Liturgy to Celebrate Justice, Partnership and Equality for Women in Church and Society
GATHERING SONG AND GREETING
Woman’s Spirit Karen Drucker
Presider 1: We gather joyfully and begin in the name of the Holy One, Source of all Being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Presider 2: O Holy One, You move through us.
ALL: As we work for justice, partnership and equality.
Presider 1: We see Your feminine face in our ancestors and in all women.
ALL: May we open our hearts, to Your mothering love.
Presider 2: Jesus, our brother, taught us to see Your divine reality in women, especially in women who have been abused and exploited.
ALL: May we stand with our sisters who are abused and exploited.
Presider 1: We see You in men and women who have been caring partners and companions.
ALL: May we, live a connectedness and friendship with others.
Presider: May Your love heal and empower us.
ALL: Glory to You, O Holy One, in the highest, and peace, justice and equality to all people on earth. We give You thanks, and praise You for Your glory. You are all goodness and light, and You hold us in your heart forever. Amen.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: Isaiah 58:5-8
Responsorial Psalm: “Ube Caritas” (Taize)
Gospel Acclamation: ALLELUIA! (sung)
Reader: A reading from the Gospel John 13:34-35
Profession of Faith: ALL: We believe in the Holy One who loves passionately, embraces all and forgives everything. We believe in Jesus who accompanies us on our journey and shows the way to fullness of life. We believe in the Divine Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes us as co-creators of caring communities that challenge oppression, exploitation and injustice. We believe that we are radiant images of God who calls us to live fully, love tenderly, and serve generously. We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who support us on life’s journey. We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our church and world. We believe that we are one in the Heart of God, and that we are called to live our prophetic call of mutual partnership now.
Presider: Aware that the Holy One, like a fierce mother bear, who protects her young, is a defender of the oppressed and pursuer of justice, we now bring the women and men in our lives, in our church and world, before you.
Response: Holy One, you, hear our prayer.
Presider: For those who have been abused, we pray for empowerment. R. Presider: For those who have confronted their abusers, we pray for courage. R. Presider: For those who have been sexually exploited, we pray for healing. R. Presider: For the men and women who have been caring friends and partners, we pray for their continued growth and well being. R. Presider: In your name we pray that we can do all things by the power of your Spirit working in us. ALL: Amen
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
Presider: Blessed are you, O Holy One
Through your divine providence we have this bread to offer, it will become for us the Bread of Life.
ALL: Blessed are You forever.
Presider: Blessed are you, O Holy One, Through your divine providence we have this wine to offer, it will become our spiritual drink.
ALL: Blessed are you forever.
Presider: Nurturing One, we are united in this sacrament by the love of Jesus in communion with all who proclaim the liberating power of Woman-Spirit in our midst. ALL: Amen.
Presider: O Heart of Love, You dwell in us.
All: And we dwell in You.
Presider: O Pursuer of Justice, we life up our hearts
All: In service to our sisters and brothers
Presider: We thank you, Source of All
All: All the days of our lives.
Part One: O Holy One, You love through us as we reach out to our sisters who are abused and exploited. Your gift of the Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, is rising up in every encounter. With thankful hearts in the company of the angels and saints, we praise you, Spirit of Abundance and Welcome.
ALL: Holy, Holy, Holy Source of strength and light. All creation is full of Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed are all who come in Your name. Hosanna in the highest.
(Please extend your hands in blessing)
Part Two: You are holy indeed O nurturing One. You are the Heart of Love. You affirm women’s bodies as holy and women’s stories as sacred. You pour out your Spirit upon women called to preside at Eucharist. You pour out your spirit anew upon this bread and wine and upon us as we become more deeply the Christ Presence in our world
On the night before he died, Jesus came to table with the women and men he loved. Jesus took bread blessed and broke it, saying
ALL: “Take, eat, this is my body. Do this in memory of me. “
After supper, Jesus poured a cup of wine and shared it with his friends, saying ALL: This is the cup of the covenant of my love . As often as you drink of it, remember me.
Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
ALL: Christ has died in all those abused and exploited.
Christ is rising in all those working for justice, equality and partnership.
Christ comes each day in our work for a renewed humanity.
Part Three: In memory of Jesus, who showed us the path to empowerment, we give thanks for the loving relationships that helped us grow more aware of our goodness, strength and passion. We give thanks for your Enfolding Presence as we advocate for survivors of violence, abuse and rape and accompany them on their journey to healing and wholeness. Sharing this sacred banquet of love, we are filled with courage to live Gospel equality in our communities.
Part Four: Holy One, we remember your holy people throughout the world, as we grow in love, together with Francis our pope, our community leaders, and all Your people. We remember our brothers and sisters who have suffered abuse and rejection by our church. We hold them in our hearts.
Part Five: We remember all the companions who have gone before us: Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala, Junia and Andronicus, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Bishop Oscar Romero, Ita Ford, and all holy women and men who have witnessed for justice throughout the ages. Like Jesus, thier courage inspires us to confront all forms of discrimination and work for equality. For it is…
ALL: Through living as Jesus lived, and loving as he loved, that we awaken to Your Spirit empowering us to work for justice. AMEN
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
Presider: Let us pray as Jesus taught us.
All: O Holy One, who is within, around and among us,
We celebrate your many names.
Your Wisdom come.
Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us,
Each day you give us all we need;
You remind us of our limits, and we let go.
You support us in our power, and we act with courage.
For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us, now and forever. Amen (Prayer of Jesus by Miriam Therese Winter)
THE SIGN OF PEACE
Presider: Jesus said to his disciples, “My peace I leave you. My peace I give you.” The peace of the Holy One is also with you. Let us offer each other a sign of peace.
SONG for Peace
May the Christ Light Shine in You by Kathy Sherman
LITANY FOR THE BREAKING OF BREAD
ALL: Holy One, You call us to speak truth to power, we will do so. Holy One, You call us to live the Gospel of healing and justice, we will do so. Holy One, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will do so.
Presider: This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Blessed are we who are called to the table.
ALL: We are the Body of Christ.
Communion Meditation Song:
Beauty of the Dancer by Sara Thomsen
Presider: The Holy One is with you.
ALL: and also with you.
Presider: Please extend you hands as we pray our final blessing:
ALL: The encompassing of the Holy One is on us,
The encompassing of the Divine Presence,
The encompassing of the Christ of love,
The encompassing of the Spirit of Grace,
let us go forth from this Banquet, aware always that human rights are equal rights and that we are all the beloved of God. ALL: Amen.
(Adapted from Alexander Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica)
Presider: We go forth with the energy of Christ to heal and transform our church and world. Let the service for justice and equality continue!
ALL: We give grateful thanks and may we be a blessing in our time.
CONCLUDING HYMN: Women Spirit Rising, Karen Drucker
Liturgy: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Woman Priests