rejoice in knowing that God fulfills the promises made to us,
and are blessed with the abiding Presence of Love forever.  Amen.

As we celebrate the joy of Jesus’ risen life,
May we come with joy to the feast that will never end.  Amen.

We are blessed in the name of the Divine: Source of All Being, Eternal
Word, and +Holy Spirit!  Amen.

(chanted) Go in the peace of Christ, Alleluia, Alleluia!
ALL(chanted) Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Closing HymnLet the Holy Anthem Rise!  (acapella)

Alleluia! Alleluia! Let the holy anthem rise,
And the choirs of angels chant it in the temple of the skies;
Let the mountains skip with gladness, and the joyful valleys ring
With hosannas in the highest to the Christ who lives again!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Like the sun from out the wave,
He has risen up in triumph from the darkness of the grave.
He's the splendor of the nations, he's the lamp of endless day;
He's the very One of Glory who is risen up today!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Blessed Jesus, make us rise
From the finite life we know now, to the life that never dies.
May your glory be our portion, when the days of time are past,
And we all will be awakened by the trumpet's mighty blast!

We welcome you to join us again and support this Community
 with your presence and prayer.

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