Saturday, January 19, 2019

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Celebration of Life - Imogene Ann Stewart Rigdon January 19, 2019 Janet Blakeley, ARCWP & Sally Brochu, ARCWP Presiding Rev. Dr. Chuck Moffett, Guest Presider Mindy Lou Simmons, Music Minister, Interment of Ashes in St Andrew United Church of Christ Memorial Garden Sarasota , Florida Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP & Sally Brochu, ARCWP

Welcome! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Gathering Song: #437 On Eagle’s Wings, 1-4

All: In the name of God our creator, Jesus our brother, and the Holy Spirit, our wisdom. Amen.
Presider: God is with you. All: And also with you.

Chaplain Chuck Moffett, Sally Brochu ARCWP and Janet Blakeley ARCWP

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Opening Prayer. Presider: Loving God, we gather to remember Imogene who recently died. We give thanks for her life and the many blessings she brought to us and to the world. We ask you to comfort Michael, Mary & Thony,  and all of Imogene’s family and friends in our grief. We ask this in the name of the risen Christ. All: Amen

All sing: Glory to God, glory. O praise God, alleluia. Glory to God, glory. O praise the name of our God. (x3)

1st reading from the book of Wisdom (3:1-6, 9)
All: Thanks be to God.
Psalm 23. All sing: My God is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want, #834. Verses recited.

God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.   
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,      
you find me quiet pools to drink from.  
True to your word, you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Response: My God is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want

Even when the way goes through Death Valley, 
I'm not afraid when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. 

Response: My God is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.

You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. 
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.
I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.”
Response: My God is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.

(Excerpt From: Eugene H Peterson. “The Message.”) 

2nd reading from Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy (4:6-8)
All: Thanks be to God.
All Sing: #565 Alle, Alle, Alleluia
A reading from the gospel of John (14:1-6)
All: Thanks be to God. All sing: Alle, Alle, Alleluia.

A Time of Memory and Hope
            Imogene’s Family and Friends
            Presider Reflections

Profession of Faith.
All: We believe in one God, a divine mystery beyond all definition & understanding. God the Creator is the heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that will ever exist. God’s divinity infuses the entire cosmos, making everything in it sacred. We believe in Jesus, the messenger of God’s Word, bringer of healing & 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, who is the vehicle of God’s love, a source of God’s compassion & truth, & instrument of God’s peace in the world. And we believe that God’s kin-dom is here now & will be forever. It is stretched out all around us for those with eyes to recognize it, & hands to share it with everyone—no exceptions.
Community Petitions.
Presider: Mindful of God’s love and care for us, we bring the needs of all people to our loving God.
Please respond: Hear us, O Holy One.
For what shall we pray?
Presider: Source of healing, you faithfully listen to our prayers. Strengthen us as we strive to respond to the needs of your people. We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ. All: Amen

Collection and Procession of Gifts to the Table.

All Sing: #361 Seed Scattered and Sown, 1&3

Eucharistic Prayer.
(Please gather around the table for our community meal
All sing: We are holy... You are holy... I am holy... We are holy...

All: As we do in this place what you did in an upstairs room, send down your Spirit Sophia on us and on these gifts of bread and wine that they may become for us your body, healing, forgiving, and making us whole. And may we become for you, your body, loving and caring in the world until your kindom comes. Amen.

We remember Jesus.

Presider: On the night before he died, Jesus sat at the Seder meal with his companions. Reminding them of what he taught, he bent down to wash their feet. 

All: Jesus returned to his place at table, lifted the Passover bread and spoke the blessing, then broke the bread saying: “Take and eat, this is my very self.” (Pause)
Jesus then raised the cup of blessing, spoke the grace, and offered them the wine saying: “Take and drink of the covenant made new again through my life for you and for everyone. Whenever you do this, you remember me.”

All: Remember, gracious God, people throughout the world who are in need. Make us open to receive everyone. In union with all people, may we strive to create a world where suffering is diminished, and where all people can live in health and wholeness.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, all glory is yours, gracious God. Amen (sing)

Prayer of Jesus - (Sing “Our Father and Mother”)
Group Sign of Peace.
Presider: Let us share with each other a sign of the peace as we sing “Let There Be Peace on Earth”.

All: This is Jesus who liberates, heals and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this banquet of love. We are the Body of Christ.

Presider: All are welcome at the table. As you pass the bread and wine to the person next to you, please say, “You are the Body of Christ.” “You are the Blood of Christ.”

After Communion: #531 Prayer of St Francis

Prayer of Thanksgiving (Didache, Instruction, 100CE)

Men: 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: 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: 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 Thanksgiving.

—-All: (traditional Irish blessing) May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Presider: Go in the peace of Christ, may our loving service to all, continue!

All: Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

Closing song: #545 Sing to the Mountains, vs 1&3

Imogene Ann Stewart Rigdon

April 2, 1937 – January 3, 2019

 Interment of Ashes
January 19, 2017
St Andrew United Church of Christ Memorial Garden
Sarasota , Florida
Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP & Sally Brochu, ARCWP
Gathering & Welcome: 
At liturgy today we celebrated the life of Imogene Rigdon. Now we bring her remains to this sacred resting place. Let us remember that this life on earth is only a phase of our full life. When we have accomplished God’s work in this physical life, God calls us to continue that work in a higher sphere, or what many of us call, heaven.  We come from our Creator God and we return to the open arms of our loving Creator God. So has Imogene.

We also acknowledge that while we rejoice that Imogene has entered into the nearer presence of God, we join all who mourn her, all who loved her deeply. We pray especially for her loving husband, Michael, for their daughter Mary and her husband, Thony and all gathered here whose lives were touched by Imogene.

Let us begin with prayer to our God of unconditional Love and Mercy.

Creator God, we come to you in our sorrow. Grant us your comfort and strength as we struggle with the loss of this good woman. As much as we mourn her loss, we are also filled with gratitude that Imogene was part of our lives. Just as we can know you, O God, through the good in people, so too can we catch a small glimpse of you, in Imogene’s life. We are grateful that she now rests with you, Gentle and Loving God. We make this prayer in Jesus name, ever aware of your magnanimous and unconditional love for us. Amen.

Gospel: (1 John 4:11-12, 17)

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and God’s love is made complete in us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us.
To which I say, Imogene, like God, knew how to love. And it is that love which nourishes us and helps us grow into fuller human beings. That is her legacy.

An excerpt from the poem “High Flight” By William Gillespie

This is a poem published after the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster of January 28, 1986. It first speaks of how these astronauts soared so high that they saw the Face of God. Here’s the second half:

If I be the first of us to die,
Let grief not long blacken your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving.
There is a change but not a leaving.
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.
And all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The things that made us laugh and weep or sing,
The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,
The wordless language of look and touch,
The knowing,
Each giving and each taking,
Those are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble,
Nor are they stone,
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand,
 And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand,
What we were, we are.
What we had, we have.
A co-joined past imperishably present.
So when you walk the woods where once we walked together
And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow,
Be still.
Close your eyes.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.

Interment of Ashes:
Seeing now that Imogene has been set free from her physical body to enter into a new life in the Spirit, that spark of the Divine that lives in each of us, we commit her spirit into God’s hands. We commit her physical remains into this sacred ground and give thanks to God for the gift of her earthly life; with the promise of a sure resurrection; and our happy reunion with her in the life to come, in the glorious life of the Spirit. We now gently place these cremains into their physical resting place.

I hold in my hand this sacred soil from this Memorial Garden. This soil, which symbolizes our mortality and also our connectedness because we are of the earth, this soil is now gently placed on this resting place. 
(If anyone would like to come forward and place some soil, please come)

A blessing from the Book of Numbers 6: 24 -27 (Moses)
(Will you join me by extending your hands in blessing)

Imogene, may our loving God bless you and keep you. May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May God look upon you kindly and give you peace.
We know that Imogene now rests with her loving God - the God who created her and us and to whom we all return.
And now in keeping with the caring and compassion of Imogene for us as we go forward, let us raise our hands in blessing of each other.

May God bless us all, this day and always, as we go forth from here knowing that the gift of love, which is from God and of God, is what connects us to one another forever, to us from Imogene and from us to Imogene.
To this we say, Amen.