Saturday, April 11, 2020

Upper Room Inclusive Catholic Community, Easter Vigil Liturgy, Presider: Lynn Kinlan, ARCWP



Lighting of the Paschal Candle / Exsultet Proclamation of Easter and Spring

Presider: Behold the Sacred Light of Christ as it breaks forth on this Holy Night, to dispel suffering and rise above all darkness. Through our prayer, let us invoke the Spirit of the Risen Christ:

All: Risen One, Present and Eternal, we rejoice with thanks

Reader 1: Exult! Let them exult, hosts of the Kin-dom 

Let the Holy One’s Angels exult,
Let the trumpet of renewal
Sound aloud Christ’s holy presence.

All: Risen One, Present and Eternal, we rejoice with thanks

Reader 1: Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
Ablaze with light from her eternal Love,
Let all corners of the earth be glad,
Knowing an end to winter’s gloom and darkness.

All: Risen One, Present and Eternal, we rejoice with thanks

Reader 1: May this flame be found still burning
By the Morning Star: 
the one Morning Star who never sets,
The Christ within us and around us,
Who has shed peaceful light on humanity,
And whose love shines forth forever.

All: Risen One, Present and Eternal, we rejoice with thanks. Amen.

Opening Song: Christ is Risen by David Haas

Christ is risen! Shout Hosanna!
Celebrate this day of days!
Christ is risen! Hush in wonder:
all creation is amazed.
In the desert all-surrounding,
see, a spreading tree has grown.
Healing leaves of grace abounding
bring a taste of love unknown.

Christ is risen! Raise your spirits
from the caverns of despair.
Walk with gladness in the morning.
See what love can do and dare.
Drink the wine of resurrection,
not a servant, but a friend.
Jesus is our strong companion.
Joy and peace shall never end.

Christ is risen! Earth and heaven
nevermore shall be the same.
Break the bread of new creation
where the world is still in pain.
Tell its grim, demonic chorus:
'Christ is risen! Get you gone!'
God the First and Last is with us.
Sing Hosanna everyone!

Renewal of Baptismal Promises

Presider: At baptism, we join community and fellowship with Christ. At Easter time we renew these pledges, fully grasping that Jesus blazed a trail of both challenge and grace. By our promises tonight, we proclaim that we live in the Risen One, here and now and into eternal life.

Presider: Do you believe in the Holy One, the Source of life and love, in Jesus our brother whose courage in the face of injustice provides a path to eternal fullness of life and in the Spirit of the Holy which refreshes and surprises us to enable the work of co-creation?

All: We Promise

Presider: Do you promise to be resourceful in safeguarding the gift of Creation through gentle care of plant life, animals, water, air and the land of our precious earth?

All: We Promise

Do you promise to discover that which unifies us as sisters and brothers across the divides of gender, race, income and ethnicity and to act so that conflict may melt into peace and justice for all?

All: We Promise

Presider: Please use water to anoint your forehead and/or the person with you, proclaiming, “I am/You are the inheritor of the Risen One.”


First Reading: “Tomb-Watch” by Joyce Rupp

Each of us needs tomb-watches every now and then. Maybe we are keeping vigil for a part of ourselves that lies dormant or lost or has fallen into despair. Maybe our shrouded figure is the loss of a way to pray, a deadening unforgiveness or a body experiencing its physical limitations. Maybe our tomb watch is our becoming the angel of vigil, attending someone else in pain. Maybe the vigil we keep is for the people of the world as we weep for their woe or for the Earth itself.

Easter is about tomb watches. It is about love that keeps vigil and waits and believes in life, no matter how dark and empty and cold the inner space feels. Easter is about hope that is willing to sit in the tomb while it trusts in transformation. Easter is about faithful companions who keep watch with us and cheer us on as we wait for our inner resurrection.

These are inspired words of Joyce Rupp from Out of the Ordinary. We affirm them by adding, Amen.

Alleluia Acclamation

Gospel Reading from Mary the Magdalene (40:3 – 41:1)

On the first day of the week, Mary the Magdalene went early, while it was still dark, to the tomb and saw the stone taken away from the entrance. Stooping and looking in, she saw that the tomb was empty and the linen cloths scattered where the body had been laid. Yet, she did not enter in, but remained standing outside weeping. Hearing a noise, Mary turned around and saw a figure standing close by. Because of her weeping, she did not know that it was Jesus.

Then, Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” 

Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you or another has carried him away, tell me where he is laid, and I will go and take him away.

Jesus said to her, “Mary”.

She turned and, overcome with joy, said to him, “Rabbi!”

Jesus said to her, “Mary, do not hold to me, for I am not of the flesh, yet neither am I one with the Spirit; but rather go to my disciples and tell them you have seen me, so that all may know my words are true and that any who keep to my commandments will follow me on their last day.”

And Mary therefore returned to that place where were gathered, Martha, Lazarus whom Jesus had restored to life, and Mary the Mother of Jacob and Salome. Also with them were Thomas, and Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus as well as the disciples, Mathew, and Joanna and the other Salome to whom Jesus had spoken at the well. Mary told them that she had seen Jesus and what he had said. They trusted that she spoke only truth and were filled with great joy and believed.

Messages were sent to the other disciples but they were scattered all over the land. It was not until the end of that week that Mary was able to see all of them at the house in Bethany and describe how she had seen Jesus and what he had wanted them all to hear. 

These are the inspired words of Mary the Magdalene and we affirm them by adding, Amen.

Starter Homily by Lynn Kinlan

“Easter is about hope that is willing to sit in the tomb while it trusts in transformation.” These words by Joyce Rupp seem like the best descriptor of what it is like to shelter at home while the virus rages outside largely undetected and unpredictable. Health professionals keep vigil by ventilator ICU beds and other essential workers are the “angels of vigil” that Rupp mentions.

We all weep for the many kinds of losses in our midst even as I’m sure we trust that we are about to be transformed. We are about to discover the hope that our keeping the faith brings because we know that Jesus is the Risen One, the light that shines when life seems darkest and suffering most enduring. In a way, we are like Mary the Magdelene as she approaches the tomb in the darkness of the pre-dawn and sees the stone rolled away. She is shocked and her world is about to be transformed.

There are two features of the gospel that are compelling: the first is the moment when Mary doesn’t recognize Jesus. He doesn’t say, Mary, it’s me, Jesus!” Because for Jesus it is never about himself or his own ego. It is always about Zaccariah in the tree or the man by the pool who can’t stand or the leper in need of human touch and healing. Instead, Jesus says her name. Simply her name; it is all about Jesus recognizing and loving Mary out of shock and into her fullest role of discipleship. Imagine if you will, Jesus lovingly saying your name and recognizing the full person you are created to become. What a holy and simple and love filled moment this is for Mary and for Jesus. And for us.

The second feature of this gospel that is so alluring is that nine community members wait behind for Mary and they are given names and identities too. We get the sense of a group picture, a bunch of women and men as equal disciples sharing their worry, their grief and ultimately, their hopeful and peace abiding discipleship. Mary brings good news to them and later in the week, to other disciples. We are blessed to also receive that news even in the midst of pandemic so that Like Mary and the others, we live with hope, able to carry the Divine within us and with each other.

What did you hear? What does it mean to you? What will it cost you?


Presider: As we prepare for this sacred meal, we bring the intentions as requested by members of our community forward:
Presider: We pray for these and all the unspoken intentions of our hearts…Amen.

Presider: Let us pray our Eucharistic Prayer with open hands:

All: Gracious God, we gather with you on this Easter, doused in the living water of renewal and thankful for Jesus. He opens our hearts to sense the grace and texture of love at its finest. Even as it is offered and refused, even when given away or betrayed, Divine love remains whole and everlasting. The inspiration of Your Spirit reminds us that love rises to the challenge of suffering, graces our living through uncertain times and enlivens our ability to hope in resurrection and rising. With gratitude for the blessedness of our lives, we sing a hymn of praise:

Blessed be our God!  Blessed be our God!
                                            Joy of our hearts, source of all life and love!         
God of Heaven and Earth! God of Heaven and Earth!
Dwelling within, calling us all by name.
Alleluia, sing! Alleluia sing!

 All: We celebrate rebirth tonight but the heart and soul of faith allows us to see it every day and night; each day a new dawn breaks, each night a distant star is born and the dormant season of winter turns into the greenery of Spring. Tonight, more than any other night, we insist that death is not the end but rather a transformation into new possibilities.
We pray that reluctant endings and disappointments lead to measures of healing and new life.  Nothing that exists is ever destroyed completely in the awesome Creation plan of the Divine and so we rest assured of the love of the Holy One in and among us forever and ever.
Presider: Please extend your hands in blessing:

All: We call upon Your Spirit present among us to bless this bread and wine, reminders of our call to be the light of Christ to the world.
On the night before he faced betrayal and death, Jesus shared supper with friends and spoke of all that he had taught them during their years together. To symbolize the service and humility of their lives, Jesus washed their feet. Upon returning to the table, Jesus lifted bread, spoke a blessing and broke it saying,

Take and eat, this is my very self.
Then he took the cup of the covenant, spoke the grace and offered it to them saying,
Take and drink.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you.
Presider: Let us share this bread and cup to proclaim and live the gospel.
 (consume bread and drink from the cup)

Presider: Let us pray as Jesus taught:

Holy One, you are within, around and among us.
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.

Communion Meditation Song: Join in the Dance by Dan Schutte
Join in the dance of the earth's jubilation!
This is the feast of the love of God.
Shout from the heights to the ends of creation:
Jesus the Savior is risen from the grave!
1. Wake, O people; sleep no longer:
greet the breaking day!
Christ, Redeemer, Lamb and Lion,
turns the night away! (Refrain)

2. All creation, like a mother,
labors to give birth.
Soon the pain will be forgotten,
joy for all the earth! (Refrain)

3. Now our shame becomes our glory
on this holy tree.
Now the reign of death is ended;
now we are set free! (Refrain)

Closing Blessing for All: May we be the Face of God to each other with a love that rises to every challenge and graces our every moment. May we be forever blessed in strength and gratitude to be the eyes and hands and heart of Jesus in the world. Amen.

Closing Song: The Wondrous News by Dan Schutte

Refrain: Go people of God, and tell of the wondrous news
Christ risen in glory now lives again
Go into the world and shout from the highest hill;
Death never can hold us. God’s love has won the day.

1. Be home for pilgrim feet and shelter for the lost.
The kin-dom of God is waiting now within our hearts. (Refrain)

2. Be food for hungry hearts and drink for those who thirst.
The reign of the Savior, Jesus Christ, is close at hand. (Refrain)

3. Be friend for those who mourn and strength for those who fall.
The dark of the night is past and gone in Christ, our Light. (Refrain)


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