Silent Sunday Service:
Ecology, St Hildegard and the glorious freedom of the children of God

Praise be to You, our God, naked Being,

  who wears this universe like a garment,

  and whose name is I Am.

Praise be to You, our God, the essence of all Creation,

  the heartbeat of existence,

and the silent secret intimate holding of all that is.

Listen or sing along with the first two verses of the familiar hymn How Great Thou Art: 

How great thou artCeltic Worship
00:00 / 02:51

 

Lyrics:

Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made;

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder

Thy power throughout the universe displayed;

 

Then sings my soul my Saviour God to Thee

How great thou art how great thou art

Then sings my soul my Saviour God to Thee

How great thou art how great thou art.

 

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze: 

 

Then sings my soul my Saviour God to Thee

How great thou art how great thou art

Then sings my soul my Saviour God to Thee

How great thou art how great thou art.

Flower freedom smallest.jpg

If possible for this silent Sunday service, I encourage you to find a place to sit where you can see and hear nature in some way, even if it is just to see the blue (or grey) of the sky or some trees in the distance. 

We will begin with a guided opening prayer:

Guided opening prayer
00:00 / 09:04

Listen to the following song, sung in acapella style, from the Iona Community:

Heaven and EarthIona Community
00:00 / 01:20

Lyrics:

 

Heaven and earth join to worship your Creator!

Sing to the Lord, praise the One from whom you came.

 

Sing a new song to the God who goes before us,

Making all new, leaving nobody the same.

Sacred Reading:

Romans 8:18-22

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory (radiance) that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."

St Hildegard of Bingen:

"'With my mouth,' God says, 'I kiss my own chosen creation. I uniquely, lovingly, embrace every image I have made out of the earth’s clay. With a fiery spirit I transform it into a body to serve all the world.'" 

 

"Humankind, full of all creative possibilities, is God’s work. Humankind alone is called to assist God. Humankind is called to co-create. With nature’s help, humankind can set into creation all that is necessary and life-sustaining." 

 

Ilia Delio:

God is doing new things, Jesus proclaimed, but only those with new minds and hearts can see a new world breaking through the cracks of the old.

Spend some time in quiet reflection on these passages (you can use the 10 minute timer).

Ten minute silence timerSilence
00:00 / 10:25

Prayer Walk:

Take a 10 minute stroll, outdoors if possible, and look for something from nature that catches your eye. Look at it, even touch it, or take a photograph of it. Then allow a prayer to well up from within you for the earth, and our human relationship with and treatment of the earth. Open your heart to a connection with this expression of creation and of the Creator who is manifest in and through this creation.

 

 

Isaiah 40:11-12, 28-31

You tend your flock like a shepherd: 

You gather the lambs in your arms and carry them close to your Heart; 

 You gently lead those that have young.  

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of their hand, 

 or with the breadth of their hand marked off the heavens? 

Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, 

 or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?

 

You, Lord, are the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

You will not grow tired or weary, and your understanding no one can fathom.

You give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young people stumble and fall;

but those who hope in You will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

    they will run and not grow weary,

    they will walk and not be faint.

Listen to the following song by Alana Levandoski:

Behold I Make All Things NewAlana Levandoski
00:00 / 03:35

Song lyrics:

 

Behold I make all things new

Behold I make all things new    

Behold I make all things new

Let there be light, let there be light.

 

God unseen is taking form,         

God unseen is taking form,  

God unseen is taking form,

Let there be life, let there be life.

 

The first and last is surging forth,           

The first and last is surging forth,           

The first and last is surging forth,           

Becoming life, becoming life.

 

Behold I make all things new

Behold I make all things new    

Behold I make all things new

Let there be light, let there be light.

Ending Prayer:

We affirm that we are made in God's image, befriended by Christ, renewed by the Spirit.

We affirm God's goodness at the heart of humanity, planted more deeply than all that is wrong.

We celebrate the miracle and wonder of life,

  the unfolding purposes of God,

  forever at work in ourselves and the world.

 

Jesus, you have set before us a great hope, that your kingdom will come on earth,

 and have taught us to pray for its coming.

Make us ready to celebrate the signs of its dawning,

 and to pray and work for the perfect day

 when your will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven,

Amen

 

(from the Iona Community Prayerbook)

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