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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Reign of Christ, Year A
Celebrating Community
South Sydney Uniting Church
November 20, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

O God, open our lips,
and our mouths shall proclaim your praise.

SONG OF PRAISE: ‘O for a thousand trees’

 O for a thousand trees to sing
 And join with us this day,
 With ferns and frogs and butterflies:
 A forest hymn of praise.

 Come celebrate with all the land,
 Let species rare begin,
 With geese and owls and cockatoo:
 A choir of country kin.

 How can we hear creation groan,
 The Outback cry in pain?
 With desert dragons we rejoice
 When Earth is born again.

 Let ev’ry stream and river flow
 In song toward the sea,
 With whale and seal and albatross
 We thank God we are free!

GREETING

In the name of God: Lover, Beloved and Spirit of Love. Amen.

The free kindness of our Saviour Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the shared life of God’s Holy Breath
be with you all.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors. Christ candle is lit.

PENITENTIAL RITE

Jesus, light of the world, we have lived too long in darkness.
Show us your compassion, O God.
Show us your compassion, O God.

We have worried and fretted about many things.
We have hidden from you and from serving others.
Show us your compassion, O Christ.
Show us your compassion, O Christ.

Bring the brightness of hope to us again,
that you may reign in our hearts and lives.
Show us your compassion, O God.
Show us your compassion, O God.

Silence.

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

Thus says Sovereign YHWH:
“As shepherds seek out their flocks when their flocks
are scattered in every direction,
so I will search for my sheep and rescue them ...”

Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus says, “I am committing myself to you.”
Thanks be to God.

The Liturgy of the Word

Here we are: called to your service, O God.
Let it be with us according to your word.

EPISTLE READING: Ephesians 1:15-23

May your word live in us, O God;
and bear much fruit to your glory.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 100: ‘All people that on earth do dwell’

L: All people that on earth do dwell,
R: sing to our God with cheerful voice:
L: serve God with mirth, heav’n’s praise forth tell;
R: come all before God and rejoice.

L: Know the Most High is God indeed;
 without our aid God did us make:
 we are the people God does feed,
 belov’d creatures God does us take.

R: O enter then the Gates with praise,
 approach with joy the Courts unto;
 praise, laud and bless God’s name always,
 for it is seemly so to do.

All: For the Most High our God is good;
 
God’s mercy is for ever sure;
 
God’s truth at all times firmly stood,
 
and shall from age to age endure.

We stand.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (180)

 Hush, hush, hallelujah, hallelujah!
 Shout, Shout, hallelujah, hallelujah!
 Sing, sing, hallelujah, hallelujah!
 Sing, God is love, God is love!

GOSPEL Matthew 25:31-46

The Good News and Power of God.
Praise to you, O Jesus Christ.

HOMILY

SILENCE

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

Let us pray to our God,
who seeks the lost sheep,
binds up the injured
and strengthens the weak.

Let us pray with and for each other,
giving thanks for all ways to serve,
and to support the works of love
in and beyond this place.

Representatives bring symbols of ministry and place them within the cloth circle, saying:

“In the name of love, we offer our work.” Amen.

Spoken and/or silent prayers.

... Christ, make us a community that helps to bring
the warmth of your justice and love to everyone on the earth. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘Come as you are’ (693)

THE PEACE

Jesus, you say to us:
“Every time you did this for the least of my sisters and brothers,
you did it for me.”
May you reign in our hearts and lives,
so that we may enjoy the peace and unity of your kindom
where you live forever and ever. Amen.

We are heirs of the kindom of God,
a kindom of holiness and peace.
So let us offer each other a sign of that peace.

INVITATION

Let us give thanks to God, who has given us a place within the reign of Christ.

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

God is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to God.
Let us give thanks to the God of love.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for your love is forever, faithful from age to age.

L: You are our maker, to whom we belong,
 for you created the earth
 and you shepherd all who live in it.
R: When your people were scattered and oppressed,
 you promised through your prophets
 to gather them home.

In your child, Jesus, the promises have been fulfilled:
a Christ who seeks the lost
and binds up the wounded.

L: When he was killed,
 you raised him from the dead
 and seated him at your side in the heavenly places.

R: Now your power is at work in us who believe,
 to clothe us in compassion and justice
 that we might be fit for the kindom.

Therefore we sing ... (761):
Holy, holy, holy God, wisdom, strength and hope,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest.

We thank you that on the night before he died for us ...

Now gathered at your table, O God of all creation,
and remembering Christ crucified and risen,
who was and is and is to come,
we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine,
and ourselves, a living sacrifice.

Pour out your Spirit upon these gifts
that they may be the body and blood of Christ.
Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us your new creation,
the body of Christ given for the world you have made.
In the fullness of time bring us, with all your saints,
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
to feast at the banquet prepared from the foundation of the world.

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
to you be honour, glory, and praise, for ever and ever.
Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Abba God in heaven,
glory to you!
Your rule of love renews the earth.
In your name, we take part in that renewal
helping, and not harming,
 
caring, and not coercing ...
We pray that we might receive with thanks
the bread we need, the money we need,
 
the warmth we need ...
We pray that forgiveness and freedom
flow through our lives.
Teach us that in sharing life
 
we live life to the full ...
Remind us that evil is real.
Still, we are not afraid of it,
but confident that love is stronger than hate,
 
justice other than revenge,
 
true peace the work of your Spirit.

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

LAMB OF GOD (767)

 Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
 have mercy on us.
 Bread of life, you take away the sin of the world,
 have mercy on us.
 King of kings, you take away the sin of the world,
 grant us peace.

COMMUNION

Because you are the body of Christ and members of the body,
it is your own mystery that lies on the altar-table,
it is your own mystery that you receive ...
Be what you see, and receive what you are.
The body of Christ. Amen.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Abba God,
let the bread of life sustain us
and the cup of salvation be our joy and hope
in carrying out the task entrusted to us
bringing the reign of Christ to a good end.
Help us to give each person his or her due
in respect, dignity and justice.
Turn us into makers of peace,
and make our love generous and self-effacing
in the service of all. Amen.

Notices.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

BLESSING

May God bless you and protect you. Amen.
May the light of God shine upon you and give you peace. Amen.
May Christ reign in your hearts and in your homes. Amen.

May almighty God bless you + Amen.

DISMISSAL

Let us walk with one another
in the peace of Christ, the Promised One.
Thanks be to God.

SONG: ‘When I needed a neighbour ...’ (629)

 

 

Acknowledgements:
Liturgy Alive for Sundays, the Philippines (www.bible.claret.org);
Eucharistic Preface and Blessing based on prayers by Nathan Nettleton
(www.laughingbird.net);
Hymn lyric by Norman Habel; Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Image: Celebrating Community by Naomi Ward (2011).