01 May 2012 a post by Steve Hollinghurst

Communion for May Day and the feast of St George

St Georges Day comes close to May day so this May Day Beltane worship has a nod to that day in it’s reading which combine the imagery of the mother giving birth and the dragon that represents the destructive power of evil – the themes of Beltane, the fire, the focus on fertility and new life, are also woven in. this si a celebration of the new life God gives and also a time to reflect on our loves and losses, the mending of broken relationships and the blessing of other relationships old and new.

beltane fire

Words in italics are for various leaders those in normal script for all to join in

The basic structure is a circle – with a person at each compass point to ‘call’ those at the opening and closing.

It can be done inside but weather permitting outside is ideal.

There are two music suggestions – these could be sung by those present or listened to on a recording – or other pieces could be used.

The flame used needs to be appropriate to the setting – but again outside could be a bonfire if safe, inside candles might be used instead.

Welcoming

God of love and life

as the seasons move into Summer
We come to you

in the fullness of life
We welcome your life giving Spirit

as those made male and female in your image
We welcome each other

God of the East and sun rising
We call to you to bring us light

God of the west and sun setting
We call to you as the days grow long

God of the North and the storm winds
We call to you to refresh our souls

God of the South and the warm breeze
We call to you to be the embrace between us

Christ Jesus
Be the life within us
Be the love between us
Be the light that guides us
This day
And for eternity

The circle is open

Blessing of the flame

Blessed are you creator of day and night:
To you be praise and glory for ever.
As the day grows you renew your promise
To reveal among us the light of your presence.
Send upon us the fire of your Holy Spirit,
Ignite our hearts with your passion
And fan into flame your gifts within us
That we may be a blessing to all creation.

Blessed be

Breath Deeply ( a breathing meditation)

Be aware of your breathing

Breathe deeply and slowly

In…..and out…….in………and out……..in…….out

Breathe in Peace……………….Breathe out trouble

Breathe in hope…………………Breathe out despair

Breathe in light…………………..and out darkness

Breathe in Love…………………and out hatred

Breathe in life……………………and out death

Breathe in Spirit…………………and out numbness

Be aware of your breathing, be aware of God’s Spirit, God’s breath filling this place, be aware of your breathing, within the breath of God, let God fill you with every breath

Breathe deeply and slowly

In…..and out…….in………and out……..in…….out

Be thou my vision

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
be thou ever with me, and I with thee, Lord;
be thou Mother and Father, and I thy true child;
be thou in me dwelling, I with thee unified.

Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might;
be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.

Sovereign of heaven, thou heaven’s bright sun,
O grant me its joys after vict’ry is won;
great heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be thou my vision, O ruler of all.

Meditation

Any suitable meditation can be used here reflecting the season of Summer we are entering and it’s fruitfulness

Reflecting …. (this was a time to focus on our relationships prior to an act of reconciliation.)

Those we love who are bound to us….

Those with whom we have broken relationships….

Reconciliation (bowls of water are present to wash hands in)

God’s Holiness bursts through in all places in a world, which often is un whole.  We are part of a people who have dislocated the divine from the world around us in the way we have lived.  We need to have our relationship put right with God, each other, all creation and our selves.  The Apostle Paul says ‘the cosmos was in Christ being reconciled to God and he has given us the ministry of reconciliation’

We invite you now to join in a ritual to express our receiving of the relationship mending power of God.  Please come and use the water in these bowls as a sign of cleansing refreshing and reconnecting to the divine in all things.

I heard the voice of Jesus say

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, O weary one, lay down
Your head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s light;
Look unto me, your morn shall rise,
And all your day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus and I found
In him my Star, my Sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk,
Till travelling days are done.

Reflecting


Christ our lover who calls us to be one with you, in whose image we come together in love, marriage, friendship, family

We ask for your blessing on our relationships, fill us with your presence that we may be givers of love to others.

Be with us we travel together and through us bring life to all creation.

Sacred text

Revelation 12: 1-12 – a reading for Beltane and St George’s Day (the reading is read then the following are used to help people reflect)

The crowning of the May Queen

The defeat of the Dragon

The promise of new birth

The hope of the wedding and the new creation

Thanksgiving

(this is the start of the communion liturgy and needs bread wine and water)

As seasons turn
and earth warms beneath our feet
Invisible we see you,
Christ above us,
Christ beneath us,
Christ at our side, and within,
In you all things hold together
The atom’s light energy,
The pulsating rocks,
The oceans rhythms,
The vibrant greening of the earth…

Creator God, who called all life into being
The Earth, Sea and Sky are yours

Your presence is all around us
The whole earth groans for your revealing glory

Your Spirit enlivens all who dwell upon the earth,
With her we yearn for justice to be done

For creation to be freed from her chains
For the hungry to be fed
and for peace to spread throughout the land

Here with these symbols of water and fire we celebrate
Your cleansing, healing presence.
Here with these symbols of bread and wine
We acknowledge your brokenness
And your givenness makes us whole.

The night before Jesus died
He took bread and wine
And giving thanks to God
Broke the bread saying
‘take and eat, this is my Body broken for you’
And took the wine saying
‘this is my blood poured out to cleanse the world’

As seasons turn and earth warms beneath our feet

Here lie new hope, New life, re-birth,
Here are the Endless possibilities
Of the wakening earth,
May we too respond
Like seeds Dying to live,
Plunging down Into fertile ground,
And reaching upwards To the light,
Awakened by the Spirit’s breath,
To the ancient eternal, ever new Rhythms of life
To grow, To glory,
To dance, And to praise

So meet us here Holy One,
Move among us Spirit of life
Meet us here, as we remember,
Meet us here
Transformed and transforming
Broken and whole, given and giving,
Meet us here, that we might receive,
Meet us here,  that nourished
Afresh by these holy gifts
We might live in you,
As agents of change in your world…

Sharing God’s gift

So now lets us share together
In these Gifts of creation and of God
Eat and drink that the life of Jesus
may renew your life
and lead you to wholeness,
restore our broken relationships
and heal our world.

We are the Body of Christ

May circle dance

(Any dance can be used – but one that celebrates relationship is good)

Departing

God of the West and sun setting
Bless us now as we journey through this day and bring us to rest with those who have travelled before us in faith

Blessed be

God of the North and the season of passing winter
Bless us now with the new life of spring

Blessed be

God of the East and the suns rising
Bless us now with the inspiration of your Holy fire

Blessed be

God of the South and the coming Summer
Bless us now with your fruitfulness

Blessed be

Blessing

Hear these words of Teresa of Avila

‘Christ has no body on earth but yours
No hands but yours, no feet but yours;
Yours are the eyes through which Christ is to look with compassion on the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good
And yours the hands with which he is to bless us now’

God is incarnate in us,
And sends us out to fight for change
In our lives,
Our Church,
And our world.

And may the blessing of God be with you,
Guide and protect always

Travelling further…


God is bringing to birth in us new life for all creation

Thanks be to God.

Go in peace, God is with us

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