…a place of peace and Presence by the sea
…you are welcome here
Order of Worship
Focus: “Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie
Theshold Moment: Autumn Woods
Gathering Music: In My Life (by John Lennon/Paul McCartney) -Michelle Currie
Responsive Call to Worship: (Isaiah 25, Psalm 24)
L: The earth and all that is in it belongs to the Holy One.
All: Look, here is our God, for whom we have waited.
L: This is the Holy One, for whom we have waited.
All: Let us be glad and rejoice.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Holy One?
L: And who shall stand in this holy place?
All: We come, seeking the face of God.
Opening Hymn: There’s A Sweet, Sweet Spirit #408
Faithful Redeemer, you are the beginning and ending of all things.
You promise to wipe away every tear,
that death and mourning will be no more.
You make your home among us,
and abide with us as our God.
Teach us to live as the saints you call us to be,
that we may truly be your people,
living and doing your will,
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen.
Awakening: If You’re A Star (by Amy Lee) -Michelle Currie
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11, For Grief by John O’Donohue
Meditation: A Time To Remember
A Ritual of Remembrance
Leader: We remember those who have died in the past year.
We celebrate their lives, even as we continue to grieve.
L: We remember…
L: And we remember all those who have gone before us.
All: This is the mystery of our faith:
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
Words of Invitation The Bread and The Cup
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Communion Meditation: Be Not Afraid (by Bob Dufford, S.J.) -Michelle Currie
Musical call to Prayer: (two times) Hush now in quiet peace, be still your mind at ease. The Spirit brings release, so wait upon the Lord.
Prayers of the People:
Silent Prayers Pastoral Prayer
Closing Hymn: Blest Be the Tie That Binds
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
Go on your way rejoicing.
In whatever good you choose to do, precede it with hope,
accompany it with prayer and follow it with thanksgiving.
May the blessing of God Most Wonderful,
Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit be with you
now and ever more.
Recessional: Go in Peace
Go in peace and the peace of God be with you this day.
Go in peace and the peace of God be with you always.
celebrate and share the joy. Celebrate new life.
Go in peace and the peace of God be with you always
Isaiah 40: 1-11 God’s People Are Comforted
Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
9 Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;[a]
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,[b]
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.
When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you gets fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence.
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.
Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.
There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.
It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.
Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And, when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.
“For Grief” by John O’Donohue, from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings (Doubleday, 2008).
For Your Reflection
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Here’s a prayer of thanksgiving and intercession from the Church of Scotland’s Weekly Worship website. It was written by Rev. Jock Stein, a retired minister formerly serving in Tulliallan and Kincardine, Scotland.
Prayer of Intercession and Thanksgiving
We thank You, God, for everything we delight in –
sunlight in autumn days, colour in nature and art,
rhythm in poetry and music;
human achievement and family success;
work well done;
love and friendship
and all your gifts to body and soul.
Most of all we delight in Your salvation,
the knowledge of Your love,
the assurance of eternal life,
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
We commend to You those who work in harsh conditions,
and those who have no work;
those whose lives are drab and grey;
those whose poor health takes away delight in living;
those who are lonely;
those who have no home of their own.
Grant them the human help and comfort which they need,
and the spiritual encouragement
which will enable them to live with hope and courage,
for the sake of Jesus Christ who leads us to salvation.
We pray for the elderly,
asking for them clear faith and human support.
We pray for those in middle years,
asking for them wisdom in their choices,
and the recovery of a sense of wonder.
We pray for the young,
asking for them good opportunities,
and that their ambitions include the desire to serve.
May we all continue to seek the God of every age,
made known in Jesus Christ,
the greatest friend of all.
We bless You, God,
space-maker, cloud-rider, earth-lover.
We bless You for the great company of saints
who have gone before us
and now delight in Your presence.
With them we honour and praise Your holy name,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and as they were taught to pray so do we say,
Our Father …
~ written by Rev. Jock Stein, a retired minister formerly serving in Tulliallan and Kincardine, Scotland. Posted on the Church of Scotland’s Weekly Worship website. http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/