Saturday, April 3, 2021

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Easter Vigil Liturgy, April 3, 2021 , MMOJ Liturgy Team

 Zoom link:         

Zoom link for video- 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
ID 851- 0809-5506
Passcode 1066

carousel-anatasis icon (This icon shows the Risen Christ descending into Hades and raising all who died.

Elena: We warmly welcome you to our celebration of the Easter Vigil, a holy and blessed night in which we recall the reawakening of Jesus to new life. We are so happy you have joined us and we welcome you to share in our eucharistic celebration of Hope as we gather around this zoom table of friendship and unity.

Service of Light

Elena: On this most sacred night, in which Jesus Christ passed over from this earth to a new life, the People of God everywhere come together from all over to watch and pray.  If we listen to the word of God and live it, and if we honor the memory of his death and resurrection, we will have the sure Hope of sharing his victory over death and living a resurrected life with our Creator.

Blessing of the Fire and Paschal Candle

Elena: We begin our liturgical celebration today by blessing the Easter fire, lighting our Easter Candle and our individual candles – a symbol of Jesus, alive in and around us.

Elena sets the fire.  When lit, the fire is blessed.

Elena: Let us pray.  O God who, through Jesus, blessed upon us the fire of your glory, sanctify this new fire -- and grant that, by these paschal celebrations, we may be inflamed with new Hope.  Purify our minds by this Easter celebration and bring us one day to the feast of eternal light. 

Preparation of the Paschal Candle

Elena: Christ, yesterday and today (pause) The Beginning and the End  

Sally: The Alpha and Omega (first pin is inserted)   

Janet: All time belongs to God (second pin is inserted) 

Sally: And all the ages (third pin is inserted) 

Janet: To Jesus, be glory and power (fourth pin is inserted) 

Elena: Through all time and all places,  Amen (fifth pin is inserted) 

Elena and All:  May the light of Christ - rising in glory - dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.

Cathy and All: We Rejoice. We Remember.

Sally: The Christ – a spark that lit the cosmos at the beginning of time.

Cathy and All: We Rejoice. We Remember.

Janet: The Christ – a spark that is expanding across time.

Cathy and All: We Rejoice. We Remember.

Sally: The Christ – a spark that was borne, sheltered and passed to us by our ancestors.

Cathy and All: We Rejoice. We Remember.

Janet: The Christ – a spark that was fanned into flame by those who ignited our lives in love and wisdom and joy.

Cathy and All: We Rejoice. We Remember.

Elena: The Christ – a spark that is a sacred trust held by us to pass on to generations yet to come.

Cathy and All: We Rejoice. We Remember.  We celebrate.          Alexander J. Shaia 


(As our individual candles are lit from the Easter Candle, The Cantor will sing three times, each time on a higher note:   Lumen Christi, light of Christ, and all will respond with Michael, Deo Gratia, thanks be to God.)

This is the time when you light your candles and hold them up so that they maybe symbolically joined to the many candles on this table that represent our loved ones who have transitioned into eternal life and are united with us in a communion of saints.

Elena: Lumen Christi, light of Christ.    (3 Xs)

Michael and All: Deo gratia.  Thanks be to God!  

Easter Proclamation

Michael R: At the Easter Vigil, the Church proclaims the Exultet, a glorious hymn of praise, about the Holy Ones compassionate presence in creation, the liberating history of the people of Israel, the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. In the radiant presence of the Risen Christ dwelling within us and present everywhere, we are filled with hope for the transformation of our suffering world in the embrace of infinite love. May we be filled with joy as we experience a contemporary Easter Proclamation.

Copelands Fanfare played by an orchestra in Dublin Airport.

The Liturgy of the Word

Joan M: First Reading:  A Reading from Creation and the Cross 

The resurrection starts on earth with Jesus dead and buried, and ends up in God with Jesus the Living One transformed by the earths limits but partakes of the omnipresence of Gods own love.  Christ is now present in word and sacrament and wherever two or three gather in his name. True to the pattern of his ministry, he also approaches, mysteriously revealed and concealed, in the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the homeless, those in prison, the very least of those in need. Ultimately, through the power of the Spirit, Jesus is with the whole community of disciples, indeed with the whole community of creation, through every hour, until the end of time.

Since God who creates and empowers the evolutionary world also joins the fray in Christ, personally drinking the cup of suffering and going down into the nothingness of death, affliction even at its worst does not have the last word.  Hope against hope springs from divine presence amid the death. One with the flesh of the earth, Jesus Christ risen embodies the ultimate hope of all creatures in creation. The coming final transformation of history will be the salvation of everything, including the groaning community of life, brought into communion with the God of love.  These are the inspired words of Elisabeth Johnson in Creation and the Cross, and we respond, Thanks be to God.    (p. 103, 193).

Responsorial Psalm:  PSALM 149

Janet: Praise the Divine Lover with dancing,  with melodies and voice!

For the Beloved dwells within,  journeying with us through  all our lives,

Leading us in truth and love.

Janet and All:    Response:  The more we know You, the more we love You!     

Janet:  The humble are adorned with honor;  the faithful exult in glory,  singing for You with thankful hearts!

With truth on our tongues,  with gratitude as our friend,

We are in harmony with the universe,  as we hold hands with  all the people.

Janet and All:    Response:  The more we know You, the more we love You!     

Janet:  The chains of oppression are broken,  the fetters of injustice unbound.

The realm of Peace and Love shall reign!   Glory abides with those who are faith-filled.

Praise the Beloved!  All the people on earth, welcome Loves Companioning Presence who abides in your hearts!

Janet and All:    Response:  The more we know You, the more we love You!     

 (Psalm 149 Interpretation by Nan C. Merrill)

Gloria: A Joyful Gloria by Linda Lee and Rick Miller

Jerry B: Second Reading: A Reading from the Letter to the Romans (6:3-4)

Sisters and Brothers, are you aware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through Baptism into death, so just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of God, we too live in newness of life. 

These are the inspired words of Paul in the Letter to the Romans and we respond,  Thanks be to God.

Alle, Alle, Alleluia: Linda Lee Miller

Gospel from the apostle John, commentary from Meggan Watterson, and the Gospel of the apostle Mary Magdala

Joan P: On the first day of the week, early in the morning, while it was still dark, Mary of Magdala went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed.  So she came running to Simon Peter, and to the other disciples and said to them: “They have taken away the Master out of the tomb, and we do not know where they laid him!” So Peter started off with John the disciple, and they went to the tomb. When Simon Peter entered the tomb, he looked at the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth which had been on Jesus’ head.  Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first, went inside too, and he saw for himself and believed. For they did not understand the writing which says that Jesus must rise again from the dead. The disciples then returned to their companions.

Dotty S: Meanwhile, Mary was standing close outside the tomb weeping. Still weeping she leaned forward into the tomb. After again seeing the empty tomb, Mary turned around and walked to the garden.  She turned and looked at Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  “Why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” he asked. Supposing him to be the gardener, Mary answered: “If it was you sir, who carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away myself.”  “Mary!” said Jesus. She called out and exclaimed in Hebrew: “Rabboni!” (which is to say, “Teacher.”) “Do not touch me,” Jesus said; “for I have not yet ascended to God but go to my brothers and sisters and tell them that I am ascending to my God and their God.” Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Master and that he had said this to her. (Excerpts from the Gospel of John) 


Joan P: I want to return to the resurrection, again.  It is so much more significant than we have ever given it credit for – that Mary and Christ were together first when he was resurrected.  That he came back to her, for her.  Or this is how I see it.  Mary Magdalene exclaims in Hebrew, “Rabboni” – or Teacher – according to John 20:16.  After he calls out to her, after she recognizes him by hearing her name in his voice --  this is an intimate exchange.  She is his witness, not by accident.  She is there because she is part of the story of how and why he was able to rise.  And then Christ says the line that has confused so many for so long:  Noli me tangere, Latin for, as many translations would have it, do not touch me.  A more apt translation is “do not cling to me.”  And this is what makes sense in the trajectory of his ministry. He was all about sitting with outcasts, eating with the untouchables and drinking from the well with the Samaritan woman.  This has been misinterpreted to emphasize Christ’s purity and chastity (and also woman’s power to defile the holy).  And it has been held up as further proof of Mary’s “sinful” status as the penitent prostitute.  The idea is that Christ is telling her, essentially, don’t touch me because I haven’t ascended to God yet, meaning, you might mess with my ascension.

Reflection from the prophetic words of Megan Watterson, MA Theological Studies, Harvard and MDiv from Union theological Seminary at Columbia.

(Mary’s leadership after the resurrection and ascension) 

Dotty:  When the Blessed One came to the followers, he greeted them all saying, “Peace be with you!  Bear my peace within yourselves.  Go then and proclaim the good news of the realm.  Do not lay down any rules beyond what I determined for you. Nor give law like the lawgivers, lest you be confined by it.”  When he had said this, he departed.

But they were pained.  They wept greatly, saying, “How shall we go to the nations and proclaim the good news of the Child of Humanity?  If they did not spare him, how will they spare us?”

Then Mary stood up.  She greeted them all, and said to her brothers and sisters, “Do not weep and be pained, nor doubt, for all his grace will be with you.  But rather let us praise his greatness, for he has prepared us and made us Humans.”  When Mary had said this, she turned their hearts to the Good, and they began to discuss the words of the Savior.  

(Excerpt from the Gospel of Mary Magdala)

These are prophetic words for our reflection today and we affirm them by saying,

Response:  SO BE IT

Homily – Reflection Music:

Renewal Baptismal Promises

Kathryn: Do you promise to see what is good for your sisters and brothers everywhere, rejecting injustice and inequity and living with the freedom and responsibility of children of God?

Seth and All: Yes!

Kathryn: Do you promise to work for the realization of Gods vision of harmony and right relations among people and peoples, rejecting the idols of money and property and color and sex and position?

Seth and All: Yes!

Kathryn: Do you promise to seek peace and live in peace in one human family, rejecting prejudice and half-heartedness in every form, and all barriers to unity?

Seth and All: Yes!

Kathryn: Do you promise to cherish the universe, and this precious planet, working creatively to renew and safeguard the elemental sacraments of air, earth, water?

Seth and All: Yes!

Kathryn: Do you believe in God, the great Spirit of Creation, in Jesus, the simple servant of justice and love who lived among us so that all might live with abundant fullness; in the breath of Gods center, the Spirit who continues the work of forgiveness and reconciliation, birthing and blessing, challenge and hope, so that together we can continue the work of creation?

Seth and All: Yes! (Source: Baptismal Promises: Jay Murnane)

Prayers of Community:  Sally Brochu

Sally: That every person in this Mary Mother of Jesus community will know beyond question that You are the life within them.  Sally and All: We hope in You

Sally:   That your indwelling life will be that which we radiate to world.  

Sally and All:   We hope in You

Sally:   That your life will sustain all those who have poured out their own lives for those suffering from Covid.    Sally and All: We hope in You

Sally:   That your life will be experienced as deep comfort to those who have lost loved ones to Covid.    Sally and All:   We hope in You

Sally:   That your life will lift the fog that clouds understanding between people, allowing hate to dissipate and be transformed into life-giving love.   Sally and All: We hope in You

Sally:   That your life will bloom as peace in families, in the workplace, in government and between nations.    Sally and All: We hope in You

Sally:   That your life lodging in all of creation will be acknowledged and cherished by us so that the earth will always be your beloved garden, seen from space as a jewel.  

Sally and All: We hope in You

Sally:   That the body all of creation will surrender to its evolution into your Body.  

Sally and All: We hope in You

Sally:  For what else do we pray? to which we respond, We hope in You.

Sally:   God of life;  We put before You these prayers of our community, spoken and unspoken.   We believe that we can trust and hope in your wisdom.      

(Source: Sally Brochu)

Liturgy of Eucharist

Preparation of the Gifts 

Lee:  Blessed are You, O Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of Life. 

Lee and All:  Blessed are You forever.   

Lee:  Blessed are You, O Holy One, through Your divine providence we have this wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink. 

Lee and All:  Blessed are You forever.

Lee:  Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus in communion with all who proclaim the liberating power of  your Spirit, rising in our midst.

Lee and All:  Amen.

Preface: Eucharistic Prayer

Bob F: O Heart of Love, You dwell in us,

Bob and All: And we dwell in You.

Bob F: O Pursuer of Justice, You speak truth through us.

Bob and All: In service to our sisters and brothers.

Bob F: O Source of All Life, in you we live and move and have our being,

Bob and All: All the days of our lives.

Pat F: Your Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is rising up in all who work for humanitys healing and well being. With thankful hearts, in the company of Mary of Magdala, and all holy women and men, your liberating Spirit rises up within us and works through us.

Holy, Holy, Holy by Karen Drucker, Linda Lee Miller

We are Holy, Holy, Holy…3x, You are holy, holy, holy…I am holy…

Eucharistic Prayer

Mary Al:   O Heart of Love, Your Spirit moved through Mary of Magdala and the Easter women as they stood by the broken body of Jesus and encountered the Risen One.  Your Spirit moves through us as we serve the broken body of Christ rising up in our world today.

Please extend Your hands in blessing.

Bridget Mary and all:   Pour out Your spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence in our world.   On the night before he died, Jesus came to table with the women and men he loved.   Jesus took bread blessed and broke it, saying,

Take, eat, this is my body.  Do this in memory of me.”


Pat M and all: After supper, Jesus poured a cup of wine and shared it with his friends, saying,

This is the cup of the covenant of my love. As often as You drink of it, remember me.”

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died in all who have died.

Christ is rising within us each moment.

Christ comes again and again everywhere each day.

Joan P:   Embracing Presence, we remember all the companions who have gone before us:  Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, and all holy women and men who rise up in loving service to transform our world.   For it is through living as Jesus lived,  and loving as he. loved,  that we awaken to Your Spirit empowering us to work for justice.  

Great Amen by Linda Lee Miller


The Prayer of Jesus

Peg B:   Let us pray as Jesus taught us. 

Peg and 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 we need.  You remind us of our limits, and we let go. 

You support us in your 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

Adapted, Miriam Therese Winter, MMS

Sign of Peace

Cheryl B: Jesus said to his disciples, My peace I leave You.  My peace I give You.” 

The peace of the Holy One is also with You.  

Let us share a cyber hug as we sing:  Peace is flowing like a River by Carey Landry: Linda Lee Miller

Jim B: Please join in praying the Litany for the Breaking of the Bread: 

Jim and All: Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power; we will do so.

Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of  healing and justice; we will do so.

Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world; we will do so.

Katy:   This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing.  Blessed are we who are called to the table.

Katy and All:    We are the Body of Christ.

Communion Song

Bread for the World, By Bernadette Farrell, graphics on video by Rick and Linda Lee Miller

Please share Eucharist now.

Prayer after Communion  

Katy:   Divine Presence, we are strengthened by sharing this Sacred meal as community.  We go forth from this celebration to rejoice that Jesus came and lived among us, he taught us how to take his teaching and to apply them to the way we live in our world, reaching out to the outcast, caring for the sick and the poor.  Bless our efforts to live your ministry through good works and/or deep prayer.  And together we say, Amen  

Concluding Rite

Michael R:  The Holy One is within You. 

Michael and All: and also within You.


Michael R: Please extend your hands as we pray our final blessing.

May we be the face of God to each other.  May we call each other to extravagant generosity!  We go forth with the energy of Spirit within us to heal and transform our church and world. 

Closing Song:  Love Rises by the Many , (graphics added by Bridget Mary)

It seems the worlds so broken 
So little to have hope in. 
Sometimes we cant believe 
the dawn will come. 


At times we feel so worn out
And all we have is our doubt
Sometimes we cant believe 
the dawn will come. 

But then there comes the day 
When stones are rolled away 

Today is the day 
Today is the day 
When Love finds a way 
Today is the day 
Today is the day 
Love has the final say
Today is the day 
Love rises

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

It feels like we cant breathe here 
And hate is all we see clear 
Sometimes we cant believe the dawn will ever come. 


Chorus (x2)

Love is stronger than hate 
Love is greater than fear 
Love can change death to life 

Lyrics: Lenora Rand,  Music: Rob Wildeboer & Gary Rand. © 2017 Plural Guild Music 

Copelands Fanfare played by an orchestra in Dublin Airport.

Easter Vigil Liturgy -- MMOJ Liturgical Team:

Elena Garcia, Janet Blakeley, Sally Brochu, Michael Rigdon, Joan Pesce, Dotty Shugrue, Lee Breyer, Bridget Mary Meehan, Katy Zatsick, Kathryn Shea, Musician, Linda Lee Miller, Rick Miller graphics

IT: Peg Bowen and Patricia MacMillan

Eucharistic Prayer written by Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan

Please send MMOJ donations to:

St Andrew United Church of Christ

6908 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL  34238