STICKS & STONES / FLESH & BLOOD

Liturgical images and movements that speak to experience

Liturgy of the Word

A Roman Catholic Order of Service for Sunday Worship

First celebrated with the community of Dignity-Integrity/Rochester
on the First Sunday of Advent 1998;
planned by Chaplain Michael J. Nicosia, M.Div.,
following the guidelines of Sunday Celebrations In The Absence Of A Priest.

“Magnificat of Charity’s Roots”
by Michael J. Nicosia © 1999 National Convention of Catholic Charities USA

ORDER OF SERVICE

The Gathered Community
Welcome
Gathering Hymn   ♫
Greeting
Penitential Rite
Opening Prayer

Liturgy of the Word
1st Reading
Responsorial Psalm  ♫
2nd Reading
Gospel Acclamation  ♫
Gospel
Reflection
Creed
Prayers of the People

Collection for the Mission of the Church
Hymn during Collection  ♫
Prayer over the offerings
Act of Thanksgiving [with sung acclamations  ♫]
Lord’s Prayer
Sign of Peace

Magnificat with antiphon
Closing Prayer
Blessing
Closing Hymn  ♫

The Community Gathered

WELCOME 

GREETING 

PRESIDER:  X O God, come to our assistance.
ALL:    O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to you, Source of all Being, Eternal Word, and Holy Spirit,
ALL:    As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

Today we, the people of God,
gather to bless, break open and share God’s word
revealed in our Sacred Texts and in the fabric of our lives,
and to respond with thanks and praise. 

We come with anticipation of that day
when we will once more celebrate
the Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Tradition,
so that our worship every Sunday
can more fully reflect and celebrate
the self-gift of Christ our Lord.

Until that blessed day, we cannot contain our thanks and praise,
nor can we fail to acknowledge that our eucharistic lives
are joined with Christ’s sacrifice
as a blessing for the Church and the world;
and so we make our evening worship
in union with the whole Church,
together with Benedict, the bishop of Rome,
with Matthew, Prince and Marie, our local bishops,*
and in persistent communion with those
who are able to share in the Sacraments
which celebrate our unity in Christ.

*Following the covenants between the Roman Catholic, Episcopal and Lutheran dioceses of Rochester, it is our tradition to prayer for all of our respective bishops.

Blesséd be God, the Source and Ground of our Being.
ALL:    Blesséd be God forever.

Blesséd be Christ Jesus, our Way, our Truth, and our Life.
ALL:    Blesséd be God forever.

Blesséd be the Holy Spirit, the Power behind our Love and Service.
ALL:    Blesséd be God forever.

PENITENTIAL RITE (during Lent, use Rite below)

As we enter into the mystery of our faith, let us call to mind our sins against God, against ourselves, and against each other.

For the times we have denied
our call to walk humbly before you and others, Lord, have mercy.

ALL:    Lord, have mercy.

For the times we have denied our call to love tenderly, Christ, have mercy.
ALL:    Christ, have mercy.

For the times we have denied our call to act justly, Lord, have mercy.
ALL:    Lord, have mercy.

May the God of compassion and challenge have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
  Amen.

_________________________

If desired, a ritual using water or incense would be inserted here. 
(See site pages “Water Rituals” and “Incense Offerings”)

_________________________

LENTEN PENITENTIAL RITE

PRESIDER:  Let us now kneel before the mercy of our God,
who is faithful to the covenant
––
even when we are not. 
[Please kneel for silent reflection.]

CONFITEOR

ALL:  I confess to Almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do;
I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God:

KYRIE  (musical setting at the discretion of the music ministers)

PRESIDER:  May almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins, ad bring us to everlasting life.   ALL:  Amen.
_________________________

GLORIA  (omitted during Lent; musical setting at the discretion of the music ministers)

OPENING PRAYER  (appointed for the particular Sunday of the year or other prayer suiting the occasion)

Liturgy of the Word  Assembly sits.

1ST READING

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

2ND READING

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION   Assembly stands.

GOSPEL 

PRESIDER/HOMILIST:  The Lord be with you.

ASSEMBLY:  And also with you.

PRESIDER/HOMILIST: 
A reading from the holy gospel according to __________.

ASSEMBLY:  Glory to you, O Lord.

NOTE:  According to the Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, “the layperson [presiding at a SCAB] is not to use words that are proper to a priest or deacon and is to omit rites that are too readily associated with the Mass, for example, greetings––especially ‘The Lord be with you’––and dismissals, since these might give the impression that the layperson is a sacred minister.”  One of the Vatican’s concerns is moot, as there is no risk of mistaking a Liturgy of the Word Without Communion with the Mass.  A deeper motive behind this directive is the fear that worship led by a layperson may devaluate or erode the unique character of the ordained ministry.  Our community’s resistance to invalid and/or illicit celebrations of the Sacraments, together with the high esteem given to the priests who have and/or continue to serve us, preserves this dignity.

We leave this matter to the discretion of the presider.  While following the Church’s liturgical guidelines helps to maintain our Roman Catholicity, Dignity-Integrity/Rochester and her sister chapters have resisted any policy which devalues the laity in order to preserve the Church’s hierarchical structure.  Our lay presiders may wish to prophetically highlight the sacred character of their baptism and ministry; our community will proudly give their confirmation:  “And also with you!”

_________________________

If desired, the RITUAL AFFIRMATION OF THE GOSPEL
ALIVE IN THE MIDST OF THE COMMUNITY would be inserted here. 
(See site page “Communion with the Word”)
_________________________

The Proclamation of the Gospel concludes with the PRESIDER/HOMILIST acclaiming:  “The Gospel of the Lord.”

ALL respond: “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Lectionary is then placed standing upon the altar
and the Reflection is delivered from the ambo or the center aisle.

REFLECTION   Assembly sits. 

 

the Creed   Assembly stands.

PRESIDER:  In union with the whole Church,
let us profess what we have heard and come to believe.

NOTE:  The Nicene Creed is the version appointed for Sunday worship; the Apostles’ Creed is associated with the Baptismal Rite; we use either, at the discretion of the presider, as the specific imagery of one version may resonate more with the readings and homiletic themes .  The gender inclusive versions below use imagery reflecting The Catechism of the Catholic Church, art. 239, 663, 664, 703.  A community may which to use the orthodox translations as a symbol of unity with all the parishes which are faithful to the rubric.

NICENE CREED 

We believe in one God, Father, Mother, the Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Creator,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Source of all Being.
Through Him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation He came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
He was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became a human being.

For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven, where He has assumed
the full splendor and honor of His divinity.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and His reign will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Ruler and Giver of life,
who proceeds from the Source of all Being and the Eternal Word.
With them She is worshiped and glorified.
She has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
Father and Mother to all, the Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
where He has assumed the full glory and honor of His divine reign.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.  Amen.

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

PRESIDERWe are of one body,
in communion with all who profess this symbol of our faith. 
Confident in God’s mercy and care,
let us join our hearts and voices,
as we pray for the needs of the Church and the world.

      ––Intercessions––
. . . . Lord, hear our prayer.

PRESIDERGracious God, faithful Father, 
we are weak and prone to sin,
yet we know how to give goods gifts to our children,
and desire the best for those you have placed in our care;
how much more will you give good things to those who ask.

Mother most merciful,
hear the prayers of your children
and look with favor upon our needs
– those we have spoken and those still deep in our hearts. 
Grant this, we ask, in Jesus’ name.
 Amen.

 

COLLECTION FOR THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

The following offertory prayer is said over the Collection:

PRESIDER:  Most generous God, source of every good, bless these offerings and all of our commitments for the advancement of your just reign.
ALL:    Amen.

_________________________

This is where The Liturgy of the Stones would be inserted. 
_________________________

ACT OF THANKSGIVING   (Chosen by the presider.)

OUR FATHER

SIGN OF PEACE
PRESIDER:  As a sign of our shared commitment to humble service and inclusive love, let us now offer each other a sign of Christ’s peace.

After the peace is shared:
Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God!
ALL:    It is right to give God thanks and praise!

NOTE:  The guidelines for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest suggest the option of using components of The Liturgy of the Hours. 
Picking up on Evening Prayer’s tradition of concluding with Mary’s Magnificat, our community drew upon a collection written by Ann Johnson, Miryam of Nazareth: Woman of Strength & Wisdom (Notre Dame IN:  Ave Maria Press, 1984) as an alternative resource.  The author graciously gave us permission to reprint her “Magnificat of Waiting for the Fullness of Time” for our first Advent service.  Following her inspiration I have since composed several versions of the canticle which particularly resonate with movements of our journey; the open below was initially composed for a Catholic Charities convention.

MAGNIFICAT OF CHARITY’S ROOTS

PRESIDER:  In you God’s love is revealed.

(Begins with the sign of the cross; recited in unison)

X  My soul exalts in your great compassion,
and my spirit marvels at your saving grace, God my redeemer,
for you have lifted up my lowliness
and used me for your blesséd purpose.

From ancient of days you have done great things for your people.
From this moment on, Mighty One,
your holiness will become incarnate
through my loving care
and my actions on behalf of justice done in your name.

Your mercy is accomplished from age to age
through those who know your heart.
You have shown the power of your love
by convicting the proud,
waking the complacent,
and confounding the powerful;
by their conversion you lift up the lowly.
Those in need you have filled with good things,
while the self-sufficient you have left to their hollow reward.

You have helped your servant people,
remembering your mercy according to your promise.
By reminding us of our obligations
a covenant of justice will be maintained
from one generation to the next and beyond.

Glory to you, Source of all Being, Eternal Word, and Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever.  Amen.

PRESIDER:  In you God’s love is revealed.

CLOSING PRAYER

PRESIDER:  Let us pray….  Loving God, in Word and Sacrament you are present in the midst of your people.  While we eagerly await the chance to celebrate and pass on the Gospel of your mercy and love as full and honored members of the Body of Christ, enable us to put flesh on your Word, that our lives may be both sign and instrument of your saving grace in the Church and the world.  Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
or  
Let us pray….  God of all mercy, refresh in us your sweet Spirit, that we who have been nourished by your Word may we be one in mind and heart, and strengthened in one resolve to proclaim the truth of your liberating love.  While we eagerly await the chance to celebrate the paschal mystery of your Son in its fullness, inspire and empower our justice-doing after his example, mindful that such service unites us to you and furthers your reign.  Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 Amen.
or  
Let us pray….  God of unity, God of peace, we have gathered as the Body of Christ––the Church, and have been nourished by your Word and moved by your Spirit.  While we eagerly await the chance to celebrate the paschal mystery of your Son in its fullness, may this day’s experience of communion with you and with each other inspire our love-making and empower our justice-doing after his example, that our lives may be faithful to your call, and responsive to your love.  Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

BLESSING
May the God of justice and peace bless us and keep us,
X whole and holy, and bring us to everlasting life.
 Amen.
or             
May God bless us and keep us.  Amen.

May his face shine upon us and be gracious to us.
 Amen.
May she look upon us with kindness,
X and give us her peace.  Amen.   

DISMISSAL
Let us go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit
to love and serve the Lord and one another. 
ALL:   Thanks be to God.

CLOSING HYMN