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
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.
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.
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 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.
Introduction by the leader:
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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