Easter 2000



Liturgy of Creation

This liturgy centres on the Song of Creation in Genesis 1 and celebrates the great work of God in creating the universe - and in creating us. We actually used it as an Evening Prayer on the 5th Sunday in Lent, but on re-visiting it, thought it would work even better at Easter. Easter marks the moment when we remember that, in raising Jesus, God did something new - and, through Christ, we too become new creations.

The liturgy could be used as part of a night-long Easter Vigil.
Begin indoors in darkness - using the Opening Responses to set the scene.
Dim the lights and have a (concealed!) reader read Genesis 1. Choose someone who enjoys reading poetry so that the music of the words emerges into the darkness.
Project images reflecting the words onto a screen or plain wall. Use images from the Hubble Telescope, for example. For the creation of humanity, we created a mosaic of faces reflecting the great diversity of the human family.
You could introduce a gentle response

Reader Evening came - and morning came:
the first day

Allow pauses so that people can absorb the words and images.

Depending on the weather in your part of the world, and numbers attending, you could take the next part of the Liturgy outside. Light the Easter Fire and gather round it to share the Old Testament stories of salvation - tune into the generations of wandering people who told the same stories under different skies around different campfires - but who knew the same God.

If the Vigil is to continue all night, choose Scripture stories - testimonies - music - poetry to lead people through the story of salvation. In the darkness, remind people of the events of Holy Week - rather like the first disciples who gathered to share their memories during that long Sabbath day and night.

Write your community's Gospel: the "evangelist" comes to visit and asks - which stories about this man Jesus should be remembered? If appropriate, people could tell the story themselves - and, if they wish, explain why it means so much to them. (We tried this at one of our Journey of Faith meetings and on a Retreat Day - and found it to be a very fruitful exercise... though not all the participants wanted to share their reasons - we had made it clear that this was not compulsory)
Alternatively, ask people to reflect on this and to let you know their choice. Different readers could then read the choices on behalf of the community.

As dawn approaches, use the Opening Responses (again - if this has been an all-night Vigil) -then read the Gospel story of the Resurrection. If you are blessed with a good sunrise, you may wish simply to gaze at the glory of the new day emerging - or sing an alleluia! It may be that your community includes people who play native/ traditional instruments who may be able to draw on their own tradition for music to welcome the dawn.

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