Sunday Morning Liturgy For Celtic Retreat

Decorated Altar, Celtic retreat 2012

Decorated Altar, Celtic retreat 2012

Our annual Celtic retreat is over, one of the best we have ever had. Jeff Johnson’s beautiful chants and music are still with me as I unpack and prepare for the coming week. Those of us who stayed through the weekend finished out time together with this liturgy.

As this day begins Christ be with us,

Be in our hearts and in our minds,

Be in our souls and in our spirits,

Be in our thoughts and in our desires.

As this day begins Christ walk beside us,

Show us the love only you can give,

Show us the light only you can provide,

Show us the wholeness only you can reveal.

As this day begins Christ surround us,

Circle us with your presence,

Keep protection near and danger far,

Bring us the assurance of your love.

Pause for a time of silent reflection on the glory of God.

Lord, let us walk into this day

Your light before us, 

Your shield behind us, 

Your friends beside us.

Lord, let us walk into this week

Your life before us,

Your strength behind us,

Your love around us.

Lord, let us walk from this place,

Your wisdom before us,

Your truth behind us,

Your breath within us.

Lord, let us walk into the world,

Gratitude in our hearts,

Thanksgiving on our lips,

Joy in our spirits.

Lord, let us walk into your loving presence,

In the name of the One who loves us,

In the name of the One who cares,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One in Three, Three in One.

Psalm 145

I will exalt you, my God and King,
and praise your name forever and ever.

I will praise you every day;
yes, I will praise you forever.

Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
No one can measure his greatness.

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;
let them proclaim your power.

I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor
and your wonderful miracles.

Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;
I will proclaim your greatness.

Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;
they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

The Lord is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.

The Lord is good to everyone.
He showers compassion on all his creation.

All of your works will thank you, Lord,
and your faithful followers will praise you.

They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;
they will give examples of your power.

They will tell about your mighty deeds
and about the majesty and glory of your reign.

For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
You rule throughout all generations.

The Lord always keeps his promises;
he is gracious in all he does.

The Lord helps the fallen
and lifts those bent beneath their loads.

The eyes of all look to you in hope;
you give them their food as they need it.

When you open your hand,
you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

The Lord is righteous in everything he does;
he is filled with kindness.

The Lord is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.

He grants the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them.

The Lord protects all those who love him,
but he destroys the wicked.

I will praise the Lord,
and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever.

Time of sharing – What are you are grateful for this morning?

Eternal Spirit

Earth-Maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, source of all that is and that shall be,

Father and Mother of us all. loving God, in whom is heaven.

The hallowing of your name echoes through the universe!

The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the earth!

Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!

Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.

In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.

In times of temptation and test, spare us, from the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever.  Amen.

Time of Prayer

(The Rising)

Let us go forth,

In the goodness of our merciful Father,

In the gentleness of our brother Jesus,

In the radiance of the Holy Spirit,

In the faith of the apostles,

In the joyful praise of the angels,

In the holiness of the saints,

In the courage of the martyrs.

Let us go forth,

In the wisdom of our all-seeing Father,

In the patience of our all-loving brother,

In the truth of the all-knowing Spirit,

In the learning of the apostles

In the gracious guidance of the angels,

In the patience of the saints,

In the self control of the martyrs,

Such is the path for all servants of Christ,

The path from death to eternal life,

Amen

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A Thanksgiving Prayer

American Thanksgiving is less than a week away and we are all looking forward to what is fondly called Turkey Day.  It is my favourite American custom which I have embraced with great enthusiasm not just because I love good food and good fellowship but because I love the opportunity to think about what I am grateful for and what I have to thank God for.  It is a custom which is not celebrated in Australia but I am sure that it will be celebrated over and over in the Kingdom of God.

Wednesday evening Tom & I will be speaking at the Thanksgiving service at St Aidans Episcopal church on Camano Island.  A couple of days ago I received a request from a friend for a thanksgiving liturgy.  Last night we celebrated a pre-thanksgiving turkey meal with students at the Purple Door.  All of these opportunities have focused my attention on the coming of thanksgiving and the fact that I have so much to be grateful for – good, health, good marriage, good community, shelter, food, a job that I enjoy – the list goes on and on.  Most of all I am grateful for the gift of Christ and all that he has meant in my life.  That is the theme that I have used in this Thanksgiving liturgy.

God we gather to thank you for the many blessings in our lives,

And to praise you for your generous goodness which is new every day,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

God to you who created the earth and the heavens,

To you who are always merciful and forgiving,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

God to you who call us into relationship with yourself,

And give us the gift of family and friends,

To you God we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

(Pause to remind yourself of all you have to be thankful for)

For the universe immense and unknown

For the earth on which we live

For humankind made in your image

Thanks and praise to God our creator

For entering human history as one of us

For the sacrifice you made for all of us

For dying that we might live

Thanks and praise to Christ our redeemer

For the wonder of your indwelling presence

For the comfort of your guidance and direction

For drawing us together as one body

Thanks and praise to the Holy Spirit our enabler

Through your will we are made whole,

Through your love we are renewed in body, mind and spirit

Through you we become one community from every tribe and nation.

Thanks and praise to Father, Son and Spirit through all eternity.

Psalm 92 or Psalm 105

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

1 Chronicles 16: 7 – 34

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

Colossians 1: 3-6

The Word of the Lord.     Thanks be to God.

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Luke 10: 21 – 24

The Gospel of the Lord.   Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us pray together now in the words Jesus taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed by your name.  Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory for ever and ever.  Amen

Gracious and generous God we give you thanks

For the gift of life for we are made in your image,

We think of all those in whom your divine image is still distorted

We pray for your mercy and love to rest upon them

God in your mercy be with them

caring and providing God we give you thanks

For our homes that shelter and protect us,

We think of those without shelter and water and protection today

We pray for your provision to be poured out upon them

God in your mercy be with them

Abundant and giving God we give you thanks

For our food that nourishes and strengthens us,

We thing of those without food and nourishment today

We pray that you will feed them with the bread of life

God in your mercy be with them

Loving and compassionate God we give you thanks

For our friends and family who love and comfort us in times of need

We think of those who are alone and feel abandoned

God comfort and surround them that they may sense your presence

God in your be with them

Gracious and generous God

We remember all the gifts you have given us,

We remember how lavishly you have provided,

We remember how lovingly you have cared,

We remember especially that greatest gift of all,

Jesus Christ our Saviour,

And we give you thanks.

Amen