The Eight Pointed Star

THERE IS A TABLE WITH A VARIETY OF BREADS AND CHALICES ON IT IN THE CENTER OF THE CATHEDRAL. AT EIGHT POINTS AROUND THE TABLE, THERE ARE SMALL TABLES WITH CANDLES ON THEM.

Opening Litany
Leader: As we come together at the close of this conference, we are pulled into the orbit of the universe’s boundless energy. THE FIRST CANDELABRA IS SET.

People: We gravitate toward the heart of God, the flaming forth of all that is. THE SECOND CANDELABRA IS SET.

Leader: We pulse inward together in order to be flung out again in wondrous light.

People: We circle this evening around an eight-pointed star. THE THIRD CANDELABRA IS SET.

Leader: We gather around a table where starlight refracts through bread and wine.

People: In faith we seek fusion to an unfathomable power which throbs with love and truth. THE FOURTH CANDELABRA IS SET.

Leader: I look into the future, and see a bright star, coming from the midst of God’s people. (Numbers 24:17) THE FIFTH CANDELABRA IS SET.

People: The light of that morning star shines in our hearts (II Peter 1:19) THE SIXTH CANDELABRA IS SET.

Leader: May this table pour forth God’s light and love. THE SEVENTH CANDELABRA IS SET.

People: Jesus says, I am the bright and morning star (Revelation 22:16).

Leader: Amen. THE EIGHTH CANDELABRA IS SET.

People: Amen.

Opening Hymn
“God Beyond All Names” or “Bread for the World”

Scripture Reading

Prayer of Thanksgiving
from Edward Hays and the Center for Progressive Christianity

Leader: As we gather around this star, we pray for God’s Spirit to bless us, these gifts, our work in progressive Christianity, and each emerging dimension of the universe. As we gather around this table, we open ourselves to a new body and a new lifeblood, and we raise up our thanksgivings. AS EACH THANKSGIVING IS READ, A CHALICE IS TAKEN TO A RESPECTIVE STARPOINT.

Reader 1: We are thankful for Jesus Christ, our Gate to the realm of God.

Reader 2: We thank you, God, for the way you help us and others recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the gateway to God’s realm. We thank you for those other faiths and spiritual paths which are not Christian.

Reader 3: We thank you for the opportunity to share bread and wine in Jesus’ name as a representation of God’s feast for all people.

Reader 4: We are thankful for the invitation for all sorts and conditions of people to join in our worship and common life as full partners. We thank you specifically for our full partnership among believers and agnostics; conventional Christians and questioning skeptics; people of heterosexual, homosexual, trangendered, and bisexual orientation, females and males; the despairing and the hopeful; those of all races and cultures, and those of all classes and abilities. We thank you, God, for not imposing on any of us the necessity of becoming like someone else.

Reader 5: We are thankful that the way we treat one another and other people is more important than the way we express our beliefs.

Reader 6: We thank you, God, for the way we can find more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, in the questions than in the answers.

Reader 7: We thank you for spiritual community in which we discover the resources required to strive for justice and peace among all people and to bring hope to those Jesus called the least of his sisters and brothers.

Reader 8: We are thankful for the consciousness that our faith entails costly discipleship, renunciation of privilege, and conscientious resistance to evil.

Leader: We invite now the thanksgivings from the body for the realities, the hopes, the intentions, and the relationships we have experienced together here at this conference of progressive Christians, and the joys of being progressive church in our world. AS EACH PERSON SPEAKS THEIR THANKSGIVING, THEY ARE ASKED TO COME FORWARD AND TO RAISE THE BREAD.

Leader: We thank you, God, for the ways your cosmic power energizes our earthly drama. This we celebrate as we gather around your star-charged table of earthy bread and wine. We claim your presence and power within our earth dynamics. We join ourselves to you in the universal exchange of energy and matter, body and blood, spirit and flesh. We take you in through bread and wine, nature and culture, struggle and in hope, wind and wave. We proclaim your presence in all of this as in Christ we say together: This is my body. This is my blood.

People: This is my body. This is my blood.

Leader: May we join you, cosmic congregation of galaxies as you dance with delight before our God. You spin and leap with brilliant bursts of light, never tiring of your sacred circle play. May we join you, star-children of countless constellations, in the worship of our common Creator, as you sing cosmic chants of divine fire. May your cosmic breath blow into us. May you bless us and infuse us with your power as we proclaim your mystery.

People: This is my body. This is my blood.

Leader: We now enter into holy communion with all who are part of Christ’s holy body and share life on this planet. We now celebrate that Jesus is now one with all the universe in its many parts, as we proclaim your presence.

People: This is my body. This is my blood.

Leader: With the energy of the star and the embrace of the universe, we stand along side all that is broken. We lift up our solidarity and the presence of Christ with those who are suffering, as we name them outloud. PEOPLE SPEAK. BREAD IS BROKEN EACH TIME SOMEONE SPEAKS OF SUFFERING.

Leader: We now acknowledge with reverence and faith, that within this re-created body, risen and one in God, are all the peoples of the earth, women and men of all races, of all religions and political beliefs, We now enter into an awareness that binds us all together in holy communion. With the wide flowing rivers, with towering mountains, with green valleys and silent sands of the desert, with fish of the deep, with the thousand times ten thousand sister suns that compose the company of stars, we proclaim God’s power.

People: This is my body. This is my blood.

Leader: We invite each person here to take the promise and power of this table and this eight-pointed star into themselves. At each of the star point candelabras there will be bread and cup. As we sing (“Your Love, O God,” and “Bread for the World”), we invite you to come to the table, serve one another with bread and to go to each star point around the table and serve one another the cup. the passing of the bread and cup. After you have communed and as you sing, we invite you to form a large circle around the table at the circumference of the starpoints.

Communing

Benediction

Topics: Worship & Liturgy. Resource Types: Full Service Liturgies.

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