Saturday, February 3, 2018
60th Wedding Anniversary Blessing Ritual for Bob and JoAnn Wells by Rev. Dr. Barbara Billey, Priest ARCWP, Windsor, ON
|Bob and JoAnn Wells|
Welcome and Storytelling
Bob Wells and JoAnn Gignac were married 60 yrs ago on Feb 1, 1958 at 10 am by Fr. Larry Mousseau at Holy Names Catholic Church in Windsor.
A couple weeks ago, I sat down with mom and dad to hear stories about how they fell in love and why, their dating years, engagement and wedding day, as well as the early to recent years of their marriage. I learned about their values and how they instilled these in what they describe as their "3 beautiful children." They told me about their challenges and successes as a married couple and how they negotiated their differences as a "stubborn Englishman and fiery Frenchwoman."
Soon, I will ask mom and dad to share with us some of the wonderful stories that they told me about their life together.
Bob and JoAnn met on a blind date 2 years prior to their wedding at a house party. Dad's work colleague, Jim Kirwen and his girlfriend and a friend of mom's, Joanne Cork engineered their connection. Mom was in training to be a nurse and dad was working at Ford's as a cost accountant.
Mom said she was attracted to dad's personality. In her words, he was an "upstanding person, had a responsible job and good looks." Dad said mom "was good looking and had nice legs." He like that she was easy-going, not nitpicky and, mostly, because she was kind. "She let me do what I wanted", he said.
Mom and dad, please tell us the story of your first date and courtship years, including dad's visits to St. Thomas where Mom was doing a nursing practicum in psychiatry.
Mom and dad were engaged on the night of mom's nurse's prom at Lakewood golf course, 1.5 years after they had met and before they were married there 6 mo later. Can you tell us about that night?
When I asked about the reason for a wedding in the dead of winter, it was clear to me that mom and dad really wanted to get married. Waiting until after Lent was too long. They were eager to purchase their first home and to start a family. Mom and dad please tell us about your wedding day and the early years of your marriage, including raising 3 children? (Aunt Gerry to add what she remembers.)
When we spoke, I asked you about the values you instilled in us as children. Can you tell us about these?
As with any relationship, especially in marriage, mom and dad experienced challenges and successes. Can you tell us how you worked through your differences and some of your successes? Please don't forget to tell the story about the puzzle.
I invite all of us to add stories and/or to express our appreciations Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa.
We know that one of your joys, unlike many of your friends, is that none of our marriages have ended in divorce. You celebrate and uphold the goodness of family that includes grandchildren and great grandchildren, our Hailey now and maybe more to come. From 60 years of your married life, what wisdom words can you give us all about life and love?
Slide Show (Power Point images of Bob and JoAnn, some with family with music We are Family by Sister Sledge)
Blessing of Marriage
Bob and JoAnn, your anniversary remembers and celebrates the covenant of love that you entered 60 years ago before God, and your family and friends as witnesses through the Sacrament of Marriage.
I invite you now to renew before God and we, the family you have created, tended and loved, the promises you made to one another 60 years ago.
Let's begin with a reading about spiritual love by St. Paul to the Corinthians (a member of the family reads inscription on cross 1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Bob and JoAnn please stand and face one another as you renew your commitment in your Sacrament of Marriage.
We ask You, Holy One to pour forth Your Spirit of mercy, love and compassion upon Bob and JoAnn so that their marriage vows may continue to be strengthened by Your divine grace.
Bob: Blessed are You, God,
for by your inspiration I chose JoAnn as my wife. Thank you for the gift she has been to me and the face of God that she is.
JoAnn: Blessed are You, God,
for by your inspiration I chose Bob as my husband. Thank you for the gift he has been to me and the face of God that he is.
Both Bob and JoAnn:
Blessed are You, God
for in the joys and sorrows of our life
You have been lovingly by our side.
We have been fortified by Your love, our God and have done our best to be true witnesses to the covenant and promises we made in Your holy name, 60 years ago.
Continue to guide us in Your wisdom and in the ways of Jesus Christ.
Help us remain faithful in our love for one another,
in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer until death takes us into Your eternal life, together forever.
Bob and JoAnn, now in the winter of your lives, you rise and fall with the sun, sunrise and sunset inseparable.
May God comfort you in adversity
and be a presence of laughter and joy in ordinary moments.
May God continue to fill your home and hearts with love for each other and the love of family and friends.
May God help you see with eyes of hope, especially in the graces and hardships of aging.
Please extend your hands in blessing our couple.
+ God bless and keep JoAnn and Bob. Hold them in the womb of Your loving embrace. Remain close to them all the days of their life together as they grow in this Sacrament of Marriage, living examples of the love of Christ.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, with us always.
All: Amen. (You-tube Grow Old Along with Me by Mary Chapin Carpenter)
Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Presider: Lee Breyer, Music Minister: Mindy Lou Simmons
|Lee Breyer, Presider|
Theme: “Be compassionate, as your loving God is compassionate”
Welcome and Opening Comment
Presider: Welcome, everyone. While today is the “fifth week in Ordinary Time,” there is little “ordinary” in it. When this liturgy is ended, that which makes today “extra – ordinary” will take place…the Mary Mother of Jesus Annual Meeting. And this, then, is when we, as the larger community, will briefly review our activities in 2017 and make plans for this calendar year, 2018. At the heart of those plans is the understanding and compassion that we have for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters, as a MMOJ community and in our external ministries. “Be compassionate, as your loving God is compassionate” is what Luke’s Jesus tells us we are to do. What a standard!
Presider: Let us pray as we come together in this sacred place to break bread and share in the banquet of love in the name of God, our Creator, of Christ, our liberator, and of the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier.
Opening Hymn: “We Gather Here to Celebrate” (Mindy Simmons)
ALL: O Holy God, in this journey into the heart of compassion, we celebrate your love as we see it unfolding in the healing and wholeness of your creation for everyone and everything. We ask you to open our hearts to the message of the Gospel so that your inspiration and peace may rule in our hearts, your justice guide our lives, and your love direct and support us in our concern and care of one another. You call us to recognize and warmly welcome everyone who comes through our doors as your presence among us, which they are. In communion with Jesus, our brother and with the power of the Your Spirit, we will try to live the example of your love each day. Amen.
Penitential Rite and Community Forgiveness
Presider: Compassionate God, to you all hearts are open, no desires unknown, and no secrets hidden. We thank you for sending your Spirit to us so that we may live more fully according to your will for us and we are thankful that you have called us to be your blessed people.
ALL: Our God, we need to hear Wisdom’s messages, to faithfully understand them, and to respond to them with compassionate actions with our brothers and sisters. Loving God, we ask for your forgiveness for our hurtful actions to people of other genders, beliefs, nationalities, classes and races. Help us learn the virtues of pardon and peace so that we may – in turn – learn to forgive others their failures in their caring for us, one another and for our planet Earth. Strengthened by your love and blessings, may we be the pardoning and forgiving people you created us to be. Amen.
Presider: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all God’s people on earth.
ALL (Sung): Glory to God, glory, O praise God, Alleluia. Glory to God, glory. O praise the name of our God. (3X)
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading: Isaiah 58: 7-10 All: Thanks be to God.
Psalm: 147 Responsorial: God heals the broken hearted.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10: 16-17 All: Thanks be to God.
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia
Gospel: Luke 6: 27-38 All: Glory to you, O God.
Thoughts for the journey (to Stewart Hall for the Annual Community Meeting). Being Compassionate as our loving God is compassionate…as practiced in the MMOJ community and its external ministries. What examples do we see in our annual review and plan?
Profession of Faith
ALL: We believe in one God, a divine mystery beyond all definition and rational understanding. God, the Creator, is the heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that ever will exist.
We believe in Jesus, the messenger of God’s Word, bringer of God’s healing and the center of God’s compassion. Through his incarnation, we have become a new people, called beyond the consequences of our brokenness.
We believe in the Spirit, the wisdom that strengthens our call to follow Jesus as a vehicle of God’s love, a source of God’s compassion and truth, and an instrument of God’s peace in the world.
And we believe that God’s kin-dom is here now and will be forever. It is stretched out all around us for those with eyes to recognize it, hearts to receive it, and hands to share it with everyone…with no exceptions. In all of these, we surely believe.
Prayers of the Community
Presider: We are a people of faith; we believe in the power of prayer. And so, mindful of God’s unconditional love, we lift up the needs of the people at this time. Our response is: Compassionate God, bless our petitions.
Presider: That those who suffer abuse at the hands of their brothers and sisters may be healed and empowered, we pray.
ALL: God of all compassion, bless our petitions.
Presider: That the hungry and homeless receive the food and shelter that they so badly need, we pray. R.
Presider: That those who lack sufficient and adequate amounts and types of clothing may receive what is necessary for their health, we pray. R.
Presider: And for what else do we pray at this time? Other Intentions are followed by R.
Presider: Healing God, we ask you to strengthen us in our awareness and concerns for one another, here and throughout the whole world. We ask you to bless our prayers and efforts for justice and equality so that, with our sisters and brothers we may promote cultures of peace and nonviolence in our world. R.
Offertory Hymn: “Song of the Body of Christ” #324 verses 1, 2, & 3 only.
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 made. 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 made. 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 at God’s banquet table.) When everyone is around the table….
ALL: We are in communion with everyone, everywhere – the young and the old, the first and the last, especially our brothers and sisters who are oppressed and marginalized anywhere. May we share God’s gifts of peace and compassion to all of them by loving tenderly, doing justice and walking humbly with them everywhere.
Presider: And so, we greet one another at this table. ALL: Namaste! Namaste! Namaste!
And as we recognize God within each other, let us celebrate that with Karen Drucker’s “We are Holy”. ALL: We are Holy, You, I, We…
Voice 1: Gracious God, you continue to embrace us with your overwhelming love despite our brokenness. You invite us now to your table that we may learn how much your love for us will never be denied. You call us to share the Body and Blood of Jesus. Here, in this gift, you give us an instruction for our living the gospel of Jesus. We are to “be compassionate, as your loving God is compassionate.”
Voice 2: Ever Loving God, we do well always and everywhere give you thanks. In you, we live and move and have our being. You have given us the model (in Jesus) and the manual (the gospels) for living the life that you created for us. And in your Spirit, you have given us the strength to carry out that plan.
Voice 3: 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 everlasting presence in everyone he met. He revealed you in everything he did in his life well lived. He showed us, through his example, not only how we should live, but also the price we may be called to pay for being faithful to his teachings.
Voice 4: And when his time on earth had come to its end, Jesus – aware of his destiny and accepting of it – laid down his life for the values that he deeply believed, lived and taught…his conviction that love is stronger than death. He provided an example of that for us and for others in the ages to come…he opened wide his arms on a cross and died. Then the Spirit, in raising Jesus for the dead, showed all of us that life is eternal and that love is immortal. We know that Jesus is with us today as he will be through the end of time.
ALL: O God, let that Spirit of life, healing and wholeness come upon these simple gifts that we have brought from our fields and placed on this, your table. May she make this wheat and wine holy so that they will become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus, our brother.
ALL: (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. (Short 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: Let us proclaim this mystery of faith.
ALL: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ lives through us in the world today.
Voice 5: May all of us who share this sacred meal be strengthen in our unity by the grace of the Holy Spirit. And may that Spirit, that Wisdom that moved in Jesus, move just as freely in our lives as She did in that of Jesus.
ALL: And may we celebrate this 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. (X times!)
ALL (holding hands): Our Father and Mother, who are in heaven, blessed is your name..
Presider: Understanding God, we have just prayed that “your kindom may come” among us. Strengthen us with your grace and love so that we can truly open our hearts to your kin-dom and contribute to making it come in the fullness of time.
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 that peace. O Loving God, following the example of Jesus and with the strength of the Spirit help us spread that peace through the world, to everyone, everywhere, no exceptions. Amen.
Presider: May the peace of God be always with us, and let us extend that peace to one another as we join hands in a circle of love and sing: “Let There Be Peace on Earth” #532.
Litany at the Breaking of the Bread
Presider: Loving God…. ALL: you call us to spirit-filled service and to live the Gospel of peace and mercy. So 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. So we will love tenderly.
Presider: Loving God…. ALL: you call us to speak truth to power. So 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 the Body of Christ.
Presider: Compassionate and Caring God, as we come to share the richness of your table, we cannot forget the poverty of so many of our brothers and sisters, our families and neighbors, all part of one body.
ALL: We cannot eat this bread and not remember the many who are hungry. O God, your world is one world and we are stewards of its nourishment for your whole family.
ALL: We cannot drink this wine and not remember the many who are thirsty. O God, this very earth and its people cry out for environmental justice.
Presider: O God, we cannot listen to your words of peace and not agonize about a world at war’s doors.
Communion Hymn: Instrumental
Post-Communion Song: “There is Only Love” (Lyrics are on the last page)
Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion
Presider: May wonder and thanksgiving fill us, may compassion fully fill our beings, that we may heal the numbness that continues because of our society’s injustices. May we continue to be the face of God in the world and reflect that well to one another.
Introductions, Gradtitudes, Announcements
Closing Community Blessing (with an arm extended to the community)
ALL: May our hearts be glad on our journey as we dream new dream, see new visions and evolve a new heaven and earth.
May we be vehicles of compassion and care for our needy brothers and sisters, wherever they are.
May we work to shape new cultures of peace, justice and non-violence in which everyone may find their lives meaningful and satisfying for themselves and the peoples on a safe and secure planet.
Presider: May we learn to bless, honor and hold in reverence all creation, the earth and one another.
Closing Community Commission Prayer
ALL: Powerful God, Creator of all that exists, we have looked for others to save us and to save our world. Yet we are the ones who have been called, blessed and commissioned to do that. And with your strength and guidance, we will be successful.
Presider: As we leave here in the peace of Christ, let us be the people that God created us to be. And may we always remember, with gratitude, that we are the face of God to the world.
ALL: Thanks be to God! Let it be so.
Closing Community Song: “Go Make a Difference” #504
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Celebrating the Feast Day of St. Brigid of Ireland: in Stories, Song and Videos "Mary of the Gael "by Carmel Boyle, Ode to Brigid by Noirin Ni Rian, "Prayer of St. Brigid "Sung by Sharon Lyons, Composer Owen Lynch, Videos: Miracles of a Living Saint, Praying with Celtic Holy Women by Meehan and Oliver
See Praying with Celtic Holy Women for stories of women by Bridget Mary Meehan and Regina Madonna Oliver
Feb 1 – St Brigid: 452-524 AD – miracle worker
Mary of the Gael Sung by Carmel Boyle