August 27, 2014

Resources for Ritual: The Congregation

Prayer Ritual on Mercy Day. Prepared by The Congregation

The prayer service has two distinct phases – Mercy Then and Mercy Now. The readings are woven around these movements. What drew Catherine in her time? What is evoking mercy today in our time? The story of Cana depicts that in the midst of the crisis Jesus did the “merciful thing”. As we journey in Jesus and Catherine’s footsteps we are challenged to be continually centered in God in the midst of this “tripping about”.

 Booklet

Instructions for Leaders

 

Instructions with file names (PDF)

 


Theme of the ritual:
In the midst of all our tripping about our hearts can always be in the same place centred in God
(Letter of Catherine McAuley to Sr.de Sales White - 20 December 1840)


Suggestions to Create Prayer Space
Create a spiral using cloth, sand, or stones leading to centre with a candle or image to represent God. Use name, emblem, map, or candle to represent each congregation/institute/federation of Mercy. Jug/ewer, bowl of water, bread, wine glass, Mercy symbol or Mercy International Association symbol might also be used.
 

QUIET MUSIC: (play some reflective music to help people move into a quiet space).

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'As we gather today to celebrate on the feast of Our Lady of Mercy we ask:

  • What drew Catherine in her time?
  • What is evoking mercy today in our time?
  • As we journey in Jesus and Catherine’s footsteps we are challenged to be continually centered in God in the midst of this “tripping about”...

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    SUGGESTED OPENING SONG - GATHER Words and Music by Liam Lawton

    Gather from the East, gather from the West,
    Gather from the highways too.
    Gather from the North, gather from the South,
    Gather when the night is noon.
    And we’ll gather, and we shall reap,
    And no longer in sadness we’ll weep,
    And we’ll gather, and we shall reap
    resting, rising, calling, guiding O Lord.

    Gather all the needy, gather all in pain,
    Gather all who cry in vain.
    Gather all the thirsty, gather all the poor,
    Gather all in Jesus’ name.
    Gather all forgotten, gather all forlorn,
    Gather all who weep and mourn.
    Gather all the silent, gather all who sing,
    Gather all the hearts reborn.
    And we’ll gather, and we shall reap,
    And no longer in sadness we’ll weep,
    And we’ll gather, and we shall reap
    resting, rising, calling, guiding O Lord
    .
    Gather from all races, gather from all creeds,
    Gather that you may believe.
    Gather all you ages, gather in his keep,
    Gather in the Lord’s own peace.
    And we’ll gather, and we shall reap,
    And no longer in sadness we’ll weep,
    And we’ll gather, and we shall reap
    resting, rising, calling, guiding O Lord
    OPENING PRAYER: 
    Aware of the mystery of God in all our realities, we come together to celebrate our oneness in Mercy, with gratitude, appreciation for God’s care and concern on this our special feast day. We celebrate also the blessings given and received in Catherine’s House, especially over the past twenty years as Mercy International Centre.

    SCRIPTURE READINGS:
    (Play quiet music in background and raise volume to create a short pause between each reading).

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    Lamentations. 3:22-23
    ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
    God’s mercies never come to an end;
    they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.’

    Micah 6:8
    ‘What does the Lord require of you?
    To act justly, to love tenderly
    and to walk humbly with your God’

    Catherine McAuley:
    ‘There are three things that are prized more highly than gold,
    though they cost the donor nothing;
    …the kind word, the gentle, compassionate look
    and the patient hearing of sorrows’. (Familiar Instructions.p.36)

Pause for Reflection with quiet music

LITANY 1:


Refrain: ‘Our hearts are centred in God’. (sung) Composed by Perpetua McNulty rsm

             

In Ireland and Great Britain … our hearts are centred in God
In North & South America … our hearts are centred in God
In Africa – North and South … our hearts are centred in God
In Australia, Papua New Guinea… our hearts are centred in God
In Aotearoa New Zealand… our hearts are centred in God
In Newfoundland and the Philippines … our hearts are centred in God
Within our families, neighbourhood and with our co-workers … our hearts are centred in God
Wherever there is a Mercy presence … our hearts are centred in God
 

SUSCIPE (Catherine Teresa Martin rsm – COTHU AGUS IOMLANU NO. 11)

Suscipe of Catherine McAuley © Music by Catherine Teresa Martin (The Congregation). Used with permission

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 My God I am yours for time and eternity
Lord I am yours forever.
It is you who must teach me to trust in your providence
Loving Lord.

You are a God of love and tenderness,
I place my faith in you and
I ask that you grant me acceptance of your will,
Loving Lord.

Refrain
 

 Take from my heart all painful anxiety
let nothing sadden me but sin and
Let my delight be hoping to see your face
God my all.

Refrain

Cana was an act of mercy, a ‘changing’ from pain to joy. In the context of ‘tripping about’ to the normal event of a wedding, Jesus and Mary were centered in the God of Mercy.

SCRIPTURE READING:
There was a wedding in Cana and Jesus’ mother was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited.
When the wine had given out
Jesus’ mother said to him – ‘they have no wine left’.
‘You must not tell me what to do’ Jesus said, ‘my time has not come’.
Jesus’ mother then told the servants ‘do whatever he tells you’.
There were six large water jars there for the purpose of washing.
Jesus said to the servants ‘fill these jars with water’.
They filled them to the brim.
Then Jesus said ‘draw some water out and take it to the man in charge of the feast’.
They took the water which had now turned into wine… (John 2:1-9) (Good News Version)

POPE FRANCIS:

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Pope Francis speaks of ‘mercy’ almost every day –

“Mercy is the name of our God, and without mercy we are lost” (To Cardinal Kasper)
“Hearing the word ‘mercy’ changes everything….it changes the world”
“Mercy ….is the Lord’s most powerful message” (March 17, 2013)
“It is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension.
But we must!” (March 17, 2013)
“God’s mercy lovingly heals the wounds of sin” (April 7, 2014)
“Be ministers of Mercy above all else”
Pause for Reflection with quiet music

LITANY 2

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Refrain: ‘Our hearts are centred in God'.
(sung)


In our relief efforts to war torn areas … our hearts are centred in God
In welcoming the displaced persons in our midst … our hearts are centred in God
In protecting those abused through human trafficking … our hearts are centred in God
In caring for the sick and vulnerable … our hearts are centred in God
In our ongoing work of education … our hearts are centred in God
In our efforts to relieve poverty and homelessness … our hearts are centred in God
Through the support of our prayer… our hearts are centred in God
In creating awareness of the evolving universe story… our hearts are centred in God
In making Catherine McAuley known and loved … our hearts are centred in God
 

POEM - THE CALL IS MERCY – Carmel Bracken rsm 

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In the midst of life’s dryness
Her thirst was quenched with the blessing of water
Welling up from inner springs;
Becoming a pool, mirroring its origin;
Source overflowing, until cascading Fountain of Mercy
Broke over her to become source for other rivers.

Rivers that flowed outward and onward
Pouring mercy, at times in trickles at times in torrents,
Onto a parched land.
 

Rivers that channelled out new paths
That allowed deserts to blossom;
Gushing waters that wore away stones;
Refreshing waters that cleansed, healed
And supported the myriads of creatures it teemed with.

Swirl us around again in that fountain of life;
Immerse us in our One Source
The flow of Mercy surging in our veins.

CLOSING PRAYER

We thank you God for this time together on this feast of Our Lady of Mercy. May the unity which we experience today sustain us into the future. Help us to reclaim the motivating force in the call of Catherine McAuley and to give new expression to the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy in the reality of our daily lives. Amen
 

AN IRISH BLESSING FOR YOU - Roma Downey

                                  

A Thiarna dean trócaire

May the blessing of light be upon you
Light on the outside, light on the inside
With God’s sunlight shining on you
Like a candle in the window
Welcoming the weary traveller.

May the blessing of God’s soft rain be on you
Falling gently on your head,
Refreshing your soul with the sweetness of little flowers
Newly blooming
May the strength of the winds of heaven bless you
Carrying the rain to wash your spirit clean
Sparkling after in the sunlight.
May the blessing of God’s earth be on you.

 May your heart glow with warmth
Like a turf fire that welcomes friends and strangers alike.
May the Light of the Lord shine from your eyes
And as you walk the roads
May you always have a kind word for those you meet.

May you understand the strength and power of God
In a thunderstorm in winter
And the quiet beauty of creation
And the calm of a summer sunset
And may you come to realise that insignificant as you may seem in this great universe ….
You are an important part of God’s plan
May God watch over you and keep you safe from harm.

Acknowledgments and Credits for Prayer Service

Bonnie Brennan rsm
Noeleen Reilly rsm
Bernie Ryan rsm
Helena O’Donoghue rsm
Elizabeth McNamee rsm
Dervilla Byrne rsm
Carmel Bracken rsm

 Perpetua McNulty rsm
Teresa Martin rsm
Thomasina Finn rsm
Ailish O’Brien rsm
Eithne Doyle rsm
Colmcille Cunnane rsm

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