Saturday, April 16, 2022

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Easter Vigil Liturgy April 16, 2022 

Zoom link for video - 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time


Meeting ID: 815 3407 5389

Passcode: 803326

(Note -- if you have a problem with the above link, open your ZOOM app and insert the Meeting ID number and Passcode)

Elena: We warmly welcome you to our celebration of the Easter Vigil, a holy and blessed night in which we recall the reawakening of Jesus to new life. We are so happy you have joined us and we welcome you to share in our eucharistic celebration of Hope as we gather around this zoom table of friendship and unity.

Service of Light

Elena: On this most sacred night, in which Jesus Christ passed over from this earth to a new life, the People of God everywhere come together from all over to watch and pray.  If we listen to the word of God and live it, and if we honor the memory of his death and resurrection, we will have the sure Hope of sharing his victory over death and living a resurrected life with our Creator.

Blessing of the Fire and Paschal Candle

Elena: We begin our liturgical celebration today by blessing the Easter fire, lighting our Easter Candle and our individual candles – a symbol of Jesus, alive in and around us.

Elena sets the fire.  When lit, the fire is blessed.

Elena: Let us pray.  O God who, through Jesus, blessed upon us the fire of your glory, sanctify this new fire -- and grant that, by these paschal celebrations, we may be inflamed with new Hope.  Purify our minds by this Easter celebration and bring us one day to the feast of eternal light. 

Preparation of the Paschal Candle

Elena:    Christ, yesterday and today (pause);    The Beginning and the End  

Michael:    The Alpha and Omega;    (first pin is inserted)   

Janet:    All time belongs to God;    (second pin is inserted) 

Michael:    And all the ages;     (third pin is inserted) 

Janet:    To Jesus, be glory and power;     (fourth pin is inserted) 

Elena:    Through all time and all places,  Amen      (fifth pin is inserted) 

Elena and All:    May the light of Christ - rising in glory - dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.

Cathy and All:   We Rejoice.  We Remember.

Michael:    The Christ – a spark that lit the cosmos at the beginning of time.

Cathy and All:    We Rejoice. We Remember.

Janet: The Christ – a spark that is expanding across time.

Cathy and All:    We Rejoice.  We Remember.

Michael:    The Christ – a spark that was borne, sheltered and passed to us by our ancestors.

Cathy and All:    We Rejoice.  We Remember.

Janet: The Christ – a spark that was fanned into flame by those who ignited our lives in love and wisdom and joy.

Cathy and All:    We Rejoice.  We Remember.

Elena:    The Christ – a spark that is a sacred trust held by us to pass on to generations yet to come.

Cathy and All:    We Rejoice.   We Remember.  We celebrate. 

        Alexander J. Shaia 


As our individual candles are lit from the Easter Candle, The Cantor will sing three times, each time on a higher note:   Lumen Christi, light of Christ,”  and all will respond with Michael: 

Deo Gratia, thanks be to God.

This is the time when you light your candles and hold them up so that they maybe symbolically joined to the many candles on this table that represent our loved ones who have transitioned into eternal life and are united with us in a communion of saints.

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

Michael and All: Deo gratia.  Thanks be to God!  

Easter Proclamation

Michael: At the Easter Vigil, the Church proclaims the Exultet, a glorious hymn of praise, about the Holy One’s compassionate presence in creation, the liberating history of the people of Israel, the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.   In the radiant presence of the Risen Christ dwelling within us and present everywhere, we are filled with hope for the transformation of our suffering world in the embrace of infinite love.  May we be filled with joy as we experience a contemporary Easter Proclamation.

Copelands “Fanfare for the Common Man” played by an orchestra in Dublin Airport.

The Liturgy of the Word

Lee: First Reading:  A Reading from Creation and the Cross 

The resurrection starts on earth with Jesus dead and buried, and ends up in God with Jesus the Living One transformed by the earth’s limits but partakes of the omnipresence of God’s own love.  Christ is now present in word and sacrament and wherever two or three gather in his name. True to the pattern of his ministry, he also approaches, mysteriously revealed and concealed, in the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the homeless, those in prison, the very least of those in need.  Ultimately, through the power of the Spirit, Jesus is with the whole community of disciples, indeed with the whole community of creation, through every hour, until the end of time.

Since God who creates and empowers the evolutionary world also joins the fray in Christ, personally drinking the cup of suffering and going down into the nothingness of death, affliction even at its worst does not have the last word.  Hope against hope springs from divine presence amid the death. One with the flesh of the earth, Jesus Christ risen embodies the ultimate hope of all creatures in creation. The coming final transformation of history will be the salvation of everything, including the groaning community of life, brought into communion with the God of love.  

These are the inspired words of Elisabeth Johnson in Creation and the Cross, and we respond, Thanks be to God.    (p. 103, 193).

Responsorial Psalm:  PSALM 149

Joan M: Praise the Divine Lover with dancing, with melodies and voice!

For the Beloved dwells within, journeying with us through all our lives,

Leading us in truth and love.

Joan M and All:    Response:  The more we know You, the more we love You!     

Joan M:  The humble are adorned with honor; the faithful exult in glory, singing for You with thankful hearts! With truth on our tongues, with gratitude as our friend, We are in harmony with the universe, as we hold hands with all the people.

Joan M and All:    Response:  The more we know You, the more we love You!     

Joan M:  The chains of oppression are broken, the fetters of injustice unbound.  The realm of Peace and Love shall reign!  Glory abides with those who are faith-filled.  Praise the Beloved!  All the people on earth, welcome Love’s Companioning Presence who abides in your hearts!

Joan M and All:    Response:  The more we know You, the more we love You!     

 (Psalm 149 Interpretation by Nan C. Merrill)

Gloria: A Joyful Gloria by Linda Lee and Rick Miller

Janet:    Second Reading: A Reading from the Letter to the Romans (6:3-4)

Sisters and Brothers, are you aware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through Baptism into death, so just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of God, we too live in newness of life. 

These are the inspired words of Paul in the Letter to the Romans and we respond,  Thanks be to God.

Alle, Alle, Alleluia: Linda Lee

Gospel from the apostle John, commentary from Elizabeth Johnson

Joan P: On the first day of the week, early in the morning, while it was still dark, Mary of Magdala went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed.  So she came running to Simon Peter, and to the other disciples and said to them: “They have taken away the Master out of the tomb, and we do not know where they laid him!” So Peter started off with John the disciple, and they went to the tomb. When Simon Peter entered the tomb, he looked at the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth which had been on Jesus’ head.  Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first, went inside too, and he saw for himself and believed. For they did not understand the writing which says that Jesus must rise again from the dead. The disciples then returned to their companions.

Dotty:  Meanwhile, Mary was standing close outside the tomb weeping. Still weeping she leaned forward into the tomb. After again seeing the empty tomb, Mary turned around and walked to the garden.  She turned and looked at Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  “Why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” he asked. Supposing him to be the gardener, Mary answered: “If it was you sir, who carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away myself.”  “Mary!” said Jesus. She called out and exclaimed in Hebrew: “Rabboni!” (which is to say, “Teacher.”) “Do not touch me,” Jesus said; “for I have not yet ascended to God but go to my brothers and sisters and tell them that I am ascending to my God and their God.” Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Risen One and that he had said this to her. 

(Excerpts from the Gospel of John)  (Mary’s leadership after the resurrection and ascension) 


Joan P: Jesus’ death is a consequence of the hostile responses of religious and civil rulers to the style and content of his ministry; to which he was radically faithful with a freedom that would not quit. But contrary to this judgment of the powerful against him, the resurrection discloses that in and through and beyond his death, God’s loving power and wisdom are winning. Despite all appearances to the contrary, it turns out that God did not abandon Jesus on the cross after all. Rather, when human beings had done their worst and there was no future left for this victim of unjust state punishment, then the vivifying Spirit of God quickened him to life. Instead of dying into nothingness, Jesus dies in the living mystery of God. 

Dotty:   The resurrection of Jesus did not end the suffering of the world. Crosses keep on being set up throughout history, and agony perdures. But Christ crucified and risen discloses the truth that divine justice continuously leavens the world and does so in a way different from the techniques of dominating violence. The victory is won not by the sword of a warrior god but by the power of compassionate love that brings the living God into solidarity with those who suffer in order to heal and set free. 

Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of the resurrection of all the dead.  It inserts that future as a reality already here in the struggling world. Just as the living mystery of God enveloped Jesus at the end of the darkness of death, we too can trust that God will have the last word in our lives as indeed God had the first, and it is the same word: Let there be life. 

Excerpts from Abounding in Kindness by  Elizabeth A. Johnson. (pp. 192-194)

Homily – Reflection Music:

Renewal of Baptismal Promises

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

Jack M and All: Yes!

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

Mary M and All: Yes!

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

Jack M and All: Yes!

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

Mary M and All: Yes!

Mary M: Do you believe in God, the great Spirit of Creation, in Jesus, the simple servant of justice and love who lived among us so that all might live with abundant fullness; in the breath of God’s center, the Spirit who continues the work of forgiveness and reconciliation, birthing and blessing, challenge and hope, so that together we can continue the work of creation?

Jack M and All: Yes!  

Source: Baptismal Promises: Jay Murnane

Prayers of Community

Jill: That every person in this Mary Mother of Jesus community will know beyond question that You are the life within them.  

Eric and All: We hope in You

Jill: That your indwelling life will be that which we radiate to the world.  

Eric and All: We hope in You

Jill: That your life will sustain all those who have poured out their own lives for those suffering from Covid.   

Eric and All: We hope in You

Jill: That your life will be experienced as deep comfort to those who have lost loved ones to Covid and to violence and war.

Eric and All: We hope in You

Jill: That your life will lift the fog that clouds understanding between people, allowing hate to dissipate and be transformed into life-giving love.   

Eric and All: We hope in You

Jill: That your life will bloom as peace in families, in the workplace, in government and between nations.   

Eric and All: We hope in You

Jill: That your life lodging in all of creation will be acknowledged and cherished by us so that the earth will always be your beloved garden, seen from space as a jewel.  

Eric and All: We hope in You

Jill: That the body all of creation will surrender to its evolution into your Body.  

Eric and All: We hope in You

Jill: We invite Joan Meehan to share  requests from our community prayer list.

Jill: For what else do we pray?

(voice your petition)

Eric and All:  We hope in You.

Jill: God of life, we put before You these prayers of our community, spoken and unspoken.   We believe that we can trust and hope in your wisdom.   May it be so. Amen.    

Liturgy of Eucharist

Preparation of the Gifts 

Jack D.: Blessed are You, O Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of Life. 

Mary Al and All: Blessed are You forever.   

Jack D. Blessed are You, O Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink. 

Mary Al and All: Blessed are You forever.

Jack D: Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus in communion with all who proclaim the liberating power of  your Spirit, rising in our midst.

Mary Al and All: Amen.

Preface:   Eucharistic Prayer

Jack D: O Heart of Love, You dwell in us,

Mary Al and All: And we dwell in You.

Jack D: O Pursuer of Justice, You speak truth through us,

Mary Al and All: In service to our sisters and brothers.

Jack D: O Source of All Life, in you we live and move and have our being,

Mary Al and All: All the days of our lives.

Beth: Your Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is rising up in our struggling world.  Just as the Holy One enveloped Jesus at the end of the darkness of death, we too can trust that God will have the last word in our lives as indeed God had the first, as we join the angels, and saints and all people in joyful praise for the gift of life.    

Holy, Holy, Holy (Karen Drucker) Linda Lee Miller

Eucharistic Prayer

Joan M: O Heart of Love, Your Spirit moved through Mary of Magdala and the Easter women as they stood by the broken body of Jesus and encountered the Risen One.  Your Spirit moves through us as we serve the broken body of Christ rising up in love in our world today.

Please extend Your hands in blessing.

Bridget Mary: Pour out Your spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence in our world.  On the night before he died, Jesus came to table with the women and men he loved.   Jesus took bread blessed and broke it, saying,

“Take, eat, this is my body.  Do this in memory of me.”


Bridget Mary: After supper, Jesus poured a cup of wine and shared it with his friends, saying,

“This is the cup of the covenant of my love.  As often as You drink of it, remember me.”

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

Bridget Mary and All:

Christ has died in all who have died.

Christ is rising within us each moment.

Christ comes again and again everywhere each day.

Mary Al: Embracing Presence, we remember all the companions who have gone before us:  Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, and all holy women and men who rise up in loving service to transform our world.   For it is through living as Jesus lived, and loving as he loved, that we awaken to Your Spirit empowering us to work for justice.  

Great Amen by Linda Lee


The Prayer of Jesus

Pat M.: Let us pray as Jesus taught us. 

Pat M. and 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 we need.  You remind us of our limits, and we let go. 

You support us in your 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

Sign of Peace

Pat M. Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave You.  My peace I give You.” 

The peace of the Holy One is also with You.  

Let us sing this beautiful song of peace especially for peace between Russia and Ukraine

Peace Throughout the Land by  Mindy Lou Simmons

Mary Al: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread: 

Mary Al and All: Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power; we will do so.

Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of healing and justice; we will do so.

Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world; we will do so.

Mary Al: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing.  Blessed are we who are called to the table.

Mary Al and All: We are the Body of Christ.

Communion Song

Arise, Three Altos, Video Denise Hackert Stoner

Prayer after Communion  

Katy: Divine Presence, we are strengthened by sharing this Sacred meal as community.  We go forth from this celebration to rejoice that Jesus came and lived among us, he taught us how to take his teaching and to apply them to the way we live in our world, reaching out to the outcast, caring for the sick and the poor.  Bless our efforts to live your ministry through good works and/or deep prayer.  And together we say, Amen  

Concluding Rite

Katy: The Holy One is within You. 

Mary Al and All: And also within You.


Katy: Please extend your hands as we pray our final blessing.

May we be the face of God to each other.  May we call each other to extravagant generosity!  We go forth with the energy of Spirit within us to heal and transform our church and world. 

Closing Song:  Dance Then Wherever You May Be


Easter Vigil Liturgy -- MMOJ Liturgical Team:

Elena Garcia, Janet Blakeley, Michael Rigdon, Lee Breyer, Dotty Shugrue, Jill Striebinger, 

Bridget Mary Meehan, Katy Zatsick

Joan Meehan, Joan Pesce, Jack Duffy, Mary Al Gagnon, Mary Montavon, Jack McKillip,

Pat MacMillan

Musician: Linda Lee Miller;  IT: Peg Bowen and Cheryl Brandi

Eucharistic Prayer written by Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan 

Please send MMOJ donations to:

St. Andrew United Church of Christ

6908 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL  34238

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