Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Holy Thursday Liturgy- Community of St. Bridget – Inclusive Catholic Community, Mary Eileen Collingwood ARCWP


 
(Basic Community, Ireland)

Holy Thursday - Liturgy of the Last Supper
April 9, 2020

Opening Hymn:  Table of Plenty – Dan Schutte
(if needed, copy & paste web address to browser)

Refrain:  Come to the feast of heaven and earth!  Come to the table of plenty!
               God will provide for all that we need, here at the table of plenty.

O come and sit at my table where saints and sinners are friends.
I wait to welcome the lost and lonely to share the cup of my love.  R

O come and eat without money; come to drink without price.
My feast of gladness will feed your spirit with faith and fullness of life.  R

My bread will ever sustain you through days of sorrow and woe.
My wine will flow like a sea of gladness to flood the depths of your soul.  R


We know well the institutional theological story concerning Holy Thursday.  It is a story told by Matthew, Mark and Luke from which the institution of the Eucharist and the formation of cultic male clergy with ritual powers have been derived.  But at this liturgy we will capture the other side of that story, a story that will focus on the human reality of Jesus facing death.  In this story, we see Jesus entrusting his friends to keep his dream alive, and asking them to commit themselves to doing so.  This side of the story is about hope, trust, friendship, commitment and dreams of what could be.
Tonight, according to the Gospel of John, we celebrate Jesus washing the feet of his disciples before his passion and death, the day before the Feast of the Passover.  What happens here tonight, what will be understood in a different light, what holiness we will experience, will be the Gift freely given to us all.
And so, we begin in the name of the Divine:  Source of All Being, Eternal Word and +Holy Spirit. 

Transformation Rite

1.   Most loving and forgiving God, teach us your way so that with you, we become a forgiving people.

2.   Make faithful discipleship a part of our way of being in a world which so badly needs your love and compassion.

1.   Open highways in the wilderness of our lives, and make fresh waters spring up in the hard places of our hearts.

2.   Give us the grace to know your presence in our lives and our world.  Free us from our usual patterns to change our ways into something new.

ALL:  We ask this as a searching people longing to do as Jesus did in his life
         and teaching.  Amen.

Gloria  (sing)
Glory to God, glory!  O praise God, Alleluia!
Glory to God, glory!  O praise the Name of our God!  (x3)


Opening Memory
1.   We remember Jesus—being true to everything he preached, coming down from the mountain, walking to Jerusalem, crying over dashed hopes, wondering who would continue his dream, feeling broken-hearted, washing the feet of his disciples, sharing a final meal with his friends, having to trust his friends.

2.   He had to trust people like us because he knew he would not live to see his dream realized. He trusted us because he believed in the goodness embedded in every person.

1.   He trusted us because he knew the longings that stir in the depths of the human heart.

2.   He trusted us because he knew his teaching could empower us to be as true to ourselves as he was to himself.
ALL: He trusted his friends.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
We now call upon the Spirit of Our Living God as we reflect on the Scripture readings broken open and shared by all.

First Reading:  A reading from the book of Exodus:

God said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month will be the first of all months for you.  You will count it as the first month of the year.  Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth day of this month every family in Israel will take a lamb from the flock, one for each household.

“If the household is too small for the whole lamb, it will join its neighbor as the number of persons requires.  You must take into account what each can eat in deciding the number for the animal.  The lamb must be a yearling without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.  You must keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, then the whole community of the congregation of Israel is to slaughter it in the evening.

“Some of the blood must then be taken and applied to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house where the lamb is eaten.  That night they will eat the roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

“This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girded, sandals on your feet, and a staff in your hand; you are to eat it in haste.  It is the Passover of Our God.  For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night and strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both humans and animals.  I will execute this judgment on all the gods of Egypt: I am Your God!  The blood will mark the houses where you live.  When I see the blood, I will pass over you and you will escape destruction when I strike the land of Egypt.

“This day will be for you a Memorial Day, and you must celebrate it as a feast in God’s honor.  All generations are to observe it forever as a feast day.”
The inspired words from our ancient literary tradition.  Amen.

Responsorial:  Our blessing cup is a communion with the blood of Jesus.
What shall I render to You for all your goodness to me?  I will drink the chalice of Love and praise You, who have done wondrous things; 
I will bear witness to You, O Bread of Life, in the presence of all the people.  R

O Beloved, consider me your friend; I long to co-create with You.
For You have loosed the bonds of fear in me.  I will offer to You the gift of gratitude and acknowledge your Loving Presence with joy.  R

I will bear witness to You, O Giver of Life, in the presence of all the people,
In the Sacred Altar of my heart, in your midst, O Beloved.
Praises be to You!  For You dwell within the heart of everything!  R
Second Reading:  A reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians:

What I have passed on to you, I received from Christ—that on the night he was betrayed, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, saying, “This is my body, which is broken for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, after supper he took the cup and said, “This cup is the New Covenant in my blood.  Whenever you drink it, do it in remembrance of me.”  For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim Jesus’ death until Christ comes.   The inspired words of the apostle, Paul.  Amen.

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. (x2 – sing)

Gospel: A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John:

It was before the Feast of Passover, and Jesus realized that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to Abba God.  He had always loved his own in this world, but now he showed how perfect this love was.

The Devil had already convinced Judas Iscariot, begot of Simon, to betray Jesus.  So during supper, Jesus, knowing that God had put all things into his own hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, rose from the table, took off his clothes and wrapped a towel around his waist.

He then poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and dry them with the towel that was around his waist.

When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Rabbi, you are not going to wash my feet, are you?”
Jesus answered, “You do not realize what I am doing right now, but later you will understand.”

Peter replied, “You will never wash my feet!”
Jesus answered, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.”
Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Then, Rabbi, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus said, “Any who has taken a bath is clean all over and only need to wash their feet—and you are clean, though not every one of you.”  For Jesus knew who was to betray him.  That is why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After washing their feet, Jesus put his clothes back on and returned to the table.  He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you?  You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Sovereign’—and rightly, for so I am.  If I, your Teacher and Sovereign, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
The inspired words of the evangelist, John.  Amen.
Homily/Reflection

I mentioned at the beginning of this liturgy, that in the tradition of the institutional church, Holy Thursday is considered as the establishment of the Eucharist where the formation of cultic male clergy with their ritual powers have been derived.  Yet, truth be told, there is no scriptural basis for their current position that what we know now as male hierarchal “ordination” was practiced in the early Christian communities.

Jesus, although publicly recognized as a teacher and preacher in his lifetime, did not “ordain” anyone and did not establish a church in the sense that we know it today.  In the early church, leaders in the community were “ordered” – were publicly affirmed in a particular ministry of service.  Any scripture passages that have been lifted out of context in order to prove otherwise, is disingenuous.  Before any book of the Bible was approved for inclusion in the formal scriptural Canon, it was revised many times by editors that changed original texts and included their additions, reflecting the cultural and religious practices of the time.

Today I serve as a leader of prayer for this faith community.  I also embrace my call to reform the Catholic Church in its understanding and function of interpreting and embracing the kinship of Jesus.

Our liturgical prayers invite us to break bread together—in memory of Jesus’ ultimate call to lay down his life for others, and to serve our brothers and sisters in their need. 

As a community of faith, we are all called to deepen our spiritual lives, our love for community, and embrace our personal and communal responsibilities.

As a community of faith, we must embrace the moral leadership we are given, and continue to bond together for strength in combatting the encroaching tides of disease and negative discourse of our time. 

If we hold onto the belief that the Spirit of God is always with us, we will find strength in Her abiding presence, never to be exhausted nor conquered!

Thank you for allowing me to serve you.  Please share with others your own call to prayer and action in furthering the Kin-dom of Jesus.

Prayer of the Faithful
Mindful of our Creator’s love and care for us, we bring to our Table prayers of thanksgiving, petitions for help and compassion, and declarations of what we hold dear.  We know that the Body of Christ is present in our community of faith, and that we will awaken to the call of responding in the name of Jesus.  We remember that Jesus encountered systems as unjust as those we experience in our day, and who surely felt powerless to change anything on his own.  We turn our hearts and minds through these prayers to his message, to his hopes and dreams, to his ardent desire for a better society.  After each request, our response remains:  We awaken to your call!

O Holy One, we believe you hear the prayers of your people.  In your compassion and love embrace them and hold them and all our unspoken desires close to your heart. 

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Offertory
Blessed are you, Source 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 a new creation. 
ALL: Blessed be God forever!

Gracious God, in bread and wine you give us food for body and spirit.  May our strength be renewed by your generous blessings that will bring us health of mind and body. 

The Holy One is with us, abounding in Love!
ALL:  Let us open our hearts in Christ who lives and loves, heals and
         empowers through us!
Let us give thanks to the Source of All Life.

It is truly right and just that we should always sing of your glory, O Compassionate One, and we praise you on this solemn night when Jesus washed the feet of his companions on the journey toward your Kin-dom of Love.  May we continue to be faithful witnesses to the life of compassion and love we are all called to live, as we sing with the choirs of angels this endless hymn of your glory:
ALL: (sing Mass of Creation)
Holy, Holy, Holy One, Spirit of Love and Peace.
            All of creation is filled with Your glory.  Hosanna in the highest!
         Blessed are all who come in your Holy Name.
         Hosanna in the highest! (x2)

1.            O Holy One, you are the fountain of all holiness, and all creation rightly
     gives you praise.  All life, all holiness comes as you gather a people to
     yourself, so that from east to west a human blessing may be made to the
     glory of your name.
      
ALL: (extend hands)
Therefore, we ask that you intensify the presence of Your
Spirit in these our gifts, as they, and we, manifest the +Body and Blood
of Jesus for the sake of our wholeness and for the wholeness of all
creation.                           
                     
2.            On the night before he died, like the least of household servants, he
washed the feet of his disciples so that they would re-member him. 
Back at the table, he took the bread, spoke the grace, broke the
bread, and offers it to us now, saying:
ALL:  "Take and eat, all of you.  This is my body which I have given to
you." (pause)

1.            When supper was ended, Jesus took the cup of wine, spoke the grace,
and shares it with us, saying:
ALL:  “Take and drink of my cup of new life, through which the covenant
is made new again, for you and for everyone-- for liberation from
every oppression.  Whenever you do this, remember me!” (pause)

Let us proclaim the sacred presence of our Loving God:
(Sing—Mass of Creation)
ALL: Christ has died, Christ is risen. Christ is with us now. (x2)

2.            Loving God, we thank you for blessing us and calling us to you.  May all
of us who share in the work of your creation be brought together in unity
through your Holy Spirit.  You love your human family.  Help us to grow
in love with all of your creation.

ALL:  We remember our brothers and sisters who have gone before us, and all
the saints who have provided prophetic examples of faith throughout the ages.  We praise you in union with them, and give you glory through Jesus, our brother.

ALL:  For it is through learning to live as he lived,
         And why he lived,
         And for whom he lived,
         That we awaken to your Spirit within,
         Moving us to worship you truly,
         Life-giving God,
         At this time, and all time, and in all ways.
           Amen.  (sing Mass of Creation)

Communion Rite
Let us pray together the Prayer of Jesus:
ALL:  O Holy One, you are within, around and among us.
         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.

Please join in prayer as this bread is shared by all:
ALL: Loving God, you call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.
        We will live justly.
        You call us to be your presence in the world. 
        We will love tenderly.
        You call us to speak truth to power.
         We will walk with integrity in your presence.

This is the bread of life and cup of blessing.  Through it we are nourished as we nourish one another.
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.

Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive; nothing can separate us from the Holy One’s love.  All are One at the Table of Friendship!

Communion MeditationWe Remember – Marty Haugen
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzmLi3nddjl  (if needed, copy and paste web address to browser)

Refrain:  We remember how you loved us to your death, and still we celebrate,
      for you are with us here; and we believe that we will see you when
      you come in your Glory.  We remember, we celebrate, we believe.

Here, a million wounded souls are yearning just to touch you and be healed.
Gather all your people, and hold them to your heart.  R

Now we recreate your love, we bring the bread and wine to share a meal.
Sign of grace and mercy, the presence of your life.  R

See the face of Christ revealed in ev’ry person standing by your side, gift to one another, and temples of your love.  R

Closing Prayer
We have brought to this gathering our treasured friendships with everyone gathered here and with those who could not be here.

1.    We give thanks for friends
Who have trusted us,
Who have set us free
Who have stood on the mountain with us,
Who have cried with us,
Who have shared with us,
Who have believed in us
And who have helped us
To follow our hearts.

2.    For us, this Holy Thursday ritual
Is a ritual
Of integrity,
Of gratitude
Of friendship
And of trust.

ALL:  By eating and drinking at this Table,
         We pledge that we can be depended upon
         To be true companions of Jesus
         And of one another
         In our shared dreams for a better world.
         Amen.

Blessing

ALL:  Blessed be the longing that brought us here and quickens our beating
         hearts with wonder.

1.   May the forms of our belonging—in love, creativity, and friendship—be equal to the grandeur and the sacred call within us.

2.   May our dreams gradually reveal the destination of our desires.

  1. May our minds inhabit our lives with the sureness with which our bodies inhabit the world.

  1. May we come to accept our longing as divine urgency.

ALL:  May we know the urgency with which God longs for each one of us…
         As we bless one another in the name of our God:  Source of All Being,
Eternal Word, and +Holy Spirit.

As we continue on the path through the high holy days of our Catholic tradition, we leave tonight knowing that as our journey continues, new life will rise again!

Closing HymnEnter the Journey – Mark Friedman and Janet Vogt
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWqSaWHhD5g   (copy and paste web address into browser)
Refrain:   Enter the journey.  Come to the song.
       By God we are chosen, by name we are called
       to follow the vision, carry the cross. 
                Enter the journey of faith as the fam’ly of God.

Enter the journey, the way may be long.
Enter the journey, yet we are made strong.
God’s spirit will guide us, God’s gifts will unfold.
Enter the journey of hope!   R

Enter the journey, though lost and unsure.
Enter the journey, God’s peace will be yours.
And all who are thirsting be filled with God’s grace.
Enter the journey of faith!   R

Enter the journey, though dark is the way.
Enter the journey, do not be afraid,
For God’s great compassion will give you new sight.
Enter the journey of light!   R

Enter the journey, the old and the young.
Enter the journey, the kin-dom is won.
By faith now united, as servants we come.
Enter the journey of love!   R









Many thanks to Michael Morwood, Bruce Sanguine, John O’Donohue, Nan Merrill, Miriam Therese Winter, and Mary VanGuilder for the prayers and thoughts contained in this liturgy.










 Community of St. Bridget – Inclusive Catholic Community


Holy Thursday - Liturgy of the Last Supper
April 9, 2020

Opening Hymn:  Table of Plenty – Dan Schutte
(if needed, copy & paste web address to browser)

Refrain:  Come to the feast of heaven and earth!  Come to the table of plenty!
               God will provide for all that we need, here at the table of plenty.

O come and sit at my table where saints and sinners are friends.
I wait to welcome the lost and lonely to share the cup of my love.  R

O come and eat without money; come to drink without price.
My feast of gladness will feed your spirit with faith and fullness of life.  R

My bread will ever sustain you through days of sorrow and woe.
My wine will flow like a sea of gladness to flood the depths of your soul.  R


We know well the institutional theological story concerning Holy Thursday.  It is a story told by Matthew, Mark and Luke from which the institution of the Eucharist and the formation of cultic male clergy with ritual powers have been derived.  But at this liturgy we will capture the other side of that story, a story that will focus on the human reality of Jesus facing death.  In this story, we see Jesus entrusting his friends to keep his dream alive, and asking them to commit themselves to doing so.  This side of the story is about hope, trust, friendship, commitment and dreams of what could be.
Tonight, according to the Gospel of John, we celebrate Jesus washing the feet of his disciples before his passion and death, the day before the Feast of the Passover.  What happens here tonight, what will be understood in a different light, what holiness we will experience, will be the Gift freely given to us all.
And so, we begin in the name of the Divine:  Source of All Being, Eternal Word and +Holy Spirit. 

Transformation Rite

1.   Most loving and forgiving God, teach us your way so that with you, we become a forgiving people.

2.   Make faithful discipleship a part of our way of being in a world which so badly needs your love and compassion.

1.   Open highways in the wilderness of our lives, and make fresh waters spring up in the hard places of our hearts.

2.   Give us the grace to know your presence in our lives and our world.  Free us from our usual patterns to change our ways into something new.

ALL:  We ask this as a searching people longing to do as Jesus did in his life
         and teaching.  Amen.

Gloria  (sing)
Glory to God, glory!  O praise God, Alleluia!
Glory to God, glory!  O praise the Name of our God!  (x3)


Opening Memory
1.   We remember Jesus—being true to everything he preached, coming down from the mountain, walking to Jerusalem, crying over dashed hopes, wondering who would continue his dream, feeling broken-hearted, washing the feet of his disciples, sharing a final meal with his friends, having to trust his friends.

2.   He had to trust people like us because he knew he would not live to see his dream realized. He trusted us because he believed in the goodness embedded in every person.

1.   He trusted us because he knew the longings that stir in the depths of the human heart.

2.   He trusted us because he knew his teaching could empower us to be as true to ourselves as he was to himself.
ALL: He trusted his friends.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
We now call upon the Spirit of Our Living God as we reflect on the Scripture readings broken open and shared by all.

First Reading:  A reading from the book of Exodus:

God said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month will be the first of all months for you.  You will count it as the first month of the year.  Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth day of this month every family in Israel will take a lamb from the flock, one for each household.

“If the household is too small for the whole lamb, it will join its neighbor as the number of persons requires.  You must take into account what each can eat in deciding the number for the animal.  The lamb must be a yearling without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.  You must keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, then the whole community of the congregation of Israel is to slaughter it in the evening.

“Some of the blood must then be taken and applied to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house where the lamb is eaten.  That night they will eat the roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

“This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girded, sandals on your feet, and a staff in your hand; you are to eat it in haste.  It is the Passover of Our God.  For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night and strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both humans and animals.  I will execute this judgment on all the gods of Egypt: I am Your God!  The blood will mark the houses where you live.  When I see the blood, I will pass over you and you will escape destruction when I strike the land of Egypt.

“This day will be for you a Memorial Day, and you must celebrate it as a feast in God’s honor.  All generations are to observe it forever as a feast day.”
The inspired words from our ancient literary tradition.  Amen.

Responsorial:  Our blessing cup is a communion with the blood of Jesus.
What shall I render to You for all your goodness to me?  I will drink the chalice of Love and praise You, who have done wondrous things; 
I will bear witness to You, O Bread of Life, in the presence of all the people.  R

O Beloved, consider me your friend; I long to co-create with You.
For You have loosed the bonds of fear in me.  I will offer to You the gift of gratitude and acknowledge your Loving Presence with joy.  R

I will bear witness to You, O Giver of Life, in the presence of all the people,
In the Sacred Altar of my heart, in your midst, O Beloved.
Praises be to You!  For You dwell within the heart of everything!  R
Second Reading:  A reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians:

What I have passed on to you, I received from Christ—that on the night he was betrayed, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, saying, “This is my body, which is broken for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, after supper he took the cup and said, “This cup is the New Covenant in my blood.  Whenever you drink it, do it in remembrance of me.”  For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim Jesus’ death until Christ comes.   The inspired words of the apostle, Paul.  Amen.

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. (x2 – sing)

Gospel: A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John:

It was before the Feast of Passover, and Jesus realized that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to Abba God.  He had always loved his own in this world, but now he showed how perfect this love was.

The Devil had already convinced Judas Iscariot, begot of Simon, to betray Jesus.  So during supper, Jesus, knowing that God had put all things into his own hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, rose from the table, took off his clothes and wrapped a towel around his waist.

He then poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and dry them with the towel that was around his waist.

When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Rabbi, you are not going to wash my feet, are you?”
Jesus answered, “You do not realize what I am doing right now, but later you will understand.”

Peter replied, “You will never wash my feet!”
Jesus answered, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.”
Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Then, Rabbi, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus said, “Any who has taken a bath is clean all over and only need to wash their feet—and you are clean, though not every one of you.”  For Jesus knew who was to betray him.  That is why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After washing their feet, Jesus put his clothes back on and returned to the table.  He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you?  You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Sovereign’—and rightly, for so I am.  If I, your Teacher and Sovereign, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
The inspired words of the evangelist, John.  Amen.
Homily/Reflection

I mentioned at the beginning of this liturgy, that in the tradition of the institutional church, Holy Thursday is considered as the establishment of the Eucharist where the formation of cultic male clergy with their ritual powers have been derived.  Yet, truth be told, there is no scriptural basis for their current position that what we know now as male hierarchal “ordination” was practiced in the early Christian communities.

Jesus, although publicly recognized as a teacher and preacher in his lifetime, did not “ordain” anyone and did not establish a church in the sense that we know it today.  In the early church, leaders in the community were “ordered” – were publicly affirmed in a particular ministry of service.  Any scripture passages that have been lifted out of context in order to prove otherwise, is disingenuous.  Before any book of the Bible was approved for inclusion in the formal scriptural Canon, it was revised many times by editors that changed original texts and included their additions, reflecting the cultural and religious practices of the time.

Today I serve as a leader of prayer for this faith community.  I also embrace my call to reform the Catholic Church in its understanding and function of interpreting and embracing the kinship of Jesus.

Our liturgical prayers invite us to break bread together—in memory of Jesus’ ultimate call to lay down his life for others, and to serve our brothers and sisters in their need. 

As a community of faith, we are all called to deepen our spiritual lives, our love for community, and embrace our personal and communal responsibilities.

As a community of faith, we must embrace the moral leadership we are given, and continue to bond together for strength in combatting the encroaching tides of disease and negative discourse of our time. 

If we hold onto the belief that the Spirit of God is always with us, we will find strength in Her abiding presence, never to be exhausted nor conquered!

Thank you for allowing me to serve you.  Please share with others your own call to prayer and action in furthering the Kin-dom of Jesus.

Prayer of the Faithful
Mindful of our Creator’s love and care for us, we bring to our Table prayers of thanksgiving, petitions for help and compassion, and declarations of what we hold dear.  We know that the Body of Christ is present in our community of faith, and that we will awaken to the call of responding in the name of Jesus.  We remember that Jesus encountered systems as unjust as those we experience in our day, and who surely felt powerless to change anything on his own.  We turn our hearts and minds through these prayers to his message, to his hopes and dreams, to his ardent desire for a better society.  After each request, our response remains:  We awaken to your call!

O Holy One, we believe you hear the prayers of your people.  In your compassion and love embrace them and hold them and all our unspoken desires close to your heart. 

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Offertory
Blessed are you, Source 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 a new creation. 
ALL: Blessed be God forever!

Gracious God, in bread and wine you give us food for body and spirit.  May our strength be renewed by your generous blessings that will bring us health of mind and body. 

The Holy One is with us, abounding in Love!
ALL:  Let us open our hearts in Christ who lives and loves, heals and
         empowers through us!
Let us give thanks to the Source of All Life.

It is truly right and just that we should always sing of your glory, O Compassionate One, and we praise you on this solemn night when Jesus washed the feet of his companions on the journey toward your Kin-dom of Love.  May we continue to be faithful witnesses to the life of compassion and love we are all called to live, as we sing with the choirs of angels this endless hymn of your glory:
ALL: (sing Mass of Creation)
Holy, Holy, Holy One, Spirit of Love and Peace.
            All of creation is filled with Your glory.  Hosanna in the highest!
         Blessed are all who come in your Holy Name.
         Hosanna in the highest! (x2)

1.            O Holy One, you are the fountain of all holiness, and all creation rightly
     gives you praise.  All life, all holiness comes as you gather a people to
     yourself, so that from east to west a human blessing may be made to the
     glory of your name.
      
ALL: (extend hands)
Therefore, we ask that you intensify the presence of Your
Spirit in these our gifts, as they, and we, manifest the +Body and Blood
of Jesus for the sake of our wholeness and for the wholeness of all
creation.                           
                     
2.            On the night before he died, like the least of household servants, he
washed the feet of his disciples so that they would re-member him. 
Back at the table, he took the bread, spoke the grace, broke the
bread, and offers it to us now, saying:
ALL:  "Take and eat, all of you.  This is my body which I have given to
you." (pause)

1.            When supper was ended, Jesus took the cup of wine, spoke the grace,
and shares it with us, saying:
ALL:  “Take and drink of my cup of new life, through which the covenant
is made new again, for you and for everyone-- for liberation from
every oppression.  Whenever you do this, remember me!” (pause)

Let us proclaim the sacred presence of our Loving God:
(Sing—Mass of Creation)
ALL: Christ has died, Christ is risen. Christ is with us now. (x2)

2.            Loving God, we thank you for blessing us and calling us to you.  May all
of us who share in the work of your creation be brought together in unity
through your Holy Spirit.  You love your human family.  Help us to grow
in love with all of your creation.

ALL:  We remember our brothers and sisters who have gone before us, and all
the saints who have provided prophetic examples of faith throughout the ages.  We praise you in union with them, and give you glory through Jesus, our brother.

ALL:  For it is through learning to live as he lived,
         And why he lived,
         And for whom he lived,
         That we awaken to your Spirit within,
         Moving us to worship you truly,
         Life-giving God,
         At this time, and all time, and in all ways.
           Amen.  (sing Mass of Creation)

Communion Rite
Let us pray together the Prayer of Jesus:
ALL:  O Holy One, you are within, around and among us.
         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.

Please join in prayer as this bread is shared by all:
ALL: Loving God, you call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice.
        We will live justly.
        You call us to be your presence in the world. 
        We will love tenderly.
        You call us to speak truth to power.
         We will walk with integrity in your presence.

This is the bread of life and cup of blessing.  Through it we are nourished as we nourish one another.
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.

Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive; nothing can separate us from the Holy One’s love.  All are One at the Table of Friendship!

Communion MeditationWe Remember – Marty Haugen
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzmLi3nddjl  (if needed, copy and paste web address to browser)

Refrain:  We remember how you loved us to your death, and still we celebrate,
      for you are with us here; and we believe that we will see you when
      you come in your Glory.  We remember, we celebrate, we believe.

Here, a million wounded souls are yearning just to touch you and be healed.
Gather all your people, and hold them to your heart.  R

Now we recreate your love, we bring the bread and wine to share a meal.
Sign of grace and mercy, the presence of your life.  R

See the face of Christ revealed in ev’ry person standing by your side, gift to one another, and temples of your love.  R

Closing Prayer
We have brought to this gathering our treasured friendships with everyone gathered here and with those who could not be here.

1.    We give thanks for friends
Who have trusted us,
Who have set us free
Who have stood on the mountain with us,
Who have cried with us,
Who have shared with us,
Who have believed in us
And who have helped us
To follow our hearts.

2.    For us, this Holy Thursday ritual
Is a ritual
Of integrity,
Of gratitude
Of friendship
And of trust.

ALL:  By eating and drinking at this Table,
         We pledge that we can be depended upon
         To be true companions of Jesus
         And of one another
         In our shared dreams for a better world.
         Amen.

Blessing

ALL:  Blessed be the longing that brought us here and quickens our beating
         hearts with wonder.

1.   May the forms of our belonging—in love, creativity, and friendship—be equal to the grandeur and the sacred call within us.

2.   May our dreams gradually reveal the destination of our desires.

  1. May our minds inhabit our lives with the sureness with which our bodies inhabit the world.

  1. May we come to accept our longing as divine urgency.

ALL:  May we know the urgency with which God longs for each one of us…
         As we bless one another in the name of our God:  Source of All Being,
Eternal Word, and +Holy Spirit.

As we continue on the path through the high holy days of our Catholic tradition, we leave tonight knowing that as our journey continues, new life will rise again!

Closing HymnEnter the Journey – Mark Friedman and Janet Vogt
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWqSaWHhD5g   (copy and paste web address into browser)
Refrain:   Enter the journey.  Come to the song.
       By God we are chosen, by name we are called
       to follow the vision, carry the cross. 
                Enter the journey of faith as the fam’ly of God.

Enter the journey, the way may be long.
Enter the journey, yet we are made strong.
God’s spirit will guide us, God’s gifts will unfold.
Enter the journey of hope!   R

Enter the journey, though lost and unsure.
Enter the journey, God’s peace will be yours.
And all who are thirsting be filled with God’s grace.
Enter the journey of faith!   R

Enter the journey, though dark is the way.
Enter the journey, do not be afraid,
For God’s great compassion will give you new sight.
Enter the journey of light!   R

Enter the journey, the old and the young.
Enter the journey, the kin-dom is won.
By faith now united, as servants we come.
Enter the journey of love!   R 


Many thanks to Michael Morwood, Bruce Sanguine, John O’Donohue, Nan Merrill, Miriam Therese Winter, and Mary VanGuilder for the prayers and thoughts contained in this liturgy.























































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