Holy Ground | May 2018 | Liturgy

We met again at Henry J’s Bar on Mayflower Street. Once again, the technology was close but not perfect, but we met with Christ there and the small number who gathered, I think got something out of it.

The Liturgy:


LifeCycles by Ross Hogg


Welcome. God is here. Make yourselves at home.

This is Holy Ground, a sacred space without borders where there are borders and divisions being thrown up all over the place.

In our mundane lives, the everyday is blended with the worldwide impact of events, personal, down the pub or at the football, or international and global. This was illustrated so wonderfully by Ross Hogg there in our gathering video: Each scene in the film is only one second in duration, and every second in the film equates to one hour in real time. There are 24 scenes per day and each ‘day’ lasts 24 seconds onscreen, making the structure as repetitive and rhythmic as possible.

It can be hard to find space in our busy lives to attend to the needs of others, not just those closest or related to us, but to those unloved and unlovely ones both near and far, and the temptation is to turn away and see to ourselves, our borders, our culture at the expense of others.

The Lord spoke of the separation of sheep and goats: creatures which from a distance can look so similar, but when close up are very different. One nurtures and gathers, the other is selfish and aggressive, who turn away from the needs of those in their midst: the sick, the orphaned, the imprisoned and the hungry…

Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46

This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ

Penitential Rite

Equipment: SMV Washing Bowl and Jug and Soap. Towel, Ash

The world is a messy place, not neat or ordered, and definitely not clean.

Starts to get all ashed up

The stuff inside us: our petty selfishness, vanity, temper and deceit marks us and marks the world.

Encourage others to get ashed

Even worse, it marks those to whom we come in contact,

Put ash on others hands as well

and what damages us and our relationship with the one who loves and creates us, ends up making the mess of the whole place.

We should all be pretty ash-y by now

But if we acknowledge that mess, that temptation to turn away, that desire to selfishly keep to ourselves, our nation, our ethnicity, our tribe, our football team or church denomination, if we offer that to Him, then he will wash away that mess, and equip us to deal with whatever mess that cannot be washed away right now…

For the times when we turn away:
From the still-suffering, last-week’s-news forgotten people.
When we are distracted from being your hands and feet in the world.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

For the times when we turn away:
From the bad news, the hard truth; the difficult and challenging people.

Christ, have mercy.
Christ have mercy

For the times when we turn away:
From the darkness in our own hearts because shining your light into our dusty corners, fills us with dread.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord have mercy

All should by now have got themselves un-ashed.


God loves you. God forgives you. God takes away the shit and through you makes the world a little less shitty. Amen

Eucharistic Prayer

Paragraph numbers are in brackets. Two readers are marked A: and B:

Cel: (1) When his disciples, gathered in an upper room to eat a simple meal heard this, they had no idea what he meant: bread and wine become body and blood? How outrageous! It sounded a little like cannibalism – the one who had guided them through so much, taught them so much, given them a glimpse of heaven on earth in wondrous signs and marvellous healings, was inviting them to eat of him.

(2) And two thousand years later, he still sits amongst us, and invites us to his table. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, or what you’ve done, or how badly you think you have been in the past: He reaches out and offers you a place at this table, this place of encounter, this point of transformation.

(3) The Lord be with you
And also with you

A: For he is with us, now. Supporting, guiding, counseling and comforting. Stirring up the complacent and crying out for justice, transforming lives and making whole.

Cel: (4) Lift up your hearts
We lift them up to the Lord

B: The best way, the only way we can respond is in worship and in this sacred space drawing closer to God to the point where we can touch him, taste him and feel the difference.

Cel: (5) Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is right to give thanks and praise

(6) In ways in which we do not understand, or could ever hope to understand, Christ is present in our midst. The many thousands, millions of words of theologians, the prayers of saints, the witness of the apostles: none of them have ever got their heads around what happens here.

A: We can’t see the wind, but we know what happens to the trees.

B: Look not for the wind, but for the effect of the wind.

A: We can’t see any outward change in bread and wine, but we know that something is different

B: Look not for God hiding under an ordinary piece of bread, as St Francis once said, but look for the effect on those who share in the Body and Blood of Christ.

Cel: (7) Bread: Simple. Wholesome. Good. The staple of life and proof in our hands
of God’s bountiful goodness to us all.

(8) Wine: Source of joy and gladness, an example of God’s love in a glistening
drop of rich, dark sweetness.

Our prayers echo the song of the angels, saints, prophets and patriarchs and whole company of heaven as they say:

(9) Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might. Heaven and earth
are full of your Glory, Hosanna in the highest.

Blesséd is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

(10) Lord, you are holy indeed, the fountain of all holiness.
Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy,
so that they may become for us
the +body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ

Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted,
he took bread and gave you thanks.
He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:

Take this, all of you, and eat it:
this is my body which will be given up for you.

(11) When supper was ended, he took the cup.
Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it:
this is the cup of my blood,
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.
It will be shed for you and for all
so that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in memory of me.

(12) Together, Let us remind ourselves of that mystery of faith:
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

(13) It’s good.
It’s changed.
And through it we are changed.

You won’t find him
Wedged between the crumbs,
But he is there,

He gives himself to us in this way,
so we can get our heads around the enormous idea
of God stepping down into our world.

He gives himself to us, so that we may become a part of him.

You eat food. It becomes a part of you.
You eat of this, and you become a part of him.
A Holy Communion, at one with God.

The only thing we can do is respond in love and joy, awe and wonder.
May all of us who taste this foretaste of heaven be brought together as your Church on this earth, empowered with the power of God.

May we remember all those not with us, and bring us all into your heavenly presence, through the powerful and mighty, saving work of our Saviour

(14) Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and
honour is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.

(15) Amen

Lord’s Prayer

Yves’ Prayer:

Distribution of Communion

Cel: Come. Share. Eat at God’s Table.

A: No one is turned away.
B: No one is unworthy.

Cel: All are welcome.

A: Take, Break, Share, and Pass on.
B: Be thankful. Be changed. Be aware that God is in our midst.

distribution of communion, passing it from one to another
Music: O Come to the Altar

A: By this meal, we have been changed. By bread and wine transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, you have been healed, restored, reinvigorated and renewed.

B: You have been fed for a life’s journey with something more than a snack. You have been fed with the stuff of life.

Cel: The food of this earth just makes you hungry again. The food of this meal will last for ever. This bread and this wine is for all time.

Ritual: Carding


Blessing & Dismissal

The Lord be with you
And also with you

May your days be filled with laughter, joy and friendship
May your lives be transformed by this salvation story
May you not turn away from those besides you in need
Nor forget that we are all woven together in love as the fabric of Christ
And may the Blessing of God Almighty,
+Father, Son and Holy Spirit be upon you,
and remain with you, this long night and always.

The mass has ended. Go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

End Music


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