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Liturgy

A SERVICE OF WORD AND SACRAMENT

Season of Creation - Cosmos Sunday, Year C
South Sydney Uniting Church
September 22, 2013

We worship with the entire universe.

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 148:1)


“Praise God you highest skies.”


SONG OF PRAISE (181)


Come, O God of oceans wide:

shifting sands and crashing waves;

fish of every shape and size,

creatures of the reefs and caves.

 Sing out, earth and skies! ...


Come, Creator of the cat,

in the jungle, in the yard;

kookaburra and wombat,

species that we disregard.

 Sing out, earth and skies! ...


Come, O God, in wind and rain,

lightning flash and thunder roll;

refresh the Earth and life sustain,

shelter, inspire and console.

 Sing out, earth and skies! ...


Come, O God of stars that sing

planets, moons in cosmic song;

Gawi, God of everything,

making graceful, making strong.

 Sing out, earth and skies! ...


GREETING


Welcome! We worship this Sunday with the entire universe, conscious that the cosmos is a vast sacred space of which we humans on Earth are a minute but privileged part. We join the psalmists and call on the skies above and the deeps below to shout with songs of praise. We celebrate Wisdom that permeates, activates and unifies the web of worlds that is our cosmos.


Acknowledgement of traditional owners. Welcome to visitors.


GATHERING


We invite every creature in the web of creation to consciously connect with others in this community called the cosmos.

Dance, creation, dance!

Dance with cosmic energy!

Dance, creation, dance!

Dance with cosmic energy!


We are conscious of our place in the cosmos.

We remember moments of wonder,

sensing the infinite world of space,

connecting with endless networks in time

and feeling the mystery of the moment.

We remember and rejoice.

Thank you, God, for making us aware
of our special place in your web of creation.


PENITENTIAL RITE


We remember and confess that we have striven to discover other worlds,

while polluting our own atmosphere and ignoring the needs

of those
with whom we are closely connected.


A hole is made in the cosmic web.


We are sorry.
We have polluted Earth’s atmosphere
and made a hole in the ozone layer.
We have turned our greed into global warming.

We have ignored our crucial connection
with those parts of creation where we live.

We have loved progress more than the planet.

We are sorry. We are sorry.

We are sorry. We are sorry.


ASSURANCE


Christ hears your confession and forgives your sins against your part of the cosmos.

In the name of Christ:

I invite you to celebrate Earth as your home, a precious piece in the web of creation.

Shalom! Shalom! Earth is our home!


As we celebrate our place in the cosmos. God, have mercy.

As we connect with other worlds within the cosmos. Christ, have mercy.

As we care for our corner of the cosmos. God, have mercy.


Glory to God in the highest!

And peace to the cosmic community!


COLLECT


God, our Creator,

as we reflect on the mysteries of the cosmos,

we celebrate the wondrous design of the universe

and the Wisdom that guides its course.

Help us to discern our connection with living members

of the cosmic community.

Teach us to sense the presence of the cosmic Christ,

whose presence fills and reconciles all forces in creation.

Amen.


The Liturgy of the Word


FIRST READING Proverbs 8:22-31


PSALM 104


SECOND READING Colossians 1:15-20   


GOSPEL John 6:41-51


The Wisdom of God:

God’s word made new.


HOMILY


AFFIRMATION


We believe that God creates all things,

renews all things and celebrates all things.


We believe Earth is a sanctuary,

a sacred planet filled with God’s presence,

a home for us to share with our kin.


We believe that God became flesh and blood,

became a piece of  Earth,

a human being called Jesus Christ,

who lived and breathed and spoke among us,

suffered and died on a cross,

for all human beings and for all creation.

We believe that the risen Jesus is the Christ at the core of creation

reconciling all things to God,

renewing all creation and filling the cosmos.


We believe the Spirit renews life in creation,

groans in empathy with a suffering creation,

and waits with us for the rebirth of creation.


We believe that with Christ we will rise

and with Christ we will celebrate a new creation.


PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION


We thank God for a wonderful cosmos.

We pray for all those in need.

We name them now ...


... Jesus Christ, teach us to empathise with Earth.

Make our spirits sensitive to the cries of creation,

  cries for justice from the air, the clouds and the sky,

  cries of our fellow creatures deserted and dying.

Jesus Christ, make our faith sensitive to the groans of the Spirit

 in creation, groans of longing for a new creation.

Jesus Christ, make our hearts sensitive to the songs of our kin,

 songs of celebration all around us.

Christ, teach us to care. Amen.


The Liturgy of the Eucharist


OFFERING


God, our Creator,

through your love you have given us these gifts to share.

Accept our offerings as an expression of our deep thanks

and our concern for those in need on planet Earth.

With all the cosmos, we bless our Creator.


PEACE


INVITATION


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.


God, our Creator, source of everything that is,

we bring before you this day, bread and wine

and with it we bring before you all creation to say:

Thank you, God, thank you!

Thank you for weaving the web of creation

for living and dying among us to redeem us and all creation:

Thank you, God, thank you!

Thank you for rising to life,

permeating the cosmos with your Spirit to heal and sustain all things:

Thank you, God, thank you!


Therefore with voices of thanks echoing throughout the cosmos

from the first day of creation until this very moment in time,

we praise and thank you, God, singing (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.


Your presence is the living impulse in all things,

the Christ deep among us, filling Earth – land, sea and air;

in every element and place;

in the grain and the grape we share with you ...


INSTITUTION


THE LORD’S PRAYER


God our Mother and our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name, your dominion come,

your will be done, on Earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.


LAMB OF GOD


Lamb of God, who takes away all sin against heaven,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, who takes away all sin against Earth,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, who takes all sin from the world,

receive our prayer.


COMMUNION


Come, for all things are now ready.

Come to the nano-space of this table

in this nano-second called ‘now’.

For here and now,

the Christ who fills the cosmos fulfills our hopes.

May we who share these gifts,

share the cosmic Christ with one another.


PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION


Let us give thanks for this meal.

We thank you Christ, for the meal we have celebrated with you,

and we pray that through your body and blood

we may be healed

and become agents of healing for the Earth

as a precious planet in our cosmos. Amen.


The Sending Forth of the People of God


Notices.


BLESSING


Christ calls you to be his disciples,

to serve him with love and compassion,

to serve Earth by caring for creation.

Will you care for creation?

We will care for our planet.

We will nurture this piece of stardust!

We will celebrate with the cosmos!


May the Spirit of God who is the cosmic power

above all and in all and through all,

fill you with an awareness of Christ’s presence

permeating the cosmos.

Go in peace! Serving Christ and loving Earth!

We go in peace, serving Christ and loving Earth!


SONG ‘The Cosmic Christ’


Amazing is the Christ who died

To void all sin and curse,

Just as amazing is his life

That fills the universe.


The risen Christ is more than one

Who waits on some far shore;

In, with and under ev’ry thing

Christ is the living core.


The hidden Christ sustains for us

The blueprint of the skies,

The wisdom in each fragile form,

The soul that lights the eyes.


The cosmic Christ moves deep below

To heal the wounds within,

When all creation groans in pain

Because of human sin.


The cosmos hails the Christ, the One

Who reconciles all things,

’Til all creation rises new

With healing in her wings.


As Christ unites the universe,

Restores this Earth once more,

A cosmic song reverberates,

A rich symphonic score.



Acknowledgements:

Based on liturgy at seasonofcreation.com;

‘Song of Praise’ Additional words by Andrew Collis, 2013;

‘Cosmic Christ’ Norman Habel, July 2005;

Artwork: Cosmos by Catherine Wood, 2013 (Orchard Gallery).