Prayer for the New Year and the Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic Community

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1 Prayer for the New Year and Blessing of the Mid-Atlantic Community (Suggestions for gathering in small or large groups on Sunday, December 31, 2006 or Monday, January 1, 2007.) You will need a small amount of water from the Inaugural Assembly and someone to lead the prayer and start the singing. If you are celebrating Eucharist or Liturgy of the Hours, include the renewal of vows and the blessing with water etc. where appropriate. Prayer for the New Year and the Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic Community God of the new dawn You are the eternal sun that brightens our way. God of all creation Fill us with hope and gather us in peace Glory to you, three in one, your mercy endures forever., Opening Hymn: O Come All Ye Faithful O Come All Ye Faithful, joyful and triumphant. O come ye o come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, born the King of angels. O come let us adore Him (3x) Christ the Lord Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation; sing all ye citizens of heav n above. Glory to God, in the highest. O come let us adore Him (3x) Christ the Lord 1

2 Opening Prayer: A light has shone on us today! God, our God has blessed us! God of faithfulness, God of newness, You have called us together to proclaim a new dawn breaking over the ravaged face of earth to shine on those who sit in darkness to guide our feet on the way to peace. As we walk into this new year and new reality, incline our hearts to desire your life in us. Reading Luke 4:17-21: "And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him (Jesus). And He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because God has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. God has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.' And He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.'" Quiet Reflection At this special moment in our Mid-Atlantic Community history, let us renew the vows, which we made at our profession: Renewal of Vows Loving God, in the presence of this community of Mercy, we renew the vows we made at our profession in this Institute of the Sisters of Mercy. We commit ourselves once more to a life of celibate chastity for the sake of your reign. Acknowledging you as our first and all encompassing love, we give ourselves in that same love to our sisters in community, to those in need, to our families and friends. We recommit ourselves to a life of evangelical poverty. Trusting in your divine providence and following Jesus, who became poor for our sake, we strive to live simply and to seek unity of mind and heart in sharing all we have. We value the resources of the earth and desire to use them in harmony and interdependence with all creation. We recommit ourselves to a life of obedience within this Institute. Uniting ourselves to Christ, whose obedience led to the redemption of the world, we desire to inform our minds, prepare our hearts for dialogue, listen to one another in love, and accept conversion to your will. 2

3 We commit ourselves once more to a life of service through the works of mercy. Enriched by your love, healed by your mercy and taught by your word, we serve the poor, the sick and the ignorant. Encouraged and sustained by the fidelity of this community of Mercy, we rejoice in the continued invitation to seek justice, to be compassionate and to reflect your mercy in our world. Praying In the Spirit of Catherine McAuley, p I invite all associates present to renew their covenant: Renewal of Associates Covenant Merciful God, I renew the commitment I have made in response to your loving call. Challenged by the spirit of Catherine McAuley, I ask to enflesh the Spiritual and Corporal works of Mercy in our world. I desire to respond generously to opportunities to be nourished by prayer, to share in mercy life, and to witness to the gospel, I rely on Your grace for this commitment with the most lively unlimited confidence in Your providence. Response: Suscipe of Catherine McAuley (sung or proclaimed) My God, I am yours for time and eternity. Teach me to cast myself entirely into the arms of your loving providence, with the most lively, unlimited confidence in your compassionate, tender pity. Grant me O most merciful Redeemer that whatever you ordain or permit may be acceptable to me. Take from my heart all painful anxiety; suffer nothing to sadden me but sin; nothing to delight me but the hope of coming to the possession of you, my God and my all, in your everlasting kingdom. Amen Let us pray today for the first Mid-Atlantic Community leadership team: Tina, Carol, Cathy, Honora, Mary and Pat. Holy Wisdom, Spirit of truth, be with our sisters, who have been called to the ministry of leadership. Strengthen them to do what is needed to further the reign of justice and mercy in our world. Give them words that animate and challenge us to action. Give them vision and perception to read the signs of our times. Give them hearts of compassion to understand the needs of your suffering people. 3

4 Praying In the Spirit of Catherine McAuley, p. 29 PRAYER TO BLESS THE BEGINNING OF THE MID-ATLANTIC COMMUNITY Let us pray now with our sisters throughout the Mid-Atlantic Community: A light has shone on us today! God, our God has blessed us! God of faithfulness, God of newness, You have called us together to proclaim a new dawn breaking over the ravaged face of earth to shine on those who sit in darkness to guide our feet on the way to peace. We have mingled waters drawn from the many places where Mercy lives among us, rich symbol of the creative co-mingling of who we are. Look on us tenderly, women pregnant with joyful anticipation as we welcome the birth of the Mid-Atlantic Community. Wash over us with Your lavish love. Cleanse us of all that hinders our freedom and trust. The thirst we share is the burning of Your heart for the suffering of our age. May the spring of Your mercy leap up in gratitude and joy within us, renewing our passion for those deprived of justice. We entrust to one another our stories of challenge and fear healing and loss. May the flood of your grace bear us up in times of struggle and painful anxiety. We deepen our identity, our mission, and our legacy of union and charity together... May the bonds of deep affection that root us in Mercy make us one. And may the providence You pour out among us bless us always -Creator of abundant life -Lover of poor ones in every age -and endless Wisdom for the journey. We ask this in Catherine s faith. Amen. 4

5 Sisters, Associates, you are invited now to bless yourself or one another with Mid-Atlantic water. With one voice, let us proclaim this New Year 2007: Closing Hymn Joy To the World Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare him room, and heav n and nature sing, And heav n and nature sing, and heav n and heav n and nature sing. Joy to the world, the Savior reigns; let us our songs employ. While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat the sounding joy. 5

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