Wednesday, December 23, 2020

MMOJ Inclusive Catholic Community Christmas Liturgy, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2020, 4:00 PM, Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Cheryl Brandi, Music Minister Linda Lee Miller

Zoom link for video, Dec. 24, 2020 4 PM Eastern Standard Time

Meeting ID: 862-4086-8327

Password: 1066

Theme: Imagine a World Where Love is the Way

Presider 1: GREETING and WELCOME!


Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community where everyone is welcome to share in our celebration of the Eucharist.  We use inclusive language in our scripture readings and prayers.  We invite you to pray the liturgy and respond aloud and muted where it says “All.” And during the songs, sing your heart out, while muted.  All participants will be muted during the liturgy except for the presiders and readers. Our readers today are Mary Al Gagnon and Joan Meehan. Please have bread and wine/juice nearby as we pray our Eucharistic prayer.


Today, we celebrate the birth of  Jesus of Nazareth who revealed the outpouring of divine love in our world. In this liturgy we use an ancient name, “Christ-Sophia”, a biblical symbol of the Divine, to reflect a world in which love is the way and where there is an equal connections between male and female, black and white, Jewish and Christian. The image of Christ Sophia dismantles patriarchy and creates a strong foundation for inclusive, egalitarian communities where ordained and non-ordained are partners in ministry. 


This Christmas  carol video, by my friend Jann Alderidge Clanton,  shares a world where love is the way. 

Opening Song: Music: O Holy Night

“Come to Our World, O Christ-Sophia” – Jann Alderidge Clanton

Come to our world, O Christ-Sophia, Wisdom;
our hearts are longing for Your peaceful way.
Lead us from fear and bondage into freedom;
with You we labor to bring Your new day.

Transform our world, O Christ-Sophia, Wisdom;
the poor and wounded await healing days.
Give us the power to sound Your call to freedom;
as equal partners, we show Your new way.

Led by Your Truth and Life within us growing,
we follow You on Your pathways of peace.
Filled with Your grace, Your loving kindness showing,
we share our gifts and our visions release.


Our weary world still longs for new creation,
for peace and justice coming to the earth.
Hope springs anew; we sing in celebration;
O Christ-Sophia, blessed be Your birth;
O Christ-Sophia, blessed be Your birth.

Words © Jann Aldredge-Clanton          

Opening Prayer
Presider  2:
We rejoice in the birth of Jesus. We rejoice that that every child, like Jesus, is a holy child. May we see miracles and wonders everywhere we go. May we celebrate the spirit of Christmas in joyful giving each day so that love becomes the way .

ALL: Amen.

Call to Transformation: 

Presider 1: Let us pause now to place our imperfections, and failures in the arms of Divine Love . 

For the times I failed to love others.

All: I am sorry, forgive me, I love you.  

For the times I failed to seek forgiveness from those I offended.

All. I am sorry, forgive me, I love you.

For the times I failed to forgive those who offended me.

All: I am sorry, forgive me, I love you.

Raise your hands toward each other and offer forgiveness to those you offended and who offended you:

All: Please forgive me, I forgive you, I love you. I thank you. 

ALL: Sing Glory to God- Linda Lee Miller


Mary Al:

First Reading: Isaiah 9:1-6

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of deep shadows
a light has shone.

You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing.

For a child is born to us, a son is given us;
They name him Wonder-Counselor, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast and forever peaceful.

Psalm Response: adapted from Psalm 96 (Music and Words by Kathy Sherman)

Sung Response:

May the Christ Light Shine in You!

May the Christ Light shine in Me.

And together we will shine

With God’s love to the world. 

Sung Response: May the Christ Light Shine in You!(Repeat whole verse)

Second Reading: The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr


Christ is the light that allows people to see things in their fullness. The precise and intended effect of such a light is to see Christ everywhere else. In fact, that is my only definition of a true Christian. A mature Christian sees Christ in everything and everyone else. That is a definition that will never fail you, always demand more of you, and give you no reasons to fight, exclude, or reject anyone. Isn’t that ironic? The point of the Christian life is not to distinguish oneself from the ungodly, but to stand in radical solidarity with everyone and everything else.

These are the inspired words of Richard Rohr. We affirm them by saying:

All Thanks be to God. 

Gospel Acclamation Alle, Alle, Alleluia with Linda Lee Miller! (sung)

Gospel: A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem and see this event which God has made known to us.”  They went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger; once they saw, they reported what had been told them concerning this child. All who heard of it we astonished at the report given them by the shepherds.

Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

These are the inspired words of the Gospel writer Luke .We affirm them by saying: All; Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation Alle, Alle, Alleluia with Linda Lee Miller! (sung)

Homily Starter: Bridget Mary Meehan

The birth of Jesus and every child is a reminder of divine outpouring love.

Imagine the angels singing a song of joy at your birth!

At the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in 2018, Bishop Michael Bruce-Curry , the presiding bishop of the Episcopalian Church invited the viewers to envision love as outpouring love that transforms the world.

“Imagine a world where love is the way: he said, When love is the way then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a might stream and righteousness like an every flowing brook. When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the Earth will be a sanctuary. When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields to study war no more. When love is the way, there’s plenty good room for all of God’s children, because when love is the way, we actually treat each other well, like we are actually family. 

Let us imagine world, a church, a MMOJ Community where our intention is to see everything through love, and  where love is the way. 

Here is what I see!

I see a world where health professionals and frontline workers are serving generously all those who are ill and in need in this time of pandemic. 

I see a world, a nation, a church in which women and men and all genders are equal and cherished, where all gifts are affirmed. 

 I see inclusive faith communities, like you, my beloved companions on the journey, where all are partners in ministry and where love is the way! 

What do you see?

Dialogue HOMILY: Community shares

Profession of Faith: ALL: We believe in God who is creator and nurturer of all. We believe in Jesus, the Christ, 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 injustices. We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who support us on life’s journey. We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our church and world. We believe that all are one in the community of creation. We believe that God calls us to live fully, love tenderly, and serve generously. Amen.

Prayer of the Community

Presider 1: For a deeper realization of the Christ Presence in everyone, we pray.

Response: Christ Sophia , you embrace us.

Presider 2 : That we may experience the birthing of the Spirit anew in our world today in the midst of political turmoil, unrest and the COVID crisis, we pray. 

R. Christ Sophia, you embrace us.

Presider 1: That the sick and suffering may experience the healing love of God, in our compassionate service, we pray. 

R. Christ Sophia, you embrace us.

Presider 2: That those who have died may rest in God's eternal embrace, we pray. 

R. Christ Sophia, you embrace us. 

(Please share your Intentions)


Presider1: Blessed are you, God 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 your new creation.
ALL: Blessed be God forever.


Presider 2: God dwells among us. 

ALL: And in all people everywhere.

Presider 1: Lift up your hearts. 

ALL: We lift them in the joy of Christ embracing all.

Presider 2: Affirm the power of love within you and within all.  

All: Alleluia

ALL: We Are Holy -


Voice 1: Mothering Presence, you brought forth all creation from your Life-Giving Womb. O Love of the Ages, we leap for joy in your presence everywhere.

Voice 2: Holy One of ancient Israel, you revealed yourself in Mary's womb, in a shining star, in humble shepherds, in a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. You dwell in the depths of our hearts and continue to reveal yourself here and now in our everyday moments of laughter and tears, hopes and dreams.

Voice 3: We invite you this day to deepen our awareness of our great oneness in Christ Sophia as we gather around the table of abundant love.
 We rejoice in the dawning of the sacred promise of God's Anointed, fulfilled in Jesus, the Christ and in us each day.

Voice 4: We celebrate the Christ Presence born anew each day in us, illuminating the whole universe. Now, we share the bread of life and lift the cup of blessing at this festive meal as we pray:

Invocation of the Holy Spirit
(raise hands toward bread and wine for Invocation of the Holy Spirit)

Presider 1 and All: Come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and in these gifts of bread and wine.

On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to them saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. Do this in memory of me.” 


Presider 2 and ALL: In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine. He said the blessing, gave the cup to his friends and said, “Take this all of you and drink. Do this in memory of me.”  

Presider 1 and All: 

Let us proclaim the sacred presence of our nurturing God:
Jesus, by your life, death and rising, you have shown us the fullness of our humanity and divinity, as the Beloved of God.

Voice 5: 

Christ Sophia, today we celebrate your birth as Jesus of Nazareth, the son of a poor woman, born among animals and proclaimed by angels. We see your tender presence shining forth as pure love in the eyes of the elderly, in the service of care-givers and in the depths of our own hearts. 

Voice 6: 

We remember the prophet and saints who have gone before us:, Mary, Mother of Jesus, Joseph, and all our beloved friends. We recall their gifts passed down to us  through the ages. In union with all people living and dead, we join our prayers to those of the entire communion of Saints. 

Voice 7 : 

Creator of All,  we open our hearts to the music of life and the joy of giving as we serve our sisters and brothers in need and pledge ourselves to live in harmony with all creatures on the earth. May we be in communion with all that is, that was, and that will be.

Presider 2 and ALL: 

Through Christ, in Christ, with Christ, all praise and glory resounds through the universe as the Holy Spirit dances with all in the circle of life. 

The Great Amen with Linda Lee Miller (Sung)

Presider 1 and All: (English version of the original Aramaic)

We pray together as Jesus taught us.

Our Father and Mother,

Source of all that is,

your vibrations radiate throughout the cosmos.

Make us a resonant space for your vibrations.

May your sphere of influence come.

May your heart's desire for unity and harmony

penetrate every part of the universe as it does on earth.

Give us what we need each day in bread and insight

Loosen the cords of mistakes and sins that bind us,

as we release the strands we hold of others' guilt.

Let us not be deluded by surface things,

but free us from what holds us back from our true purpose. Amen.

Presider 2:  Jesus, you said: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you. May we be the peace we wish to see in the world. Let us share a gesture of deep peace and justice with everyone in the circle of life as we sing “Peace is flowing like a River” by Carey Landry


Presider 1 and 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 so. 

Loving God, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will do so.

Presider 2 and All: This is Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, loving us forever. All are invited to partake of this sacred banquet of love. We are the hands and feet of Christ in our world.

Presider 1 and all:: Receive who you are the Body and Blood of Christ in our world. ALL: Amen.

COMMUNION- Meditation: Silent Night

"Silent Night, Each Holy Child "  Shaina Noll

Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright

'Round every birthday, each mother and child

Each Holy Infant is tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace, each holy child sleep in peace.



Creator of new beginnings, we awaken to your love born anew in our world as we share your gifts at our holy table. May your tender presence continue to open our hearts to the daily miracles of life that surround us each day, through Emmanuel, God-with-us.

ALL: Amen.



The Holy One is within you.

Presider 1 and ALL: and within all.


(everyone please extend your hands in mutual blessing)

Presider 1 and ALL: 

May we sing and dance for joy as we celebrate every day as Christmas!


Presider 2: 

Let us birth Christ anew in our world today. Go in peace and let the service continue.

Presider 2 and ALL: Thanks be to God.

CONCLUDING HYMN: Joy to World - Music ( see new words!)

“Sound Forth the News That Wisdom Comes”

Sound forth the news that Wisdom comes
to bring new life to birth.
Arise with hope, Her labor join,
and peace shall fill the earth,
and peace shall fill the earth,
and peace, and peace shall fill the earth.

No more let fear and custom hide
the path of Wisdom fair.
She leads the way to life and joy,
with gifts for all to share,
with gifts for all to share,
with gifts, with gifts for all to share.

Joyful are we who heed the call
of Wisdom in our souls.
With Her we break oppression’s wall,
so love may freely flow,
so love may freely flow,
so love, so love may freely flow.

Crown Wisdom Queen of heaven and earth;
Her reign will set us free.
Fling wide the gates that all may come
join hands and dance with glee,
join hands and dance with glee,
join hands, join hands and dance with glee.

Words © Jann Aldredge-Clanton, from Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians
“Sound Forth the News That Wisdom Comes” calls us to co-create with Wisdom a world of justice, peace, equality, love, freedom, and joy. This Christmas carol comes with the hope that Wisdom will guide us to change our violent culture and to co-create with Her a peaceful world. Let us join together in our churches, communities, and home in 
caroling for change."

Liturgy by Bridget Mary Meehan

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Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community

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