|Left to right: Mindy Lou Simmons and Katy Zatsick ARCWP, Co-Presiders at MMOJ Liturgy for 4th Sunday of Advent|
|Left to right: Gloria from Maine and Joann from Sarasota and Bridget Mary|
Prelude: Linda Miska- Christmas carols, Instrumental
Welcome to the Fourth Sunday of Advent
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 each of us and all life on planet earth. Let us prepare the stable within our hearts for our Beloved Brother Jesus’ birth.
Presider: lights the Fourth candle as the community prays…
ALL: We light the Fourth candle of Advent and remember that in the being of every person on this earth, and in all that God has created, there burns luminous Goodness and Love – the presence of the Divine. Let us kindle the light of joy for others. Amen.
Opening Song: Angels we Have Heard on High, #82 verses 1-2
All: In the name of God our Loving Creator, and of Jesus our Brother, and of Sofia Holy Spirit our wisdom. Amen.
Presider: God is with you. All: And also with you.
All: In eagerness we await your coming, Desired One among all peoples. May we come to realize with Mary that we are your highly favored ones and that you desire to be with us. Increase our faith and put a new spirit in our hearts so that we may bear your Word to the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus whose coming birth we celebrate. Amen.
First Reading from Alice Camille, “Talking to Angels-Closer to Mystery”*
An angel comes to the town of Nazareth and announces the arrival of a great hope. It’s a good thing, too, as the generation to which this news is given is not a happy one. The nation is under foreign dominion. The people are poor and oppressed. Life has been hard for a long time. Even religious institutions make things worse, with their crushing demands for tithes and behaviors. And now this: the angel, the announcement. Should the young woman who gets the news trust this messenger?
This story never goes out of style. Because life remains hard. The poor are always oppressed. Governments never fail to disappoint, and religious obligation often creates as many woes as it offers consolations. Into such a world, the messenger always comes, and the good news is always given. Do we trust it? The inspired word of Alice Camille All: Thanks be to God
Reading Response “What do we do with Mary?” led by Mindy Simmons
All: Oh What do we do with Mary? What do we do this time?
Oh What do we do with Mary? Hey she stepped over the line.
Second Reading from Alice Camille, “Talking to Angels-Responding to the Angel”*
The angel comes, and the announcement is made. But that’s not the end of the story. Mary must reply, just as each of us must reply when the good news arrives on our doorstep, in our own times. The invitation to be the Christ-bearer is the most intimate and personal request heaven will ever make of us. Do we respond: “Let it be done to me”? or do we say: “No, thanks, I’ve got my hands full here already?” Or do we remain silent, on the fence, unable to calculate the risk or contemplate the changes it will entail? The angel soon departs. What answer from you does the messenger take back to the throne of God this year? The inspired word of Alice Camille All: Thanks be to God
*From Living with Christ,” Dec 2017 issue “Talking to Angels” by Alice Camille pgs 19-21
Gospel reading : Luke 1:26-38
Shared Homily Starter-Mindy Simmons “How important is the story of Jesus’ divinity to your relationship with him as brother, guru, savior? Or respond to the questions from the 1st, 2nd angel readings.
Profession of Faith.
We believe in God who is creator and nurturer of all. We believe in Jesus the Christ our Brother born in a stable who lived in poverty. We believe in God’s Beloved Son who is our love, our hope, and our light. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to build caring communities and to challenge oppression, inequality and injustice. We believe that God loves us passionately and forgives us everything. We believe that God calls us to heal and to make whole the wounds of our world. We believe that we are radiant images of our God of Love and Evolution who calls us to live more fully, love tenderly, and serve generously. Amen.
Presider: Always mindful of God’s love and care for us especially as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we bring the needs of God’s people to our loving Creator who guides human evolution.
Response: Come Brother Jesus be one with us.
Presider: Help us to recognize the signs of the times; and to judge all things in the light of your truth, we pray. Response.
Presider: You come to bring us hope and courage; may we support all who feel rejected and hopeless in their present struggles. Response
Presider: For what else should we pray…
Presider: We know you hear our prayers; those we speak and those we keep in our hearts. Energize your community coming to the stable of your birth each day. All: Amen
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
Song: Linda Miska, instrumental, “Go tell it on the Mountain”
Presider: Blessed are you, O God, Creator of all. This bread is your community of MMOJ listening to your angels, praying and taking action for justice. Through your divine providence, we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of life. ALL: Praise to God forever.
Presider: Blessed are you, O God, Seeker of all. This wine is our desire to live bringing peace, joy and love to others by following your Way through Jesus. Through your divine providence, we have this wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink. ALL: Praise to God forever.
All: Blessed are you, God who gives birth to all life, through your goodness we have this bread, this wine and our own lives to offer. Through this sacred meal and the gifts of faith and hope may we join your Son on the Way of eternal life. Amen.
All Sing: We are holy holy holy (x3) We are whole; You are holy holy holy (x3) You are whole; I am holy (x3) I am whole; We are holy holy holy (x3) We are whole.
All: Come Holy Spirit and transform this bread and wine. Fill them with the wholeness of our Cosmic Christ birthed in a stable and in our souls.
Remembering Jesus. (hand extended in blessing):
All: On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, broke it, and shared it family and disciples saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. This is my body which will be broken for you.” (Pause)
Then Jesus took a cup of wine and shared it with those present, saying, “Take this all of you and drink. This is the cup of my life-blood. Do this in memory of me.”
All (2nd Invocation of Spirit, with hand on each other’s shoulder): Come Holy Spirit to rest on us. Refreshed from our worship together and joined with your saints in heaven and on earth may we extend your Love born in a stable and humble estate to all whom we meet. Amen
Sung All: Amen, Amen, Amen
Prayer of Jesus “Our Father and Mother”
Song of Peace Love is flowing like a river, flowing out of you and me, flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free. Hope is flowing…Joy is flowing…Alleluia
Litany for Breaking of Bread.
All: Loving God, you call us to speak truth to power. We will do so!
Loving God, you call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will do
Loving God, you call us to be your presence in the world. We will do so!
Presider: This is Jesus born in a humble stable who liberates, heals and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this banquet of love and to live as the Heart and Hands of Christ in our times. All: We are the Body of Christ.
During Communion-instrumental “God is Love” #483
Song All: God is Love #483, verses 1& 2
Prayer of Thanksgiving (Didache, 100CE)
Men 1: For the thanksgiving, give thanks this way: First, for the cup: We thank you, Abba God, for the sacred vine of David your son, whose meaning you made clear to us through our brother Jesus, yours ever be the splendor.
Women 2: And for the bread fragment: We thank you, Abba God, for the life and wisdom whose meaning you made clear to us through Jesus, yours ever be the splendor.
All 3: As this fragment was scattered high on hills, but by gathering was united into one, so let your people from earth’s ends be united into your single reign, for yours are splendor and might through Jesus Christ down the ages.
Prayers of Gratitude, introductions, announcements.
Final Blessing for Christmas and 2018.
All (hand extended over community):
May God’s Light encircle you
May God’s Love enfold you
May God’s Peace encourage you
May God’s Hope fill your hear and soul.
May God’s Presence enrich you
As we celebrate your birth in the stable and in our hearts each day. Amen
Presiders: Let us go in the peace, faith, and hope of Jesus our Emmanuel, let our service continue! All:Thanks be to God.
Closing Song: #92 “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” verses 1,2,4
A Very Merry and Blessed Christmas to you all and to your families and friends.
A blessed and safe New Year in 2018.
Thanks to and adapted from a liturgy by Michael and Imogene Rigdon of MMOJ-Sarasota