LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE Welcome to the Canberra Hospital Chaplaincy Uniting Church Service. Liturgy. 18 October 2012

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1 LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE Welcome to the Canberra Hospital Chaplaincy Uniting Church Service Liturgy 18 October 2012 Jean Shannon presiding Constance Aronsen Organ Presbytery Hospital Chaplaincy Leader The Uniting Church in Australia Presbytery of the Canberra Region Based on Roger Munson s liturgy for St James The Uniting Church offers an inclusive chapel at 9:30 on Thursdays. Everyone is welcome no matter what your faith background or engagement might be, or have been. Please join us for a small moment in community. 1

2 The community candle is lit Gathering Amazing, omnipresent God of all ages And all seasons How you grace our moment of small community In your wonder. Hold us. As we pay respect; Share our doubts and admiration; Exclaim our love; Renew our compassion And remember you as the source, the love and the reason. Give us grace to worship together Knowing you are always in our presence. J Shannon Prayer of Awareness We pray: We are gathered here in community. A place has been made for each of us. Let what we say and do here be real for us in preparation for the life of the world. Amen. Hymn God of Gum tree and of Quandong (Tune: What a Friend We Have in Jesus Scriven tune) God of gum tree and of quandong, granite rocks and rolling plain; God of pasture sheep and cattle, fallow land and crops and grain: You are always here around us even when we do not know. Help us realise your presence 2

3 that our Spirit life may grow. Ploughing, seeding, patient waiting for the harvest of the soil; Shearing, branding, culling, feeding, You are with us in our toil. In the workshop, store and office, classroom, kitchen, garden, too. Help us see your gift and glory, serve you well in all we do. Scattered in our congregations yet one body called to be; reaching out to fellow Christians, serving the community. Thanks to You for love that binds us; for the strength to do your will. Father keep us true and faithful; may we love and serve you still. NThrelfall. Reflection Reflection A Morning Offering by John O'Donohue from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings I bless the night that nourished my heart To set the ghosts of longing free Into the flow and figure of dream That went to harvest from the dark Bread for the hunger no one sees. All that is eternal in me Welcome the wonder of this day, The field of brightness it creates Offering time for each thing To arise and illuminate. I place on the altar of dawn: 3

4 The quiet loyalty of breath, The tent of thought where I shelter, Wave of desire I am shore to And all beauty drawn to the eye. May my mind come alive today To the invisible geography That invites me to new frontiers, To break the dead shell of yesterdays, To risk being disturbed and changed. May I have the courage today To live the life that I would love, To postpone my dream no longer But do at last what I came here for And waste my heart on fear no more. (silence) Exploring Readings from our Biblical tradition Job 23:1-9 Psalm 22:1-2 Mark 10:17-31 Charter for Compassion (to be read as one sentence for each voice) The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect. It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others even our enemies is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion. 4

5 We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings even those regarded as enemies. We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community. Hymn (TIS 371) God has gone up on high Invitation No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome at this table with its symbols of the Sacred Presence. In company with all who seek nourishment at this table, we come to celebrate community, and to share these life-giving symbols. (JStinson/adapted) Thanksgiving We celebrate the changing mood of nature: for sunshine and showers of a spring day. for the nesting and cheerfulness of birds, and the flowers of bush and garden... wattle, heath, and bottle brush. We give thanks. We give thanks. 5

6 We who hold all such good things in trust, in the company of each other, and in company with people throughout the world declare as generations before us have declared: Holy, holy, holy, heaven and earth are full of the glory of the Sacred presence. Let us acknowledge the mystery embodied in every person. Through us the Sacred comes to unique and personal expression. Let us give thanks for the abundance of life on this earth. Through it we and all people are nourished. We remember our tradition... Where we have told the story countless times that on that night among His friends, Through grain and grape, bread and wine, Jesus spoke of his enduring love for each of them. So we take this bread and this wine mindful of the Spirit at work in our lives. Thus making the tradition a living source of renewal and hope. We celebrate together Jesus broke the bread and told his friends of his body broken. He asked that we remember him. How could we forget? The bread is broken He poured the wine as asked that we remember his promise, the love than ran in his veins, our relationship. How could we forget? The wine is poured This is a symbol of our new promise a new community the love that flows. Let us honour the divine in each of us as we serve each other with the words His gift to you 6

7 Gratefully received. After communion Inspired by stories of a compassionate God, may we find a good feeling in our hearts so through these gifts we can help free some people from hunger, lift some people from their distress, and encourage some people to be part of a better world. Amen Hymn TIS 755 You shall go out with joy X 2 Words of Mission The sacred presence reaches beyond this place... The candle is extinguished As the spirit teaches inwardly, may we involve ourselves in the grander issues of life: those issues which make a compelling difference, which create the good life for all humanity. RHolmes/hwm Blessing May God give you strength to hold on and the strength to let go. May the Blessing of all that is love, beloved and loved light your path Keep you warm Throw a shadow To shelter those that follow. J Shannon HYMN 3 Fold Amen 7

8 It s not about riches, services, sacrifice it s about trying to live by a different code The Charter of Compassion is a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the centre of religious, moral and political life. Compassion is the principled determination to put ourselves in the shoes of the other, and lies at the heart of all religious and ethical systems. One of the most urgent tasks of our generation is to build a global community where men and women of all races, nations and ideologies can live together in peace. In our globalized world, everybody has become our neighbour, and the Golden Rule has become an urgent necessity. The Charter, crafted by people all over the world and drafted by a multi-faith, multi-national council of thinkers and leaders, seeks to change the conversation so that compassion becomes a key word in public and private discourse, making it clear that any ideology that breeds hatred or contempt ~ be it religious or secular ~ has failed the test of our time. It is not simply a statement of principle; it is above all a summons to creative, practical and sustained action to meet the political, moral, religious, social and cultural problems of our time. We invite each of you to adopt the charter as your own, to make a lifelong commitment to live with compassion. The charter is 1 year old next Month. Karen Armstrong s book 12 steps to a compassionate life is being studied in reading groups across the world. 8

9 TCH Chapel Readings 17 October Job 23: Then Job replied: 2 Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand [a] is heavy in spite of [b] my groaning. 3 If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! 4 I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say to me. 6 Would he vigorously oppose me? No, he would not press charges against me. 7 There the upright can establish their innocence before him, and there I would be delivered forever from my judge. 8 But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. 9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. Psalm 22:1-2 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. 1

10 Mark 10:17-31 New International Version (NIV) The Rich and the Kingdom of God Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt and put this question, 'Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' Jesus said, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 'You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bear false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother. And he said to Jesus, 'Teacher, I have kept all these since my earliest days.' Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him and said, 'There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.' But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked round and said to the disciples, 'How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the realm of God!' The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, 'My children, how hard it is to enter the realm of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the realm of God.' 2

11 They were more astounded than ever. 'In that case,' they said to one another, 'who can be saved?' Jesus gazed at them and said, 'For men and women it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.' 3

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