Friday, March 29, 2024

Mary Mother Of Jesus Inclusive Community Easter Vigil Liturgy, March 30, 2024

 Everyone is welcome to attend on Zoom at 4:00PM EDT on March 30th. Permission is given to share or adapt this Easter Vigil Liturgy with your family, friends, community. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

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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 new life as we gather around this zoom table of friendship and unity. 


Lee: The Divine Mystery, which is our Lover,

the power of the Beloved which rises in every act of love, 

and the Breath of Love which breathes in,

with, through and beyond the Cosmos is with you, within you and beyond you. 

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.

Like Mary Magdalene and the other women, who came to the tomb weeping and, there, encountered the Risen One's ongoing presence with them, our tears and longings move us more deeply into union with God and with our sisters and brothers everywhere. 


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

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

Lee:  Let us pray. As we bless this new fire, may our paschal celebrations be inflamed with new hope.  May our Easter celebration empower us to make possible the impossible. Christ is raised from the dead, and as his sisters and brothers, we are raised with him imbued with Resurrection power.  



Christ, yesterday and today (pause);


 The Beginning and the End  The Alpha and Omega;    (first pin is inserted)   

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

 And all the ages;     (third pin is inserted) 

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

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


The Paschal Candle is Lit.  When lit, the candle is blessed.

Elena:    May the light of Christ

- rising in glory - dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.  We Rejoice.  We Remember.

Elena :   May the light of Christ - rising in glory - dispel the darkness.

Lee and All:   We Rejoice.  We Remember.

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

Lee and All:    We Rejoice. We Remember.

Elena      The Christ – a spark that is expanding across time.

Lee and All:    We Rejoice.  We Remember.

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

Lee and All:    We Rejoice.  We Remember.

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

Lee 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.

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

        Alexander J. Shaia 

Lighting of Individual Candles

This is the time when we light our candles and hold them up so that they may be 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. As we light our individual candles, The Cantor will sing three times, each time on a higher note:   “Lumen Christi, light of Christ,”  and all will respond with Lee: 

Deo Gratia, thanks be to God.

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

Lee and All  Deo gratia.  Thanks be to God!  


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.

NEW: Exultet sung by Ellen Garcia


The Liturgy of the Word

Joan P and Beth P:


The first Reading is the Story of Salvation History (adapted from the books of the Hebrew Scriptures by Jay Murnane)

Reader 1: Joan P 

In the beginning, there was only chaos and a void. God breathed life into it and said, "Let there be light." And there was light: sun and moon and stars in the heavens. There emerged vast bodies of water filled with live creatures. Then, birds flying across the breadth of the skies, and on the earth, reptiles and animals of every kind, color and shape. And all had a purpose. God saw what had come to be, and God found it very good.

God then said: "Let us make human beings in the divine image; women and men together to take care of all of this, and one another! When this was done, God viewed the whole of creation, and loved it, for it was very, very good.

Reader 2: Beth P 

But human beings did not take care of creation and each other. Human beings corrupted the good-ness of what God had made. Rain fell, a torrential, purifying rain, covering the earth and washing away all the corruption to which people had given birth. Only Noah, his family, and living creatures from every species on earth floated above the flood in an ark made of wood.

After forty days, the rain subsided, so that the water was no longer a flood, and the ark came to rest on high, dry ground. The people and the animals looked up into the sky and saw something beautiful. God said: "That is my rainbow, the sign of my presence with you and my love for you. It will forever be the sign of my relationship with you, and your responsibility to take care of creation, and each other."

Reader 3 : Jim B .

From these survivors of the flood, creation was begun all over again. Many, many years went by and there were many gatherings of people all over the face of the earth. One of these was the people, Israel, and among all of God's precious people, the Jews were very precious. During a time of famine, the Jews were invited by the Egyptians, their neighbors, to share their land and their food. But some centuries after this hospitality, a cruel leader in Egypt forgot the old relationship and made the Jews into slaves.

They lived this way for a long time, until Moses came among them and risked his safety and security to convince the Jews that God loved them and wanted them to be free. So, they left Egypt, filled with the Spirit of God, led by Moses and Miriam through the desert in search of a new home where they could be free again.

During this difficult journey, they were often disillusioned and resentful, and they complained bitterly. Moses asked God for help, and God offered the ten commandments, so that the people might know the simplest possible way to love God and their fellow human beings. And from these survivors of oppression, Israel began all over again.

Reader 4: Jerry B

But the people forgot the simple way of God and were not always faithful, and at times they were as oppressive to each other and to strangers as the Egyptians had been to them. They paid lip service to God, but their hearts were very far from God, and therefore, from justice and compassion. People of wisdom came from among them to remind them of the rainbow of their journey to freedom, and of their promise to God about caring for creation and each other. These were the prophets, and like Moses, they risked everything to convince the people to come home to freedom and responsibility, compassion and justice, faithfulness and integrity.

The prophet Isaiah said: "God is displeased with your prayers and your liturgies because the hands you lift in prayer are covered with blood. God wants prayer from the heart. God wants justice for the oppressed. God wants food for the hungry. God wants true peace!"

Reader 5:  Suzanne B.

The prophet Amos said: "Some of you have grabbed power and made your own people no better than slaves. You have stripped people of their dignity as God's children, buying and selling them as if they were groceries or sandals. Greed is your god and selfishness, your liturgy!"

The prophet Micah said: "My people, you struggle blindly to know what God wants, and you act as if you remember nothing from your history, as if you know nothing. From the beginning of time, there has been one message from God. What God wants is this, ONLY this: That we live justly, that we love tenderly, that we walk with integrity in God's presence!

These are the inspired words of our prophets.

Responsorial Psalm: A Prophet Woman Broke a Jar 

(words by Brian Wren, Music by Ron Klusmeier)

A prophet-woman broke a jar, by Love’s divine appointing. 

With rare perfume she filled the room, presiding and anointing. 

A prophet-woman broke a jar, the sneers of scorn defying.

 With rare perfume she filled the room, preparing Christ for dying. 

A faithful woman left a tomb by Love’s divine commission. 

She saw, she heard, she preached the Word, arising from submission.

 A faithful woman left a tomb, with resurrection gospel. 

She saw, she heard, she preached the Word, apostle to apostles. 

Though woman-wisdom, woman-truth, for centuries were hidden, unsung, unwritten, and unheard, derided and forbidden, 

The Spirit’s breath, the Spirit’s fire, on free and slave descending, can tumble our dividing walls, our shame and sadness mending. 

The Spirit knows, the Spirit calls, by Love’s divine ordaining, the friends we need to serve and lead, their powers and gifts unchaining. 

The Spirit knows, the Spirit calls, from women, men, and children, the friends we need to serve and lead. 

Rejoice, and make them welcome! 

GloriaGlory to God by Marty Haugen  - video by Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Theresa Streck

Joan P:    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,  

All: Alleluia

Alle, Alle, Alleluia: Linda Lee


A Reading from the Easter Stories in the Gospels according to Matthew, Luke and Mark

Beth P: They found the stone rolled away from the tomb… (Luke 24:2) 

So, the women left the tomb quickly with great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And they came to him took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. (Mt. 28-29)

Mary Magdalene went out and told those who had been with him while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. (Mk: 16:10-11)

A Reading from the Easter Story in the Gospel according to John

Joan P:  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 means, “Teacher.”) Jesus said; “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.” 

These are the inspired words according to women in the Easter Gospels and the community responds: Alleluia!

Homily Starter: Bridget Mary: A Two Minute Easter Meditation Video

(Inspired by Meditation on Easter Stories by Joyce Rupp)

(In this meditation, let the images in the video and prayer speak to you of the deep meaning of the Easter Mystery)

“They found the stone rolled away from the tomb…” (Luke 24:2)

Risen One, Tomb-Opener, you are the power that rolls away the boulders of worry that entomb us and set us free liberated in your light. 

“Mary!” said Jesus. She called out and exclaimed in Hebrew: “Rabboni!” (John)

Risen One, Passionate Lover, you call us by name with heart-warming tenderness, and draw us into your embrace. May we savor the life-giving Holy Spirit that that moves within us and spirals outward to welcome all in the circle of life.

She (Mary Magdalene) went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. (Mk 16:10-11)

Risen One, Shaddai, calm our fears and melt our resistance to the surprising ways you send us forth to be witnesses of your presence. May we give ourselves completely without counting the cost to serve our sisters and brothers each day.

Risen One, we hear your call today. “Whom Shall I send?”

Here we are! Send us, Risen One O God Within and Beyond Us! We are ready to serve you all the days of our lives to preach the Good News by our actions, feed the hungry help the needy, comfort the sorrowful, heal the sick, lobby for peace, labor for equality and justice. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

“What happened to those on the first Day of Easter,

 The faithful disciples by Magdalene led?

 A subverted truth the Patriarchs dread.

 Beyond all the theories that time has construed,

Beyond the oppression we have too long endured.

The first ones commissioned for Easter proclaim

A woman-led mission we’ve brutally maimed.

But we can’t keep subverting empowerment. [stanza 5]


Resurrection still flourishes and always will,

Imbued with a truth that time will fulfil.

What women empowered at the dawning breakthrough

will bear fruit in season

despite all the treason. 

‘Cause justice will render what deserves to endure. (Diarmuid O’Murchu)

Amen , Alleluia!

Community Sharing: What in the readings or video awakens to your call to live the Risen One ‘s call/message for you or for our world today!

Renewal of Baptismal Promises: Dotty and Jane Shugrue


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?

Jane and All: Yes!

Dotty :

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?

Jane and All: Yes!

Dotty : 

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?

Jane and All: Yes!

Dotty :

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

Jane and All: Yes!


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?

Jane and All: Yes!  

(Source: Baptismal Promises: Jay Murnane)

Prayers of Community:

Pat F:  That every person in this Mary Mother of Jesus community will experience the Presence of the Risen Christ dwelling within them and all around them this Easter.

Bob F and All Alleluia

Pat:  That the earth will always be your beloved garden, seen from space as a beautiful jewel.  

Bob and All: Alleluia

Pat F:  That your indwelling life rising in us will bring healing and strength to all whom we encounter each day.

Bob F and All Alleluia

Pat F:  That your Risen life will sustain all those who have poured out their own lives in loving service to help others.

Bob F and All: Alleluia

Pat F:  That your Risen life will lift the fog that clouds understanding between people, allowing hate to dissipate and be transformed into peace and justice especially between Israel and Palestine and Russia and Ukraine.   

Bob and All: Alleluia

Pat:  That all who have died will rest in your eternal light and boundless love especially those we remember in our hearts now. (pause)

Bob and All: Alleluia

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

:  For what else do we pray?

(voice your petition)

Joan and All:  Alleluia

Pat F:  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. 

Bob and All: Amen, Alleluia


Liturgy of Eucharist

Preparation of the Gifts 

Dotty: 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. 

Jane and All: Blessed are You, Holy One, forever.   

Jane : Blessed are You, O Holy One, through your divine providence we have this wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink. 

Dotty and All: Blessed are You, Holy One, forever.

Dotty: 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.

Jane and All: Amen. Alleluia

Preface:   Eucharistic Prayer

Dotty:  O Lover of All, You dwell in us,

Jane  and All: And we dwell in You.

Dotty : O Pursuer of Justice, You speak truth through us,

Jane and All: In service to our sisters and brothers.

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

Jane and All: All the days of our lives.

Dotty :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 trust that God will give us strength and courage to let go in times of loss and when we do not know what the future holds, but confident that God will have the last word in our lives as indeed God had the first.  We rejoice with the angels, and saints and all people in joyful praise for the gift of new life.    

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

Eucharistic Prayer

Pat F: 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. May we be messengers of your joyful presence that lives on and on. 

Please extend Your hands in blessing.

Bridget Mary and All:  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 and All:  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.”

Bridget Mary : 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.

Bob F: Embracing Presence, we remember all the companions who have gone before us:  Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, and all people of faith who rise up to offer comfort and consolation to those who suffer today. 


Bob and All: 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

Let us pray as Jesus taught us. 

Bob F 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

Pat F: Sign of Peace

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

The peace of the Holy One is also with us. Let us sing this beautiful song of peace especially for peace between Russia and Ukraine and between Palestine and Israel

Peace Throughout the Land by Mindy Lou Simmons

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

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.

This is the Bread of Life and the Cup of Blessing.  Happy are we who are called to the table.

All: We are the Body of Christ.

Communion Song

You Raise Me Up Josh Groban

Prayer after Communion  


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  

Bridget Mary: Thanksgivings, Introductions and Announcements

Concluding Rite:

Michael: The Holy One is within You. 

 All: And also within You.



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!  

May we go forth with the energy of Spirit to heal and transform our church and world. 

Amen, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Closing Song:  We Will Rise by Bernadette Farrell


Eucharistic Prayer written by Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan

Easter Vigil Liturgy -- MMOJ Liturgical Team:

Presiders: Elena Garcia, Michael Rigdon, Lee Breyer, Dotty and Jane Shugrue, Bridget Mary Meehan, Readers: Joan Pesce and Beth Ponce, Jim Brandi, Suzanne and Jerry Bires, Prayer Leaders: Bob and Pat Ferkenhoff, IT Cheryl Brandi



Please send donations to:

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community
5342 Clark Road #3079
Sarasota, FL 34233

Please send intention for our community prayer book to Joan Meehan.

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