efd190587fefe6d1753cb03129e747c4 CREATIVE PRAYER FOR A BIRTHDAY

how to buy finasteride uk Hymn Suggestions:

I Have Loved You (Joncas)
Give Thanks to the Lord (Schutte)
Sing a New Song (Schutte)
The God of All Grace (Manalo)
We Are Called (Haas)

http://knittinghistory.co.uk/media/people-knitting-a-century-of-photographs/?share=tumblr Introduction

Leader: We gather to celebrate the birthday of _____, joining together in thanksgiving, rejoicing in song, in scripture, in prayer, and in poetry and thanking God for the gift she/he has been to all of us.

Hymn

Reader 1: Philippians 1: 3-11
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Response:

I bless you in my life and after my death as much as I can and more than I can with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies has and will have blessed his sons and daughters in heaven and on earth.
— I bless you in my life and after my death as much as I can and more than I can with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies has and will have blessed his sons and daughters in heaven and on earth.

I bless you in my life and after my death as much as I can and more than I can
— with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies has and will have blessed his sons and daughters in heaven and on earth.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
— I bless you in my life and after my death as much as I can and more than I can with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies has and will have blessed his sons and daughters in heaven and on earth.

From “Blessing of Clare,” page 234, #10-11 in Francis and Clare: The Complete Works (Classics of Western Civilization series), translation and introduction by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap, and Ignatius C. Brady, OFM. Preface by John Vaughn, OFM. Copyright © 1982 by Paulist Press. Used with permission of Paulist Press, Inc., New York/Mahwah, NJ.

Leader: Loving God, God of all life, we thank you for the many ways in which you have gifted ____ and we rejoice in the many ways she/he has shared those gifts with us. We pray that as ____ continue her/his dance of life, she/he may always know the graced rhythm of your love and presence.

Reader 2: “Dancing God” This may be read by the celebrant.

Direct my steps, my dancing God,
In rhythms slow or fast,
To dance life’s varied melodies,
Moving in clear-cut syncopated time
Or swaying slowly to the haunting music
Only hearts can hear.

Direct my steps, my dancing God,
To join the dance of time,
Stretching,
Reaching,
Touching hand to hand
All those who join the dance,
All those whose inner music
Sings your name.

Direct my steps, my dancing God,
In solo steps
Across the stage of time,
Swirling,
Leaping,
Drawn by mystic music only I can hear,
Dancing life
As only I can do.

Direct my steps, my dancing God,
Moving to the rhythm of your heart,
Twirling,
Spinning,
Leaping unafraid,
Trusting in the sureness of your love
That lifts me high
And whispers softly in my heart
The music of the dance
I am.

Ann Marie Slavin, OSF

Intercessions:

All are invited to share prayers/wishes/blessings for the birthday celebrant.

Final Blessing: All pray together.

What you hold, may you always hold.
What you do, may you always do and never abandon.
But with swift pace, light step, and unswerving feet
so that even your steps stir up no dust,
go forward
securely, joyfully, and swiftly,
on the path of prudent happiness,
believing nothing,
agreeing with nothing
which would dissuade you from this resolution
or which would place a stumbling block on the way
so that you may offer your vows to the Most High
in the pursuit of that perfection
to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you.

From “Second Letter of Clare to Agnes,” page 196, #11-14 in Francis and Clare: The Complete Works (Classics of Western Civilization series), translation and introduction by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap, and Ignatius C. Brady, OFM. Preface by John Vaughn, OFM. Copyright © 1982 by Paulist Press. Used with permission of Paulist Press, Inc., New York/Mahwah, NJ.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1989 by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

BIRTHDAY / LITURGY OF THE HOURS

Hymn Suggestions:
I Have Loved You (Joncas)
Give Thanks to the Lord (Schutte)
Sing a New Song (Schutte)
The God of All Grace (Manalo)
We Are Called (Haas)

Psalm 139: 13-18
Antiphon: You are the holy Lord God who does wonderful things.

From “Praises of God,” page 109, #1 in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

It was you who created my inmost self,
and put me together in my mother’s womb;
for all these mysteries I thank you:
for the wonder of myself,
for the wonder of your works.

You know me through and through,
from having watched my bones take shape
when I was being formed in secret,
knitted together in the womb.

You had scrutinized my every action,
all were recorded in your book,
my days listed and determined,
even before the first of them occurred.
God, how hard it is to grasp your thoughts!
How impossible to count them!

Glory . . .

Psalm is reprinted from Psalms Anew by Nancy Schreck, OSF and Maureen Leach, OSF, © 1984 The Sisters of St. Francis, Dubuque, Iowa. Used with permission.

Psalm 71: 5-6, 14-17
Antiphon: You are gladness and joy, you are our hope, you are justice.

From “Praises of God,” page 109, #4 in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

For you alone are my hope.
Yahweh, I have trusted you since my youth,
I have relied on your since I was born,
You have been my portion from my mother’s womb,
and the constant theme of my praise.

I promise that, ever hopeful,
I will praise you more and more,
my lips shall proclaim your righteousness
and power to save, all day long.

I will come in the power of Yahweh
to commemorate your righteousness, yours alone.
God, you taught me when I was young,
and I am still proclaiming your marvels.

Glory . . .
Psalm is reprinted from Psalms Anew by Nancy Schreck, OSF and Maureen Leach, OSF, © 1984 The Sisters of St. Francis, Dubuque, Iowa. Used with permission.

Judith 16: 1, 13-15
Antiphon: You are moderation, you are all our riches to sufficiency.

From “Praises of God,” page 109, #4 in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

Strike up the instruments,
a song to my God with timbrels,
chant to the Most High with cymbals.
Sing a new song,
exalt and acclaim God’s name.

A new hymn I will sing to you.
O God, great are you and glorious,
wonderful in power and unsurpassable.

Let your every creature serve you;
for you spoke, and they were made,
you sent forth your spirit, and they were created;
no one can resist your word.

The mountains to their bases,
and the seas, are shaken;
the rocks, like wax, melt before your glance.
But to those who fear you,
you are very merciful.

Glory . . .

Canticle is reprinted from People’s Companion to the Breviary by the Carmelites of Indianapolis, © 1997. Used with permission.

Reading: Philippians 1: 3-7

Response:

I bless you in my life and after my death as much as I can and more than I can with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies has and will have blessed his sons and daughters in heaven and on earth.
— I bless you in my life and after my death as much as I can and more than I can with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies has and will have blessed his sons and daughters in heaven and on earth.

I bless you in my life and after my death as much as I can and more than I can
— with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies has and will have blessed his sons and daughters in heaven and on earth.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
— I bless you in my life and after my death as much as I can and more than I can with all the blessings with which the Father of mercies has and will have blessed his sons and daughters in heaven and on earth.

From “Blessing of Clare,” page 234, #10-11 in Francis and Clare: The Complete Works (Classics of Western Civilization series), translation and introduction by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap, and Ignatius C. Brady, OFM. Preface by John Vaughn, OFM. Copyright © 1982 by Paulist Press. Used with permission of Paulist Press, Inc., New York/Mahwah, NJ.

Gospel Canticle Antiphon: May the Lord be with you always and, wherever you are, may you be with him always.

From “Blessing of Clare,” page 234, #13 in Francis and Clare: The Complete Works (Classics of Western Civilization series), translation and introduction by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap, and Ignatius C. Brady, OFM. Preface by John Vaughn, OFM. Copyright © 1982 by Paulist Press. Used with permission of Paulist Press, Inc., New York/Mahwah, NJ.

Intercessions:

God, our times are in your hand. Look with favor on _____ as (she/he) begins another year.

Grant that (she/he) may grow in wisdom and in grace, we pray . . .
Strengthen (her/his) trust in your goodness all the days of (her/his life), we pray . . .
Bless and guide (her/him) wherever she may be, we pray . . .
Strengthen (her/him when (she/he) stands in difficulty; comfort (her/him) when discouraged, we pray . . .
May your peace fill (her/his) heart all the days of (her/his) life, we pray . . .

Adapted from www.missionstclare.com/english/prayers/birth.html and www.missionstclare.com/english/prayers/51.html Used with permission.

Our Father

Closing Prayer (Sing)
The Blessing of St. Francis (Hughes)
Or another song of blessing

BIRTHDAY PRAYER OPTIONS

What you hold, may you always hold.
What you do, may you always do and never abandon.
But with swift pace, light step, and unswerving feet
so that even your steps stir up no dust,
go forward
securely, joyfully, and swiftly,
on the path of prudent happiness,
believing nothing,
agreeing with nothing
which would dissuade you from this resolution
or which would place a stumbling block on the way
so that you may offer your vows to the Most High
in the pursuit of that perfection
to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you.

From “Second Letter of Clare to Agnes,” page 196, #11-14 in Francis and Clare: The Complete Works (Classics of Western Civilization series), translation and introduction by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap, and Ignatius C. Brady, OFM. Preface by John Vaughn, OFM. Copyright © 1982 by Paulist Press. Used with permission of Paulist Press, Inc., New York/Mahwah, NJ.

_________________________

Loving God, God of all life, we thank you for the many ways in which you have gifted ____ and we rejoice in the many ways she/he has shared those gifts with us. We pray that as ____ continues her/his dance of life, she/he may always know the graced rhythm of your love and presence.

DEATH OF A LOVED ONE / PRAYER OPTIONS

Pain—
Not sharp
Like the clean slash of a keen-edged knife,
But dull,
Aching,
The tender touch of bruise
That throbs beneath the skin—
Yet does not surface
And for the hiding
Hurts the more.
Burning,
Like the sting of unshed tears that struggle for the easing comfort of
Release.

It takes so little—
The flashing vision of a face
Remembered,
Laughing,
And my face responds
With aching jaws that clench to hold back
Trembling tears.
A sound,
A thought
That calls to mind some word that was so much a part of
You
And my throat aches with cries that want to call your name,
Only to know—
Deep Down—
That calling cannot bring you back.

How long does loving hurt?
And when does aching cease?
As long as memory can recall
And say with love
I knew you well—
And knowing—
Cannot quell the
Love
Nor ease the
Ache,
But only grasp that having loved,
My heart can bear the
Pain.

Sr. Ann Marie Slavin, OSF

_________________________

O God, I grieve, I ache, and yet I am numb. I feel the sadness of loss—never to be with ______again on this earth, never to laugh with him/her again, to hear that voice which was so familiar that I sometimes took for granted.
I feel the ache of longing. I, too, want to see your face, to be with you in your embrace. And yet, not yet.

And how do I go beyond numb, the grief and yet not feeling anything? I feel the loneliness, emptiness, loss. I am numb and exhausted from all of this. I have no resources for grief, at least, not on my own.
So, with the psalmist, I lift up my eyes to you. I need and depend on you, my God. You are the One who holds _______ in your embrace and you are the One who holds me. Hold me together to your glory. Amen.

_________________________

Joy…
That bursts and flames,
That pulses
With each living breath that newness takes
Is stilled…
Silenced…
By a pain that also lives
And breathes,
That throbs
And pulses
With a motion close akin to joy…
A joy-pain,
Tender—
Like a bruise that hurts to touch,
Purpled—
By a tightness that cannot find release outside of life.
Then comes a voice—
Quiet,
Gentle—
A look
Whose knowing depth unleashes frozen tears,
Whose touch spells
Words
And worlds
That parting cannot sever,
Whose hand leads
Onward,
Homeward,
Heartward
To a sense of peace,
Whose being is the
Promise
And the presence
Of a gentle God.

Sr. Ann Marie Slavin, OSF

PRAYER IN TIME OF DISASTER

Compassionate God,
you are ever mindful of your children
and hear our prayers when we cry out to you.
We are faced with a disaster,
a disaster that rattles our bones
and sets our nerves on edge.
We truly have nowhere to turn
but to your loving and provident arms.
Listen to our prayers for __________
who are in desperate need for assurance
of your presence in their lives at this moment.
Inspired by your mercy, may we reach out
through acts of kindness and compassion.
We ask this in Jesus’ name.

Ecumenical Prayer for Peace
O one God of all nations.
You created the earth and the cosmos,
in their differences, beauty and frailty.

The various cultures and religions seek You,
the origin of all things.
You want all to be for each other, not a threat,
but a blessing.

Our one world should be, by Your will,
an inhabitable and peaceful home.

You chose the Near East to make known to us all
Your Name and Your Path in many places.
Abraham, the Father in faith of Jews, Muslims and Christians,
listened to your appeal in the region between the
Euphrates and the Tigris, the present-day Iraq.

To the old and new People of Israel You promised
life and a future in a special way.

As Christian women and men, we thank You
especially for our Lord and Brother Jesus Christ.
He is our Peace.
He came to knock down walls and to give to all, without distinction,
life and a future.

We know ourselves to be in communion with the
Churches of the Near East.
They give testimony to the Gospel of Jesus,
to the liberating power of non-violence
and to the certainty of the Resurrection.

We also pray to You
in unity with all the Brothers and Sisters of those Religions,
which have their origins in the Near East.

You created us all in Your own images and likeness,
we are Your image.
In all those that seek You in truth,
You have inspired hunger and thirst for justice
and a desire for peace.

All, Muslims, Christians and Members of the People of Israel,
earnestly aspire to reconciliation.

All are in mourning for the victims
of hatred and violence.
All, in accordance with Your project, are also called
to collaborate in the construction of a new world.

We, therefore, beseech You:
Have mercy on all the victims and on all the blameworthy.
Put an end to the spiral of violence, of enmity,
of hatred, of vendetta.

Give to all, especially to those responsible for politics,
the conviction that the way to lasting peace
is not that of war,
but of peace with justice.

Awaken in all the Religions
and in the people of today that they should be
instruments and messengers
of a different world.

Cause hearts to open and war to cease,
before it even begins.
Give lasting peace to the Near East.
Make a secure homeland a reality for all.

Lord, have all those of good will from all Religions,
in the North and South, in the East and West, in common responsibility,
to demolish the mountain of misunderstanding,
to fill in the trenches of hatred
and to make smooth the paths towards a common future.

Make the guns silent in our one world
and have, instead, the appeal for peace resound ever stronger,
for all, without distinction.
O Lord, the one God.

Hermann Schalück, OFM

FEAST DAY / LITURGY OF THE HOURS

Hymn Suggestions:
Alleluia, Raise the Gospel (Farrell)
Blessed Feast of Blessed Martyrs (IN BABILONE)
For All the Saints (SINE NOMINE)
We Are the Light of the World (Greif)
We Are Called (Haas)
We Have Been Told (Haas)
Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones (LASST UNS ERFREUEN)

Call to Worship:
Everywhere and in each place, and in every season and each day the brothers and sisters are to have a true and humble faith. From the depths of their inner life let them love, honor, adore, serve, praise, bless, and glorify our most high and eternal God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
–TOR Rule III, 9

Psalm 126:
Antiphon: Where there is a heart full of mercy and discernment, there is neither excess nor hardness of heart.
From “Admonitions,” page 137, XXVII, #6 in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

When God restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“Yahweh has done great things for them.”

Yahweh has done great things for us;
we are glad.
Restore our fortunes, Yahweh,
like the watercourses in the Negeb!

May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy!
Those that go forth weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing the sheaves with them.

Glory . . .

Psalm is reprinted from Psalms Anew by Nancy Schreck, OSF and Maureen Leach, OSF, © 1984 The Sisters of St. Francis, Dubuque, Iowa. Used with permission.

Psalm 131
Antiphon: Where there is fear of the Lord to guard an entrance, there the enemy cannot have a place to enter.
From “Admonitions,” page 137, XXVII, #5 in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

Yahweh, my heart has no lofty ambitions,
my eyes do not look too high.
I am not concerned with great affairs
or marvels beyond my scope.

Enough for me to keep my soul tranquil
and quiet like a child in its mother’s arms,
as content as a child that has been weaned.

Israel, rely on Yahweh,
now and for always!

Glory . . .

Psalm is reprinted from Psalms Anew by Nancy Schreck, OSF and Maureen Leach, OSF, © 1984 The Sisters of St. Francis, Dubuque, Iowa. Used with permission.

Daniel 3: 52-57
Antiphon: Where there is rest and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor restlessness.

From “Admonitions,” page 137, XXVII, #4 in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

Blessed are you, God of our ancestors,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

Blessed be your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.

Blessed are you in the temple of your glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.

Blessed are you by all your works.
We praise and exalt you above all forever.

Glory . . .

Canticle is reprinted from People’s Companion to the Breviary by the Carmelites of Indianapolis, © 1997. Used with permission.

Reading: Ephesians 1: 15-19

Response:
Consider, O human being, in what great excellence the Lord God has placed you, for he created and formed you to the image of his beloved Son according to the body and to his likeness according to the Spirit.

Consider, O human being, in what great excellence the Lord God has placed you, for he created and formed you to the image of His beloved Son according to the body and to his likeness according to the Spirit.

Consider, O human being, in what great excellence the Lord God has placed you, for he created and formed you to the image of his beloved Son according to the body and to his likeness according to the Spirit.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Consider, O human being, in what great excellence the Lord God has placed you, for he created and formed you to the image of his beloved Son according to the body and to his likeness according to the Spirit.

From “Admonitions,” page 131, V, #1 in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

Gospel Canticle Antiphon: Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor disturbance.

From “Admonitions,” page 136, I, #2 in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

Intercessions:
Inspired by the lives and gifts of those who have gone before us, we pray for the courage and conviction to follow the path along which our God call us. And so we pray,
—God of Journeys, lead and strengthen us.

Teach us the meaning of beginning anew, we pray…

Help us to embrace the challenge of each new day, we pray…

Open our minds and hearts to the awareness that the call to sainthood is part of the call to follow Jesus, we pray…

Our Father

Closing Prayer:
Let us refer all good
to the Lord, God Almighty and Most High,
acknowledge that every good is his
and thank him
“from whom all good comes, for everything.”
May he, the Almighty and Most High,
the only true God,
have, be given, and receive
all honor and respect,
all praise and blessing,
all thanks and glory,
to whom all good belongs,
He who alone is good.

From “Early Rule,” page 76, XVII, #17-18 in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

PRAYER FOR A CELEBRATION OF JUBILEE

Environment: candle, flowers

Opening Prayer:
We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ, in all your churches throughout the whole world and we bless you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

From “Testament,” page 124-125, #5 in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

Reading Suggestions:
Song of Songs 2:8-14
Song of Songs 8:6-7
Hosea 2:16, 21-22
Luke 1: 46-55
1 Corinthians 1:22-31
Philippians 3:8-14
Colossians 3:1-4
Colossians 3:12-17

Response: All sing a familiar version of the alleluia.

Te Deum: Prayed antiphonally.

Side 1: You are God:
Side 2: we praise you.

Side 1: You are the Lord:
Side 2: we acclaim you;

Side 1: You are the eternal Father;
Side 2: all creation worships you.

Side 1: To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:

Side 2: Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

All: The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Side 1: Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

Side 2: You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

Side 1: When you became human to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

Side 2: You overcame the sting of death,
and opened heaven to all believers.

Side 1: You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.

All: We believe that you will come,
and be our judge.
Come then, Lord,
and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Adaptation of the Te Deum.

All sing a familiar version of the alleluia.

Concluding Prayer:
Ever-faithful God,
who has called each of us by name
to follow in the footprints of Francis of Assisi,
encircle this community gathered here in your tender embrace.

We lift up to you: our jubilarian ___________,
all who are lonely, those who are homeless, hungry, or oppressed, those who are sick and those who care for them,
and all who rely on our prayers.

Fill our hearts with joy and peace
as we celebrate your faithfulness.
May a song of praise and thanksgiving be ever on our lips
and may your will be always fulfilled in our actions.

This we ask in the name of Jesus, your Son and our Brother,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit now and for ever. Amen.

All sing a familiar version of the alleluia.

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR A DECEASED LOVED ONE

Hymn Refrain:
“We Remember” (Marty Haugen)

We remember how you loved us to your death, and still we celebrate, for you are with us here; and we believe that we will see you when you come in your glory, Lord. We remember, we celebrate, we believe.

© 1980, G.I.A. Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

We remember _______. We remember that he/she loved as Jesus loves and that love never dies.

We remember how she/he died, ordinary, tragic, final. We remember the initial loss, the sadness, the emptiness.

We remember that we believe in the resurrection, in life after death. And so we celebrated _______’s death into life, life eternal.

We remember to remember, to celebrate the memory of one whom we loved and whom we still love.

Refrain:

We celebrate the life that never dies and the love that lives forever.

We celebrate that ______’s life in God is one without suffering or pain. It is a life of joy and bliss.

We celebrate our memory of one who has gone before us and who will greet us again.

Refrain:

We believe in life in the resurrected Jesus.

We believe that ______ will die no more but has the fullness of life in God.

We believe in God, the giver of all life who sustains life and who loves life. We believe in God’s Son, Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, one God in whom we live and move and have our being.

Refrain:

Psalm 16: 1-2, 5-11 Pray slowly together.

Protect me, God, because I come to you for safety.
I say, “You are my God;
all the good things I have come from you.”

You, Yahweh, are all I have,
and you give me all I need:
my life is in your hands.

How wonderful are your gifts to me;
how good they are!
I praise Yahweh, who guides me,
and in the night my conscience warns me.

I am always aware of your presence;
You are near,
and nothing can shake me.

And so I am full of happiness and joy,
and I always feel secure;
because you will not allow me
to go to the world of the dead,
you will not abandon to the depths below
the one you love.

You will show me the path that leads to life;
your presence fills me with joy,
and your help brings pleasure forever.

Psalm is reprinted from Psalms Anew by Nancy Schreck, OSF and Maureen Leach, OSF, © 1984 The Sisters of St. Francis, Dubuque, Iowa. Used with permission.

Pause

Reading: Jeremiah 29: 11-14

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. NRSV

Response: “We Remember” refrain

Sharing memories of the one who died

Our Father: We gather these thoughts and memories in the prayer Jesus gave us, remembering all who live in God.

Closing: Sign of Peace

PRAYERS FOR MONTHLY MEETINGS

January:
Creator God, bless our coming together. Help us to listen to each other with respect for opinions and differing points of view. Bless the purpose for which we gather and help us to bring it to fulfillment. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

February:
Bless us as we gather, Lord, and be with us in all we do. Sit with us and guide our thoughts so that all our planning will benefit others. In this month that reminds us to love one another, give us your wisdom and joy in your presence. Amen.

March:
God of green pastures and bubbling waters, gather with us as we meet and show us what is ours to do. Be before us and behind us, to lead or to push. Let your Spirit be our guide so that all we do is pleasing to you. Amen.

April:
Gracious God, we gather in your name to do your work. Give us a generous spirit and the gifts we need to serve your people (children). Show us what you want us to accomplish and give us the means with which to do it. As the showers of April refresh the land, give new energy to our planning and let it be a source of new life for others. Amen.

May:
As the earth warms and the leaves turn green, Gracious God, warm our hearts with your love. Bless the purpose for which we gather so that all we do will be your will. Send your Spirit to be with us always. Amen.

June:
As the flowers return to the land and beautify the earth, Lord, come to be with us as we gather to pray and to plan what we must do. May all our ideas and decisions be pleasing to you and enrich the lives of those for whom we work. Amen.

July:
We give you thanks, Lord, for oceans and beaches, for dolphins and crabs, for all that reminds us of your care. Send your Spirit to guide and direct us for we gather in your name. Amen.

August:
God of Abundance, you bless our land with a bountiful harvest and the warmth and rain of summer. Bless with abundance the reason for which we gather and let us be your hands in this work. Come to sit with us and direct our thoughts toward goodness and the glory of your name. Amen.

September:
After the joys of summer, Lord, gather our thoughts and fill our hearts with renewed energy so that we may plan and work for the good of your children (people) and all others we meet. Come to stay with us and be the source of our strength and dedication as we serve you. Amen.

October:
The fields are full of pumpkins and many colors splash across the landscape, Lord. They remind us of your beauty and care for us. Be with us and bless the work we are about to do and let it be to your honor and glory. Amen.

November:
Our hearts are filled with gratitude for your abundant blessings, Lord. In this season of thankfulness, we honor and praise you for your care for us. Come to be with us and direct our thoughts and plans as we gather in your name. Amen.

December:
God of the snows and winter winds, come to take away any coldness in our hearts and warm them with your love and mercy. In this season when we recall and honor your coming among us, bless our gathering and the work we need to do. Amen.

A video and prayer booklet are contained within the following links for the self-directed retreats listed:

Immigration Retreat
Mother Francis Bachmann Retreat

Scriptural Reflection

Matthew 12:50

This gospel quote motivated Francis and Clare of Assisi. To do God’s will was their desire. Our foundress, Mother Francis Bachmann, sought to act “Solely for God.” What motivates me?

In our Mission Statement, we say “With Jesus Christ as Brother, we live as sister with one another, with the entire human family and with all creation.” (General Chapter 1986)

Because Jesus came as Brother, we are related! “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” is not a poetic tribute but rather an experience of what Francis understood of the interrelatedness of all creation. This belief motivated Francis to move out of Assisi and begin working for change in his society.

Jesus, my brother, teach me your way; be with me as I work for change in society.

You may ask, did Francis and Clare of Assisi really know, intellectually, that the universe was interdependent? Francis and Clare were people of the thirteenth century. What they intuited because of their contemplation of the crucified Christ and their attempts to follow in his footprints, we can know today. The universe is connected!

Science can be a companion on our journey. Einstein’s theory, Hubbell’s telescope, Quantum physics are teaching us what Francis and Clare intuited because of their relationship with Jesus.

We invite you to contemplate Christ and the Universe Story. How can we miss the connections?

Let us know what you thought of this reflection.

The Canticle of the Creatures

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord, Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing,

To You alone, Most High, do they belong, and no human is worthy to mention Your name.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day and through whom You give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor; and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind, and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather, through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom You light the night, and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love, and bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed are those who endure in peace for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no one living can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin. Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will, for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility.

From pp. 113-114 “The Writings of Francis of Assisi” in Francis of Assisi: Vol. 1, The Saint, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

Prayer for Guidance
(St. Francis of Assisi)

Most High and Glorious God.
Bring light to the darkness of my heart.
Give me right faith, certain hope, and perfect charity.
Lord, give me insight and wisdom
So I might always discern
Your holy and true will.

The Call

Creating God, you call.
And patiently you wait….
“What is it that you want?
What is it that you seek?”

Questions, which call to me from deep within.
Questions, that I am not even aware of at times,
or able to articulate, but they are there just the same.

And then suddenly,
they echo loudly within my heart, within my soul,
waiting patiently to be answered with my life
by becoming the person You created me to be.
And so I wait for you O God.

I want to follow You.
Lead me on the journey…
The journey towards Love…
The journey that is You!

– Mary Beth Antonelli OSF

Closing Prayer

Loving God, we thank you for the many times and the many ways You call each of us. You call us to love one another, and you surround us with many signs of Your love for us. May we be open to Your call and may we always seek to follow You in our everyday, ordinary lives. Help us to hear Your Voice and respond in faithfulness. May we always seek to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, embracing His Gospel message of love and service to all of our brothers and sisters. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.