A MORNING LITURGY FOR FRANCISCAN UNITY

-- morning prayer for Francistide:   from the Feast of the Stigmata, September 17, until the Feast of St. Francis, October 4.

(inclusive language options are included in parenthesis)

 

INVOCATION

Come, Holy One, join your Franciscan Brothers and Sisters together in the unity of our One God..  On this Feast Day when Francis received the marks of the fire of your love, so, too, mark us with your Spirit of Peace and Joy and inflame us with your Passion,

 

RESPONSE

That we who walk in the footsteps of Christ and in the pathway of Francis and Clare, willfind the spiritual food to sustain us on our journey. 

Let your love be our love, O Christ;  may we see with eyes that You have opened.

Take away all jealousy and unkindness, all hardness and intolerance, that in simple and quiet service we may please You.  Amen.

OPENING PRAISE

Thou art the Holy Lord, the Only God, who works miracles

Thou art strong, Thou art great

Thou are the Most High

Thou art Good, all Good, Highest Good

Thou art Love, Charity;

Thou art Wisdom, Thou art Humility,

Thou art Patient, Thou art Beauty

Thou art Gentleness;  Thou art Security, Thou art Quiet

Thou art Joy; Thou art our Hope and Joy

Thou art Justice,

Thou art all our riches until sufficiency;

Thou art Beauty, Thou art Gentleness; Thou art Protector.

Thou art our Guard and Defender. Thou art Refreshment.

Thou art our Hope, Thou art our Charity, Thou art our Sweetness

Thou art our eternal Life

(from The Praises of God Most High by St. Francis of Assisi)

PSALM 133

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters) dwell in unity.

It is like the precious oil on the head,

Running down on the beard,

On the beard of Aaron (and on the shawl of Sarah),

Running down on the collar of his (their) robes!

It is like the dew of Hermon,

Which falls on the mountains of Zion!

For there the Lord (Holy One) has commanded the blessing,

Life forevermore.

( From The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)

 

A POETIC READING FROM SCRIPTURE

Be humble and gentle;

Be patient with each other;

Making allowance for each other’s faults.

Because of your love

Try always to be led along together by the Holy Spirit

And so be at peace with one another.

We are all parts of one body;

We have the same spirit

And we have all been called to the same glorious future.

I beg you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ

To stop arguing among yourselves..

Let there be real harmony

So that there won’t be splits in the church.

I plead with you to be of one mind

United in thought and purpose.

So stop evaluating Christians

By what the world thinks about them

Or by what they seem to be like on the outside

Talk with each other much about the Lord,

Quoting psalms and hymns

And singing sacred songs,

Making music in your hearts to the Lord.

Always give thanks for everything

To our God and Creator.

Honor Christ by submitting to each other.

I have loved you even as the Creator has loved Me.

Live within My love.

When you obey Me you are living in My love

Just as I obey my Creator and live in God’s love.

I have told you this so that

You will be filled with joy.

Yes, your cup of joy will overflow?

I demand that you love each other

As much as I love you.

I am not praying for these alone

But also for the future believers

Who will come to Me.

Because of the testimony of these

My prayer for all of them

Is that they will be of one heart and mind

Just as You and I are, Loving Creator –

That just as You are in Me and I am in You,

So they will be in Us.

(from John 17 referenced in Earlier Exhortation to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance by St. Francis)

Glory to the Father (Creator), and to the Son (Christ) and to the Holy Spirit

As it was in the beginning , is now and forevermore.  Amen.

 

MEDITATION ( by Thich Nhat Hanh)

As we are together, praying for peace

Let us be truly with each other.

Let us pay attention to our breathing.

Let us be relaxed in our bodies and our minds.

Let us be at peace with our bodies and our minds.

Let us return to ourselves and become wholly ourselves.

Let us be aware of the Source of being common

To us all and to all living things,

Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion

Towards ourselves and towards all living beings

That they are all sisters and brothers,

All nourished from the same source of life.

Let us pray that we ourselves cease to be

The cause of suffering to each other.

Let us plead with ourselves to live in a way

Which will not deprive other beings

Of air, water, food, shelter, or the chance to live.

With humility, with awareness of the existence of life,

And of the sufferings that are going on around us.

Let us pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and on the earth.

 

SONG OF PEACE

(select a hymn of peace such as “Peace is Flowing Like a River, or an interfaith peace song such as included at the end of this liturgy.)

 

THE LORD’S PRAYER

(see listing at the end of this liturgy for inclusive language alternatives)

 

INTERCESSIONS

Leader:  With all our heart and all our mind, we pray to you, O Lord:

People:  Make us instruments of your peace.

L: For the peace of the world, that a spirit of respect and forbearance may grow among nations and peoples, we pray to you O Lord:

P:  Where there is hatred, let us sow love.

L:  For our enemies and those who wish us harm, and for all whom we have injured or offended, we pray to you, O Lord:

P:  Where there is injury, let us sow pardon.

L:  For all you fear God and believe in you, Lord Christ, that our divisions may cease and all may be one as you and the Creator are one, we pray to you, O Lord:

P:  Where there is discord, let us sow union.

L:  For those who do not yet believe, for those who have lost their faith, and those in despair and darkness that they may receive the light of the Gospel, we pray to you, O Lord:

P: Where there is doubt, let us sow faith.

L:  For the poor, the persecuted, the sick and all who suffer; for refugees, prisoners, and all who are in danger;  that they may be relieved and protected, we pray to you, O Lord:

P:  Where there is despair, let us sow hope.

L:  For the mission of the Church, that in faithful witness it may preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, we pray to you, O Lord:

P:  Where there is darkness, let us sow light.

L:  For those who suffer in body, mind of spirit;  that they may be comforted and healed;  give them courage and hope in their troubles and bring them the joy of your salvation, we pray to you, O Lord:

P:  Where there is sadness, let us sow joy.

(Other prayers and petitions may be added silently or aloud)

 P:  Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love.  For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

(reprinted with permission from Vol. 82, Issue 1.  The Little Chronicle 2000 Newsletter of the Brothers of the American Promise of the Society of Saint Francis)

 

PRAYER FOR FRANCISCAN UNITY

O gracious and loving Creator

Having brought us into the Body of Christ and

Called us to follow Francis and Clare;

Let your Holy Spirit inspire all in the Franciscan Family

To be of one heart and mind in love with you and one another.

Grant, we pray, that our common charism and vocation

Shared by Franciscan Orders from every tradition

May help build up the Body of Christ and

Heal the Franciscan Family,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen

 

SENDING FORTH

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. (from the writings of St. Clare)

 

BENEDICTION

May the Lord (Holy One)  Bless you and Keep you

May His (God’s) face shine upon you and be gracious to you

May he (God)  look upon you with kindness and give you his ( strike “his” ) peace

 

May Almighty God bless you,

+ the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit

( Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit)

 

Alternative Resources

Song of Peace:

Peace is the Longing of Every Soul

Shalom, Shalom, Shalom

Peace Is the Longing of Every Soul

Divine Peace,

Ya Salaam

Peace On the Planet, Peace in Our Homes

Peace In Our Hearts

Om Shanti Om

Peace Is The Longing of every Soul

Shalom, Ya Salaam

With A Long Breath of Peace, with a Long Breath of Peace

 

Lord’s Prayer:

1.  Our Maker who is in Heaven

     Hallowed be your name

     Your Reign is come

     Your 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 this who trespass against us

     And lead us not into temptation

     But deliver us from evil

     For the reign, the power and the glory are yours

     Now and forever more.

 OR

2.  From the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer

Earth Maker, Pain Bearer, Life Giver,

Source of all that is and shall be,

Father and Mother of us all.

Loving God in Whom is Heaven.

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe,

The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!

Your heavenly will be done by all created being!

Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today feed us.

In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.

In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.

From trials too great to endure, spare us.

From the grip of all that is evil, free us

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever.

Amen.

OR

3.  The Aramaic Prayer of Jesus;  original transliteration and translation from the Syrian-Aramaicby Neil Douglas Klotz (Prayers of the Cosmos:  Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus (Harper San Francisco, 1990).

O Birther!  Father-Mother of the Cosmos

You create all that moves in light

Focus your light within us – make it useful;  as the rays of a beacon show the way.

Create your reign of unity now – through our fiery hearts and willing hands

Your one desire then acts with ours, as in all light, so in all forms.

Grant what we need each day in bread and insight

Subsistence for the call of growing life

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,

As we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt

Don’t let us enter forgetfulness

But free us from unripeness

From you is born all ruling will, the power and the life to do,

The song that beautifies all, from age to age it renews

Truly power to these statement – may they be the

Source from which all my actions grow.

Sealed in trust and faith.  Amen

 

Abwoon d’bwashmaya

Nethqadash shmakh

Teytey malkuthakh

Nehwey tzevyanach aykanna d’bwashmaya aph b’arha

Hawvlan lachma d’sunqanan yaomana

Washboqlan khaubayn

aykana daph khnan shbwoqan l’khayyabayn

Wela tahlan l’nesyuna

Ela patzan min bisha.

Metol dilakhie malkutha wahayla wateshbukhta l’ahlam almin.

Ameyn.