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image002Creation is joy, music, rhythm, and dance. When I did create the world, I saw in my wisdom that which I would later on create, call to life and give life. In my wisdom I imagined the plurality of forms and life, which would come into being. I imagined the cosmos and rejoiced in its beauty and goodness. I expressed and uttered / spoke out what I imagined. The Word sang creation into being in all of its beauty; the Word sang the song of creation. As the created beings came into existence, they heard the song of the Word, found themselves in its rhythm, came alive and moved according to the music. Thus I through my Word put the order of life into the inner being of the cosmos and every single created being; the order of life is my will and my rejoicing in the beauty and goodness of creation.

 

[This ceremony was held at the Climate Summit in Copenhagen, December 2009]
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Prelude
Welcome
i
Song

1. First was God’s Word, in that was light:
therein God dwells out of our sight.
And through that Word all things were made
His ‘Let there be’ foundations laid.
Time and space all the world round
came to be sound and resound,
when the Word sang

2. Almighty God, Lord of all time,
You made a world rich and sublime,
carefully formed all land and sea
and with Your breath made us to be;
with each life You are engaged
give Yourself from age to age
down to us now.

3. You made the sun, you gave it fire,
You made the night time to retire;
planet and star, heaven above
shine to reflect undying love.
Angels chant harmonies new,
all earth sings wordless but true
how great is God!

4. And in this true image of You
our eyes were formed, our knowledge grew,
stewards we are of all Your earth
called to renew from death to birth.
As we pray, ‘Lest we succumb’,
may we make Your kingdom come
here in this world.

5. You are the Word, You were made flesh,
gave us new hope to start afresh;
kernel and core, eagle and dove,
all things reflect Your gift of love.
May Your law that we must give
beat in us, so we may live
as You would have.

6. For though we know we should rise higher,
we are consumed by our desire;
hear how our earth, ravaged, consumed,
calls for our care, or we are doomed.
May we free Earth from its pain;
give us hope that once again
Your will be done.

7. In hope and faith we shall not cease
striving to make a world at peace,
for all that lives, from pole to pole,
from east to west, from soul to soul.
Lord, our God, whose mighty Word
then and now and shall be heard,
renew our Earth!

Greeting of the Son and the New Moon

[Source: J. Philip Newell, The Book of Creation. New York 1999. P. 54-55]


Priest I:     Let us greet the Sun, Sustainer of life and Revealer of God’s creative Word, the Christ.
Men:          The eye of the great God,
The eye of the God of glory,
The eye of the King of hosts,
The eye of the King of the living,
At each time and season,
Pouring upon us
Gently and generously.
Glory to thee,
Thou glorious sun.
Glory to thee, thou sun,
Face of the God of life.    
 

Priest I:    Let us greet the new Moon which gives us an increasing light night after night until we reach winter solstice’s long night.

Women:    Hail to thee, thou new moon,
Guiding jewel of gentleness!
I am bending to thee my knee,
I am offering thee my love.

I am bending to thee my knee,
I am giving thee my hand,
I am lifting to thee mine eyes,
O new moon of the seasons.

Hail to thee, thou new moon,
Joyful maiden of my love!
Hail to thee, thou new moon,
Joyful maiden of the graces!

Thou art traveling in thy course,
Thou art steering the full tides;
Thou art illuming to us thy face,
O new moon of the seasons.

Thou queen-maiden of guidance,
Thou queen-maiden of good fortune,
Thou queen-maiden my beloved,
Thou new moon of the seasons.

Song
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward,
O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

 

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Bible reading (Psalm 104)
We read the text together, each one of us reading one verse in turn after one another:

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honour and majesty,
2 wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
4 you make the winds your* messengers,
fire and flame your* ministers.
5 You set the earth on its foundations,
so that it shall never be shaken.
6 You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At your rebuke they flee;
at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
8 They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
to the place that you appointed for them.
9 You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to use,*
to bring forth food from the earth,
15 and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen the human heart.
16 The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
19 You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they withdraw
and lie down in their dens.
23 People go out to their work
and to their labour until the evening.
24 O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
27 These all look to you
to give them their food in due season;
28 when you give to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground.
33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD.

Some reflectionsii

Meditation and music

An inspirationiii
 

Song

Chorus:
Dance and sing, all the earth,
gracious is the hand that tends you;
love and care everywhere
God on purpose sends you.

1.    Shooting star and sunset shape
the drama of creation;
lightning flash and moonbeam share
a common derivation.

2.    Desert stretch and torrents roar
in contrast and confusion;
treetops shake and mountains roar
and nothing is illusion.

3.    All that flies and swims and crawls
displays an animation
none can emulate or change
for each has its own station.

4.    Brother man and sister woman,
born of dust and passion,
praise the one who calls you friends
and forms you in God’s fashion.

5.    Kiss of life and touch of death
suggest our imperfection;
crib and womb and cross and tomb
cry out for resurrection.

Praying for creation and the climate
Priest I:    Heavenly Creator we honour your Name, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Through Christ 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.
Priest II:    We confess that we have broken your confidence, but when we sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, you sent to us, Christ your Son, the sun of righteousness with healing in his wings. He showed us the kingdom of Light, but descended through the cross into the darkness as a grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies. But he rose from the dead as the first fruit of restored humankind.
Priest III:    Creator, 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.

L-1 lifts up a crystal to the North of the altar:
We offer you the element of earth, the world of the minerals and everything which you have created out of the earthly matter, plants, trees, birds, animals and humans.

L-2 lifts up 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-3 lifts up 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-4 lifts up 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 I:    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 world of the soul that contains life, feelings, and thoughts,
the invisible world of spirit in which we open ourselves to you.
Heal nature, the creatures of the earth and humankind, and make this world whole.

Priest II:    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 of healing to the climate of the earth, to all of our fellow creatures and humankind.
Silence.

Priest III:    Lord, when you send your Spirit, they are created!
All:    And you renew the face of the earth!

Priest I:
    Our Father, who art in heaven,
All:    hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen

Song
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
and the rains fall soft upon your fields
until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Blessing each other and the world
Priest I:    Let us bless one another, looking at each other the first time we read the blessing; the second time we will turn around to bless the surrounding world:
All:    The love and affection of the heavens be with you,
The love and affection of the saints be with you,
The love and affection of the angels be with you,
The love and affection of the sun be with you,
The love and affection of the moon be with you,
Each day and night of your lives.

[Source: J. Philip Newell, The Book of Creation. New York 1999. P. 55]



Postlude

iPriest I:    Welcome to this New Moon ceremony for creation. On the altar you see three items symbolising the suffering of our Earth due to climate change. We have stones from under the ice of Greenland which are now found due to the disappearance of the ice. We have corals from the Pacific which are losing their colours and becoming pale like dead bones due to warmer sea currents. We have corn from Malawi where crops are drought-stricken.
We gather to pray for the healing and restoration of nature. We have a deep sense of our responsibilities and our failings, but we also have hope grounded in our faith in God the Creator. We will praise God for creation and we will pray for the restoration of the original goodness of the created world as God saw all of God’s handiwork as good on the days of creation.

iiNotes for the reflection

God has given the sun and the moon for the sake of the festivals / for the marking of the seasons (Gen. 114), so that we may remember creation as good (Gen. 131), and find anew our responsibility towards nature and our fellow creatures (Gen. 215-20) - mirroring God’s goodness.


iiiAn inspiration:
I invite you into the dance of creation and fulfillment, for you are my bride and my co-creator, says the One who is I AM.

Creation is joy, music, rhythm, and dance. When I did create the world, I saw in my wisdom that which I would later on create, call to life and give life. In my wisdom I imagined the plurality of forms and life, which would come into being. I imagined the cosmos and rejoiced in its beauty and goodness. I expressed and uttered / spoke out what I imagined. The Word sang creation into being in all of its beauty; the Word sang the song of creation. As the created beings came into existence, they heard the song of the Word, found themselves in its rhythm, came alive and moved according to the music. Thus I through my Word put the order of life into the inner being of the cosmos and every single created being; the order of life is my will and my rejoicing in the beauty and goodness of creation.

The music, rhythm and order of creation follows the Word, and the Word expresses my will, yes, the Word is my will and love spoken out for your being. The life, movement, dance and breathing of creation follow my Spirit, which is my almost imperceptible presence in everything that is, a whisper in the wind, in the breathing, in everything that moves – a whispering telling that you live, move and are in me, and that I AM present wherever you live.

Joy is the fruit of creation, my joy of you, your joy of one another and of me - the joy of our union, I AM with you as groom with bride.

Joy has for a long time been broken by pain. Instead of union you have found separation. You have forgotten me and do not any longer see me in your fellow creatures and in the ongoing miracle of creation. You do not hear the music of the cosmos, you do not recognize the rhythm of life, you do not listen to my whisper of love and kindness in the wind, life and breathing. The dance of the cosmos, the dancing together of all creatures, the dancing with me has disappeared from your existence. If you dance, you are dancing by yourself, and if you are dancing with another it often excludes others; you are dancing for your own pleasure.

Joy is broken by pain.

Yet my Spirit is flowing through life and the Word was incarnate in the Master Jesus and lives in your hearts, if you just open yourselves to him and to my Spirit. The dance of fulfillment is at hand. As you open yourselves once more to the Word and the Spirit, as wisdom in you mirrors me, and as my image as creator and groom is seen clearly and purely in you, the dance will once more begin and lead you on towards fulfillment, unselfish bliss and union with me.

Servant love, attentive presence,
humility towards the pluriform beauty of life,
wonder of the goodness and unity of life,
- these are the foundation of joy in your life; it is worked by the Word, who became man, and it is made alive in my Breath.

Let my Spirit fill you, and invite the Word to live in your hearts. Let us dance the dance of creation and fulfillment, you my bride with me, I who am I AM.