Statement of Belief from LGBT Mass

A Statement of Belief

Side A
We believe in God, Who is Love, creating all things in an
explosion of love and affirming that everything and everyone
created is very good. We believe that God has created each one
of us without exception in the Divine image and likeness.

Side B
Therefore, we commit ourselves to recognising that we all share our
deepest identity as Children of God. We rejoice with gratitude in the
rich diversity of all creation and the diverse identities of all human
persons.

Side A
We believe in Jesus Christ, the Immanuel who reveals a God who
walks lovingly with us in our human condition and in all the
struggles we encounter in life’s pilgrimage. He listens to the cries
of every human heart for acceptance and love.

Side B
Therefore, we commit ourselves to making real His love for every
human person of whatever identity, to walk alongside each other with
compassion and care, protecting each other from all harm and
discrimination.

Side A
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the life-giver, the love-maker, the
source of all unity and community. We believe that we are each a
dwelling place of this Holy Spirit of God’s loving and that there is
no genuine love that is not Divine and Holy.

Side B
Therefore, we commit ourselves to respect and to understand the
different paths to holiness and love that the Holy Spirit calls each of
us to walk; and we will support each other as we journey together as
a gifted people of Mission.

Side A
We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ, a Pilgrim
People, a Sacrament of Christ’s loving presence in the world, a
Universal community of welcome for all people of every kind of
diversity.

Side B
Therefore we commit ourselves to building the Church as One, Holy,
Catholic and Apostolic – One family where we all belong equally; a
Holy People where all help each other grow in the Holiness of loving;
a truly Universal community where all humanity know they can
flourish in their uniqueness and diversity; a community of Apostles and
Prophets where each has the right and responsibility to speak their
voice, to proclaim the Gospel, to serve the Kingdom and to protect
the human dignity of every person in every place.

All Together: As we believe, so may we live. Amen!

ACT OF DEDICATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT (Pentecost)

Priest Do you believe in the Creator Spirit given by the Father?

PEOPLE    We believe that God breathed the Spirit over the chaos
                       at the dawning of creation;
                       that the Spirit hovered over the dark waters and
                       brought forth Light and creation’s order and beauty.
… And so we will reverence all creation and
care for our earth and fragile environment.

Priest Do you believe in the Spirit of Love flowing from the Heart of Christ?

PEOPLE    We believe that God overshadowed Mary
                       so that Jesus’ flesh was conceived in the Holy Spirit;
                       that God anointed Jesus with the Spirit in the Jordan River
                       for a life of Loving Service of the Kingdom – of love in word and action;
                       and that from His broken Heart on the Cross
                       Jesus poured forth the Water of the Spirit upon all humankind
…. And so we will share the Mission of Christ,
                       welcome the Spirit’s Gifts and
                       work with Jesus in the Power of His Spirit for the Kingdom.

Priest Do you believe in the Spirit that unites us and leads us into all truth?

PEOPLE     We believe that from all eternity the Spirit
                         has united the Father and the Son in a Trinity of Love;
                         that the Spirit brought the Church to birth
                         in a ferment of Mission and Praise;
                         that the Spirit challenges the People of God in every age and place
                         to be the One Loving Body of Christ;
                         that the Spirit through the ages guides His People to proclaim
                         the Truth that is Christ with greater courage and deeper insight.
… And so we will seek the new ways of the Spirit
                         for the Church in our time;
                         to unite all God’s People that together we might Proclaim the Gospel
                         with a renewed Power to the world of the Third Millennium.

Reflection upon Readings of the Vigil Mass of Pentecost

PENITENTIAL READING: Genesis 11: 1-9

The early chapters of the Book of Genesis speak both of the beauty and goodness of creation and how our sin disfigures that creation. They also trace how sin begins with the small act of self-will by Adam and Eve but grows to a level of destructiveness that engulfs all in the Flood. The story of Babel and its tower, which follows the end of the Flood, shows well how humanity has not learnt, and our continued self-will and rebelliousness leads even to the divine gift of language becoming a source of division rather than unity. On Pentecost Day, the nations are reunited in the Market Place by the Universal Tongue of faith … the Holy Spirit heals Babel’s babble of division into a new unity.

FIRST VIGIL READING: Exodus 19: 3-8. 16-20

Our God is the God of Covenant Love. From Noah and Abraham to Moses and Joshua,  God is binding the Divine Presence and Plan to the story of a People journeying in Faith. At Sinai the Covenant is witnessed in cloud, fire and storm. But this Covenant reaches its most intense expression as the the apostles, disciples and Mary experience the fullest outpouring of Love in the form of the Mighty Wind of Divine Energy and God’s Love being burned into the hearts and melting them into Unity in Pentecost’s Upper Room.  

SECOND VIGIL READING: Isaiah 61: 1-3, 6, 8-9

Jesus was to quote this wonderful Prophecy of Isaiah when he describes his own ministry in the Synagogue of Nazareth. It expresses not only his work in the world – raising up the poor, enlightening rich and poor alike when we are blind to each other plight, serving freedom and human rights everywhere – but also the work of every Christian, and every Christian community anointed by the Spirit. The Spirit seeks to renew and heal the face of the wounded earth and all its peoples – to bring about the endless Jubilee of justice, mercy and joy, the ‘Year of Favour’.

THIRD VIGIL READING: Ezechiel 37: 1-14

The first name for the Spirit in the Bible is the ‘Ruah’, or breath or wind of God. The Upper Room of Pentecost morning was filled with the same mighty wind as that described by Ezechiel in this prophetic vision. The Wind of the Spirit breathes New Life, brings us fully alive in Christ, and enables us to be an ‘army for the Lord’ – an army of peace and healing and life-giving. Let us allow the Spirit to blow through our lives and our community.

FOURTH VIGIL READING: Joel 3: 1-5

Peter quotes from this passage when trying to explain the extraordinary event of God that is Pentecost’s outpouring of life and joy. Even the excluded ones – the slaves, the women – now receive the boundless generosity of God, as all are welcomed to share the dream of God, the Vision of the Kingdom – a world renewed in the Holy Spirit. As we dream and share the vision, so we are empowered to work in the power of the Spirit to make a new world … a world of true Jubilee!

EPISTLE READING: Romans 8: 22-27

The Gift of Tongues is one expression of the groaning of the Spirit deep within us … and deep within creation itself, as Paul tells us. Creation’s freedom and our own are bound together in the Spirit who comes to us in our weakness to be the flame of salvation and hope. In the Spirit we yearn for a freedom that is total.

Vigil Mass  of  Pentecost 2019

Send forth Your Spirit, O Lord … Renew the face of the earth …  Burn Your love into our waiting hearts!

SONG TO INVOKE THE SPIRIT No 458

PENITENTIAL RITE

Genesis 11: 1-9 Diverse Languages ruin the building of the Tower of Babel: so division hinders the building of the Kingdom. The Pentecost event is the healing of Babel.

Sung Response:No 936

THE WORD OF GOD – THE OLD TESTAMENT PREPARES FOR THE SPIRIT

[1] Exodus 19: 3-8, 16-20   God enters into sacred Covenant with the liberated Hebrew slaves at Mt Sinai and the people see cloud and fire – the Spirit comes to the disciples in the Upper Room in the form of mighty wind and tongues of flame. The Spirit brings the ancient Covenants to fulfilment as our hearts and community are filled with Divine Presence.

Sung Response: No 720

Prayer

[2] Isaiah 61: 1-3, 6, 8-9 The Spirit anoints God’s People so that they can be servants of a perpetual ‘Jubilee Year’ – announcing Good News to the Poor and freedom to all held captive in oppression.

Sung Response: No 883

Prayer

[3] Ezechiel 37: 1-14 The Spirit blows through our inner deadness – as individuals and as a church – to bring us alive, to renew us, to ‘re-form‘ us as a People filled with the power of the Spirit.

Sung Response: No 302

Prayer

[4] Joel 3: 1-5 Through the outpouring of the Spirit, we know the Lord is in the midst of us, and then we can dream, be visionary of a world where everyone is alive to the Spirit!

Sung Response: No 295 

Prayer

GLORIA      Glory to God, Glory to God…

COLLECT PRAYER OF THE VIGIL MASS OF PENTECOST

The Epistle:  Romans 8: 22-27      The Spirit is at once cosmic in dynamism, drawing all creation to the freedom of the Children of God; and profoundly personal and interior – praying too deep for understanding at the core of our being.

Responsorial Psalm sung

Alleluia, acclaiming the Gospel (African)

THE GOSPEL: John 7: 37-39 Jesus is a the source, or wellspring of the Spirit, for from his heart pierced on the Cross flows streams of ‘Living Water’ into the desert of our hearts and our world, healing and giving life in all its fullness.

Homily

ACT OF DEDICATION TO THE SPIRIT

Priest Do you believe in the Creator Spirit given by the Father?

PEOPLE We believe that God breathed the Spirit over the chaos at the dawning of creation;
that the Spirit hovered over the dark waters and brought forth Light and creation’s order and beauty.
… And so we will reverence all creation and care for our earth and fragile environment.

Priest Do you believe in the Spirit of Love flowing from the Heart of Christ?

PEOPLE We believe that God overshadowed Mary so that Jesus’ flesh was conceived in the Holy Spirit;
that God anointed Jesus with the Spirit in the Jordan River
for a life of Loving Service of the Kingdom – of love in word and action;
and that from His broken Heart on the Cross
Jesus poured forth the Water of the Spirit upon all humankind.
… And so we will share the Mission of Christ, welcome the Spirit’s Gifts and
work with Jesus in the Power of His Spirit for the Kingdom.

Priest Do you believe in the Spirit that unites us and leads us into all truth?

PEOPLE We believe that from all eternity the Spirit has united the Father and the Son in a Trinity of Love;
that the Spirit brought the Church to birth in a ferment of Mission and Praise;
that the Spirit challenges the People of God in every age and place to be the One Loving Body of Christ;
that the Spirit through the ages guides His People to proclaim the Truth that is Christ with greater courage and deeper insight.
… And so we will seek the new ways of the Spirit for the Church in our time;
to unite all God’s People that together we might Proclaim the Gospel
with a renewed Power to the world of the Third Millennium.

ALL SING No 305

INTERCESSIONS 

We are invited to go to various places inside and outside the church complex: eg to the school to pray for children and young people; to the Hall to pray all who use the hall, but especially those seeking safe asylum and refugees; to the Assisi Centre to pray for the homeless and the those struggling with addiction; outside Assisi Centre to pray for the area and for evangelisation. We return to pray Bidding Prayers based on the Fruits of the Spirit.

MINISTRY OF ANOINTING FOR THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT Chant:
Sing to the Lord, O my soul, and all that is in me proclaim God’s salvation!
Sing to the Lord, O my soul, and remember all of God’s marvellous deeds!

African Song

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Presentation of the Gifts No 777
Breathe in us, Holy Spirit, breathe in us

Eucharistic Acclamations
Holy, HolyNo 553
MemorialNo 554
Lamb of God  No 925

Communion Hymn Chant:
Spiritus Jesus Christi, Spiritus Caritatis, confirmet cor tuum (X2)
[May the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Love strengthen your heart.]

African Song 

No 932

Receiving the Light No 764

LITURGY OF BLESSING AND MISSION

As the Early Church tumbled out of the Upper Room into the Market Place to witness to Christ, we too take the flame of the Spirit into the open air and there witness to the Risen Christ for all to see.

Leaving Song  African Song and Movement 

Lighting the Fire of the Spirit for the World

Blessing and Dismissal No 770

Fire Burning in my Soul / Pentecost na Fire eee  / Holy Ghost na Fire eee
Fire, Burning in my Soul / Fire, fire, fire (×2)

 

 

SEEING CHRIST CRUCIFIED TODAY

At our Good Friday Liturgy twelve small crosses were brought up and placed in the sanctuary alongside the large Cross that we reverenced. These words accompanied each of the small crosses:

1.   Jesus is being crucified today when families and communities are victims of barrel bombs and gas and chemical attacks; when barbaric war is waged in Afghanistan, in Syria and Yemen; when in the land of His birth Palestinian rights to freedom and a homeland are violently repressed and walls of division are built between between Palestinian and Israeli; when Rohingya Muslims are massacred and ethnically cleansed from Myanmar.

2.   Jesus is being crucified today when we refuse to change our life-style but continue to abuse our beautiful planet, exploiting the earth rather than living in joyful communion with creation; when 20 million people are on the verge of famine because of climate change, war and corruption and 66 million sisters and brothers are forced to flee their homeland and live as refugees

3.   Jesus is being crucified today when our young people have no hope, no jobs and turn to drugs and alcohol; when addiction drives young and old into the dark world of crime and violence; when the poor of our nation have to pay for the excesses of the rich, as benefits are cut for the poorest and most vulnerable, essential social services are reduced, and health care diminished, while we spend £100 billion on nuclear weapons. 

4.   Jesus is being crucified today when, like Jesus, women and men are wrongfully imprisoned; when others are tortured for their religious beliefs or political aspirations; and when developed nations like the United States and China keep thousands on death-row awaiting execution, and when our own nation imprisons in our Detention Centres the innocent and vulnerable who seek safe asylum among us.

5.  Jesus is being crucified today whenever survivors are haunted by memories of Genocide and massacre in Rwanda, the Darfur, Serbia, the Congo, Cambodia or Myanmar, knowing this evil continues today; and minds and hearts are scarred as well as their bodies; when millions die unnoticed in the Congo because we want their minerals for our computers, when both Moslems and Christians live in fear of muder and abduction by extremist groups.

6.   Jesus is being crucified today when children and the vulnerable are hurt or abused, especially by members of the Church; when children are deprived of the love they need to grow whole and happy; when adults do not act to protect them from all harm; when people live for decades with inner pain because of past abuse.

7.  Jesus is being crucified today when children are raised in a culture of violence, learning to be violent and aggressive to each other; when children and young people are perpetrators and victims of knife crime on our streets; when they are used in ‘County Lines’ or as cheap labour or child soldiers, or for sexual exploitation; when the rights of child refugees are not recognised and respected.

8.   Jesus is being crucified today when LGBT+ people are not embraced with love by the Church or are discriminated against and their lives threatened around the world – and blasphemously in the name of God!

9.   Jesus is being crucified today when women and men are abused, trafficked and used for sex or slave labour; when women are refused equality and dignity,  whether in marriage,  in society or in the Church.

10.  Jesus is being crucified today when parents grieve the loss of their child, when children die in the womb for whatever reason, when hopes for the future lie shattered through separation or bereavement.

11.  Jesus is being crucified today when in a wealthy country like ours we cannot value and care adequately for our elderly, and the homeless are given no hope of proper shelter and housing in which to build their lives and raise their families with dignity.

12.    Jesus is crucified today when peaceful change is violently repressed by brutal regimes using terror and massacre, and when refugees and asylum-seekers are harshly treated by host countries like our own, detained without trial while innocent of any crime,  or perish in the waters of the Mediterranean and crossing mountain ranges or locked out of freedom by razor-wire border fences; when nations build walls of hostility rather than bridges of welcome; when racism goes unchallenged and the victims of racial violence go unheeded.

The Biblical Stations of the Cross

FIRST HYMN:      My Song is love unknown No 750 (Laudate)

INTRODUCTION:

Leader:   In the name of the Father, + the Son and the Holy Spirit

May the love of the Father who gives His only Son, the  grace of the Crucified One and the Spirit that flows from the pierced heart of the Cross be with you all …

St Paul wrote to the Christians of Corinth: ‘The message of the cross is folly … and yet it is the power of God! … I come among you in weakness and trembling only to preach only Christ crucified.’

As we walk this way of the Cross, helped and guided by these Stations carved out of the faith and pain of Africa, we gather into our hearts the pain of all the crucified of our world today, walking alongside and gazing upon the Christ who walks the way of suffering among our brothers and sisters in this moment of history.

Between each Station : one verse of At the Cross her station keeping No 223 (Laudate)

First Station: The Last Supper Mark 14: 22-25

And as they were eating he took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’ And he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many. In truth I tell you, I shall never drink wine any more until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’

Or John 13; 2-8 & 12-15

They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him. And he got up from table, removed his outer garments and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; He then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ‘Never!’ said Peter. ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have no share with me.’ 12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand’, he said, ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you”

Meditation: (World Hunger)

O God who nourishes Your People with bread of Life and Bread of Freedom, with Cup of Love and Cup of Sacrifice: transform us into Bread in Your Hands to be broken and given for the life of the world; give us the courage to drink the cup of the world’s suffering as You did.

Second Station: The Garden of Gethsemane Matthew 26:36-46

Then Jesus came with them to a plot of land called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Stay here while I go over there to pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him. And he began to feel sadness and anguish. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and stay awake with me.’  And going on a little further he fell on his face and prayed. ‘My Father,’ he said, ‘if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it.’ He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘So you had not the strength to stay awake with me for one hour?

Stay awake, and pray not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing enough, but human nature is weak.’  Again, a second time, he went away and prayed: ‘My Father,’ he said, ‘if this cup cannot pass by, but I must drink it, your will be done!’ And he came back again and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy. Leaving them there, he went away again and prayed for the third time, repeating the same words. Then he came back to the disciples and said to them, ‘You can sleep on now and have your rest. Look, the hour has come when the Son of man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Get up! Let us go! Look, my betrayer is not far away.’

Meditation: (those afflicted with mental turmoil)

O God whose love invites us to drink of the Cup of Sacrifice and challenges us to abandon ourselves into Your hands in service of the Kingdom: be with us in our struggles so that we might stand alongside all who struggle to do Your will; and make us ever watchful and awake to the cries of the oppressed

Third Station:  The Kiss of Judas  Matthew 26: 47-56 

And suddenly while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared, and with him a large number of men armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. Now the traitor had arranged a sign with them saying, ‘The one I kiss, he is the man. Arrest him.’ So he went up to Jesus at once and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi,’ and kissed him. Jesus said to him, ‘My friend, do what you are here for.’ Then they came forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.   And suddenly, one of the followers of Jesus grasped his sword and drew it; he struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his ear. Jesus then said, ‘Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, who would promptly send more than twelve legions of angels to my defence? But then, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this is the way it must be?”    It was at this time that Jesus said to the crowds, ‘Am I a bandit, that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? I sat teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid a hand on me.’ Now all this happened to fulfill the prophecies in scripture. Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away.

Meditation: (broken relationships, victims of domestic violence and abuse)

O God who is ever faithful even when we betray You: heal the hearts of all who have been betrayed by those whom they love so that they will not despair of loving and being loved; and let us never despair of your forgiveness and love

Fourth Station: The Denial of Peter     Mark 14: 27-31 &  66-72

Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away, for the scripture says: I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered; however, after my resurrection I shall go before you into Galilee.’  Peter said, ‘Even if all fall away, I will not.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘In truth I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times. But he repeated still more earnestly, ‘If I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And they all said the same… While Peter was in the High Priest’s courtyard, one of the high priest’s servant-girls came up. She saw Peter warming himself there, and said, ‘You too were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.  But he denied it. ‘I do not know, I do not understand what you are talking about.’ And he went out into the forecourt, and a cock crowed.  The servant-girl saw him and again started telling the bystanders, ‘This man is one of them”. But again he denied it. A little later the bystanders themselves said to Peter, ‘You are certainly one of them! Why, you are a Galilean.’ But he started cursing and swearing, ‘I do not know the man you speak of.’  And at once the cock crowed for the second time, and Peter recalled what Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times.’ And he burst into tears.

Meditation: (those who cannot forgive themselves)

O God who never stops trusting us, loving us, forgiving us, even when we fail you: give us the tenderness to forgive ourselves as You forgive us and so turn our every despair into hope, our every denial into love’s courage, our every sin into a new beginning of holiness

Fifth Station:  Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns Mark 15: 15-20

Pilate, anxious to placate the crowd, released Barabbas for them and, having orderedJesus to be scourged, handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers led him away to the inner part of the palace, the Praetorium, and called the whole cohort together. They dressed him up in purple, twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on him. And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!.’ They struck his head with a reed and spat on him; and they went down on their knees to do him homage. And when they had finished making fun of him, they took off the purple and dressed him in his own clothes.

Meditation: (victims of torture) 

O God  who sent Your beloved Son to be our Servant King who ‘did not cling to His equality with God but emptied himself to become a slave unto death on a Cross’: teach us and all humanity both to reverence and to protect the dignity of every human person made in Your own image and likeness

Sixth Station: Jesus is condemned to death by Pilate John 19: 12-16

From that moment Pilate was anxious to set him free, but the Jews shouted, ‘If you set him free you are no friend of Caesar’s; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.’ Hearing these words, Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated him on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha. It was the Day of Preparation, about the sixth hour. ‘Here is your king,’ said Pilate to the Jews. But they shouted, ‘Away with him, away with him, crucify him.’ Pilate said, ‘Shall I crucify your king?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king except Caesar.’ So at that Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. They then took charge of Jesus.

or Luke 23: 18-25

As one man the crowd howled, ‘Away with him, give us Barabbas!‘ (This man had been thrown into prison for causing a riot in the city and for murder.) Pilate was anxious to set Jesus free and addressed them again, but they shouted back, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’. And for a third time he spoke to them, ‘Why? What harm has this man done? I have found no case against him that deserves death, so I shall have him punished and then let him go.‘ But they kept on shouting at the top of their voices, demanding that he should be crucified. And their shouts grew louder. Pilate then gave his verdict: their demand was to be granted. He released the man they asked for, and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased.

Meditation:   (prisoners)

O God of all the world’s victims you watched with sorrow as Jesus, the Just One was wrongly condemned by the unjust: remind us always to care for prisoners rather than judge them, and to struggle for the freedom of all who are unjustly and wrongly imprisoned 

Seventh Station: Jesus carries His Cross and falls  John: 19: 17- ’22

And carrying his own cross he went out to the Place of the Skull or, as it is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.  Pilate wrote out a notice and had it fixed to the cross; it ran: ‘Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews’. This notice was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the writing was in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. So the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate, ‘You should not write “King of the Jews”, but that the man said, “I am King of the Jews”. ‘ Pilate answered, ‘What I have written, I have written.

Mediation: (call to bear the burden)

O God, who in Jesus carries the pain and hurt of the world: challenge us to take up our Cross of love and witness anew each day to that wounded Brother who gives life and healing to all the broken of the world 

Eighth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps carry the Cross Mark 15: 21-22

They enlisted a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which means the place of the skull. John19: 12-16                                                                                                                    From that moment Pilate was anxious to set him free, but the Jews shouted, ‘If you set him free you are no friend of Caesar’s; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.’ Hearing these words, Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated him on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha. It was the Day of Preparation, about the sixth hour. ‘Here is your king,’ said Pilate to the Jews. But they shouted, ‘Away with him, away with him, crucify him.’ Pilate said, ‘Shall I crucify your king?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king except Caesar.’ So at that Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. They then took charge of Jesus.

Meditation: (walking alongside)

O God, who in Jesus comes among us vulnerable and in need of our friendship and help: challenge us to be Simons sharing the burden of the Cross with all broken and hurting of our society 

Ninth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem Luke 23: 27-21

Large numbers of people followed him, and women too, who mourned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children. For look, the days are surely coming when people will say, “Blessed are those who are barren, the wombs that have never borne children, the breasts that have never suckled!” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”; to the hills, “Cover us!” For if this is what is done to green wood, what will be done when the wood is dry?’

Mediation: (women & children refugees)

O God, who in Jesus was an asylum seeker, searching for safe refuge with your mother in Egypt: may we reverence every woman and child the world over, and empower us to create communities that will welcome and protect all who rightly seek safe sanctuary among us  

Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped and nailed to the Cross Matthew 27: 33-38

When they had reached a place called Golgotha, that is, the place of the skull, they gave him wine to drink mixed with gall, which he tasted but refused to drink. When they had finished crucifying him they shared out his clothing by casting lots, and then sat down and stayed there keeping guard over him. Above his head was placed the charge against him; it read: ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’ Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.

Meditation: (One25 Organisation & prostitution)

O God, who in Jesus is stripped naked before the mocking eyes of the world, who in Jesus is nailed and crucified in sacred communion with all whom the powerful crucify for their own ends: challenge us both to wrap in love and reverence all who are stripped of their human dignity, and to raise our voices in protest against the abuse of our brothers and sisters

Eleventh Station:  Mary and John at the Foot of the Cross John 19:25-27

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.                                                                                                    

Meditation: (Mary of Compassion)

O God, who gives us Mary, Mother of the Lord and Mother of the Church, to be Mother to all whom the world makes victims and outcasts: grace us always with Mary’s compassion that we like her might embrace a guilty world with love and mercy 

Twelfth Station: Jesus hangs between the Two Thieves Luke 23. 39-43

One of the criminals hanging there abused him: ‘Are you not the Christ?  Save yourself and us as well’. But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’  he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did but in our case we deserved it:  we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.’     Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’  He answered him, ‘In truth I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’

Meditation: (breaking the cycles of violence with forgiveness)

O God, who in Jesus chose the guilty as your companions in death and embraced the condemned with a mercy and forgiveness that opens to all the gates of hope on earth and of paradise in heaven: make us a community of compassion, understanding and forgiveness

Thirteenth Station: Jesus dies John 19:  28-30                     

After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed and, so that the scripture should be completely fulfilled, he said:’I am thirsty’.A jar full of sour wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a hyssop  stick, they held it up to his mouth.After Jesus had taken the wine he said, ‘It is fulfilled’; and bowing his head,he gave up his spirit.

Mediation: (silence)

O God, who in Jesus is swallowed up by death in order the destroy death forever: help us to die to ourselves that others might come alive and empower us to challenge the culture of death and vengeance with the Gospel of Life and forgiveness 

Fourteenth Station:  Jesus Rises form the Tomb John 12: 28-30

 Jesus replied to them: Now the hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.    In all truth I tell you, unless a wheat grain falls into the earth and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies it yields a rich harvest. Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me, must follow me, and my servant will be with me wherever I am. If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him…  Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say: Father, save me from this hour? But it is for this very reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name!   A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will again glorify it.’

 or also add John 12.29-32

The crowd standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder; others said, ‘It was an angel speaking to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours. ‘Now sentence is being passed on this world; now the prince of this world is to be driven out.  And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all people to myself.

Meditation: (waiting in hope)

O God, who in Jesus is the seed that falls into the ground and dies to give birth a People of Hope: may we be Your seeds of Hope sown into the ground of our world; and give us the courage to stand before every darkness in the Light of the Resurrection 

Mass of Thanksgiving for 170 Years of Mission at St Nicks

Mass for of Thanksgiving for 170 years of  the Mission and Presence of St Nicholas of Tolentino Parish 

ENTRANCE LITURGY

PROCESSIONAL SONG African

ENTRANCE HYMN No 458

WORDS OF WELCOME by co-chairs of the Parish Pastoral Council

AT THE BAPTISMAL FONT – Penitential Rite

RICHARD: 170 years ago, in 1848, six people were baptised in this parish in its first year of existence. Baptism is the foundation of our Life in Christ. Signed by the Cross of Christ and immersed in the Sacred Waters, we die to ourselves and rise with Christ, to live for Him and His world; from the Fount of Living Water we drink deeply of the Holy Spirit, and cry out ‘Abba! our Father!’. From every tribe and nation, race and people, with every form of diversity we are gathered into the one Family of all God’s Children. Every Sunday we begin our Mass by gathering around the Font of Holiness and New Life with repentant hearts so that the Holiness of God might be restored within us

READER: We commit to being a community of the welcoming Heart of Christ building together a Universal Communion of love for all: forgive us for those times in our parish’s history and in our own lives when we have not welcomed, not loved those different from us yet whom God sends us, such as the Windrush generation of our Caribbean sisters and brothers

ALL: HAVE MERCY, LORD, HAVE MERCY…

READER:     We commit to being a community building unity among all people: forgive us for those times in our parish’s history and in our own lives when we have been divided among ourselves, allowed elitism among us, when we have isolated ourselves from other Christians and People of other World Faiths

ALL: HAVE MERCY, CHRIST, HAVE MERCY… 

READER: We commit to being a community of both prayer and mission, developing new forms of mission as the Holy Spirit calls us: forgive us for those times in  our parish’s history and in our own lives when we have been inward looking, afraid to reach out to others, content to stay comfortable in our church and neglect the Christ of our streets

ALL: HAVE MERCY, LORD, HAVE MERCY…

BISHOP: May the God of endless Love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, embrace us with mercy and pardon, renew the Grace of Baptism in all of us empower us for our mission of Proclamation and Service and bring us all to everlasting life…

PEOPLE: AMEN!

GLORIA                                        No 530

OPENING PRAYER 

LITURGY OF THE WORD

AT THE LECTERN – Rededication to the Word                     

Our priest and Readers go to the Lectern and invite all of us to rededicate ourselves to the Word Who is Life for us, Bread for our Journey.

RICHARD: Our God is the One who speaks – a Word that creates, redeems and heals. God speaks with such intensity that the Word was made Flesh in Jesus. This Living Word has been proclaimed in this parish for 170 years.Let us always open our hearts to the Word Who is Life, that the flesh of our lives will also carry the Word to the World.

READER: Will you rededicate yourselves to being the People of the Word? Will you allow the Word to gather you as one community? Will you welcome the Word when it challenges you to change? Will you, like Mary, ponder the Word in your heart and make it your treasure and like St Nicholas build your lives upon the Rock of God’s Word?

PEOPLE: WE REDEDICATE OURSELVES TO BEING BOTH LISTENERS AND DOERS OF THE WORD, PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL WITH OUR LIVES SO THAT THE WORD WILL BE MADE FLESH IN US.

FIRST READING Isaiah c61: vv 1-3, 6, 8-9

RESPONSORIAL PSALM                                       Kurdish Hymn

SECOND READING                                    Ephesians c4: vv 1-7, 11-16

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION                                 Zimbabwean Gospel procession 

GOSPEL Matthew c5: vv 11-16

HOMILY – 

HANDING ON THE MISSION   Senior citizen parishioners (‘Elders’) come forward, with a candle lit from the Paschal Candle, with a Bible and with a bowl of water and a towel.

Young people and children come forward to receive these symbols expressing the ‘handing on’ of the Tradition of Faith & Mission Senior parishioners handing Light, Gospel, Faith, on to young people of the parish community … to take into the future

ELDER ONE: We received the Light of Faith from those who went before us: With confidence we pass on to you that Light – Go speak your voice, share your vision, and so renew the Church for a New Age, and go be the Light of Christ 

ELDER TWO: We received the Gospel from those who went before us:… With confidence we pass on to you the Living Word of God to shape your lives and to proclaim to your New World

ELDER THREE: We received from generations past the Mission to Serve the Wounded and Poor, the beloved of God:  with confidence we hand on to you the call to serve the Poor, to wash the wounds of the hurting, to speak out with courage for Justice and Equality and so create a New World 

ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD!

INTERCESSIONS    AFTER EACH INTERCESSION, ALL SAY
                                   RENEW YOUR PEOPLE  IN LOVE…

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

OFFERTORY  (collection for the support of St Nicks 170 Fund)        No 883  and the Taizé chant
The Kingdom of God is justice and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, Come, Lord, and open in us the gates of Your Kingdom

EUCHARISTIC ACCLAMATION
Sanctus:                           No 559
Consecration:               No 560                                   

PEACE                              No 590

COMMUNION                No 245 (‘Ubi Caritas’)
African Song
No 882

AT THE TABLE OF THE EUCHARIST Rededication as the Community of the Bread and the Cup

After sharing the Eucharist together, the Bishop and priests and deacons stand once more at the Altar Table and lead us in an Act of Rededication as the People of the Eucharist.

RICHARD: For 170 years people have gathered around the Eucharistic Table to share the Breaking of the Bread, and to drink deeply of his transforming love in the One Cup. The Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Christ that has broken down the barriers dividing us from each other; it is the centre of our lives, the love that gathers us from every race, culture and language into a Universal Community, a People of joyous diversity, the People of God; the power which nourishes us and sends us in mission to our world.

READER: Will you commit yourselves afresh to being the People of the Eucharist, working in the years and decades that lie ahead of us as a parish for the unity of the One Bread and One Cup  among yourselves and with Christians of every tradition? Will you commit yourselves afresh to being the People of the Eucharist, to break bread of justice, share the cup of suffering with the poor, welcome the stranger and the outcast to our Table and bring healing to our divided society?

ALL: WITH GRATEFUL HEARTS WE WILL BECOME THE LIVING EUCHARIST IN THE HEART OF THE WORLD, SERVING UNITY.

READER: Will you commit yourselves afresh to being the People of the Eucharist, 

by hungering for Christ’s presence and thirsting for Christ’s love … 

by expressing that love in humble service of the poor and broken

of your world? 

ALL: WITH GRATEFUL HEARTS WE WILL DEEPEN OUR LOVE 

FOR CHRIST, WHO WASHED OUR FEET AT THE FIRST EUCHARIST AND TOLD US TO DO LIKEWISE.

LITURGY OF BLESSING AND MISSION

LITURGY OF BLESSING AND MISSION

Commissioning and Sending our Community for a future of Service and Witness to the Lord

BISHOP:     We stand in a rich tradition of 170 years of faith and prayer, witness and service …  may the Father make us faithful to all that has been handed on to us

PEOPLE: AMEN!

BISHOP:    Jesus shares with us His dream of a world made new. May we listen to his call, walk his Way, proclaim His Truth and give Life by His Love in new and challenging ways

PEOPLE: AMEN!

BISHOP: May the Holy Spirit, fall upon us … with life-giving Water to cleanse and heal; with Fire to burn love into our hearts; with Mighty Wind to empower us to be Prophets that we will be a Parable of Communion in the Inner City forging the future with new courage

PEOPLE: AMEN!

BISHOP: May Almighty God bless us all
Father + Son and Holy Spirit
now and forever …

PEOPLE: AMEN!

DEACON:  We have celebrated together 170 years of this community … now go into the unknown future with the love of God, the Freedom of Christ and the power of the Spirit to proclaim the Risen Christ

PEOPLE: THANKS BE TO GOD!

RECESSIONAL   No 854

Thank you for coming to celebrate this very special celebration, marking 170 years since the foundation of our parish and its mission. We are inspired by the remarkable witness of St Nicholas of Tolentino, together  with St Maximilian Kolbe, St Edith Stein and all who perished in the Holocaust. St Vincent de Paul, St Louise de Marillac, Bl Frederick Ozanam and St Oscar Romero also hold special places in our parish story.  

We are immensely grateful to our Bishop Declan and to all of you who have come and celebrated with us our identity as a parish of diverse peoples called together by God here in the Inner City. Rededicating ourselves to the work of the Kingdom in the years and decades to come, may we embrace every new challenge that the future holds so as to be a community in Christ that is Re-Born in obedience to His Word, ready again to continue building this One World in His Justice, Equality and Peace.

 

Prayers for Feast of St Josephine Bakhita, Patron of Trafficked and Enslaved people

HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND MODERN SLAVERY DAY

A TIME TO PRAY AND REFLECT 

INTRODUCTION:  St Josephine Bakhita, born in Sudan, was captured as a slave at the age of nine years and was cruelly abused. She had 144 scars of wounds on her body. She was trafficked to Egypt, sold to the Italian Consul and eventually taken to Italy. There she later found freedom, was baptised and then professed as a Canonossian Nun in Venice. She died in 1947 and recently declared Patron Saint of all trafficked and enslaved people.

SCRIPTURE: Exodus 3: 7-12a – the Lord hears the cries of the slaves

The Lord said: ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I heard them crying for help on account of their taskmasters. Yes i am well aware of their sufferings. And I have come down to rescue them from the clutches of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that country, to a country rich and broad, to a country flowing with milk and honey. Yes indeed, their cry for help has reached me, and i have also seen the cruel way in which they are being oppressed. So I am now sending you to bring my people out of Egypt.

Moses said to God: “Who am I to go and bring your people out of Egypt?’ ‘I shall be with you’, God said.

Galatians 3:28 – we are all  one in Christ

There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither slave nor freeman, there can be neither male nor female – for you are all one in Christ Jesus

V/   The Lord hears the cries of the slaves
R/   Lord that we may hear their cries also

V/ For the Lord there is no distinction between slave and free
R/ We are all one in Christ – they are our sisters and brothers

V/ Whom shall I send – who will go and set them free!
R/ Here I am Lord, send me!

HYMN:    ‘The Lord hears the cry of the Poor’

         The Lord hears the cry of the poor Blessed be the Lord

I will bless the Lord at all times
With praise ever in my mouth
Let my soul glory in the Lord
Who will hear the cry of the poor

        The Lord hears the cry of the poor Blessed be the Lord

Let the lowly hear and be glad:
the Lord listens to their pleas;
and to hearts broken God is near,
who will hear the cry of the poor.

       The Lord hears the cry of the poor Blessed be the Lord

Ev’ry spirit crushed God will save;
will be ransom for their lives;
will be safe shelter for their fears,
and will hear the cry of the poor.

       The Lord hears the cry of the poor Blessed be the Lord

We proclaim your greatness, O God
Your praise ever in our mouth
Every face brighten in Your light
For You hear the cry of the poor

        The Lord hears the cry of the poor Blessed be the Lord

INTERCESSIONS:

For Pope Francis and all Christian leaders across the world, that they may continue to call all people to unite against the scourge of modern slavery
V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREE

For Christians everywhere, that the Holy Spirit may inspire us to to act with courage and wisdom to support and care for the survivors of modern slavery in our communities

V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREE

For those trafficked and trapped in slavery, that their perpetrators be brought to justice and their dignity as human beings respected and safeguarded

V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREE

For those in forced labour on land or at sea, in cities or countryside, that they be strengthened in body, heart and spirit, and raised up by those who can rescue and help them

V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREE

For the survivors of modern slavery, that they might find the support and care they need to start a new life: we pray in particular for the work of the Santa Marta Group, for the Clewer Project, for Unseen, and for the Salvation Army

V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREE

For legislators and law enforcement agencies around the world: may they strengthen and protect the rights of workers

                               V/Lord we cry…
R/SET YOUR PEOPLE FREEE

Our Father…

Blessing:    May the Blessing of God be upon us and all exploited and
oppressed people this Day and always
                        In the Name of the Father + the Son and the Holy Spirit

A Meditative Liturgy of Light for Candlemas

A Meditative Liturgy of Light for Candlemas

A light to enlighten the gentiles

and the Glory of Your People Israel

 

READER 1 In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning.
Through Him all things came into being,
not one thing had its being but through Him.
What has come into being in Him was life,
life that was the Light for all people;
the Light that shines in the darkness
and darkness cannot overcome it.

LIGHT FIRST CANDLE AND PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

ALL SING CHANT TWICE:
The Lord is my Light, my Light and salvation
In God I trust, in God I trust!

READER 2 In the beginning God created heaven and earth.
Now the earth was a formless void,
there was darkness over the deep
with the Spirit sweeping over the waters.
God said:  ‘Let there be Light’ and there was Light!
God saw that the Light was good.

LIGHT SECOND CANDLE AND PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

ALL SING CHANT TWICE:
With You O Lord is life in all its fullness
and in Your Light we shall see true Light

READER 3 Arise, shine out Jerusalem, your Light has come,
the glory of the Lord is rising on you,
though night still covers the earth and darkness the peoples
Above you the Lord now rises and above His glory appears.
The nations come to your Light, your dawning brightness.
No more will the sun give you daylight,
nor the moon shine upon you;
but the Lord will be your everlasting Light,
Your God will be your splendour.

LIGHT THIRD CANDLE AND PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

ALL SING CHANT TWICE:
Lord Jesus Christ, Your Light shines within us.
Let not my doubts and my darkness speak to me!
Lord Jesus Christ, Your Light shines within us.
Let my heart always welcome Your Love

READER 4 Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!
Way of the sea on the far side of the Jordan,
Galilee of the nations!
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light,
on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death
a Light has dawned!
For a son is born for us, a son is given to us
and this is his name: ‘Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace’;
to extend his dominion in a boundless peace!
And they will hammer their swords into ploughshares
and their spears into sickles.
Nation will not lift sword against nation,
no longer will they learn war anymore!
….
A virgin shall conceive and give birth to a son,
whom she will call ‘Immanuel’ a name that means
‘God is with us!’

LIGHT FOURTH CANDLE AND PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

ALL SING CHANT TWICE:
The Kingdom of God is justice and peace
and joy in the Holy Spirit! Come, Lord,
and open in us the gates of Your Kingdom.

READER 5 The Word was was the real Light that gives Light to all;
He was coming into the world. He was in the world
that had its being through Him.
The Word was made flesh and lived among us,
and we saw HIs glory, the glory that He has from the Father
as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Indeed from His fullness we have all received,
grace heaped upon grace!
No-one has ever seen God; it is the only Son,
who is closest to the Father’s heart,
who has made Him known!

LIGHT FIFTH CANDLE AND PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

ALL SING CHANT TWICE:
O the Word of my Lord, deep within my being
O the Word of my Lord, you have filled my mind!

READER 6 I am the Light of the world; anyone who follows me
will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light of Life
… Walk always as children of the Light…
You are the Light of the world. A city built on a hill top cannot be hidden. No-one lights a lamp to put it under a tub;
they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone
in the house. In the same way, your Light must shine in people’s sight, so that seeing your good works,
they may give praise to your Father in heaven.

LIGHT SIXTH CANDLE AND PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

ALL SING CHANT TWICE:
Christe Lux mundi,
qui sequitur te habebit, Lumen Vitae, Lumen Vitae

READER 7 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. I saw the holy city,
the New Jerusalem, dressed as a bride for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice call from the throne:
Look, here God lives among humanity. He will make
His home among them; they will be His people,
He will be their God, God-with-them!
There will be no more death!
Look, I am making all creation new!
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End!
And the City of God did not need sun or moon for Light;
since the radiant glory of God, and the Lamb was the lighted torch and the nations will come to its Light!
and bride and the Lamb say: ‘Come, Lord Jesus, come Soon!’

LIGHT SEVENTH CANDLE AND PAUSE FOR REFLECTION

ALL SING CHANT TWICE:
Come Lord Jesus, … Maranatha…

BLESSING OF CANDLES AND PROCESSION OF LIGHT TO MASS IN THE LADY CHAPEL

 

LITURGY OF DEDICATION TO THE MISSION OF CHRIST THIS NEW YEAR

 

PRIEST We stand in: a rich tradition of faith, witnessed by the martyrs and prophets; a rich tradition of hope, witnessed by courageous missionaries opening up new lands and cultures for Christ; and a rich tradition of love, witnessed by all who have sacrificed themselves for the poor, the broken and the excluded of our world in every age. In these ways we, the Church of Christ, have served our God and our world well, and for this tradition we give great thanks.

READER We confess with sorrow that there is another, darker, history revealed in centuries of divisions among the People of God; in a Church too often identifying with the powerful rather than with the struggles of the poor; in the persecution even to death of Christian brothers and sisters different from us, and of those of other faith systems. In these ways we, the Church, have failed our God and our world, and for this sad tradition we repent with all our heart.

PRIEST And now, as we are about to set foot upon this Year of Our Lord, 2019, we come to affirm our faith in the Living God, Creator, Redeemer, Life-Giver; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nourished as we are by God’s Word and guided by God’s Spirit, we come to dedicate ourselves anew to the work of the Kingdom, to fill this Year with the Mercy, Compassion and Love of Christ and His Holy Spirit.

So now I ask you, my brothers and sisters,

Will you affirm your faith in the Father, the Creator, the Life-giver?

PEOPLE      I affirm with joy that I am a child of God, created in the Divine image, called and gifted to continue God’s creation of our Universe.

READER Will you affirm your faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Brother and Redeemer, who gives Himself to you in Word
and Eucharist?

PEOPLE     I affirm with gratitude that Jesus is my Saving Brother, speaking Divine Truth to my mind and heart by His Word, and nourishing His Love in me by the great gift of the Eucharist; calling me to a life of prayer and contemplation so that I may live as brother and sister with all people; challenging me to strive for peace and justice in a broken world, urging me to proclaim the Good News of Mercy and Healing by my action, life-style and words.

PRIEST    Will you affirm your faith in the Holy Spirit, Breath and Flame of God?

PEOPLE    I affirm with profound openness of heart that the Holy Spirit is the breath of God’s Life and the Fire of God’s Love within me: bidding me to welcome and use the Spirit’s Power for deep prayer, radical action and loving community and so to be part of God’s Renewal of the Face of the Earth.

READER Will you, as we  set out together on this New Year, affirm your faith in the Church of God as a living Bread of Christ in God’s Hands to be broken and given for the life of the world?

PEOPLE    I affirm with deep love that, despite its many failures and profound inadequacies, the Church will always remain God’s gift proclaiming the Gospel down the centuries, calling me to prayer, challenging me to live community with love, to heal every disunity, to share my gifts and insights,  to foster Christian freedom and mission and to be Bread in God’s Hands broken to give life to the world.

PRIEST  At the turning of the Year may this affirmation deepen our faith, envision our hope and enlarge our love; as this Year of our Lord 2019 begins may the Holy Trinity continue always to empower our Mission of Mercy and Healing to our torn world.

PEOPLE    AMEN! AMEN! ALLELUIA!

Renewal of our Allegiance to Jesus Christ No 777 & Song of Africa
[each one is invited to approach the Baptismal Water, bless themselves and then be anointed with Blessed Oil for the Mission of Christ in this New Year]