Monday, August 06, 2012

Worship in Solidarity With "Women Religious"

Here is Our Worship Service yesterday in solidarity with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious meeting this week in discernment for their response to the Vatican. Thanks for Deb Carroll for leading it, and blending it with some of our weekly communion liturgy.

Communion Service for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious Meeting in St. Louis August 7-12

 Call to Worship

 Prayer Leader: We gather together in the Spirit of Jesus

     All:   In his Spirit of wisdom, love, and courage.

Prayer Leader: We gather, from places near and far,

     All:   uniting our own spirits with the women of LCWR.

Prayer Leader: We pray as one body, the Body of Christ

All:   That the Spirit of Jesus may be abundantly poured out upon the women of LCWR, to lead and guide them, to comfort and strengthen them for the good of our beloved world.  Amen   

Opening Hymn

“Gather Us In” text by Marty Haugen, tune is GATHER US IN, © 1982, GIA Publications, Inc.

 Verse 1

Here in this place new light is streaming, now is the darkness vanished away.

See in this space our fears and our dreamings, brought here to you in the light of this day.

Gather us in- the lost and forsaken, gather us in- the blind and the lame;

Call to us now, and we shall awaken, we shall arise at the sound of our name.

 Verse 2

We are the young- our lives are a myst’ry, we are the old- who yearn for your face,

We have been sung throughout all of hist’ry, called to be light to the whole human race.

Gather us in- the rich and the haughty, gather us in- the proud and the strong;

Give us a heart so meek and so lowly, give us the courage to enter the song.

 Verse 3

Here we will take the wine and the water, here we will take the bread of new birth,

Here you shall call your sons and your daughters, call us anew to be salt for the earth.

Give us to drink the wine of compassion, give us to eat the bread that is you,

Nourish us well, and teach us to fashion

Lives that are holy and hearts that are true

 Verse 4

Not in the dark of buildings confining, not in some heaven, light years away,

But here in this place the new light is shining, now is the kingdom, now is the day.

Gather us in and hold us forever, gather us in and make us your own;

Gather us in- all peoples together, fire of love in our flesh and our bone.

 Prayer Leader: Let us pray. God of light and life, You are the source of all that is good in our lives. We give you thanks for Jesus our Savior and brother, Who sent women to proclaim the Gospel: St. Mary of Magdala, Martha, Mary, the Samaritan woman and so many others. We give you thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit, That bold Wisdom-Spirit who impels us today to proclaim your good news of peace and justice in our homes, communities and our world. We ask your blessings on our gathering here. In Jesus’ name we pray.

All: Amen

 Leader A: For the women of the Hebrew Scriptures, the women of the Christian Scriptures, for martyrs, mystics and saints, leaders, theo­logians, and pastoral ministers, for our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, children and friends, for all the holy women and men who have gone before us.

 All: Thanks be to God.

 Leader B: For all those women and men who have taught us and called us to strength and faith.

 All: Thanks be to God.

Leader A: For the holy women and men gathered here, especially the women who have answer the call to religious life.

All: Thanks be to God.

 Leader B: Let us join together to learn from and to celebrate women – es­pecially St. Mary of Magdala, the Apostle to the Apostles, and the women religious of today. May they give us wisdom and courage to be who God calls us to be.

 ALL: Jesus, may your Spirit, present in the lives of these women leaders, enlighten us today.

 The Word

A proclamation of Luke 15:1-3, 8-10

 The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable.

 “Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

 Introduction by the leader:

Many Sisters have been like the woman with the lost coin- or some might say, the pushy woman with the broom  -  sweeping and searching the houses of their Orders, since the Second Vatican Council

        To discover and recover their founding mission…
  • To read the “signs of the times”…
  • And to bear their gifts in service of those most in need, of those often on the margins of life today.
In doing this, it is essential to recall that Jesus intends to present this woman as an image of God.  For in Luke’s Gospel, she is sandwiched in between two other prominent images of God -  the Good Shepherd and the forgiving (or prodigally loving) father.  Her story follows the same pattern as theirs.  Therefore, she, like they, truly point to the seeking, restoring, joyfully celebrating nature of our God. 

 So remembering the woman with the broom, let us take a few moments to also remember religious women who have touched our lives, and let us share those stories now, stories of other women who have searched carefully until they find the lost coins … women near and dear to our hearts …

 Leader: And now we lift up our voices in prayer at this time…   

  Please respond: “God of Love and Compassion, hear our prayer…”

·         For Sr. Pat Farrell, Sr Janet Mock, CSJ, and the  Leadership Team of LCWR, as during this week, they prayerfully discern their response to the Vatican mandate, we pray…

·         For all 57,000 Sisters who fall under the umbrella of LCWR, that they continue on their discipleship path of courage and integrity, we pray…

·         For our beloved Church, the People of God, that we will continually grow in fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we pray…

·         For all prophets today, who… out of love for the world… non-violently challenge the abuses of power stemming from any and all places, we pray…

·         For what else, for whom else, shall we pray?

 Leader: Spirit of the Living God, we pray You guide us all- Sisters and Brothers of one another- toward the creation of lives that bring joy, hope, and healing for the broken corners of our world, thereby giving You glory and praise.     Amen.

 Communion Prayer:

 We prayerfully ask this day that God would fulfill in us all, that divine promise of a hundredfold harvest given to all those who would dedicate themselves, body and soul, to the work of the kingdom of God. We give thanks for the witness of those whose lives are guided by Spirit’s call to be possessed by the Divine Presence and dedicate them­selves, body and soul, to the work of the reign of God.

 We remember all those who have given Love the ultimate trust and the last word and who have worked to create the beloved community of renewed and abundant life.  Help us to remember with this meal especially all those who are hungry, and may we treat all our meals as sacred and to be shared.

 Here is the bread of life, food for the spirit.  Let all who hunger come and eat.  Here is the fruit of the vine pressed and poured out for us.  Let all who thirst now come and drink.

 All:  All are worthy.  All are welcome.

Sharing the Bread of Life and the Cup of Hope

Song:  Eat This Bread, Drink This Cup

Leader:  As we close, let us remember the Leadership Conference of Religious Women and all of us gathered here.

 All:  May we go forth with the Spirit of God within us, not a spirit of cowardice and fear, but rather, a Spirit of power, a Spirit of love, and a Spirit of self-discipline.

 Leader:  Also as we go forth, we pray that the Sisters of the Leadership Conference of Religious Women will listen deeply to the Spirit of Truth over the next few days

 All:  So that all will emerge, fully prepared to go forth to serve God and God’s People with all our treasured gifts, as God sees fit.  Amen 

 Closing Song:

 We Are Called (David Haas © 1988 GIA Publications # 518 in Gather)

 Verse 1: Come! Live in the light! Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord! We are called to be light for the kingdom to live in the freedom of the city of God! Refrain

 Refrain: We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly, we are called to serve one another; to walk humbly with God!

 Verse 2: Come! Open your heart! Show your mercy to all those in fear! We are called to be hope for the hopeless so all hatred and blindness will be no more! Refrain

 Verse 3: Sing! Sing a new song! Sing of that great day when all will be one! God will reign, and we'll walk with each other as sisters and brothers united in love! Refrain

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