Saturday, December 19, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community - Liturgy for the Fourth Sunday in Advent - Presiders: Terri Kersch, Katie Nimcheski, ARCWP, Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP,



Welcome and Theme

Mary Theresa: Welcome! Our theme today is unconditional Love. During this Advent season, we have celebrated the gifts of hope, peace and joy: hope for a world experiencing fear and division, peace for a world thirsty for peace through justice and joy that provides relief and release from suffering. Today we celebrate the gift of unconditional love for a world longing for tenderness and compassion. Let us begin with our opening prayer.


Opening Prayer: 

Terri: Holy one, we gather today to be reminded that you come to us in unexpected ways and often in the most difficult of times.  You challenge us to sit with and dig deeply beyond our fears, beyond the tensions and distress in our lives, to discover and celebrate your presence within us..  And then, you challenge us further to lift our vision and unconditionally embrace you, Holy one, in others and in our troubled world.  Amen.

Terri:  Let us now light our fourth Advent candle.  Like our ancestors, we honor the cycles and the seasons that remind us of the ever-changing flow of life.  Ritual acts give life meaning—they honor and acknowledge the unseen web of Life that connects us all.

Katie: We light this fourth candle and remember that we are called to create, share and be light in all our ways of relating to all of Creation and commit ourselves to work for peace and justice in our world. And so we respond: Let us kindle the light of love!

Katie: Indeed, let us welcome the light within each other!


Opening Song 

Mary Theresa: Our opening meditation is “Say Yes” by Bob Franke.

https://youtu.be/x1mpQrn1PU4 


When the angel arrives there will be terror, but say yes 
The sound of wings like the breaking of a mirror, but say yes 
It will arrive where you’re little and you’re scared 
It will lay claim to the things you’ve never shared 
But though your heart and your soul are unprepared, say yes 

And it may tear you from home and family, but say yes 
It may demand you become a refugee, but say yes 
And when you’re tired, and you’re hungry, and you’re poor 
When you’re in pain in a room without a door 
And when the angel returns and asks for more, say yes 

Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you 
Worlds without end depend on you 
Blessed is the one whom you bring forth 
Whom no one else can bring 

And when the legions of angels call you blessed, say yes 
And were you faithful in each and every test? Say yes 
And when they ask you in story and in song, 
Were you upheld and protected all along? 
And did the power of the spirit keep you strong? Say yes


LITURGY OF THE WORD

 

First Reading: Psalm 29 (Sandi)


Give praise to the Beloved, 

O heavenly host, 

Sing of Love’s glory and strength. 

Exalt the glory of Love’s name; 

Adore the Beloved in holy splendor.


The mercy of the Beloved 

breaks the bonds of oppression, 

shatters the chains of injustice. 

Love invites all to the dance of freedom, 

to sing the beloved song of truth.


The Beloved lives in our hearts; 

Love dwells with us forever. 

You who awaken to the light 

of universal Oneness 

will know the blessed joy

of serving in the great work 

of Love.


Alleluia (Dennis)


Second Reading: (Mary Skelly) A Reading from Gospel of Luke

Luke 1:26-45


In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a woman engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the woman’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her: Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with you. 

She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus. He will be great, be called ‘Son of the Highest.’ The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; He will rule Jacob’s house forever— no end, ever, to his kingdom.” 

Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.” 

The angel answered, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you; Therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God. 36-38 “And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.” And Mary said, Yes, I see it all now: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say. Then the angel left her. 

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! And why am I so blessed that the mother of my God visits me? The moment the sound of your greeting entered by ears, the babe in my womb skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.

Blessed woman, who believed what God said, 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. Mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before the Holy One. 

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

These are the inspired words of Luke and we affirm them by saying, Amen.


Third Reading (Ann Bayly) A reading from Those Who Dream by Lisle Gwynn Garrity


Did it feel like a dream when the angel approached?

“Greetings, favored one!”

Did her mind spin as she pondered the impossibility of it all?

“You will bear a son . . . and he will be great.”

Did she lose her balance when she realized the gravity of her call?

“The child will be holy . . . the Son of God.”

Did her legs get weak after the words left her lips?

“Here I am . . . let it be.”


In the quiet that followed, did she question everything? Did she realize what this would mean—for her family, for Joseph, for her future? Did she realize she would be perceived as impure, as a threat to patriarchy, power, and proprietary? Did fear cloak her, like a garment pulled too tight?


And so, in a haze, she runs away—seeking refuge in the hill country, retreating to family who would keep her safe and help her make sense of her world turned upside down. 


As soon as she falls into Elizabeth’s arms, Elizabeth knows and feels it to be true. Yes, I feel it too. We are pregnant with promise. We carry this together. This is not a dream deferred. 


It is a dream confirmed, a dream shared. A dream that will birth joy.


These are this inspired words of Lisle Gwynn Garrity and we affirm them by saying, Amen.

(Pause)


Homily Starter: Katie


In 1992, my sister was about to start her senior year of high school. She had been dating a boy from her school for quite a while and in August of that year, Lisa reluctantly broke the news to my parents that she was pregnant. I don’t remember much, except that my parents were very quiet for a few days. But, shortly thereafter, my parents took charge and our whole family began preparing for the new baby. 

My parents transformed a large sunroom of our house into my sister’s new bedroom/nursery. They painted the walls with a fresh coat of paint and put pretty pink, plush carpet down on the floor. They set up a crib and adorned the room with baby clothes and baby toys. At the age of 10 when I was obsessed with dolls, I was elated by the thought of having a real baby to play with! 

However, over the years, I have heard about how things were really going behind the scenes in the adult world. My sister, who had been a straight-A student and who had been voted Captain of the Varsity Swim Team, was kicked off of the team and ended up having to attend an alternative schooling program to finish her senior year. Someone at our church asked Lisa how she could even possibly take communion, after committing such a “grave sin.” Lisa’s boyfriend, Erich, broke off their relationship, because his family decided that in order to avoid any embarrassment they would simply move away. Lisa lost all of her friends and told me recently that our mother was the only person she had to talk to through those very difficult years. And that, I do remember. My mother and sister had a very special bond of more than just a mother-daughter relationship. They were very close. So, I thank God for my sister, Lisa, for enduring an immense amount of hardship at a very young age. And, I thank God for my parents, that they were wise enough to be supportive of my sister, instead of judgmental… because on March 31st of 1993, Thaddeus Thomas Wasilewski entered the world, and God turned a seemingly-tragic situation into a triumphant one.

In the Gospel today, we heard about two more unexpected pregnancies. And, after hearing about what it was like to have an unexpected child in 1993, can you imagine what it must have been like over 2000 years ago for a young woman and her family?  But we know from my sister’s story and from scripture that these unexpected pregnancies eventually achieve good endings. But sadly, not all unexpected pregnancies do. What was the key ingredient that helped Lisa bring Thad into the world and that helped Mary bring Jesus into the world? A key ingredient that has the power to turn any seemingly-tragic or life-shattering event into something sacred and beautiful. 

Mary was born into a war-torn country being severely oppressed by the Romans. At the age of 14, she faced an arranged marriage with someone much older and suddenly experienced an unexpected pregnancy with someone else. Mary acted quickly and journeyed 80 miles through the dangerous, Roman-occupied land to her cousin Elizabeth’s house, escaping the potentially deadly consequences of being found pregnant out of wedlock. 

Upon her arrival, scripture highlights the embrace between Mary and Elizabeth. Imagine Mary, in her first trimester of pregnancy, experiencing nausea and severe fatigue from the journey. Then, there’s Elizabeth who is 6 months pregnant in her mid to late-50s, probably feeling about as run-down as Mary. And, they embrace one another. In that very moment, the two women become saviors for one another. Mary needed shelter and safety, and a "cover"; Elizabeth needed help as she was heading into her third trimester of a difficult pregnancy. It's a story all too familiar to many of us.

And, herein lies the key ingredient of both my sister’s story and Mary’s story: to embrace others with unconditional love. My entire town had rejected my sister, but my parents embraced Lisa with unconditional love turning a seemingly-tragic situation into a triumphant one. An entire society would have rejected Mary, but Elizabeth embraced Mary with unconditional love turning what could have been a deadly situation into the most life-saving story ever told. Furthermore, when Elizabeth embraced Mary, she literally held God in her arms! When we choose to be an “Elizabeth” for someone, when we embrace others with unconditional love, we too are embracing the Divine living within each person.

Take time this week to see where God is needing you to embrace someone with unconditional love. Without judgment, without restraint, we’re called to be Elizabeths for others. And when the time comes when YOU need an Elizabeth, I pray that she comes to your side without judgment, without restraint, to hold you in her arms, to keep you safe, to turn your tragedies into triumphant ones.

At this time, please feel free to share insights you heard today and how you might respond?

Mary Theresa: Thank you for your inspired words. Let us now pray together our statement of faith.

Statement of Faith (Lynn and Bernie)

 
We believe in the Holy One, 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 the Divine Word, 
bringer of healing, heart of Divine compassion, 
bright star in the firmament of the Holy One's 
prophets, mystics, and saints. 
 
We believe that We are called to follow Jesus 
as a vehicle of divine love, 
a source of wisdom and truth, 
and an instrument of peace in the world. 
 
We believe in the Spirit of the Holy One, 
the life that is our innermost life, 
the breath moving in our being, 
the depth living in each of us. 
 
We believe that the Divine 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. 

 

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST 


Terri: As we prepare for this sacred meal we are aware that just as Jesus is anointed, so is each of us. As bearers of LIGHT, HOPE, JOY and LOVE, we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns.


Dennis: Prayers for the community.


Terri: We pray for these and all unspoken intentions. Amen. 

 

MT: With open hearts and hands let us pray our Eucharistic prayer as one voice:

(written by Jay Murnane) 

 

All: Source of All That Is, we seek you in this season, when the earth is resting and preparing for new life. Like the earth, we long for new life and hopeful beginnings. This is the time of the pregnant woman, filled with life and hope powerful enough to topple structures of oppression.  This is the time of her song of fidelity and celebration. 

 

During this gentle season of Advent, we recognize that you have made us capable of bringing forth justice, like a rising sun. One with all who have gone before us, we sing a song of praise: 


"Here In This Place" https://youtu.be/sgkWXOSGmOQ



Katie: Blessed is Isaiah and every visionary who insisted on a better future that would break through the deception, disaster and broken promises of the age in which they lived. 

 

Blessed is John, in the stark desert of careful focus, inviting the people to be born again in your love.  

 

Blessed is Miriam, who believed the words of Isaiah and opened herself up to the unbelievable. 

 

And blessed is her child Jesus, who felt the sorrows of humankind in his soul, and responded with deep and tender compassion. 


Please extend your hands in blessing.


Terri: We are grateful for your Spirit at our Eucharistic Table and for this bread and wine which reminds us of our call to be the body of Christ in the world. 


On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at supper with his companions and friends.  He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly with them, he bent down and washed their feet. 

 

All lift their plates and pray the following:


When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying: 

Take and eat, this is my very self.

 (pause) 

 

All lift their cups and pray the following:


MT: Then he took the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:

Take and drink.

Whenever you remember me like this,

I am among you.

(pause) 


What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives.  As we share communion, we become Communion both love’s nourishment and love’s challenge.


You are the Face of the Holy One. Please receive Communion.


Communion Meditation/Song – Remember Mercy by The Many


https://youtu.be/X7-THUalBfk


Prayer after communion: 

 

Katie: Holy One, we are grateful for the gift of Your Spirit, always drawing beauty and balance out of chaos.  And like Jesus…

 

Standing where he stood,  

and for what he stood,  

and with whom he stood, 

we are united in your Spirit, 

and worship you with our lives,  

 

All: Amen.  


Let us pray as Jesus taught us: 


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 by Miriam Therese Winter 

  

BLESSING 


Terri: Please extend your hands and pray our blessing together.


May we embrace the rich gifts of our Advent Season. 

May we shine the light of hope to a world experiencing fear and division.

May we become a beacon of peace in a world thirsty for peace and justice.

May we experience and radiate the gift of joy that provides relief and release of suffering and

May we come to know and live the unconditional love of the Holy One. 

 

All: AMEN 

 

MT: Our closing song is Canticle of the Turning

https://youtu.be/F9QeTmRCpW4




Friday, December 18, 2020

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Liturgy, Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 19, 2020, Presiders: Dotty Shugrue ARCWP and Joan Pesce

 


                           

Zoom link for video, Dec. 19, 2020 4 PM Eastern Standard Time

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86240868327?pwd=ZWNhdHRudTlFSjVBRlF5QVo5L3VGZz09

Meeting ID: 862 4086 8327

Password: 1066                                                       


THEME:  WE TOO BIRTH THE CHRIST



WELCOME AND GATHERING:


Joan:  Welcome to our Zoom liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community, where all are welcome.  At these difficult times, it is now more important than ever to gather together to support one another as “companions on this journey”, a journey of the unknown.  For “wherever two or more of you are gathered in my Name, there is love.”


Dotty:  We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond where it says, All. You will be muted during the liturgy except the presiders. Readers will mute and unmute themselves as appropriate. During the shared homily we ask you to unmute yourself to contribute your thoughts and when you are finished, remember to re-mute yourself. Have bread and wine/juice in front of you as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.


GATHERING PRAYER


Today we celebrate Mary, the one visited by a Messenger of the Sacred Spirit with a profound request: would she be willing to bring a most extraordinary child into the world, to become the mother of Jesus.  In saying YES Mary began an epic journey, fraught with incredible challenges that she could never have planned for or imagined.  Mary stood up and took action to ensure that both she and her child would be protected and would be safe.  Today we honor all those women who fight and even die to protect their children.  May they find support and love on their journey. 

Let us begin now with our gathering song:  


Blessed Is She by Colleen Fulmer



https://youtu.be/P_ZjCQKwYIw



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, in any way we can, to alleviate the spread of the virus and to comfort the sick and their families.


ALL:  Transform us O Holy One


It is difficult today to keep our focus on the Divine Presence within in us and within everyone around us.  Peaceful protests are interrupted needlessly.  Racism and white supremacy infiltrate all our structures.  We commit ourselves to speak truth to power.


ALL. Transform us O Holy One


The divisions among our leaders of government work against the needs of our people.   We commit ourselves to support the needs of others in whatever ways we can and to share our faith that goodness will prevail.  


All:  Transform us O Holy One


GLORIA


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


Glory to the Spirit of Life, who offers us peace; peace in our hearts, peace in our thoughts, peace with one another. 


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


Glory 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. 


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, Wisdom Sophia to walk with us as we journey in the present and rejoice in the life before us.  


All:  Glory to the Spirit of Life


LITURGY OF THE WORD


Kevin Connelly:First Reading:  Reflection by Lisle Gwynn Garrity – Luke 1:26-35  


Did it feel like a dream when the angel approached?  “Greetings, favored one!”

Did her mind spin as she pondered the impossibility of it all?  “You will bear a son… and he will be great.”

Did she lose her balance when she realized the gravity of her call?  “The child will be holy… The son of the Holy One”

Did her legs get weak after the words left her lips?  “Here I am…Let it be.”

In the quiet that followed, did she answer everything?  Did she realize what this would mean – for her family…for Joseph...for her future?  Did she realize that she would be perceived as being impure, as a threat to patriarchy, power, and proprietary?  Did fear cloak her like a garment pulled too tight?

And so, in a haze, she runs away – seeking refuge in the hill country, retreating to family who would keep her safe and help her make sense of her world turned upside down. 

As soon as she falls into Elizabeth’s arms, they know the truth together.  This is not a dream deferred; it is a dream confirmed, a dream shared.  A dream that will birth joy.


The inspired words of Lisle Gwynn Garrity


ALL:  So Be it!


Psalm:  Mother of all Genders and Races:  Mother Within Us



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA4f4ot2I4o



Judy Connelly: Gospel:  Luke as interpreted by Eugene Peterson adapted.


In the 6th month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilea village of Nazareth to a virgin named Mary who was engaged to be married to a man descended from David.  His name was Joseph.  Upon entering her home Gabriel greeted Mary.  “Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty, beautiful inside and out!  God is with you.”  Mary was frightened, wondering what was behind a greeting like that.  But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear, God has a surprise for you.  You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call him Jesus.” And the angel went on to say; “he will be great, be called ‘Son of the Holy One.  He will have the throne of David.  He will rule Jacob’s house forever – no end, ever to the kin-dom of the Holy One.  But Mary questioned the angel; “how will this happen.  I have never slept with a man.?” And the angel said “you will receive the Holy Spirit, who is within you and the power of the Holy Spirit will also hover over you and so the child you birth will be the Holy One’s Son.


Your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, as old as she is, when everyone had called her barren. She is 6 months pregnant. Nothing is impossible with the Holy One”. And then Mary said, “I’m am the maiden of the Holy One, let this come to be, just as you say.”  Then the angel left her.


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


These are the words attributed to a man called Luke, a disciple of Jesus and the people say


All:  So be it


Celtic Alleluia.  


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1rc7ojQtJU



Homily Starter: Joan Pesce


 Today, our focus is on Mary as she prepares to give birth to Jesus.


In our first reading from the writing of Lisle Gwynn Garrity, we consider Mary as a true Child of Humanity, just like us, with the human and the divine as one within her. So it is not difficult to imagine Mary having the thoughts, questions and anxieties presented in this reading. Isn’t that what we do when we experience an unexpected event or are faced with a challenging decision or worry about a situation facing a loved one?

My guess is that these thoughts and feelings did not enter Mary’s consciousness just once but that they filled her mind and heart as she traveled the long journey over the hills to Elizabeth’s house. 


I also think that, like us on our daily journeys, she turned these thoughts, questions and anxieties over in her mind and heart until they finally exhausted her. And then within the deepest part of her, She let go, surrendered, gave up any resistance and opened her mind and heart fully to the Divine Spirit within her who filled her 

with profound peace and deep joy. Now she was truly ready to birth Jesus.


This is what we, too, are called to do as we struggle with challenges on our daily journey. We, too, must go within and finally let go of our 

expectations, anxieties and limited desires and allow the Divine Spirit to fill us with deep peace and guidance. It is only then that we, like Mary, can birth the Christ to the World.


, o

PROFESSION OF FAITH:


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


We believe in Jesus, prophet and teacher, who journeyed on the earth, blessing the sick, making whole the broken, healing many, instilling faith in his followers so that they insure his legacy till the end of time.


We believe in the Cosmic Christ, the everlasting Presence, one with the universe.


We believe in Sacred Spirit, the breath of wisdom Sophia, the power of the winds enwrapping us in glory.


We believe in the communion of saints, our heavenly friends who walk with us in love, who are never far from us, who are separated from us by a mere veil, always near opening our minds to what is difficult to see


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.


Prayers of Petitions:


As we prepare for this sacred meal, we are aware that just as Mary awaits the birth of her child, we too are waiting for the healing power of the Christ in us and in our world. We voice our intentions today as we pray….


We bring to the table our grave concern about the continued spread of the Covid virus. We pray for those persons in our country, in our world who suffer from disease especially from Covid 19.  We pray they may experience love and support as they heal.


We bring to the table our newly elected national leaders soon to take their place in the seats of power. May the transition be peaceful, and may our new leaders deliver all the promises they made to us.



We bring to the table those we love who need healing.  We pray especially for Dianne, Bridget Mary, Sally and Janet. We assure them that we hold them in our hearts with much love.


We bring to the table the immigrant children still being held in inhumane conditions by our own government.  We pray our newly elected officials will act swiftly in righting this terrible  wrong.


Holy one, we pray that as we live our oneness with the Sacred Presence, we will do our part to support the sick and bring justice to abused children in our country. 


We place these intentions on our home altar as we remember Jesus and celebrate his life.

And together we say,


ALL:  May the Christ Presence heal us and give us peace during this time of waiting. Make it so!


OFFERTORY


We are blessed by the Holy One in a multitude of ways.

We have bread made from human hands, and wine made from harvested grapes.  These are gifts of the earth, and together they will become our spiritual food and drink.


With this bread and wine, we pledge ourselves to the teachings of Jesus as revealed in the Gospels.  We accept our call to be present to all persons in our world. We are committed to the teachings and the ministry of Jesus.


All:  The Holy One is praised forever.


With open hands let us pray:


Holy One, we remember Mary the Mother of Jesus.  She reflected in every aspect of her life her commitment to Jesus and to you.  In your name and in remembrance of Mary we offer and bless these gifts of Bread and Wine.


In recognizing the wisdom and grace of Mary’s presence in our lives we, too,  join with our community, our family and friends everywhere, as well as all holy men and women, and we celebrate your life within us. In solidarity with Jesus, and with all the faithful men and women who have gone before us, we lift up our hearts and sing:


Holy, Holy, Holy


Here in This Place by Christopher Grundy


https://youtu.be/sgkWXOSGmOQ

 

EUCHARISTIC  PRAYER


We celebrate, O Holy One, Mary’s acceptance to bring Jesus into the world.  


Jesus was a teacher who spoke in such ways that hundreds listened to him.  Jesus took time to go apart from the chaos in his life and to pray alone. Like John he knew that caring for his spiritual life nurtured his soul, and he grew in wisdom and understanding.  He gained strength to face the challenges of his mission. 


We, too, are called to speak clearly with respect and love, as we challenge the numerous injustices our world faces today.  We are called to the inner life, our spiritual life, to go apart and pray. We walk with Mary as she walked with Jesus seeking wisdom and peace. 


(Hold your hand over bread and wine) 


Jesus, we celebrate the last meal you had with your followers. We call upon Sacred Spirit, ever and always with us, to bring blessing on this bread and wine as they are made sacred through our faith in the presence of Christ with us. 


During Jesus’s life on 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 authorities of his day, and they sought out ways to bring him to his death.


On the night before he faced his own death, Jesus sat at the Seder supper with his companions and friends.  He reminded them of all that he taught them, and to fix that memory clearly with them, he bent down and washed their feet. 

 

All lift plates and pray the following:


When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying: 

Take and eat, this is my very self.

 (pause) 

 

All lift the cup and pray the following:


Then he took the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace, and offered it to them saying:

Take and drink.

Whenever you remember me like this,

I am among you.

(pause) 


Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel of justice and peace, remembering that we are bearers of light and hope.


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.


You are the Christ alive today.


Everyone consumes the bread and wine at this time


Communion Meditation/Song: Lo How A rose ere Blooming – Piano by Linda Lee



https://youtu.be/Sqrn9DbQqVg


Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming


Sacred Spirit, we remember Mary, the Mother of Humanity, who birthed Jesus into our world. We rejoice that the Universal Christ remains always and ever present within and around us. We remember all those who have transitioned from life on earth to complete union with the Sacred Presence: Mary of Nazareth and all great saints, prophets and martyrs.  We remember our sister priests, strong extraordinary women: Adele, Judy, Tish, Joan and Michele.  We remember, too, family members and friends.  We remember all those whose lives have been lost to Covid, to war, to racism and all other “isims” that exist in our world.  And we remember those you wish to be remembered…. All are beloved souls who have blessed our lives and who continue to inspire us.


And we respond together:


All:  So be it


Let us pray as Jesus taught us:


O Holy One, who is 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 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  

(Miriam Therese Winter) 


Prayers of Thanksgiving and Announcements


Blessing


Let us raise our hands and bless each other.


May we seek truth boldly and love deeply.

May we welcome opportunities to birth the Christ in all those we meet.

May we live visitation, as Mary did, and reach out and travel the distance to assist those in need of our support. 

May we continue to be the face of the Holy One, and 

May our names be a blessing in our time.


Before we leave our celebration today let us pause and reflect on the gift of each person with us and extend a silent virtual greeting of peace as we listen to this beautiful Song. 




Closing Song: Pax Amor Christi – Kathleen Deignan, CND, PhD (Professor of Theology and Spirituality at Iona College)

Silent

 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i944rcYxqqo


Pax Amor Christi




If you want to add an intercession to our MMOJ Community Prayer book, please send an email to katyrcwp@tampabay.rr.com

If you want to invite someone to attend our liturgy, please refer them our website at MaryMotherofJesus.org      

To support our community, please send your check to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

St Andrew UCC, 6908 Beneva Rd, Sarasota, Florida 34238