Earth Day Celebration: Prayers for our Mother Earth

23 Apr
April 23, 2010

On Thurs. April 22nd the Marylhurst community will celebrate Earth Day with Prayers for our Mother the Earth at 5:30 pm in BPJohn Recital Hall/ Chapel.


Prayer Leaders:

Jack Jersey
Katie Larsell
Naomi Elmore
Crystal Larsen Farr
Don Groves
Kirsten Gauthier-Newbury, M.S.
Julie Hommes
Laura Howard
Sr. Carol Anne Higgins, snjm
Dr. Sheila O’Connell-Rousell
Dr. Jerry O’Connell-Roussell

Gathering Prayer:Led by: Dr. Jerry Roussell
Good God, Creator of the world, draw us into prayer and celebration as we gather to remember the gifts of your earth and the stewardship you have entrusted to us as tillers and tenders in your image.
We know that in the gathering of the people, power is present among us; your Holy Spirit stirs and moves and gives us courage to remember that all good gifts come first from you.
We praise you for this creation in the words of the Psalmist, sung by our ancestors in faith for generations:
God speaks: the heavens are made;
God breathes: the stars shine.
God bottles the waters of the sea
and stores them in the deep
All earth, be astounded,
stand in awe of God.
Keep us faithful to this gathering in faith and “bless this vine your right hand has planted.” Now and forever, Amen.
Taken from liturgy materials used on Earth Day 1997 at Seattle University Provided by Earth Ministry

Song of Gathering: Sacred CreationDr. Sheila O’Connell-Roussell and Sister Carol Anne Higgins
Dance by Crystal Larsen-Farr

Lyrics:
Refrain:
Sacred the land, sacred the water,
sacred the sky, holy and true.
Sacred all life, sacred each other;
all reflect God who is good.

1. All praise be yours through Brother Sun,
bearing a likeness of you, Most High One.
Sister Moon and Stars who are precious,
splendid, ride your glorious sky.

2. Brother Wind and Air that pervades,
vary their moods to sustain all you’ve made.
Sister Water, useful and pure,
lowly, freely sharing her life.

3. Through Brother Fire you brighten the night,
strong and robust yet playful and bright.
Sister Earth, our mother who nurtures,
feeding, yielding flower and herb.

Final Refrain:
Sacred the land, sacred the water,
sacred the sky, holy and true.
Sacred all life, sacred each other;
all reflect God who is good;
all reflect God, all reflect God.

The Peace of Wild Things, A Purification,
Read by: Kirsten Gauthier-Newbury, M.S.
At start of spring, I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck,
have listened to too much noise,
have been inattentive to wonders,
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.
Sung Response: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

The Great Spirit Prayer, Unknown
Read by: Don Groves

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind,
Whose breath gives life to all the world.
Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Help me to remain calm and strong in
the face of all that comes towards me.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.
Help me seek pure thoughts and act
with the intention of helping others.
Help me find compassion
without empathy overwhelming me.
I seek strength,
not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy,
Myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.

Sung Response: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Consider Creation
Read by: Laura Howard
All people of the earth, each and every nation
Arise and rejoice at the continued creation
Of beauty, of springtime, the yearly rebirth
Of our protector, our home, our own Mother Earth!
Who despite our apparent lack of care
Creates bountiful splendor for all to share
From mountain tops to the deepest sea
All wonderful earthly miracles bursting free!
Yet this miracle of renewal requires the helping hand
Of the people to replenish and renew the land
From the largest of cities to the most remote farms
To unite in spirit and with the strongest arms.
Become a midwife to the birth of each flower
A guardian of our resources hour by hour
We must learn to take time to appreciate
The miracles of which we did not create.
For God has given this wonderful treasure
And its preservation will be the measure
Of people who recognize and will celebrate
The birth of each season before it’s too late.
In citizenship, in willingness to toil
We must bend our backs and tend to the soil
In stewardship, arise and applaud the worth
Of the wondrous marvel of our Living Earth!
Consider creation. . . . Consider it now.
Source: service from August 1992, “Coming to See”
Creation Song: From Back to Eden
Dr. Sheila O’Connell Roussell and Sister Carol Anne Higgins

The Peace of Wild Things— Wendell Berry
Read by: Kirsten Gauthier-Newbury, M.S.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Sung Response: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Reading: “The Earth is Beautiful” traditional Navaho song
Read by: Crystal Larsen Farr

The Earth is beautiful
The Earth is beautiful
The Earth is beautiful
Below the East, the Earth, its face toward the East, the top of its head is
Beautiful
Its legs, they are beautiful — Its body, it is beautiful
Its chest, it is beautiful — Its breath, it is beautiful
Its head-feather, it is beautiful — The Earth is beautiful

Sung Response: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Psalm of the Cosmos (source unknown)
Read by: Naomi Elmore
Loving God, loving God,
all creation calls you blessed,
and so do we, and so do we.
Loving God,
all your creation calls you blessed.
Your spirit imprints the whole universe with life and mystery.
Yes, all creation proclaims your love.
We now join this chorus of praise.
Loving God,
all of nature calls you blessed,
and so do we.
For you have woven an intimate tapestry
and call it life
and called it good.
In love you have formed a universe
so diverse yet so related,
and into its web you call us forth
to walk the land and swim the sea
with all our natural brothers and sisters.
To the stars
we seem no more than blades of grass.
Yet to you, each of us,
as each blade of grass and each star,
is an irreplaceable treasure,
an essential companion on this journey of love.
Loving God, as you lure the whole world into salvation,
guide us with your Spirit
that we might not be only pilgrims on the earth,
but pilgrims with the earth,
journeying home to you.
Open our hearts to understand
the intimate relationship that you have with all creation.
Only with this faith can we hope
for tomorrow’s children.
Amen. Alleluia!
Loving God, loving God,
all creation calls you blessed,
and so do we, and so do we.
Taken from liturgy materials used on Earth Day 1997 at Seattle University Provided by Earth Ministry

Sung Response: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Psalm of the Polar Bear, a Lament
Prayed and written by Katie Larsell

I know you Lord as I know the ice -
It’s crusty thickness, where I hide and wait, is a testament to Your goodness
I know you Lord as I hunt through the icy depths
Your Arctic waters brings me the fat seal pup and rich beluga whale meat

Oh God, who thickens the ice
Why do I hear the mumble and groan of cracking ice and the singing sound of melt water?

Oh God, who brings the cold,every day I wake to a warm southern breeze – sweet smelling and false;

I lift up my nose and long for the hard, white smell of the cold, north wind.

But you, oh Lord, are the keeper of the ice,
You have cared for my people and our fierce, lonely hunt.

You, oh Lord, are the keeper of the ocean,
You have filled it with seal and salmon, whale and walrus.

You have given us immense strength, oh Lord, to swim tens of miles to the summer ice.
You have given us unerring smell, oh Lord, to find the hole where the seals come to breath.
You have given us stillness, oh Lord, to wait in deadly silence for our prey to appear.
You have made us fat and strong, fierce and persistent and we adore you with our every stalking move.

Why then, oh Lord, do we swim and swim and never find the strong carriage of an icy ledge,

Where are you Lord as our limbs ache and tremble, and our power gives out in a iceless, edgeless ocean?

Why do we grow thin on poor meals of skinny birds and hard-caught caribou without finding the succulent seal meat we need to fatten and grow our children.

Where are you Lord as the sweet tender wind flows up from the Southern lands destroying your faithful hunters?

Sung Response: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Hymn of the Universe, Teilhard de Chardin
Read by: Jersey Jack
I live at the heart of a single, unique Element, the Center of the universe, and present in each part of it: personal Love and cosmic Power.
To attain to him and become merged into his life I have before me the entire universe with its noble struggles, its impassioned quests, its myriad of souls to be healed and made perfect. I can and I must throw myself into the thick of human endeavor, and with no stopping for breath. For the more I bring my efforts to bear on the whole surface of reality, the more also will I attain to Christ and cling close to him. God who is eternal Being-in-itself, is, one might say, ever in process of formation for us.
And God is also the heart of everything; so much so that the vast setting of the universe might be engulfed or wither away or be creation’s dust, which is vitalized by a halo of energy and glory, to be swept away, the substantial Reality wherein every perfection is incorruptibly contained and possessed would remain intact; the rays would be drawn back onto their Source and there I should still hold them all in close embrace.
Taken from liturgy materials used on Earth Day 1997 at Seattle University Provided by Earth Ministry
Sung Response: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Reflections: Time to silently reflect on the meaning of the earth. What more can I do to care for the earth? Share your thoughts with your neighbors.

Sung Response: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Earth Day Prayer:
Led by: Julie Hommes

O GOD, we thank you for this earth, our home; for the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the ocean and streams, for the towering hills and the whispering wind, for the trees and green grass.
We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, and see the splendor of fields of golden wheat, and taste autumn’s fruit, and rejoice in the feel of snow, and smell the breath of spring flowers.
GRANT US a heart opened wide to all this beauty; and save us from being so blind that we pass unseeing when even the common thorn bush is aflame with your glory. AMEN! (http://www.appleseeds.org/earthday.htm)
Song of Blessing: All
Lord, send out your Spirit; renew the face of the earth.
Lord send out your Spirit; renew the face of the earth

You set the earth on its foundation firm,
not to be moved in all its days;
Clothed it with oceans and robed it in light;
O bless the Lord, all you God’s works.

From sea to shore how your wonders are seen,
carefully planned in wisdom and love.
All of your world is abundant with life;
O my soul, bless you the Lord

God comes with bright wings a washing the world;
all is made new in water and fire.
Morning a rises a new in the sky;
God recreates in a new day.
Sung Response: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Sharing of Peace:

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