Feast Day of Mary Magdalene

Centering through silence (10-15 minutes)

Reflection on the special gifts of MM

            What are our special gifts as women:  individually and as a group?

            Quiet reflection


(Form a circle)

Opening:  Poem of Lament (Unison)

Mary We Did Not Know You


Mary, we did not know you.

Kept hidden for centuries you were despised,

A Queen not seen, under harlot’s disguise.

Mary, we did not know you.


My heart weeps for what was lost.

How we treated you, Divine Daughter on High.

I search Heaven and Earth and ask myself, why.

Mary, we did not know you.


Adapted from the Order of the Magdala Prayer Book, www.northernway.org


Musical Interlude (Slow, contemplative)


Reading:  Mark 14:9

Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be  told in memory of her.


Telling the Story of Mary Magdalene

Taking turns in the circle one person reads the appointed passage. 

We all respondIn Memory of Her

Then in unison we read the narrative that follows the passage.


Reading 1:   A reading from Luke 10:38-42  

 The master answered, “Martha, you are worried about many things, but only one is necessary….Mary had made the one that is necessary….Mary had made the better choice and it will not be taken away from her.         

 All:   In memory of her

All:  Sister of Martha and Lazarus

You chose the “better part”                                                       

Healed of wounds, cured by the Beloved,                             

Until there was nothing obscuring your light.


(Light candle and place on altar.)

            In memory of her pure light.



Reading 2:  A reading from Luke 3: 1-3 

The twelve were with him and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: [one was] Mary Magdalene from whom seven demons had gone out, and many others who provided for them out of their means.

All:  In memory of her


All:  Constant companion of Yeshua

You journeyed at his side

Learning, supporting, caring, and providing,

As your selfless devotion led you to full understanding.


(Place heart on altar.)

            In memory of her heartfelt devotion



Reading 3:  A reading from Mark 14: 3-9

While [Jesus] was reclining at table, a woman came in with an alabaster jar of myrrh.  She broke the jar and poured the myrrh on his head…Jesus said “I tell you the truth, wherever the good news is preached throughout the world, what she has done with also be told in memory of her.”     

All:  In memory of her


All:  Woman with the Alabaster Jar,

With perfumed oil, you anointed His feet;

With your tears, you washed them; and

With your hair, you dried them—

An act done in love

Whether as Priestess or as Bride.


(Place alabaster jar on altar.)

            In memory of her loving priesthood.



Reading 4:  A reading from Matthew 27: 55-57

There were many women looking on [at the cross] who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene. 

       A reading from Mark 16:19

Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene.  

All:  In memory of her.


All:  Loving presence until the end:

You were the last one at the cross,

The first one at his tomb,

And the first to see new life in Jesus risen.


(Place crystal egg on altar.)

            In memory of her witness to new life.



Reading 5:  A reading from John 20:17

Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.”

            All:  In memory of her.


All:  Sanctified by His touch on your forehead,

Trusting His gentle guidance not to cling,

You recognized your wholeness

And embraced your rightful role as leader of the apostles.

(Place male & female symbols on the altar.)

            In memory of her wholeness.



Reading 6:  A reading from the Gospel of Mary 10

Peter said to Mary, “Sister, we know the Savior loved you more than any other

woman.  Tell us the words of the Savior which you know, but we do not, because

we have not heard them.”  Mary answered and said, “What is hidden I shall reveal to you.”    

All:  In memory of her.


All:  Apostle of the apostles,

You were the one who understood best.

You comforted the others, shared your wisdom and your teachings.

But still they doubted you: you, the one He loved more than any…

(Place Gospel of Mary on altar)

In memory of her wisdom and knowledge.


Reading 7:  A reading from the Gospel of Mary 21: 46

 [Jesus said],  “As for you [Mary], be on guard against the world…Arm yourself with great strength for the trouble you expect will come.”

All:  In memory of her.


All:  Faithful and fearless,

You carried forth the teachings of Jesus:

First in exile in Egypt, later appearing in Rome,

And eventually grounding your ministry in Gaul, the south of France.


(Place glass “Earth” on the altar.)

In memory of her role as apostle in the world.



Reading 8: 

Archbisoph Raban Maar’s (776-856 AD) richly illuminated manuscript of The Life of Mary Magdalene consists of fifty chapters bound into six volumes.  It tells, among other things, of how Mary, Martha, and their companions left the shores of Asia

…and favoured by an easterly wind they traveled on across the [Mediterranean]

Sea between Europe and Africa, leaving the city of Rome  and all the land of Italy to the right [north].  Then, happily changing course to the right [north], they came to the city of Marseille in the Gaulish province of Vienne, where the River Rhone meets the coast.  There—once they had called upon God, the Great King of all the world—they parted.  

The libraries of Paris contain a number of manuscripts even older than Raban Maar’s which bear witness to Mary’s mission in Provence.

All:  In memory of her


All:  Beloved Bride, Matriarch of the Vine,

(These names are echoed from the ancient legends)

You traveled with family and friends to your final home:

Martha, Lazarus, Joseph of Arimethea, and others we yearn to know.


(Place ivy vine on the altar.)

            In memory of her unspoken Motherhood.


            (Place rose on the altar.)

            In honor of the Divine Feminine.



Ending the story of Mary Magdalene; Honoring the Divine Feminine


 Mary Magdalene, in truth your story has been told.


May we now bring wrong to right.

We will sing of Your Queenship for all to hear.

We will ring your truth, north, south, far and near.

Mary, now all may know you


Forsaken Rose, Eternal She,

You are arising in us all and restoring us to wholeness.

We honor your wisdom, strength, and patience,

Mary, now all may know you.


Adapted from the Order of the Magdala Prayer Book, www.northernway.org



Anointing Ritual:

 Standing in a circle, we pass the oils from one to the other.  After you are anointed, take the oil and anoint the one next to you.  There are two separate anointings.

 #1. (rose oil) Person anointing:

 Continue to bring forth your gifts, in memory of Her.

#2. (lavender balm) Person anointing:

 May Pure Love flow through you to help heal our world.  In memory of Her.



 Inviting Sophia (in unison)


Come Sophia,

 Holy Wisdom, gateway to eternity,

Sacred source of all that is.


Come Sophia,

 Be a clear compelling presence everywhere

To still the terror, dry the tears.


Come Sophia,

Bring forth your intuition from deep within,

So justice and forgiveness reign.


Come Sophia,

Invoke the divine feminine of our souls

That we may restore your presence.


Come, Sophia, come.


                                    Adapted from MT Winter C 1999 from Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music 1813.

                                     Hymns Re-Imagining and Songlines.



Musical Interlude (joyful)

In celebration and for our feast, we invite female saints, spiritual leaders, etc. to join us by calling out their names.  Please join us_(name) ……___Welcome!




At the Feast Table


The Red Egg Legend

            (Distribution of red eggs to all)


            Tradition relates that afterwards in Italy, Mary Magdalene visited the Emperor Tiberias (14-37 AD) and proclaimed to him about Christ’s Resurrection.  According to tradition, she took him an egg as a symbol of the Resurrection, a symbol of new life with the words: “Christ is Risen!”….Tiberias responded that no one could rise from the dead, anymore than the egg she held could turn red.  Miraculously, the egg immediately began to turn red as testimony to her words…

From the legend accompanying the icon of Mary of Magdalene, commissioned for the consecration of Barbara Harris as Bishop.


Crack your egg against another’s.  The last one with an uncracked (whole) egg gets to bring the eggs next year!




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