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areopagos_summerI AM has hinted at the mysteries of God’s being, the understanding of which transcends all reason and is beyond time and space and before al beginning. All of creation has its origin in the unconditional being of God and is conditioned by the energy of God’s being. God meets us as the Father, and as the Logos, the Word, Son of God, and as the Holy Spirit, Breath of God. The mutual love of the Father, the Word and the Spirit is the centre of God’s being, the Grail of the heart of God. This Grail is Wisdom, the true temple in which God reveals God’s glory.

areopagos_summerThe Basis of the Service

Might be read by the participants before the service begins; might be used occasionally as speech/sermon and introduction of the theme of the service.

Before all beginning is I AM THAT I AM.

I AM has hinted at the mysteries of God’s being, the understanding of which transcends all reason and is beyond time and space and before al beginning. All of creation has its origin in the unconditional being of God and is conditioned by the energy of God’s being. God meets us as the Father, and as the Logos, the Word, Son of God, and as the Holy Spirit, Breath of God. The mutual love of the Father, the Word and the Spirit is the centre of God’s being, the Grail of the heart of God. This Grail is Wisdom, the true temple in which God reveals God’s glory.

The Grail of the heart of God found at the creative act of God a created and conditioned expression in time and space on our Earth in the garden of Paradise add in the human heart, which is the centre of our human person wherein the image of God is mirrored.

But now Paradise is void, and humans do not any longer recognise the glory-presence of God in their fellow-creatures, since the image of God in the heart has been hidden behind other images, behind thoughts and emotions. We left the temple of wisdom and glory and were made strangers or homeless in the world. Thus we experienced Nature as a wilderness, a waste land, which we fight to subdue. And thus we have made our fellow-creatures and one another into objects of our desire.

And yet, the image of God in us reminds us of whom we are. Often as an unsatisfied longing, since our heart has not found its rest in the mirroring of the image of God, and since we have not attained at the likeness of our Creator. We are just longing for Paradise lost and the deserted temple; we seek our lost home – yet in hope.

In the fullness of time the glory of God overshadowed Mary as she agreed to the call of God. She became a temple of God’s glory so the Logos may be born into the world through the Spirit. Henceforth every human being may spiritually conceive the Son and become a temple of the Holy Spirit. This is the new birth through which the false images in the heart are cleansed away and the image of God once more shines in the human spirit, soul and body. We may now in the temple of our bodies and in our fellowships become co-creators of God and sacramentally build a bridge between the Creator and every creature. Thus a true and right relationship is built with nature, Earth, fellow creatures and fellow men:

In man the elements now find each its place according to the order of creation.
In man the earthly cosmos is restored.
The Brother-sisterhood of humanity finds its beginning in the fellowship of the disciples among men of good will.
For that reason the angels at the birth of Jesus Christ sang: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

We are longing to see the Glory of God on earth and among humans so the earth will be filled by the presence of God, since the Grail of the heart of God and the true temple once more has a created expression among us.

 

The ritual

A round table is placed in the middle of the room to serve as an altar; it is covered with at white cloth, only a seasonal icon is placed on it. All participants sit in a circle around the altar.

Welcome

Seasonal hymn. Meanwhile the altar is adorned with flowers, fruit and other items typical for the season.

Opening ceremony

L-1 goes to the eastern side of the altar, faces East and makes the sign of the cross with a rose, saying:
Let us adore the Lord of the Universe.
Holy art Thou, Lord of the air, Who hast created the Heavens.
L-1 places the Rose on the altar at East.

L-2 goes to the southern side of the altar, faces South and makes the sign of the cross with a red lamp, saying:
Let us adore the Lord of the Universe.
Holy art Thou, Lord of the fire, wherein Thou hast shown forth the throne of Thy     Glory.
L-2 places the red lamp in front of the seasonal icon on the altar.

L-3 goes to the western side of the altar, faces West and makes the sign of the cross with a chalice, saying:
Let us adore the Lord of the Universe.
Holy art Thou, Lord of the Waters, whereupon Thy Spirit moved at the beginning.
L-3 places the chalice on the altar in front of the red lamp.

L-4 goes to the northern side of the altar, faces North and makes the sign of the cross with a paten, saying:
Let us adore the Lord of the Universe.
Holy art Thou, Lord of the Earth, which Thou hast made for Thy foot-stool.
L-4 places the paten on the altar in front of the chalice.

All present bow to the altar, while L-5 is saying:
Holy art Thou, Who art in all things, and in Whom all things live, and move, and have     their being!

All:    O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me.
I:    Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
thou understandest my thought afar off.
II:    Thou compassest my path and my lying down,
and art acquainted with all my ways.
I:    If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there;
if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
II:    If I take the wings of the morning,
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
I:    even there shall thy hand lead me,
and thy right hand shall hold me.
II:    If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me,
even the night shall be light about me.
I:     Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee;
but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

L-5:    Thine is the Air with its movement!
Thine is the Fire with its flashing flame!
Thine is the Water with its ebb and flow!
Thine is the Earth with its enduring Stability!
All bows to the altar, saying:
Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

Greeting, introduction and prayer of discipleship:

Chief-celebrant or Priest:
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ!
Answer:    The grace and peace of God be also with you!

Cc/Priest:    Let us serve to-day in the name of the living and life-giving God!
Answer:    Who was, and is, and is to come – God with Us!

Cc, the preacher or another servant reads the word of the day:
Samhain: John, 11.25.
Yule (Winter Solstice): Luke. 1.78 (minor adaptation).
Imbolg:John 8.12.
Ostara (Spring Equinox):John 12.24.
Beltane:Rev. 19.17.
Litha (Summer Solstice):John 3.29-30 (minor adaptation).
Lammas:John 6.51.
Mabon (Autumn Equinox):John 1.5.
The speech according to the season clarifies God’s self revelation in creation, in history and in Jesus Christ. The sermon is concluded by the repetition of the word of the day.

The speech is always concluded this way:
Let us confirm our fellowship with one another, with all disciples and with men and     women of good will:

God, You who are “I AM”!

All:    I recognise the working of Your Spirit
in the longing of humans for the peace of Your Kingdom,
and in their longing for Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

I recognise the presence of Your servant love in men of good will
and in everyone who dedicate themselves to walk the way of discipleship.

May the power of Your Holy Spirit flow in us and guide us
to the recognition of all Truth and into practical service.

May Your Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, inspire us to servant love
as co-workers of the Kingdom of God.

May I find my place in Your one work
for the restoration of the Earth and the human race
- in a humble spirit, in purity, truth, and love.

Meditation:

The meditation is introduced this way:
We will now meditate on the seed thought of the season. Sit comfortably. Close the eyes if it is right to you. Feel the floor beneath your feet … Make contact to your breath and be in it … Gather your focus in the heart, and rest in the heart … Come, Holy Spirit, and help us to use our thought and imagination in meditation on the seed thought of this day.
The seed thought is read twice:
Samhain:         I make myself nothing and behold a new beginning.
Yule (Winter Solstice):    I recognise the eternal light in the darkness of the earth and reflect the light in the night.
Imbolg:        I endure tribulations and expect the birth of joy.
Ostara (Spring Equinox):    I receive the self surrendering love of God and behold the seed of life in the womb of         death.
Beltane:            I open my life to the beloved and will carry the fruit of love.
Litha (Summer Solstice):    I stand at the summit of life and surrender myself to the growth of my beloved.
Lammas:        I receive the bread from above and give myself as bread to the world.
Mabon (Autumn Equinox):    I thank for the fruit of the earth and light the fire of gladness in the aproaching             darkness.
At the end f the meditation the seed thought is read once more, and a piece of music is played.

Hymn.
Bread and wine are brought to the altar.

Eucharistic prayer and healing of the Earth:

Priest I:    The Lord be with you!
Answer:    And with your spirit!
Priest I:    Lift up your hearts!
All:    We lift them up unto the Lord!
Priest I:    Let us give thanks unto our Lord God!
All:     It is meet and right so to do!
Priest I:    It is very meet and right, that we should at all times give thanks unto thee, Father God,
Almighty, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Through Him you did call forth all creatures out of darkness. Also humans were created by you; in your image you created us. You gave us responsibility for this earth, and you allowed us to recognise your presence in all which you have created, that we as one human race of brothers and sisters would serve you and worship your presence. We confess that we have broken your confidence, but when we sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, you did send to us. Christ your Son, the sun of righteousness with healing in his wings. He did show us the kingdom of Light, men descended through the cross into the darkness as a corn of wheat that falls into the ground and dies. But he rose from the dead as the first fruit of restored humankind.
Priest II:    Father, in the name of Jesus Christ we approach you as members of the earthly creation and as those to whom you have called to be responsible for our fellow creatures. We offer the world, ourselves and our fellow creature to your healing love.

Now follows the healing prayer within the Eucharistic prayer.  
L-4 brings a crystal to the North of the altar:
We offer you the element of earth, the world of the minerals and every which you have created out the earthly matter, plants, trees, birds, animals and humans.
L-3 brings a bottle of pure water to the West of the altar:
We offer you the element of water and every creature which lives in the water and every creature which you refresh and sustain through it.
L-2 brings a burning candle to the South of the altar:
We offer you the element of fire which transforms matter into energy, and we offer you everything that has its warmth and light from the fire or contains its nature.
L-1 brings some feathers to the East of the altar:
We offer you the element of air in which we breathe, and we offer you every creature that breathes and lives in the air.

Priest II:    Let us hold out our hands towards the altar as a symbol of our world and say:
All:    The entire created world belongs to you, God:
the physical world with the elements,
the psychical world that contains life, feelings, and thoughts,
the invisible world of spirit in which we open ourselves to you.
Heal the nature, the creatures of the earth and humankind, and make this world whole.

L-5:    Imagine how God breathes life into the world and unites all creatures and humankind in one breath, that we live, and move, and have our being in God.
Short silence.
And imagine how the divine light of Christ, accepted into our hearts, becomes a light to our fellow creatures and humankind.
Silence.

Priest II:    Lord, thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created!
All:    And thou renewest the face of the earth!

The healing prayer is taken up in the Eucharistic prayer:

Priest I:    Father! You are God, greater than principalities, powers, authorities, or names in this age, but in the age to come, yea in all ages. Thus the entire creation will be fulfilled in the worship of you, and thus we with your congregation on earth as in heaven, chorusing with all angels sing the praise of your glory:
All:    Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Priest I:    See to us, o God, [he takes the bread in his hands] and bless, and sanctify this bread, yea send your Holy Spirit and make it unto us the body (+) of your Son Jesus Christ,
All:    Who in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread, and, when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.
Priest I:    See to us, o God, [he takes the cup in his hands] and bless, and sanctify this wine, yea send your Holy Spirit and make it unto us the blood (+) of your Son Jesus Christ,
All:    Who after supper took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins; do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.

The breaking of the bread

During the breaking of the bread all sing Agnus Dei; after the breaking of the bread all pray The Lord’s Prayer

Communion

Conclusion:

Cc:    Let us end the seasonal service taking refuge in the living God!
All:    With all my heart I take refuge
In God Most High,
Who created all things,
The merciful Father, source of all goodness.
With all my heart I take refuge
In Christ, the Redeemer from sin,
Who restores my true nature,
The perfect and mysterious Word.
With all my heart I take refuge
In the One who embraces the universe,
Who at all times and in all places
Responds to our needs,
The pure and tranquil Holy Spirit.
Cc:    Let us praise God with Mary, Mother of God!
All sing Magnificat.

Announcements

Hymn.  After the hymn music for reflection and invitation to counselling or prayer.