|On the left, Roberta Fuller, a priest from Toronto, Canada (RCWP Canada) participated in our MMOJ 3rd Sunday of Advent Liturgy|
Theme: “In the beginning…,” lighting a way down a straighten road.
Welcome and Opening Expression
Presider: Welcome everyone. We have come to break bread and share our blessing as we celebrate the graces we have received and anticipate the presence of our heavenly creator in the person of the earthly Jesus. And let us do so by recognizing each other’s goodness in Karen Drucker’s “We are holy” and will follow that with Jay Murnane’s Advent Prayer.
ALL: We are holy, you are holy, I am holy, we are holy.
Lighting the Advent Candle
ALL: Holy Creator, the day draws near when the glory of Jesus will make radiant the night of the waiting world. You are continually developing and expanding the universe, continually giving birth to all of us on planet earth. We sense the need to be constantly involved in so many ways — efforts to set ourselves free from the pressures of our worlds so that we may more fully give expression to the gospel messages of Jesus.
Presider: lights the third candle as the community prays…
ALL: We light the third candle and remember that in the heart of every person on this earth, and in all that God has created, that there burns the spark of luminous goodness – the presence of the Divine. Let us kindle the light of joy. Amen.
Opening Hymn: “Joy To The World” #80, verses 1,2
(substituting Jesus for Lord and Justice for Savior)
Presider: Holy God, you not only directed the drama of the creation of the cosmos, you became one of the actors on earth in the person of Jesus. Through him, you showed us how to live the lives you have blessed us with until we return back home with you. We know that you are always with us and that, however we live and we whatever we may do or think, we will still have your loving care. We pray that we may always be conscious of your presence within us and reflect you well in all we say and do. Amen.
Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness
Presider: Creator God, to you all hearts are open no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden. We ask you to send your Spirit to us so that we may live more fully according to your will for us and that we may be worthy to be called your blessed people.
ALL: Help us to hear Wisdom’s messages, to faithfully understand them and to use the blessing of her strength to follow them.
Presider: Christ Jesus, we ask for the grace to recognize our continual need to grow in mercy, compassion and caring for ourselves, for our brothers and sisters, and for our planet earth.
ALL: And we join with Jesus in believing that the insight, direction and strength of the Holy Spirit will lead us to deeper dedications to justice, equality, peace and non-violence everywhere….
Presider: And we pray…
ALL: God, grant us the grace of pardon and piece so that we may – in turn – forgive each other our failures to care of one another, this day and always.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading — Isaiah 61: 1-2, 10-11 ALL: Thanks be to God
Responsorial – Luke 1 ALL: I will greatly rejoice in you, my God
Second Reading – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 ALL: Thanks be to God
Gospel Acclamation ALL: Celtic Alleluia!
Gospel: John 1: 1-8, 19–23 ALL: Glory and praise to our God
Shared Homily/Community Reflections
Homily Starter: How do we see ourselves acting as “a true light to others on the way,” a “John the Baptist making straight our God’s road”?
Profession of Faith
All: We believe in God, the Creator of the Universe, a divine mystery who infuses all that exists, making everything everywhere in the cosmos sacred. We believe in Jesus, the Christ who is our love, our hope, and our light. He is the touch of God to humanity, who leads us to the fullness of life. Through his incarnation, we have become a new people…a holy one called beyond the consequences of our brokenness. We believe in the Spirit, the Breath of God, who keeps the Christ-vision present to all those who are searching for meaning and wholeness in their lives. She is the Sustainer who heals and energizes us when our strengths grow weary in our journeys. We believe that God’s kindom is here with us now and will always be present for those with eyes to recognize it, hearts to receive it, and hands to make it known to everyone.
We say amen to faith, hope, and love. We say amen to the partnership and equality of all people, regardless of gender, race, and beliefs. We say amen to a world of peace and justice for everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. In all of this, we surely believe.
Prayers of the Community
Presider: We are a people of faith; we believe in the power of prayer. Always mindful of God’s unconditional love and care for each of us, we bring the needs of the people to our merciful and gracious God. After each intercession, please respond: Compassionate God, we ask you to bless our petitions. (community intentions)
Presider: Healing God, we ask you to strengthen us in our concerns for one another, here and throughout the world. We ask you to bless our efforts for justice and equality so that, with our sisters and brothers, we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence in our world. We make these prayers to you, O God, in the names of Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom. Amen.
Offertory Procession and Song: “All Good Gifts” #591, verses 1,3
(substituting God for Lord)
Presider: Blessed are you, God of Creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer…this grain of the earth that human hands have prepared for our use. It will become for us the bread of life.
ALL: Blessed be God forever.
Presider: Blessed are you, God of Creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer…this fruit of the vine that human hands have prepared for our use. It will become for us our spiritual drink.
ALL: Blessed be God forever.
Gathering of the Gifted
Presider: Jesus, who has often sat at our tables, now invites all of us to join him at his. Everyone is welcome to share in this blessed meal. (The invitation is for all to come to the table.)
ALL: Loving and caring God, we – your people – are united in this sacrament by our common love of Jesus. We are in communion with everyone, everywhere, who shares your gift of compassion especially all those who are marginalized and oppressed. May we love tenderly, act with justice, and walk humbly with you in solidarity with our sisters and brothers everywhere. And may we always live as prophetic witnesses to the gospel of Jesus. Amen.
Presider: Let us give thanks to the Creator of all that exists.
ALL: With hearts full of love, we give God thanks and praise.
Presider: Let us show our gratitude to Jesus who has shared with us his life-vision.
ALL: Open our hearts to your gospel message through your words and actions while on this earth.
Presider: Let us recognize the presence of the Spirit among us gathered at the family table.
ALL: Fill us with reverence for our Creator, for one another, and for all creation.
Presider: Our God, Emanuel, is not only “with us,” God dwells in each one of us.
Voice 1: Ever living and ever-loving God, it is through you that we live and move and have our very being. And we know that in the days to come, that Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, will be a foretaste and promise of the paschal feast of heaven. Her dwelling with us gives us everlasting hope of unending peace and joy with you. And so, we sing with thankful praise….
ALL: Holy, Holy, Holy God, God of power, God of light. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed are all who come in the name of our God. Hosanna in the highest.
Voice 2: We thank you for the gift of Jesus in history – and the gift of Jesus in faith. Through him, you breathe life into us. He was moved by his vision of your constant presence in everyone he met, everywhere he went. He revealed you in everything he did in his life well lived. And he showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also for what is worth dying.
Voice 3: And when his time on earth had come to an end, Jesus – aware of and accepting his destiny – gave up his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death. And then, providing a personal example of this insight for the understanding of people in ages to come, he opened wide his arms and died. Then the Spirit, one stronger than death, raised Jesus to life, showing everyone that life is eternal and that love is immortal. Jesus is with us – and lives in us – today as he will through the end of time.
ALL: O God, let your Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon these gifts – this simple wheat and wine. May She make them holy so that they will become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus, our brother.
(With an outstretched arm, we pray the consecration together.): We remember the gift that Jesus gave us on the night before he died. He gathered with his friends to share a final Passover meal. And it was at that supper that Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying: take this, all of you and eat it. This bread is you; this bread is me. We are one body, the presence of God in the world. Do this in memory of me. [Pause]
In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing and gave it to his friends saying: take this all of you and drink it. This wine is you; this wine is me. We are one blood, the presence of God in the world. Do this in memory of me.
Presider: Jesus, who was with God “in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and the earth,” is with us today in this bread. The Spirit, whom the prophets spoke of centuries ago in history, is with us today in this cup. Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.
ALL: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ lives in us in the world today.
Voice 4: In memory of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we offer you, God, this life-giving bread, this saving cup. May all who share this sacred meal be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit. And may that Spirit, that Wisdom, that moved in Jesus move as freely in our lives as She did in his.
Voice 5: God, remember your church throughout the world. Help us grow in love, together with Francis, our Pope, Bridget Mary, our Bishop, and all your People everywhere – especially those who live on the margins of church and society. We remember, as well, the entire communion of saints, both those living and dead, who touched our lives and left your footprint on our hearts. We remember especially… (pause as names are mentioned).
ALL: Through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Creator God, forever and ever…(and everyone sings)…Amen. (3x)
ALL: (holding hands): Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name…..
Presider: God, we have just prayed that your kindom may come among us. Grant that we may open our hearts to make it real and our hands to serve one another.
The Sign of Peace
Presider: Jesus, you said to your disciples, “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.” Look on the faith of those gathered here today and…
ALL: …. grant us your peace. O God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit, help us spread that peace through our words and actions to everyone, everywhere, with no exceptions. Amen.
Presider: May the peace of God be always with us, and let us extend that peace to one another as we hold hands.
“Let There Be Peace on Earth” #532
Litany for the Breaking of the Bread
Presider: Loving God…. ALL: you call us to Spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of peace and justice, we will live justly.
Presider: Loving God…. ALL: you call us to be your presence in the world and to be bearers of understanding and compassion, forgiveness and healing everywhere in your name. We will love tenderly.
Presider: Loving God… ALL: you call us to speak truth to power. We will walk humbly with you.
Presider: This is Jesus, who liberates, heals, and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. All: We are all the Body of Christ.
Communion Hymn: Instrumental
After Communion Song/Reflection: “Peace Like A River” – Mindy Simmons
Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion
Presider: Loving God, may this Eucharist in which we share Christ’s healing love deepen our oneness with you and with one another. May we reflect, like Mary, your liberating and mothering love for all. And may wonder and thanksgiving fill us with knowledge, understanding and experience of your love and compassion for us, your sacred people. We ask this in the name of Mary’s son, Jesus the Christ. All: Amen.
Introductions, Gratitudes, Announcements
Closing Community Blessing
ALL: May our hearts be glad on our journey as we dream new dreams, see new visions, and create a new heaven and earth.
May we live and work for compassion and peace, justice and non-violence in our hearts and in those of everyone we meet.
May we learn to bless and honor and hold in reverence all creation, the earth, and one another.
Closing Community Commissioning
Presider: Loving God, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet, we have been called and blessed, and are now commissioned and sent into the world to create cultures of peace and justice. May our light shine for all to see, and may our name be a blessing and guide for the “coming of the kindom” of God.
Presider: As we leave here in the peace of Christ, let us be the people that God created us to be. Let us be the light of today’s gospel…let us “make straight the way of Our God.”
ALL: Thanks be to God. Let it be so!
Closing Community Hymn: “This Little Light of Mine”
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine 3 X Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel? NO! 3 X I’m gonna let it shine, Let it shine 3X
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine 3 X, Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.