Worship Materials: Other Worship Resources

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. Ceremonies are points of cohesion beyond the boundaries of reason, a journey into the shadowy mystical world of the human spirit where truth reaches beyond the logical and the literal, yet they must not violate our rational intelligence or our world view.
  2. If God is like the Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son, then instead of asking God to forgive us, we should be concentrating on accepting God’s forgiveness and offering our forgiveness to others.
  3. If our objective is to become self-authenticating, empowered human beings, then in our prayer of intercession we should be asking God to help us do things, rather than asking God to do things that we ourselves are capable of doing.
  4. Since the most effective method of communication is interaction not lecture, we should turn many of our sermons into dialogue occasions.
  5. If the stories of the people are the most effective way of  strengthening spirituality, we should make time in worship to hear some of them.
  6. To sing the mystery is to sing the songs of the earth, the songs  of the people and the songs of the WAY.
  7. Worship should seek to create a balance between conservation and innovation.
  8. Worship in the era of the new cosmology needs to become more  symbolic, more mystical, more of a dance of imagination than a march of dogma.
  9. The temple of God is not confined to something crafted by human hands, nor is it only human bodies but it is the whole of the magnificence of this vast Cosmos.
  10. To invoke the presence of God is to deny God’s omnipresence. Instead worship should help us to be in touch with our life-force and enhance its connectedness with the Earth, the Cosmos, other people and with that great mystery we call God.
  11. True contextualization is not so much about decorating our worship
    with indigenous fauna and flora but rather emphasizing the centrality of our relationship with the Earth and with the processes of the Cosmos.
  12. The fullness of worship does not come solely from words and music from Western sources but also from the earthed spiritualities of indigenous peoples, the dancing spirituality of Africa and the meditative spirituality of the East.

 

HYMNS & CHANTS

Give me warmth (BL)

Congregational alleluias. (BL)

Prayer / Meditation responses. (BL)

Intercessory responses. (BL)

Shalom. (BL)

May the fire. (BL)

We believe in a mystery we call God. (BL)

To you O God we offer. (BL)

 

May the peace of God.
Singing the Sacred, Vol 2 2014 World Library Publications

 

WORSHIP AS COSMIC LIBERATION

Liberation from alienation.

Liberation from the negative energy of some human beings.

Liberation from destructive actions towards the Cosmos and its processes.

Liberation for healing.

Liberation for cooperation.

Liberation for celebration

 

THE PROCESS OF WORSHIP

  1. THE IMMERSION in the processes of the universe including outlining the processes.
  2. THE AFFIRMATION. We are children of God who have come of age,
    coworkers with God within the processes.
  3. THE WILDERNESS. The transformation of the self, facing our complexity, achieving focus, orientation. Breaking the chains within our mind, moving from denial to acceptance, retribution to forgiveness, moving from the victim, rescuer, oppressor triangle.
  4. THE INTERACTION with wisdom (sacred texts) from the past, from the present and from each other.
  5. THE IMAGINATION (prayers for other life)
  6. THE STRATEGY. The implementation.
    THE SYMBOLIC RE-ENACTMENT
  7. THE GIFTING as receivers and givers.
  8. THE RECYCLING. Birth, life, death and rebirth.
  9. THE ASCENSION within and beyond – a vision of inclusiveness, all life is     sacred. The suffering of breaking and pouring.
  10. THE COMMUNAL EPIPHANY. Absorption and individuation.
  11. THE ENERGIZING. The nurturing of hope through blessing.

 

THE NORMATIVE PATTERN OF WORSHIP

A+B=Eucharistic Worship   A only=Non Eucharistic Worship

A     1.    THE APPROACH. The Motivation.  Getting in touch with our confidence and our dissatisfaction.  Preparing, relaxing, re-awakening our sense of wonder. Adoration, Confession, Assurance of Forgiveness.

  1. THE WORD. The information. Bible, Church, People.
  2. THE RESPONSE. The Reflection. The Internalizing. The Letting Go.  The wider Vision – Intercession.  The Commitment –The Offering.

B     4.    THE COMMUNION.

a. The Offertory (the bread, our flesh, all of nature). Seeing God in all things

b. The Eucharistic Prayer. Celebrating God and Life. Remembering Jesus.

c. The Breaking of the Bread. Coping with and transforming pain.

d. The Sharing. The Unitive action. Consuming Bread and Wine. Exploring One-ness. God and I are one.

Notes 1)   One or other of these elements could be focused on more than the other in a particular service, preferably in a planned sequence.

2)    Since energy is the primary reality, all worship should aim to facilitate the flow of positive energy through physical movement, through singing, through use of images. Imageless people are only half alive as are people enslaved by images. We need a dynamic dialectic.

 

INVITATIONS TO WORSHIP

  1. We come to celebrate the mystery that is both beyond and within, the mystery that is beyond all words
    yet reflected in a thousand images
    and all the cultures of this earth.
  1. O God, may our encounter with you
    heighten our sense of wonder,
    increase our experience of awe,
    deepen our awareness of what lies beyond and within ourselves.
    And may our journey be along your WAY of affirmation, delight, wholeness and meaningful sacrifice.

 

AFTER PRAYERS OF SELF-AWARENESS

  1. Leader: In forgiving others, we open our hearts to the mercy of God.
    All:          IN LEARNING FROM OUR MISTAKES, WE FIND NEW LIFE.

 

  1. Leader or                  Assurance of Forgiveness
  2. All:            GOD HAS MERCY HAS MERCY ON US ALL, ALLELUIA.

CHRIST HAS MERCY ON US ALL, AMEN.

GOD HAS MERCY ON US ALL,

GOD HAS MERCY ON US ALL, ALLELUIA.

                 (for music see Singing the Sacred Vol1 World Library Publications)

 

  1. Leader: Hold up your head, pick up your life and go forward with God.


BEFORE THE BIBLE READING

Listen with imagination to the words of scripture.

Select with discrimination what speaks to you.

 

BEFORE OR AFTER THE BIBLE READING

May the words break into images

and the Spirit’s fire touch our hearts.

 

                 AFTER THE BIBLE READING

May these words help us to learn from the past and listen for God’s word today.

 

AFFIRMATION OF AWARENESS

In the white light

we glimpse the colors of the rainbow –

In the darkness

we see the hues of our spirit ‑

In our encounter with emptiness

we discover the patterned fullness of the vast inner and outer world –

In the intermingling of tears of sorrow and joy we find wholeness of life-

In entering the sorrows of another

we find healing for our own grief –

For the totality of compassion

is immeasurably greater

than the sum of all destructive suffering ‑

In stepping aside from the self that we can see

we discover the unseen self,

the spark that links us with all other sparks of that divinity

which sets the world alight.

And in allowing ourselves to be embraced by the mystery we discover our heart’s delight.

 

       A PARAPHRASE OF PART OF THE PEACE PRAYER OF ST FRANCIS

O loving Christ may I become an instrument of your peace:

Grant that I may learn

To strive but not compete,

To be empowered without seeking to oppress,

To stand tall without looking down on others,

To be aware of my inner wisdom

Without attempting to inflict it on anyone else.

For it is in letting go that we find peace,

In abandoning arrogance that we find truth

And in taking risks that we find love.

 

A PARAPHRASE OF THE LORD’S PRAYER

O God of Sky and Earth

We reverence your presence

Both within us and beyond

May what we eat sustain us

In the Way of compassionate sharing.

Help us to be forgiving –

Forgiving others, forgiving ourselves.

Liberate us from guilt

That learning from our mistakes

We may move beyond self-centeredness

To that depth of being

In which we are one with all things.

This Way of love, peace and justice

Is for the Earth, for human beings and for all living creatures

Both now and forever. AMEN.

 

A COSMIC CREDO

I believe in the Cosmos and its processes as a reflection and embodiment of the Mystery within and beyond it, the nameless Mystery which I dare to call God.

I celebrate the creative, transforming and empowering processes and discern these both in the life and death of Jesus Christ and in the continuing celebration of his existence.

I believe that forgiveness is of the essence of love,
that change is of the essence of life,
and that the individual only finds complete fulfillment in community.

I see death as part of a process of the recycling of life and the transformation of memory and the unity of energy as part of the heaven of the eternal NOW.

This is the way which I seek to walk with courage, compassion and with a song in my    heart.

SO BE IT.

 

AN AFFIRMATION

We affirm

that we are part of a wonderfully mysterious universe,

that all life is inter-related in one vast web,

that our role lies in co-operating with and nurturing all life and the planet itself,

that human being are genetically one family and of equal value,

that every human being has the right to the basic necessities of life and to their form of culture and religion,

that each of us is on an evolving spiritual journey,

that we are all called to work to create a world of justice and peace, compassion and respect.

 

AN AFFIRMATION OF THE WAY

In walking the Way

we open our minds to the wisdom of God,

we open our spirits to the delight of God

and our whole being to the love of God.


ANOTHER AFFIRMATION OF THE WAY

As followers of the Way of Jesus we acknowledge our place in the wonderful web of nature and delight in the mystery of God who is in all and through all. We seek to live a life that is characterized by respect, compassion and loving kindness

for the Earth,

for all living creatures,

for other people and

for ourselves.

We are committed to building a better world – a world of peace and justice, wholeness and healing, and of the sharing of power and wealth.

We seek to achieve these goals through awareness, reflection and action, through cooperation and solidarity with others, through sharing the stories of the heart, and through working to create supportive challenging communities.

Our attitude to life will be one of hopeful participation in the processes of nature, openness to new possibilities, acceptance of change and delight in creativity. It will involve a willingness to attempt to resolve situations of conflict, through listening, forgiving, compromising, celebrating diversity and practicing inclusiveness in cooperation with all who share these goals.

We affirm the essential goodness of all human beings offering them acceptance and affirmation despite their immaturity and destructiveness. However we determined to follow Jesus in being willing to identify those people and groups in society who are not working for the benefit of ordinary people but who represent those who seek to use their wealth and power to control others. We aim to be both prophetic and sensitive choosing the right time to sound a word of warning or to protest against injustices. Beyond this, as our conscience allows, we will support those whose aim is to establish new evolving participatory communities and institutions.

With Christ we will seek to walk the Way, delight in the Presence and abide in the wonder of loving kindness. To achieve this goal, we will embark on the pilgrimage of developing our own spirituality through prayer and meditation, through exploration of the wisdom of sacred books including the Bible and through the shared stories of other people’s spirituality. In all this we will aim to place our lives in the hands of the God of love, in the manner of Christ and through the power of Spirit.
Note: This Affirmation could be used in five sections with space for reflection in between each section.

 

AFFIRMATION OF LIFE STYLE

The style of living which we seek to adopt is one in which we reverence and enjoy God’s mystery of life, a mystery that is greater than any image or ideology.

We will seek

to respect everything that lives,

to honor the needs of all the forms of life within the frame-work of the processes of nature,

to nurture and care for ourselves and other human beings without being manipulative, possessive or evasive,

to balance the rights of the individual against the needs of the community,

to flow with the seasons of nature and the seasons of the human heart,

to accept death as a part of life

to hold together work and play, activity and stillness and

with openness and compassion be a responsible

participant in the activities of the evolving Cosmos.

 

AN AFFIRMATION OF INCLUSIVENESS

I believe in the divine mystery that is beyond all definition yet reflected in a thousand images.

I believe in the expanding and recycling processes of nature and of the cosmos as a whole, epitomized in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I believe in the energy of spirit in all its creative, destructive and empowering activities.

I believe that the journey of forgiveness can free people from the power of past hurts.

I believe that everything is interconnected and interwoven and that in living this awareness lies the fullness of life.

I believe in the experience of eternity that comes through silence, wonder and love to transform the present moment.

I believe in my own value as a child of God and seek to see God in all other human beings.

I accept my role as a co-worker with God in the processes of the evolving Universe and determine to work for justice, peace and reverence for the whole of creation.

This is my resolve and I will seek to accomplish this through cooperation with all who share these goals; in the strength of imagination, compassion and wonder.

 

AFFIRMATION OF BELIEF

We believe

that all life is holy and interdependent;

that Earth is our sacred home to be nurtured and reverenced and not exploited;

that life is for Celebration – not denial;

that there is no place in love for fear or guilt;

that the divine mystery has many names but is always compassionate and just and delights in each of us;

that all human beings have the right to peace and justice;

that co-operation not competition, manipulation or dependency is our hope and destiny;

that despite all the destruction, ugliness and pain in the world, life is fundamentally good and beautiful and that in the end all will be well;

and that the interior journey is the most important enterprise that any human being can embark upon, for without inner peace we are unable to effectively contribute to the healing of the world.

 

COMMANDMENTS FOR TODAY  (A Reflection)

  1. Above all else reverence and enjoy the mystery of life (God)
  2. Acknowledge that the mystery is incapable of being contained in any one image or ideology.
  3. Affirm life both in your thoughts and in your actions.
  4. Flow with the seasons of nature and the seasons of the heart.
    Balance work and play, activity and stillness. Accept death as a part of life.
  5. Respect and promote good human relationships.
  6. Respect everything that lives and seek to balance the needs of all life within the framework of nature and its processes.
  7. Nurture and care for yourself. Nurture and care for other people without being manipulative, possessive or invasive. Analyze what is happening in society and identify who seeks to control whom and how that process works. Support the oppressed, the marginalized and all who suffer injustice at the hands of rich and powerful institutions or individuals.
  8. Seek to balance the needs of the individual and the needs of the community so that all may enjoy fullness of life.
  9. See yourself in other people, other people in you and God in both. Accept and utilize your ability to control your thoughts and actions. Trust your common sense and your intuition. Seek to make friends with those who regard you as an enemy.
  10. Believe in your own spirituality and find within it your source of security. Acknowledge and learn from your inadequacies. Believe in your potential. Be open to the wisdom of others and know that it is in the letting go that we find life

for deeper than the striving is the flowing,

deeper than the searching is the knowing

and deeper than the grieving is the mystery

in which darkness and light are ONE.

 

RESPONSES FOR PRAYERS FOR OTHERS

(for music, see “Boundless Life” Intercessory Responses on this website)

  1. Leader: Creator God to you we pray

All:           HELP US HEAR YOUR CHILDREN’S CRY.

Leader:   Most joyful God to you we pray

All:           HELP US SHARE YOUR CHILDREN’S JOY.

Leader:   Most loving God to you we pray

All:           HELP US SHARE OUR WEALTH WITH ALL.

Leader:   O just and freeing God we pray

All:           HELP US STAND WITH ALL THE POOR.

Leader:   O liberator God we pray

All:           HELP THE PEOPLE OWN THEIR POWER.

Leader:   O living God to you we pray

All:           HELP US REVERENCE ALL OF LIFE.

 

  1. Leader: In sharing compassion with others,

                All:        WE DRENCH OUR LIVES WITH THE LOVE OF GOD.

  1. Leader: Holy Spirit

     All:            TURN OUR WORDS INTO ACTIONS.

  1. Leader:    We pray:

     All:            HELP US TO CARE FOR ALL OTHER LIVING CREATURES.

  1. Leader: Wisdom comes from the fire of pain,

     All:            HEALING FROM THE WATERS OF OUR TEARS.

  1. Leader: In the mystery of love,

     All:            LIFE SPRINGS OUT OF DEATH.

  1. Leader: We give thanks,

     All:            HELP US REJOICE IN ALL THAT LIVES.

 

PRAYER / MEDITATION RESPONSES  which do not seek God’s intervention

(For music see Prayer / Meditation Responses in Boundless Life Hymns)

  1. In silence now we join to pray
    LISTENING TO THE GOD WITHIN.
  2. May rich discernment shape our prayers
    AS WE LEARN FROM COSMIC LAWS.
  3.  As love’s compassion grows within
    WE SHALL HEED THE PEOPLES’ CRIES
  4. With all the poor we join to pray
    MAY EARTH’S WEALTH BE SHARED BY ALL.
  5. Empowered by justice, filled with hope
    WE SHALL JOIN WITH EARTH’S OPPRESSED.
  6. Aware how humans wound this Earth
    WE RESOLVE TO SAVE ITS LIFE.
  7. In meeting pilgrims’ varied ways
    WE FIND TRUTH TAKES MANY FORMS.
  8. When faced with life’s diversity
    WE VIEW MYSTERY AS BUT ONE.
  9. Through praying we transform our mind
    TILL ALL LIFE BECOMES A PRAYER.


Verse 1 Alternative response:

“Listening to our Inner Voice” or “Guided by the Light Within.”

 

AFTER PRAYERS FOR OTHERS

     Leader:     True self-consciousness lies in awareness of others.

 

AN ACT OF COMMITMENT

We commit ourselves to build a better world ‑

a world in which people relate with reverence to nature

and to each other;

a world where pollution is eliminated

and our natural heritage of wildlife, plants and open space is preserved.

We shall work to create a better community ‑

a community where people are more concerned

for the welfare of others than for themselves;

where special attention is given to the needs of the less advantaged;

where each person shares in the decision making;

where no one is deprived of friendship or acceptance;

a community where individuals of diverse race and culture

live in harmony, with mutual respect.

To this end we will seek to identify and control those forces in our society which produce injustice, disharmony and selfishness

and to support all that promotes

beauty and happiness, health and community.

This is the world we long to build.

We will seek to

FORGIVE, LOVE,

SHARE,

and GROW as persons,

so that these DREAMS

and HOPES may come true.

 

COMMITMENT TO ACTION

As followers of the Way we seek to translate our commitment into action through the creativity of God the nurturer, the example of Jesus the Holy One and in the power of life-giving Spirit.

 

OFFERTORY PRAYER

(for music for Shalom see Liturgical Resources in “Boundless Life” on this website)

     All:       TO YOU, O GOD, WE OFFER OUR LIFE-FORCE.
YOUR DIVINE ENERGY WITHIN US. UNITED IN FREEDOM

WE SING YOUR AGELESS SONG BEAUTY, JUSTICE, PEACE.

and/or SHALOM, SHALOM, SHALOM, SHALOM. (sung)

Celebrating Mystery Logo

LOGO NOTE: At the heart of the mystery all the separate boxes disappear and all is one, all is love.

Text and graphic © William Livingstone Wallace but available for free use.

Review & Commentary