We will be having an online communion service for the Autumn equinox next Sunday (September 24, 2023). It is open for anyone and everyone to participate. We ask that you bring your own wine/juice and bread/crackers. The Chapel zoom room will be open at 2 pm eastern time for fellowship and the service will begin at 2:15.
The readings and prayers in this liturgy are a mixture of medieval and modern sources creatively woven together into a new synthesis. Some of the readings are texts which would not have originally been used in a liturgical setting.
This service completes the wheel of the year as Samhain begins a new year. We have decided to continue this tradition into the future by having each service on the regular Saturday Chapel meeting closest to the holiday. We will be using the same liturgies that we have used over this past year, however they will not be going out to the email list as they already exist on the website.
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Mother of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfilment of her own purpose she gave birth to us by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of her creatures. Beloveds, in this moment we are God’s children; what we will become has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when Christ is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. May our prayers ascend to your throne of brightness, Lord, and let our prayer not return to us empty.
Light the Candle
God give me tears to erase my sins Let them come until I have been purified Let my heart burn with redemption’s flame Give me clear tears for Mary and Ita
God of fire who created fire God of light who gives us light God of life who is the author of life God of salvation who is our saviour In case our lamps grow dim this evening And lose the joys of this night Give us your light in our hearts Since you do not want us to die You give two gifts to those of us Who are wandering from Egypt First you reveal the cloudy veil Then the light which shines in the night You use a pillar of cloud in the day To give shade to people as they wander You use a pillar of fire in the evening To drive out the darkness with light You speak to your servant from within the fire You do not reject the thornbush Even though you are a consuming flame You do not burn that which you illuminate The cloudy beeswax, which is their bread Must now be consumed, burning away impurity And the flesh of wax will start to glow In the radiance of the Holy Spirit The divine honey is put away In the hidden recesses of the comb You have cleansed the inner cells of the heart Filling them with your sweet word So that the next generation of the swarm Who have been chosen by your Spirit May leave behind every burden and win heaven Now that their wings are free from care
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. So let us confess our sins, knowing that he is faithful and just, so that he may forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Gracious and merciful God, who freed your children from Egypt and led them through the wilderness, liberate us also from the bondage of sin so that we may come to know you and to be your people. If we may only touch the hem of your garment, O Christ whom we adore, we would be healed from our illness. With the spit of your mouth and the dust of the earth, give us eyes which can see, ears which can hear, and hearts which pour forth your grace into the world. Make us whole once more, O Great Physician, that we may praise you as we should. Amen
The observation of nature teaches us That all things must return to their source Human nature must also return to its own source Which is the Word in whom we live Human nature was created in God’s image and likeness God the common first principle of all things We will return to where we have come from Because we never fully abandon God Through sin our nature has become tarnished It no longer bears the likeness of God Likeness brings us nearer to God Unlikeness removes us to a distance However, it is not by paces of the foot That we move towards or away from God Rather we move closer or further By the affections of our minds The light of the sun is not lost because of distance We lose its light when we close our eyes It is not space which separates us from health We are separated from health by our pain It happens in exactly the same way When we leave behind the virtues Of life, blessedness, and wisdom Sin is the emptiness where they once were In the same way that skin is infected with leprosy So human nature is infected with sin In this illness the soul ceases to resemble The likeness of Jesus Christ its maker When the soul is cured of that leprosy By the medicine of the Divine Grace It will be restored to its former beauty And I will tell you one thing more The nature which is created in the image of God Never truly lost the blossom of its beauty Nor did it lose the integrity of its essence Nor could such a thing ever happen
Beloveds, right now we see only a reflection of Christ, as in a mirror, but one day we will see each other face to face. Now we know only in part; one day we will know perfectly, even as we are perfectly known. The Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. All of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For now faith, hope, and love remain, these three, and the greatest of these is love.
Light the Incense (if possible)
We say the prayer three times in the depths of our hearts, breathing in the first line and out the second.
May Christ dwell in my heart through faith As I am being rooted and grounded in love
What plot of land or what stream Turns up only one stone of a single kind? What forest produces only One tree of a single species? In this we can see the love of companionship Coming to light among creatures without sense Since none of them are left alone But each exists in a society of its own If this is true among rocks and trees How much more true it must be Among the society of animal kind Who are an image of loving friendship Though animals do not have reason In regards to friendship and loving society They imitate the human spirit in such a way That they appear to be rational beings They naturally follow the leader And enjoy each other’s company Frolicing together in their wilderness homes Expressing their love through sounds and actions Angels also live in a society Ordained for them by divine wisdom Among the nine orders of angels There is a tender love of friendship This friendship creates a harmony of will Preventing any envy from taking root The higher orders would seem to be more valuable If this danger was not countered by friendship Thus there is an entire host of angels To keep away all hints of loneliness With a heavenly communion of charity Multiplying the joy of the heavenly orders When God created the first human being She made a second person like the first In order to show us the blessing of friendship Which can be found in all of creation Divine power created Eve out of Adam In order to inspire friendship between them In a beautiful way the second human was created From the side of the first human So that our nature might teach us the truth That all people are equal to one another Among human beings no one is superior Because this is a property of friendship
The wisdom of the tradition Speaks of a beautiful tree It’s top reaches the firmament It’s bottom is down in the earth It has every song ever sung Whispering within its branches But the most remarkable thing Is that it grows upside down While other trees grow up from the earth This one grows downward from the sky It grows from a single root With many other roots growing from it It has nine branches growing outwards Each branch is more beautiful than the one above it There are countless pure white birds Listening to the music for all time This tree is Jesus Christ himself The pinnacle of all God’s creatures He is above every creature Because of his divine nature He came to the earth, the incarnation And assumed humanity from Mary The songs whispering in the tree Are the perfection of all joy In the deep of the divine mystery The tree grows downwards from above Because it comes from the heavenly Father Its large single root represents The divine oneness of the Godhead The many roots below it represent The apostles, disciples, and saints The nine branches represent the angels The heavenly orders which are ranked by nobility The pure white birds on the branches Are the radiant souls of the good Who now live among the heavenly orders But were once on earth like us We who still live here together Pray to God for mercy so that we too May live in the branches of that tree With the nine orders of heaven
As the light of the days turns towards the darkness, as the leaves of the trees give up and let go, as the cold winds arrive and the ground is covered in gentle frost, we fall to our knees in praise, O Lord. We rejoice for the gift of life and for the fruits of its passing. Just as the sun comes and goes from the land, so too the life in our eyes is born one day and dies the next. Fleeting human life, fragile and marked for death, you are only a shadow in the eye. Even though you rise to the heights you are but smoke. Every day you come and every day you go, you are leaving as you arrive and arriving as you leave -a different ending but the same beginning, different pleasures but the same passing.
Yet, we have no need to fear, for this world is not our final destination. As beautiful and good as this life may be, we are only passersby here. We do not get to rest in this world but rather we have an ephemeral existence. The human lifespan is like a tiny spark shooting out of a blazing fire. Lovely, yet momentary. A testament to the light of the fire from which it arises. Our home is in heaven with the Mother and she is everywhere by virtue of her power and her divinity. She is deeper than the sea, more stable than the earth, wider than the whole world, more pure than the air itself, and more brilliant than the sun.
God of life and death, who numbers the days of every creature, help us to hold this world lightly. May we not put our trust in things that perish, which come and go like the rising and falling of the tide. Instead, may we store up our treasures in heaven, where moths cannot destroy and thieves cannot steal. May the fruits of our fleeting existence contribute to your glory and may we meet our grave with grace, O God of every ending. Amen
My dearest siblings, give ear to our words And you may hear something which you need That will refresh your thirsting mind With streams of water from the divine fountain But do not let your thirst be quenched Drink but do not become satisfied For now the fountain of life calls to you saying “Let the one who is thirsty come to me and drink” Our Lord and God Jesus Christ Is himself the fountain of life The fountain calls us to himself So that we may drink from his living waters The one who loves in their heart Drinks from Christ the fountain And they are refreshed by the Word of God Lovingly adoring and longing for God The one who drinks from the fountain Burns with the love of wisdom Let us open the mouth of our inner person And eat the bread which has come down from heaven Eat, my friends, of Christ the bread Drink as well, of Christ the fountain The one who calls himself the living bread The one who gives life to this world Look and see where the fountain flows from For it flows from the same place Where the bread also came down Since he is the same who is bread and fountain The only Son of God, Christ the Lord The one for whom we should always hunger Although we feast on him every time we show love Let us always hunger and desire him And since he is also the fountain Let us drink and overflow with love Let us drink without ceasing and with deep longing So we may find joy in his unending beauty Although we eat and drink of the Lord Let us always be thirsty and hungry Since the food and drink which we seek Is unending and never runs dry Even though Christ is eaten, he is not consumed Even though we drink him, he is not lessened Because our bread exists in eternity And our fountain flows perpetually without ceasing
Everyone prepares their bread and wine
When his time was coming near, Jesus took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves, for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Loving Mother God, from whom all things come and to whom all things will return, bless this bread and wine that it may be for us a Celestial Medicine. Open our eyes that we may see these simple elements for what they truly are – the body and blood of Christ. May we rejoice in the gift of our own embodiment through the grace of your embodiment in this simple food and drink. As we take the body of Christ into our own bodies, may the sacred harmony of the angel song fill our hearts and minds and may we be united with your Son, who is beyond all nature and yet is the substance of all nature. Amen
Behold, the Lamb of God who was slain before the foundation of the world. May the mixture of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ be salvation for all beings and allow us to participate in his timeless resurrection from the dead.
Everyone takes communion while the officiant chants/reads
They knew the Lord, alleluia In the breaking of bread, alleluia The bread that we break, alleluia Is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, alleluia The cup which we bless, alleluia Is the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, alleluia For the forgiveness of our sins, alleluia May your mercy be upon us, O Lord, alleluia For we have hoped in you, alleluia They knew the Lord, alleluia We believe, O Lord We believe that in this breaking of the body And the shedding of blood That we are redeemed And we trust that by receiving This sacrament we will be strengthened So that what we hold at present In faith we will come to enjoy In true heavenly fruitfulness Through Christ our Lord May our prayer ascend, alleluia To your throne of brightness, Lord, alleluia And let our prayer, alleluia Not return to us empty amen
5 min silence
The sacred writers lift up a hymn of praise To the goodness of God They call it beautiful and beauty They call it love and beloved They give it names which convey That it is the source of loveliness And is the flowering of grace Creating beauty in the world From beauty comes the existence of all things Each being shows its own way of beauty For beauty is the cause of harmony Of sympathy and of community Beauty unites all things together Beauty is the source of all things It is the great creating cause Which bestirs the entire world Beauty holds all things in existence By the longing inside them to be beautiful And there it is ahead of all as the goal As the beloved cause towards which all things move It is indeed the longing for beauty Which brings creatures into being It is the model to which they conform Beauty is the reason for creation The beautiful is therefore the same as the good Everything looks to the beautiful and the good Together as the cause of all being There is nothing in the universe Without a share in the beautiful and the good
Dearly beloveds, I pray that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through the Holy Spirit and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to understand, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth and also to know the love of Christ that surpasses all understanding, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. The mass is completed, go in peace.
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