3rd Week of Advent—Sunday of Joy
December 10, 2022
Presiding: Andrea Seabaugh & Michael Rigdon
Readers: Denis Rigdon, Suzanne Bires
Prayer Leader: Beth Ponce
IT: Peg Bowen & Cheryl Brandi
Music: Linda Lee Miller
Welcome! Andrea. Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community!
Whoever you are, Wherever you are,
Just as you are, You are welcome at this table.
(Integral Christianity by Paul Smith)
Theme. Michael Live always in joyful anticipation! Photo of cherry-rose orchid at Bay Village.
Lighting of the Advent Candle on Gaudete Sunday. Elena
This coming week ends with the shortest and darkest day of the year. It is a time of darkness, doubt and fear. And yet, this is also Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word meaning rejoice. In the imperative it means “You shall Rejoice!” This pink candle is a symbol of joy and a reminder to do just that. It is not just about rejoicing for what is good in our lives. We are commanded to rejoice, no matter what.
As we light this candle today, we pray:
O Holy One, the good news of Jesus’ arrival brings such joy to our world. We ask that you may reach those who are lost and searching, with the message of Hope that we have through the Messiah. May Your Spirit transform the days leading up to Christmas into a time of holy anticipation, preparing our hearts as we joyfully await the chance to celebrate the arrival of your Son among us. Allow your message of peace to bring comfort to our anxious world. As we go about this season of anticipation, let the message of great joy pierce through all the noise and into our hearts. All: Amen
Andrea. We begin our joyful celebration together in the name of ✝️ God our creator, Jesus our brother, and Spirit Sophia our wisdom.
With our hands together in prayer 🙏, let us offer one another a sign of Christ’s peace:
All: Namaste! The Holy One in me greets the Holy One in you! Namaste!
🎶 Prayer of St Francis
Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, God,
and where there is doubt, true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness only light,
and where there’s sadness ever joy.
Oh God, grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled, as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
in giving of ourselves that we receive
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.
Reconciliation Rite. Andrea. Let us pause to remind ourselves to remain faithful to our Vatican II values: the equality of all members of Christ’s Church, the holiness of all our sisters and brothers regardless of their creed, gender, sexual preference, religion, race, or nationality. Remember times when we have fallen short of these values. (Pause) Let us imagine our imperfections, the chaos and messes of our lives all brightly lit by a Love that heals and transforms us as we evolve and grow in awareness of our divinity and our humanity. (Pause briefly. Then extend hand over heart.)
All: I’m sorry. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you.
Opening Prayer. Beth. We celebrate your ongoing presence, Christ, in all of creation. We celebrate your presence in Jesus, our brother. And we celebrate the presence of Spirit Sophia in us and in each of our sisters and brothers. Today we remember you are already present within and around us. May we also remember and joyfully celebrate the coming fullness of your presence.
All: Amen, may it be so!
We break open God’s Word (From The Message by Eugene H Peterson)
Denis. The first reading is from our prophet & poet, Isaiah.
Wilderness and desert will sing joyously,
the badlands will celebrate and flower—
Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom,
a symphony of song and color
Mountain glories of Lebanon—a gift
Awesome Carmel, stunning Sharon—gifts.
God's resplendent glory, fully on display.
God awesome, God majestic.
Energize the limp hands,
strengthen the rubbery knees.
Tell fearful souls,
"Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here,
on his way to put things right
And redress all wrongs.
He's on his way! He'll save you!
Blind eyes will be opened,
deaf ears unstopped,
Lame men and women will leap like deer,
the voiceless break into song.
There will be a highway
called the Holy Road.
No one rude or rebellious
is permitted on this road.
It's for God's people exclusively—
impossible to get lost on this road.
Not even fools can get lost on it.
The people God will come back on this road.
They'll sing as they make their way home to Zion,
unfading halos of joy encircling their heads,
Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness
as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.”
These are the inspired words of Isaiah, and we respond:
All: We rejoice in the glories of nature, and the majesty of the Holy One!
Beth. The second reading is from the letter of James.
Wait patiently, friends, for the Master's Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain
do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.
Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course!
These are the inspired words of the Apostle James, and we respond:
All: May we stay the course with joy and patience.
(Pause for a few moments to reflect)
Andrea. The Gospel reading is attributed to Matthew.
Jesus went on to teach and preach in their villages. John, meanwhile, had been locked up in prison. When he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, “Are you the One we've been expecting, or are we still waiting?” Jesus told them, "Go back and tell John what's going on:
The blind see,
The lame walk,
Lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear,
The dead are raised,
The wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.
Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!”
When John's disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. "What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A prophet? That's right, a prophet! Probably the best prophet you'll ever hear. He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, 'I'm sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.’
Let me tell you what's going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer; but in the kindom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him.” These are the inspired words attributed to Matthew, and we respond:
All: Jesus, you are the one we have joyfully anticipated!
Shared Homily. Michael and Community.
Profession of Faith.
Denis & All:
We believe in God, who creates all things,
who embraces all things, who celebrates all things,
who is present in every part of the fabric of creation.
We believe in God as the source of all life,
who baptizes this planet with living water.
We believe in Jesus Christ, the suffering one, the poor one, the malnourished one, the climate refugee, who loves and cares for this world and who suffers with it.
And we believe in Jesus Christ, the seed of life,
who came to reconcile and renew this world and everything in it. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of God,
who moves with God and who moves among and with us today. We believe in everlasting life in God.
And we believe in the hope that one day
God will put an end to death and all destructive forces.
(Gurukul Theological college, India / adapted by Keld B. Hansen 2009)
Prayers of the Community. Suzanne.
(A brief silence before we bring our community prayers and offerings to the table)
We bring to the table prayers for our community and the world. (Response: Christ, you graciously hear us!)
We bring to the table Mary Kay and other MMOJ members, and our family members & friends with serious and chronic health conditions. We pray. R
We bring to the table our fellow citizens who work to address our national pandemic of racism and police violence. May we support efforts to promote justice for all who suffer from systemic racism. We pray. R
We bring to the table the Ukrainian and Russian people who are suffering and dying due to the violent war in Ukraine. We pray especially for the Ukrainians who are freezing without electricity and heat. R
We bring to the table our many fellow Americans in the West and the Southwest who face severe drought in coming weeks and months. R
Who and what else shall we bring to the table today?
(Please turn your mic on to offer a prayer, then mic off.)
Christ, we will be your presence in the world today and every day of our lives. All: Amen
Offering of Our Gifts at the table
(Have bread and wine/juice on your table)
Beth. O Holy One, we bring you our gifts from creation, bread 🥖of the grain 🌾 and wine 🍷 of the grapes 🍇. We recognize that they are holy in you their creator. And we know that they will make us holy, one with you and one with each other.
Eucharistic Prayer. Michael. Let us begin our Eucharistic prayer in song:
🎶🎶 We are holy.
(Suzanne & All): Merciful God, send your Spirit now to settle on this bread and wine, and fill them with the fullness of Jesus. And let that same Spirit rest on us, converting us from the patterns of this passing world, until we conform to the shape of Jesus whose food we now share. Amen
We Remember Jesus (hand extended in blessing).
Denis & All: 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. This is my body which will be broken for you.”
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. This is the cup of my life-blood. Do this to remember me.”
Andrea & All:
Remember, gracious God, your Church throughout the world. Make us open to receive all believers. 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.
🥖🍷 Thru Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, all glory is yours, gracious God.
🎶 The Great Amen.
Beth & 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.
(All receive, saying, “Be Christ to the world today!”)
Instrumental 🎶 Sentinel Meadow, Mars Lasar
Suzanne. We pray our common prayer that Jesus taught us:
All: Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echoes through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your will be done by all created beings!
May your beloved community of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.
(Adapted from The New Zealand Book of Prayer | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa.
This version of the Lord’s prayer was influenced by Maori theologians)
Michael. Prayers of Thanksgiving. Introductions. Announcements.
Final blessing 🎶 Irish Blessing
Andrea. Go in the peace of Christ, let our service continue!
All: Thanks be to God. We rejoice! Alleluia!
Concluding Song of Joy 🎶 When the Saints Go Marching In, Linda Miller & Jack Meehan
Peaceful Instrumental Christmas Music: Relaxing Christmas music "The Christmas Pines" Tim Janis
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