Saturday, February 13, 2016

Liturgy for Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community on First Sunday of Lent, Cheri McDonough and Katy Zatsick, ARCWP, Co-Presiders, Mindy Simmons, Music Minister

Mary Mother of Jesus
Inclusive Catholic Community
First Sunday in Lent
Feb 13, 2016
Cheri McDonough and Katy Zatsick ARCWP co-presiders.
Mindy Simmons Music minister.

“Be Still and Know” By Mindy Simmons
Be Still and Know, Be Still and Know,
Be still and know, that I am God
Know that I am the I AM In the silence of your soul.  Know that I am the I AM In the silence of your soul. -Sing 3 times

Presider:  Let us begin in the name of our God, a God of Love, Wisdom, and Liberation.    ALL:  Amen

Prayers for Compassion and Healing
Presider:  God of tender compassion, You are our peace.  ALL:  Now and forever, we will be your peace.

Litany of Peace “God of all creation” by Dan Schutte (sung):
Response All: let us be your peace
God of past and present, R
God of future ages, R
God of great compassion, R:
God of tender mercy, R:
As we work for justice, R
With hope and healing, R
With light and loving, R
Here and at all times, R
Now and forever, R

Co-Presiders:  O Lover of All, in this journey into the heart of compassion, we celebrate your love unfolding in the healing and wholeness of everyone and of every living thing.  You call us to see goodness and beauty everywhere and to live in harmony with creation. You call us to heal the wounds of hatred and violence, discrimination and oppression in our world. You call us to warmly welcome everyone who comes through our doors as your presence among us.  In communion with Jesus, our brother, and in the power of Your Spirit, we will live your love poured out each day.    ALL: Amen.

First Reading Deuteronomy 6:4-10
Responsorial Psalm 91
Response: All: Our God is kind and merciful

Second Reading:
From Abounding in Kindness: Writings for the People of God, Elizabeth A. Johnson pg 205-206

The gospel can be proclaimed as the good news of Jesus, a prophet and child of Sophia, sent to announce that God is the God of all-inclusive love who wills the wholeness and humanity of everyone, especially the poor and heavy burdened. (Jesus) is sent to gather all the outcast under the wings of their gracious Sophia-God and bring them shalom. This envoy of Sophia walks her paths of justice and peace and invites others to do likewise.  Again and again in the imaginative parables, compassionate healings, startling exorcism, and festive meals (Jesus) spells out the reality of the renewing power of the reign of Sophia-God drawing near.  New possibilities of relationships flower among the women and men who respond and join his circle.  They form a community of the discipleship of equals.

Then they crucified him.  Jesus’ included all that makes death terrifying: public condemnation, physical anguish, betrayal by some close friends, even abandonment by God.  Historically, this death is a consequence of a hostile response of religious and civil rulers to the style and content of Jesus’ ministry to which he was radically faithful with a freedom that would not quit.  The friendship and inclusive care of Sophia are rejected as Jesus, preeminent in the long line of Sophia’s murdered prophets, is violently executed. Ecce homo: Christ crucified, the Wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24)

Faith in the resurrection witnesses that this crucified victim of state violence is not abandoned forever.  Sophia’s characteristic gift of life is given in a new, unimaginable way.  Her pure, beneficent, people-loving Spirit seals (Jesus) in life with God as pledge of the future of all the violated and the dead.  This same Spirit is poured out on the circle of disciples drawn by the attractiveness of Jesus and his gracious God  and they are missioned to make the inclusive goodness and saving power of Sophia-God experientially available to the ends of the earth.

…Along with other forms of political and liberation theology, feminist theology repudiates any interpretation of the death of Jesus as required by God in repayment for sin.  Today such a view is virtually inseparable from the underlying image of God as angry, bloodthirsty, violent, and sadistic father (or mother-KZ), reflecting the very worst kind of male (or female-KZ) behavior.

…What comes clear in the event, however, is the willingness of the gracious Sophia-God of Jesus to enter into solidarity with all those who suffer and are lost.  The cross in all its dimensions—violence, suffering, and love—is the living parable that enacts Sophia-god’s participation in the suffering of the world.  This too is the Word of God.
All: Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation read by All:  Praise, honor and glory to our God.  Be compassionate as God is compassionate, praise honor and glory to our God.

Gospel:  Reader:  A reading from the Gospel according to Luke 4:1-13
ALL:  Glory to you O God.
Reader:  …The good news of Jesus, the Christ!    ALL:  Glory and praise to you, Jesus the Christ!

Homily Starter Feb 13, 2016
Mindy Simmons wrote our Opening, Offertory, and Closing songs.
Using these chants I would like to reflect on our journey through Lent with a theology of blessings and Love which is our God of Evolution.

Our Gospel teaches “Jesus went out into the desert” He went alone to be with his God, to spend time in prayer and reflection as Jesus was beginning his public ministry. Our opening song tells us “Be still, and know I am God” So in our time, our 40 days of Lent call us to spend time alone to reflect on our lives and how we are called to follow Jesus in the 21st century. (Hold up Franciscan Center brochure will you make a commitment to spend some time with Jesus this Lent, get away from your normal routine-enter Sacred space within and if you can, change your physical space to enter into a deeper relationship with our God of Original Blessing and evolution? Let us make a fearless moral inventory. Are we tempted by greed? Consumerism? power? Hungers that isolate us from others?

Our second song “Blessed be the Gifts” reminds us of the gifts we have received and the gifts we are for others. Love, God of Evolution has created us to make meaning of our existence and to have a personal and communal relationship with God. We have received the gifts of consciousness and feelings. We have received the gift of free will; we can make choices and as blessings for the world we can be the Compassion of Christ in our time and place. What do we offer to God as our response for the blessings we are for the world? You have a copy of the commitments made by MMOJ members to work for justice, peace and equality-will you do what your promised to follow Jesus our Way?

And our closing song gives us the promise of our Lenten discipline. Spending time with our God in silence, changing behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions that keeps us from being compassionate as God is compassionate. The gift we will receive is the Presence of the Spirit Sophia “I am learning I am growing into who I was meant to be. As I surrender then my heart opens and Spirit lives through me.” Our words and actions will be Sophia’s Compassion for the world. We will celebrate Easter as beloved, blessed sons and daughters of God now risen and through us God’s compassion will bring new life for those most broken and suffering the cross in their lives..

Dialog Homily
What does setting aside atonement theology mean for you spiritually, especially during this season of Lent?
Will your understanding of the Theology of Blessing and Evolution change your Lenten practices this year?
How will your Lenten practices hopefully deepen your relationship with Jesus-Sophia, our brother?

CREED:  We believe in a God of extravagant love who dwells within us, rejoices with us in our blessed selves and who weeps with us in our struggles, losses and sufferings.
We believe that we are one with all creatures great and small in a dynamic, evolving cosmos.
We believe in Jesus, whose life, death and resurrection shows us how to live fully and joyfully and to serve others, especially the outcaste and heavy burdened.
We believe in Your Spirit, who works through us for justice and peace and to overcome oppression of all kinds whether based on gender, sexual orientation, race or class.
We believe that we are called to live in mutual respect as disciples and equals in inclusive communities of empowerment.
We believe that we are forgiven, healed and whole in the heart of divine mercy.
We believe that we are united forever with all who have gone before us in the communion of saints. Amen

Prayers for the Community
Presider:  With hearts filled with loving compassion, we lift up the needs of our community at this time.
Presider:  That those who suffer abuse may be healed and empowered, we pray.
All: Response: God of all compassion, love through us.
Presider:  That those bound by hatred, hostility, and violence will be healed and made whole, we pray.  R.
Presider:  That the sick may be healed, especially (mention names), we pray. R.
Presider:  That the dead may live forever in God’s presence, we pray. R.
Other Intentions
Presider: We hold these and all our unspoken intentions in our hearts as we gather around the Banquet Table today.

(Song during collection and presentation of the gifts) “Blessed be the gifts” by Mindy Simmons  All:
Blessed are the Gifts that we receive
As we give so love returns in kind
So let us breathe love and live peace
and do the best we can
to give ourselves in service
to our God Divine!

Presider:  Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer.  Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation.
ALL:  Blessed be God forever.
Presider:  God is with us, loving and showing mercy through us.
ALL:  Namaste
Presider:  Lift up your hearts.
ALL:  We lift them up in tender love, open to serve.
Presider:  Let us give thanks to our God.
ALL:  It is our joy to give God thanks and praise.

Voice One:  Gracious Wisdom, You embrace us with extravagant affection in our blessedness and brokenness. We thank you that in this festive meal, your Spirit continues to be poured out among the circle of disciples gathered here in our giving and receiving forgiveness and offering the gift of your shalom/peace. We join with the angels and saints and people of every race, faith and nation to glorify your presence as we sing:
ALL:  We are holy., you are holy., I am holy., We are holy.-each sung 3 times

Voice Two:  Gracious God, you set the banquet table and invite all to the feast of unending delight. Here we encounter the glory of God in an evolving cosmos. Here divine compassion connects us to the young, the old, the least and the last, to everyone everywhere on our journey into the heart of mercy.
Voice Three:  We especially thank you, Nurturing God, for Jesus, Your anointed, who shows us how to love with a peaceful and courageous spirit. In Jesus, you show us how to care for those who face illness, and grief and how to help those who experience rejection and marginalization.

Voice Four:  God of tenderness, Jesus showed us the heart of mercy when he preached good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, healing to the broken. Jesus called women to be apostles and disciples and treated them as equals in his circle of companions.

Voice Five:  In response to people’s sufferings, Jesus broke rules and violated religious taboos. He shared meals with women, saved a woman from being stoned and said that prostitutes would enter heaven before religious leaders.  He healed the sick and comforted the lonely. Jesus challenged the priestly class and political leaders of his time and so they ridiculed, tortured and put him to death.

Voice Six:  In faithful love, You raised the crucified Jesus, radiant and glorious to new life.  Like the holy ones throughout the ages, Moses and Miriam who led their people from oppression to freedom, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection shows us how to live freely and joyously in the midst of injustice, darkness and evil and death.

(Please all extend hands as we recite the Epiclesis and Consecration together)

All:  May your Spirit, present in these gifts and in us, fill us with a new outpouring of love that makes us more deeply one Body in the Cosmic Christ living the fullness of your compassion.

Presider:  On the night before he was betrayed, Jesus gathered with his friends for a meal. He took bread into his hands, broke it and said:
ALL: Take this all of you. This is my body. Do this to remember me.

Presider:  In the same way after supper, Jesus took the cup, raised it with love beyond all telling.  Jesus gave thanks and shared the cup with those at table and said:
ALL: Take this all of you and drink from it.  This is the cup of my life blood, of the new and everlasting covenant.  Every time you drink of it, remember me.

Presider:  Now then, in sacred memory, let us proclaim the mystery of our faith:
ALL:   In every creature that has ever breathed, we see your tenderness; in every living being that has passed on before us, we see your goodness; in everything yet to be, Christ will come again!  In our breaking of the bread of earth, Christ of the Cosmos is being

Voice Seven:  Holy One, your transforming energy is always moving within us and working through us. We give thanks for all holy women and men who have been your face in our lives. They showed us how to forgive self and others, let go of guilt, refrain from judging others and see the good in people who irritate us. Let us pause to remember and name some of these holy women and men aloud or in the silence of our hearts.

Voice Eight:  God, who opens doors and hearts, enlighten our religious ministers and political leaders.  May they welcome refugees, transform poverty into plenty, and work for human dignity and justice for all. We pray for our pope and bishops, especially Bridget Mary and the Bishops of ARCWP, and all God’s holy people.

Voice Nine:  We remember those who are sick and suffering.  May they be healed and strengthened, and filled with every blessing in your loving presence. We remember Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary Magdala, Peter, Paul, Junia, our patron saints and all the saints and angels who surround us with loving prayer each day. We remember our loved ones and all those who have died into your embrace.

ALL:  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all praise and glory are yours, Loving God. Amen.

ALL:  Our Father and Mother . . .

Presider:  God, we pray for peace and unity as we join hands in a circle of love and sing
“Peace before us, Peace behind us, Peace under our feet, Peace within us, let all around us be peace.” Then “Love before us…Christ before us…”

ALL:  Loving God, You call us to live mercy, we will do so.  Loving God, You call us to live justice, we will do so. Loving God, You call us to live equality, we will do so.
Presider:  This is Jesus, who calls us to open doors that are closed and share our bread on the altar of the world.  All are invited to eat and drink at this sacred banquet of love.
ALL:  Jesus we are worthy to receive you and to be your compassion in our world.  We are the Body of Christ.

Presider:  Let us share the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ!  ALL: Amen.

Mindy plays music while we receive

All: :The Face Of God  by Karen Drucker
You are the face of God
I hold you in my heart You are a part of me
You are the face of God…
You are the face of love
I hold you in my heart  You are my family
You are the face of God…

All:  O God of Compassion, Jesus showed us how to love one another and heal our hearts.  Through the power of Your liberating Spirit at work within us, we will give and receive forgiveness, live joyously, and work for healing, justice and equality for our earth and for all God’s holy people.  Amen

Prayers of Thanksgiving from community
Introduction of visitors

Presider:  Our God is with you.
ALL:  and also with you.

(Everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)
ALL:  May the God of Abraham and Sarah, the Blessed One of Jacob and Rachel, Sophia, Holy Wisdom,
walk with us and all created life on our journey into the heart of compassion! Amen.

Presider:  Go in the peace of Christ.  Let our service of God’s compassion continue!    ALL:  Thanks be to God.

“Spirit Lives Through Me”
By Mindy Simmons
I am learning I am growing into who I was meant to be. As I surrender then my heart opens and Spirit lives through me. (chant 3 times)
adapted from liturgy by: Bridget Mary Meehan Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests

Commitment for Peace and Justice making
Memorial of Martin Luther King
MMOM January 23, 2016
Offered by members of MMOJ-will be placed in our Prayers requested journal and we will pray for their involvement each day and liturgy.

We will continue to work at the homeless soup kitchen
Welcome the stranger-PA

To bring commitment and action forward from me
Pray-2 persons
Prayers and reflection for guidance in this endeavor

Pray for equality in the RCC
To work as a RCWP
To work with the community of Saint Rose to address issues of racism and injustice.

Study and teach:
Continue to study and give classes on soul healing
Lead book discussion groups on Just Mercy, dark money.

Southern Poverty Law Center-2 persons
SURE in Sarasota
Human trafficking freedom movement -2 persons
All Lives Matter
Equal Pay for equal work $15 minimum wage 2 persons
Volunteer at ACLU-WI
Pax Christi program to fight racial injustice
“Black Lives Matters” and “I have a dream”

Vote/speak up on justice and equality issues:
Vote for people who are courageous enough to end discrimination
Sarasota Herald Tribune
Sign petitions-2 persons
Speak up
Continue to speak out
Speak out at gatherings of family, friends or strangers when an injustice is spoken.
Letter to editor once a month on justice, peace issues.
I commit to engage my FL neighbor to “All lives matter.”
Send letters after receiving emails from justice groups. Will continue my efforts.
Continue friendships with friends of color
Speak up whenever and wherever I hear anyone speak against poverty, injustice, and diversity.
I will address elected officials through calling and writing.

Celebration of Life for Ed Ryan, beloved husband of Kathleen (Kathie) Ryan, ARCWP - February 8, 2016.

Ed Ryan, beloved husband of Kathleen (Kathie) Ryan, ARCWP, entered eternal life on February 8, 2016. Although Ed was not formally ordained, he walked the pathway to ordination with Kathie and was a great supporter of women’s ordination through the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. Ed attended the last two ARCWP annual meetings and weekly joined in celebrating liturgy at the Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community in Albany, NY.  Today Ed’s family, friends and community gathered for his burial followed by a celebration of life liturgy at Lynnwood Reformed Church in Guilderland, NY. The graveside service and liturgy follows:

Graveside Service for Edward Francis Ryan
Ed and Kathie chose a green burial for Ed. Ed’s body was wrapped in a shroud and gently lowered in the earth.

February 13, 2016 

Suzanne: Thank you for gathering this morning with Kathie and her family as they reverently place Ed’s body in the earth.  Ed’s body served him well for many years and was, for all those who knew him, a tender expression of the face of God. For this we say thank you. 

Opening Prayer:
Kim: …and we pray: Great Mystery enfolding us, we lift up our hearts to understand that our spirits are one. You are, and we are in your presence. You are with us, and we live. Everything lives because of you, and everything is one. Your wisdom moves among us like the wind, and we are blessed.  We are one.

Reading: (adapted from writings by Michael Morwood)
Dennis: We believe we exist in God, but in a God beyond our images and descriptions, God beyond the many names we use: Breath of Life, Creator, Source, and Sustainer of everything that exists. Everywhere we look, this energizing presence comes to visible expression. We believe that each of us gives this presence and source a unique way of doing so.

Everywhere we look, we can observe the perpetual rhythm of new life, followed by death, followed by new life. So we do not believe that death is the final end of anything. Rather, it is a transformation in the continuation of the ebb and flow of existence in ways we do not understand.

Deb: Ed’s death speaks to us of the wonder of being human in a universe so vast and so magnificent and of our existence within a mystery and a power that we cannot understand or put into words.

In a very real sense, this vast and magnificent universe of ours came alive and became aware in Ed. He gave God a way of coming to expression, here in our lives, here in a way that reached out and touched us, as a husband, a father, a brother, and a loyal friend. He lived and loved in God, God lived and loved in him, and in death he lives on in God and in us.

These are the inspired words of Michael Morwood.

Suzanne: We give thanks for the many ways Ed’s life touched ours. We give thanks for the generosity of his loving. We give thanks for his faithfulness. We give thanks for his laughter and sense of humor and delight in life. We give thanks for the ways Ed nurtured, encouraged, and supported us. We give thanks for the courage with which he faced his death. We give thanks for Ed’s life with us.

 A Celebration of Life

Edward Francis Ryan
7/18/1947 - 02/08/2016

February 13, 2016
11:00 a.m.

Lynnwood Reformed Church
3714 Carman Road
Schenectady, NY 12303

“How grateful I am to have someone that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
A.A. Milne

Welcome: Rev. Mary Theresa Streck (Presider 1)

Presider 1: Welcome to our celebration of Ed Ryan. Thank you for being here this morning as we surround Kathie and her family in remembering Ed and expressing our gratitude for his life. We believe that life does not end and that Ed is here and continues to walk with us in Spirit. We have placed a candle on the table and Ed’s grandson, Gavin, will light the candle to remind us of Ed’s presence with us.

We thank you Ed, for your generous spirit and your love and dedication to your family. We thank you for the many ways you loved and encourage and supported Kathie, and we thank you for the many ways you nurtured, encouraged and supported Michael and John and their families. You continue to live on in them.

Please stand as we sing our opening song: Glory to God

Opening Song: Glory To God by Marty Haugen

Opening Prayer: Rev. Kathleen Ryan (Presider 2)

Let us pray: O Holy One, we remember the many ways that Ed revealed you to us. We remember the generosity of his loving and through his love we felt your generous Spirit. We have come to know you, O Holy One, through your son, Ed. And we say thank you! Amen.


Presider 1: Please be seated. The first reading is Kaddish Poem  By Marge Piercy, read by Ed’s sister Rosemary Hurley 

Look around us, search above us, below, behind.
We stand in a great web of being joined together.
Let us praise, let us love the life we are lent
passing through us in the body of all creation,
and our own bodies,
Let us say amen.

Time flows through us like water.
The past and the departed speak through us.
We breathe our children’s children, blessing.

Blessed is the earth from which we grow,
blessed the life we are lent,
blessed the ones who teach us,
blessed the ones we teach,
blessed is the word that cannot say the glory
that shines through us and remains to shine
flowing past distant suns on the way to forever.
Let us say amen.

Blessed is the light, blessed is the darkness
but blessed above all else is peace
which bears the fruits of knowledge
on strong branches,
Let us say amen.

Peace that bears joy into the world,
peace that enables love, peace over all,
everywhere, blessed and holy is peace,
Let us say amen.

Presider: The Second Reading is from Proverbs 30 and is read by Ed’s sister-in-law, Sharon Ryan.

Three things are too wonderful for me,
Yes, four I cannot understand;
The way of an eagle in the air,
The way of a serpent upon a rock,
The way of a ship on the high seas,
And the way of two people sharing their lives.  

These are the inspired words from the Book of Proverbs.

Alleluia: Sung

Gospel:  Matthew 6: 25-30, read by Rev. Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew  
(Matt: 6: 25-30)

And Jesus said to his followers: Do not worry about your livelihood, what you are to eat or drink or use for clothing. Isn't life more than just food and clothes?  Look at the birds in the sky. They don't sow or reap; they gather nothing into barns, and the Holy One, our God, feeds them. Aren't you more important than they?

See how the lilies of the field grow. They don't work; they don't spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If this is how the Holy One clothes the grasses of the field, which are here today and gone tomorrow, won't the Holy One do so much more for you? Have faith!

These are the inspired words of Matthew, disciple of Jesus.

Homily: Rev. Mary Theresa Streck

Thank you, Kathie, for choosing
three beautiful readings for today’s liturgy.
The first reading, Kaddish Poem by Marge Piercy
is based on one of the most important prayers in Judaism.

The Kaddish prayer, written primarily in Aramaic,
is prayed after a loved one has crossed over
and the prayer focuses on the sanctification
and glorification of God’s name.
Kaddish means “holy” in Aramaic.

This beautiful prayer does not mention death or dying,
but rather it is an affirmation of
God’s holiness and the wonder of life.

The rabbis who shaped this prayer hundreds of years ago
recognized that in grief
we need to be reminded constantly
of the wonder of the universe
and the amazing gifts
we are granted
so that we can once again
focus on a meaningful life.

In Marge Piercy’s Kaddish Poem, we are reminded of
our connectedness with Ed’s life and  
our oneness with all of creation.
We are reminded to be grateful for the gift of life.  
Listen again to the first two sentences of the Kaddish Poem:

“Look around us, search above us, below, behind.

We stand in a great web of being joined together.
Let us praise, let us love the life we are lent
passing through us in the body of all creation,
and our own bodies.”

In the second reading from Proverbs,
the author is marveling at four amazing gifts of life.
The author is saying,
Oh!, Wow!, I am so grateful
for the wonderful things in life that are free
and are just too marvelous for me to understand –
and I am especially amazed at
the way of two people sharing their lives.

When two people embark on a life together,
there is no blueprint or road map.
It is truly memorable when two people
become co-creators with the Divine
and fashion a meaningful life.

Today, we celebrate and speak words of gratitude
for the life and love shared
by Kathie and Ed for over 45 years.
Their loving relationship grew deeper
And through that love,
they became a conduit of life for their sons.

And in the Gospel for today, Jesus reminds us
to pay attention to what is most important in life. 
Do not be overly anxious about food and clothes
and the things that do not last.

Pay attention to what is really important.
Have faith!

And remember that you are loved by the Holy One
…and don’t forget to love one another
because, in the end, that is all that really matters.

We celebrate today the gift of Ed’s life. 
We celebrate his love for his family and friends,
his kindness, his generosity, his humor,
and his faith in God.

Ed’s life, 
lived in love,
continues to live on in us. 

Thank you, Ed.  We are grateful for you -
You were for us
a tender expression
of the face of God.

Statement of Faith

Presider 2: Please stand and proclaim our statement of faith:

All: We believe in one God, 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 God's Word,
bringer of God's healing, heart of God's compassion,
bright star in the firmament of God's
prophets, mystics, and saints.
We believe that We are called to follow Jesus
as a vehicle of God's love,
a source of God's wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of God's peace in the world.

We believe that God's 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 1: O Holy One, enfolding us, we lift up our hearts to understand that our spirits are one. You are, and we are in your presence. You are with us, and we live. Everything lives because of you, and everything is one.

Presider 2: Your wisdom moves among us like the wind, and we are blessed.
So now we enter into the oneness as we pray our Eucharistic prayer together.

All: O Nurturing, Mothering One, You are always with us. We are grateful for Your constant loving and Your unconditional presence. At times we forget that You are holding us, attending to us. We fall and You pick us up. You send strangers, friends and family to our aid. We are never without Your Light and Spirit.

We experience great joy and we experience great pain and suffering. You are with us in the joy and the pain and suffering. When we experience Your presence we long to sing our hymn of praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy
(Words and music by Karen Druker)

We are holy, holy, holy, (3x)
We are whole.
Repeat 1x

Spirit Divine, Come to Me,
healing Love, healing Me.
Open my heart, allow me to see,
Beauty and love, lives in me.

You are holy, holy, holy (3x)
You are whole
Repeat 1x

All: Creator and Lover of all beings, we cannot grow in the darkness of this world without Your Light. Our desire to be in Your light is a gift from You. Help us keep our hearts and minds open to You through our love and care of each other and all of creation.

Presider 1: Please extend your hands in blessing over the bread and wine.

All: When we share this bread and wine, we know that we are sharing with You and with each other. This bread and wine is a sign of nourishment and a sign of Your great love. Your spirit is upon us and we belong to You and one another.

Presider 2:  lifts the bread

All: On the night before he died, Jesus sat at a table with friends and relived with them his work, his teaching and wisdom of the universe. Then he went among them as servant, washing their feet, touching their hearts.  When he returned to his place, he took bread, gave thanks and offered it to them saying:

Take this bread and eat it;
It is my life.

Presider 1 lifts the wine

All: Jesus lifted a cup of wine, gave thanks and offered it to them saying:

Take and drink of the covenant
Made new again through my life
Poured out for you and for everyone
That you might be free.

Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you.

All: We belong to You and You belong to us. We thank You for these gifts. We thank You for the opportunity to love and care for each other as You love and care for us.

Bread and wine is transformed by Your Spirit and we are transformed when we open ourselves to Your Spirit. Every time we share this bread and wine we choose to be transformed. We choose to love as You love us.

We journey towards greater and fuller openness and awareness, a living sense of gratitude. Open to Your creative Spirit, we enter into life as Jesus did, for it is…

Through him, we have learned to how to live.
Through him, we have learned how to love.
Through him, we have learned how to serve.

Great Amen. (sung)

Presider 2: Let us pray together the prayer of Jesus:

O Holy One, who is within, 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.
The Prayer of Jesus as interpreted by Miriam Therese Winter

Presider 1: May you experience God’s peace, always.  Please offer a sign of peace to each other and return to your seats when the music has ended.

Song for Sign of Peace: Prayer for Peace by David Haas

Prayer for the breaking of the bread

Presider 2:  Please join in praying our prayer for the breaking of the bread.
Presiders break the bread as everyone prays the following:

Loving God, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly. 
Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will love tenderly
Loving God, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.

Presiders hold up bread and wine.

Presider 1: Let us pray our communion prayer together.

All:  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.

Presider 2: Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive. You are one with the Divine and nothing can separate you from God’s love. All are welcome to receive at this friendship table. 

Presider 1: Please come to the center aisle to receive the bread. Kathie and I will hold the plate, please take communion from the plate. The bread is gluten free.  Our communion song is an instrumental piece called To Touch the Sky from the Album: 2002, The Sacred Well.

Communion Songs: To Touch the Sky and Full Circle – Instrumentals from the Album: 2002, The Sacred Well

To Touch the Sky

Full Circle

Communion Meditation: I Give Myself to You by David Nahmod
Sung by Dennis McDonald
Guitar by John Ryan

Thoughts of Ed - The Ryan Family Shares Memories of Ed

David John read a tribute written by Ed's sons, Michael and John.

Ed's grandson, Gavin, shared two memories about his grandpa:
"My favorite memory of Grandpa is playing leap frog.    Grandpa
would pick me up under the arms and lift me over his head ...saying leap
frog...and I would jump high and grandpa would lift me higher...and we would
keep doing that over and over    And the other memory is playing
spider...Grandpa would make his hand into a spider and try to tickle me...I
would try to hold his hand away with my two hands...but then Grandpa would
use his other hand and turn it into a spider and  tickle me anyway.....”

Kathie closed with tender words about Ed. She explained the reason for the closing song. When Ed worked in his woodworking shop, he often whistled the tune to The Ride of the Valkyries. 


Presider 1: Let us pray: O Holy One, we thank you for our brother Ed. We know that he is with you and continues to walk with us in Spirit.

Presider 2: Let us pray together our blessing.

All: May we continue to be the face of God to each other.  May we call each other to extravagant generosity!  May our name be a blessing in our time! Amen.

Closing Song: Ride of the Valkyries:

Words of Gratitude

Thank you for coming today to celebrate Ed’s life.  We would like to thank all our family members, friends, our loving Inclusive Catholic Community, and especially the amazing staff of the Hospice of Schenectady.

A special thank you to Pastor Garret Szantner and his congregation for their wonderful hospitality, allowing us to celebrate in this beautiful sacred space.


The Upper Room
Inclusive Catholic Community
415 River Street
Troy, NY 12180

The Upper Room is an intentional Eucharistic community living Gospel equality and justice in an inclusive, non-hierarchical model of church. Our community embraces a contemporary theology that celebrates each of us as an “original blessing.”  Come join us for liturgy each Sunday at 11:00am. For an updated schedule, visit our website at