Saturday, August 15, 2020

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for the Assumption - Presiders: Joan Pesce and Dotty Shugrue, ARCWP


MARY MOTHER OF JESUS INCLUSIVE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY

CELEBRATION OF THE ASSUMPTION
OF MARY MOTHER OF JESUS
AUGUST 15, 2020

Theme:  Mary, Leader for Women Today.

Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Zoom Liturgy.  We gather as a roman catholic inclusive community. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.  

All community members will be on mute during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. During the shared homily we ask you to unmute yourself if you would like to contribute. Remember to mute yourself when you have finished sharing. Please have bread and wine/juice in front of you as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.

Opening Song:  Blessed is She by Colleen Fulmer

Blessed is she who believed
That the promise made her by our God
Would we fulfilled, would be fulfilled

And Mary said let me sing the praise of God
For having touched this lowly one
And from now on I shall be called woman most highly blessed

Holy is our God whose kindness never ends
Who by great strength has scattered the proud
And raises up the poor and gathers them into all fullness


For God has come to this servant Israel
To show all mercy now and forever as was promised
Sarah and Abraham and the children forever.

Opening Prayer.

We gather together to celebrate the life and ministry of Mary, the mother of Jesus. As Mary supported Jesus his entire life and was both a witness and leader highly revered by the followers of The Way, Mary demonstrated a deep concern for the poor and all those who needed healing in her time.  We call upon Mary to break the barriers of time and space and be with us during this, our hour of need.

May our eyes be open, may our hearts and souls, the depth of our Being empower us to reach out in love and service to our suffering world. 

We remember who Jesus was, who the Christ is and we look to Mary for vision, healing and strength. We have faith, we grab hope as we lift up our prayer and  recognize the power to heal.  

ALL:  So be it!
Transformation Prayer.

The suffering being experienced by the people of the world is greater than ever before in our lifetimes. We commit ourselves to do whatever we can to contribute to the slowing down of the spread of the virus.  We commit ourselves to do whatever we can, in any way we can, to comfort the sick and their families.

ALL:  Transform us, O Holy One

Gloria.

Presider:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, to the Holy One who surrounds us, who lives within us, whose Sacred Word is shared by us in our world.

ALL:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, who offers us peace;  peace in our hearts, peace in our thoughts, peace with one another as we reach out to one another and ask for blessing. 

Presider:  Glory to the Spirit of Life, who cares for the health workers, postal workers, store clerks, garbage collectors and all those who those who serve our special needs in numerous ways.

ALL:  Glory to to the Spirit of Life, who sent Jesus who teaches us how to live the Gospels, who brings hope and healing to all those in need. 

Presider:  O Holy One, you are one with us.  We are strong in our faith and will live life in hope and faithfulness to you, to be Church committed to the message of the Gospels.  We depend upon the ever-present Spirit to walk with us as we journey in the present and rejoice in the life before us.  

LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading:  Katy
Excerpts from: How the Cult of the Virgin Mary Turned a Symbol of Female Authority into a Tool of Religious Patriarchy written by Dorothy Ann Lee

As the first Christian, Mary proclaims a radical message of social justice, where the poor are exalted and of the powerful overthrown.  She initiates Jesus’ ministry at the wedding feast of Cana. And follows him to the cross, despite the dangers.  She is a vital presence at the birth of the church at Pentecost, sharing the divine image of a world transformed.

In line with the New Testament, the early church also gave Mary the title “God-bearer which became part of Christian orthodoxy, not tied to her perpetual virginity.

Material art portrayed her in some contexts as a priestly figure (as in the 11th century mosaic from Ravenna) with her own autonomy and authority, where she embodies the symbolic vocation of all Christians to “give birth” to the transforming presence of Christ.

It is true that Catholic women across the world have found great solace in the compassionate figure of Mary especially, against images of a very masculine, judgmental
God, and the brutality of political and religious hierarchy. 

But for this women have paid a price, in their exclusion from leadership.  Mary’s voice has been permitted, in filtered tones, to ring out across the church, but real women’s voices are silent.

In today’s context, the cult of the Virgin becomes emblematic of the way the church silences women and marginalizes their experience.  Marian piety in the traditional form has deep contradiction at its heart.  In a speech in 2014 Pope Francis said, “: The model of maternity for the Church is the Virgin Mary” who “in the fullness of time conceived through the Holy spirit and gave birth to the Son of God.”

If that were true, women could be ordained, since their connection to Mary would allow them, like her, to represent the church.  If the world received the body of Christ from this woman, Mary, then women today should not be excluded from giving the body of Christ as priest, to the faithful at Mass.

The Virgin cult cuts women off from the full, human reality of Mary, and so from the full participation in life of the Church.

It is no coincidence that in the early 20th century, the Vatican forbade Mary to be depicted in priestly vestments.  She could only ever be presented as the unattainable virgin-mother:  never as leader, and never as fully embodied woman in her own right!

The irony of this should not be lost.  A fully human Gospel symbol of female authority, autonomy, and the capacity to envision a transformed world becomes a tool for patriarchy.

By contrast, the Mary of the Gospels (end the belief of early Christians), the God-bearer and priestly figure– a normal wife and mother of children – confirms women in their embodied humanity and supports their efforts to change unjust structures, both within and outside the church.

This is the inspired word of Dorothy Ann Lee, who is an Anglican priest and scholar of the Bible.

And the people say:  So Be It

Alleluia:  Celtic

Gospel:  Elena

 A reading from the Gospel of Luke 1:39 - 56 as interpreted in The Message New Testament by Eugene H. Peters

Mary didn’t waste a minute. She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly.
You’re so blessed among women, and the babe in your womb, also blessed!  Why am I so blessed that the mother of my Lord visits me?  The moment the sound of your greeting entered my ears, the babe in my womb skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.  Blessed woman, who believed what God said and believed every word would come true!

And Mary said,

I’m bursting with God-news,
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten, the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him.  He  bared his arm and showed his strength, scattered the bluffing braggarts.  He knocked tyrants off their high horses, pulled victims out of the mud. The starving poor sat down to a banquet; the callous rich were left out in the cold.  He embraced his chosen child, Israel.  He remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high  It’s exactly what he promised, beginning with Abraham and right up to now.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and then went back to her own home.

These are the inspired works of the Apostle Luke.
All: So be it!

Alleluia:  Celtic

HOMILY STARTER: Dotty Shugrue ARCWP

Profession of Faith.

We believe in our Creator who has not forgotten us, rather is ever and always present with us.

We believe in Jesus, the Word incarnate, who journeyed on the earth, blessing the sick, making whole the broken, healing many, instilling faith in his followers so that they may continue the work He began.

We believe in Christ, the everlasting Presence in our world in our universe.

We believe in the Spirit of Life, the breath of wisdom Sophia, who stays present and real to us during this great human struggle we face today and in the days ahead.
We believe in the communion of saints, our heavenly friends who walk with us in love as we continue our life journey.

We believe in one another and our individual and collective response to being diligent in following the directives given by medical professionals at this time.

We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our Church and our world.  Here we live our prophetic call of Gospel equality.

We believe that 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:  We pray that the Holy One renew in our hearts our commitment to journey always in faith and hope as we reach out and support, comfort and love those closest to us, those who live in our country and all the people of the earth.

Prayers for the People:

As we prepare for the altars before us to share this sacred meal, we bring to the table our prayers and intentions.

We bring to the table the people of our troubled country who are faced with so many difficult decisions because of the COVID, schools opening, churches opening and much more:  may all decisions come from a deep place of love and caring for all people.

We bring to the table the people of our troubled country who risk their lives for those who are sick with the COVID Virus, healthcare workers of all positions, service providers of all kinds who continue to serve the needs of others:  may they be safe and may they experience the grateful support of all God’s people,

We bring to the table the people of our troubled country who still suffer much hurt and pain, physical harm and even death because of personal and institutional racism that is so deeply rooted in the very fabric of our society:  may eyes be opened and actions taken, and laws and policies made that protect our sisters and brothers of different color and culture.

We bring to the table the people of our troubled country who fear that the needs of their families, their personal needs will not be provided as a result of loss of income, loss of jobs, loss of government support: may the financial support they so desperately require become a priority  of our elected government officials.

We bring to the table all members of our community, we remember in a special way, Bridget Mary, Diane, Jack and also for those you hold in your heart…pause…may all be healed by Spirit of Life.           

Presider: We pray for these and any other unspoken intentions.  And together we say:  So Be It!
  
Offertory. Dotty and Joan

(Place your bread and wine before you on your table)

Ever present Sacred Spirit, you who hold us in your loving hands, we offer these gifts of bread and wine as we celebrate your life with us.

Holy, Holy, Holy…


*(The Eucharist Prayer is adapted from “The Prayer of Thanksgiving”.  It can be found in A New NEW Testament edited by Hal Taussig)

We give thanks to you.  Every life and heart stretches toward you, O name untroubled, honoring the name of God, praised with the name Creator.  To everyone and everything comes the kindness of the Holy One and love and desire.

And if there is sweet and simple teaching, it gifts us mind, word and knowledge; mind, that we may understand you; word, that we may interpret you; knowledge: that we may know you.  We rejoice and are enlightened by your knowledge; we rejoice that you have taught us about yourself.  We rejoice that in the body you have made us divine through your knowledge.

The thanksgiving of the human who reaches you is this alone; that we know you.  We have known you, O light of mind.  O light of life we have known you.  O womb of all that grows, we have known you.  O womb pregnant with the nature of Creator God, we have known you. O never-ending endurance of the Spirit of Life who gives birth, so we worship your goodness.  One wish we ask:  we wish to be protected in knowledge, One protection we desire; that we do not stumble in this life.  When they said these things in prayer, they welcomed one another, and they went to eat their holy food, which had no blood in it. 

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(hold your hands over the bread and the wine):  
Ever present Sacred Spirit, you who hold us in your loving hands, you are one with us in blessing these gifts of bread 
and wine as we celebrate your life with us. These gifts are made sacred through our faith.
We celebrate Mary the Mother of Jesus as a liturgical leader who praised God, preached the gospel, led the prayers..healed with her hands

In this sacrament of breaking bread and blessing wine, we pause and call upon Spirit of Life to bless this bread and wine which is made sacred through our faith.  We celebrate with one another as we remember Jesus walked this same earth we walk today.

During Jesus’s life on this earth he lived and died loving the poor, healing the sick and challenging the injustices within society.   Because of his ministry Jesus was feared by the authority of his day.

On the evening of the Jewish Seder Jesus gathered with his close friends for a meal.  He reminded them of what He had taught them. He washed their feet as an act of love.

Jesus returned to his place at the table and spoke to his companions.  He lifted the Passover bread, and spoke the blessing, He broke the bread saying these words:

        “Take and eat, this is my very Self.  Do this in memory of Me.”

Jesus then lifted the cup filled with wine. He spoke the blessing and said:

“Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life for you and for everyone.  Whenever you do these things, remember Me.”

Presider:  Let us proclaim the Sacredness of Eucharist

Blessed be our God! 
Joy of our hearts, source of all life and love!  
God of Heaven and Earth! 
God of Heaven and Earth! 
Dwelling within, calling us all by name!  
Alleluia, sing! Alleluia, sing!

Let us pray together:

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 celebrate life with youlife-giving Creator Spirit, At this time, and all time, and in all ways. 

Presider:  Let us pray in the manner that Jesus taught his companions to pray:
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.
(adapted, Miriam Therese Winter, MMS)

Great Amen: Linda Lee Miller

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Let us pray our communion prayer together.
What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives; as we share communion, we will become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

Please now receive Communion with the words “I am the face of the Divine”

Communion Reflection:  Ancient Mother by Jan Novotka

Ancient Mother
Gracious Mother
Wrapped in Silence
Holy One

Regina Coeli
Woman of the Cosmos
Your light shines bright as the stars
and your heart is as wide as all time
Guide of us all

Ancient Mother
Gracious Mother
Wrapped in Silence
Holy One

Regina Coeli
Woman of the Cosmos
Your light shines bright as the stars
and your heart is as wide as all time
Guide of us all

We continue to celebrate the memory of Jesus in our sharing of Eucharist with one another, we remember all those people in particular who walk with us in the search
for the Divine.  We remember the communion of saints, and we celebrate all of life with thanksgiving.

All:  So Be It!

INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Together we raise our hands in a blessing of one another.

Celtic Blessing:
💚 May you be wrapped up in God’s love, Found deep in his everlasting wings, carried and kept, safe and cherished. May the healing power of Christ breathe across your being now.💚

Closing Song:   Oh Mother God by Karen Drucker


Oh Mother God flowing through our hearts.
We give thanks for the bread of our lives.
For the hands in the earth and the fruit of your womb.
Oh Mother God, blessed be. Oh Mother God, blessed be.
Oh Mother God thank you for this day.
For the love that you wash over me.
And this joy in my heart I will share with the world.
Oh Mother God blessed be.  Oh Mother God, blessed be. 

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