Spring

A liturgy for Spring by Louise A Rasmussen
Spring Equinox.Seeds of New Life.Liturgy.Louise A Rasmussen

A meditation for spring
You walk in your garden,
enjoying what you have planted,
burgeoning, beautiful.

It has come from your hand
and yet from its own mystery,
each blossom a gift of grace.

You stand for a while, still,
taking in the beauty,
simply relishing being there.

You also know what you have sown
that is not yet up,
still hidden, gorgeous.

That, too, you savor,
the promise, the mystery,
the coming.

It is enough for you
to be here, to take it in.
This is its purpose, its perfection.

God, I too am still, sharing your delight
in the garden you have planted
in me.
(Steve Garnaas-Holmes)

Today, the first day of spring.
Earth is leaning. I can hear it.
New birds sing.
I hope in spring, not because I wish
but because I know.
I trust what’s beyond the door,
even before it opens.
The grace of God, and free forgiveness,
and the treasures that lie within,
a heaven that comes like breath in my sleep,
do not ask proof.
I stand on greening earth.
The door is within.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

God, give us eyes to see
the beauty of the Spring,
And to behold Your majesty
in every living thing –
And may we see in lacy leaves
and every budding flower
The Hand that rules the universe
with gentleness and power –
And may this Easter grandeur
that Spring lavishly imparts
Awaken faded flowers of faith
lying dormant in our hearts,
And give us ears to hear, dear God,
the Springtime song of birds
With messages more meaningful
than often empty words
Telling harried human beings
who are lost in dark despair –
‘Be like us and do not worry
for we are all in God’s care’. (Helen Steiner Rice)

In this time of anticipated spring
let us allow ourselves to extend the anticipation –
to value the time of budding before blooming,
of seeding before sprouting…

A revelation of that which is new, never before seen.
It is that very newness
which embodies hope and potential
for the wholeness which is yet to be…

Let us allow spring to unfold slowly
that we may appreciate the true mystery
of rebirth and renewal.
(Source: Terasa Cooley/adapt, UUA Worship Web)

In spring these spangled woods
are raucous with birds,
O sing a new song unto the Lord
and the trees try on their prints and florals
before summer’s solids,
open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise
their shades and kinds of green,
the lime and lemon greens,
russets and ochres,
handing out their devotional leaflets,
let my prayers rise before you
the oaks opening their little umbrellas,
the beeches their praying hands,
the blossoming trees scattering confetti
among the chanting peepers and
ferns unfurling the scroll of the Word,
let every living thing praise you.
And you, wanderer, are no less a part
of this burgeoning world,
this myriad of unfoldings,
I try to count them—they are more than the sand,
this world in its glorious becoming.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

A communion liturgy for spring and flowers
(from Rex AE Hunt’s liturgies)
The Flower Communion service had its origins in 1923 when Dr Norbert Capek, a former Baptist and founder of the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia, introduced it to his congregation. This liturgy is shaped by sections of two similar modern liturgies, written by Dr David Bumbaugh.

Welcome to Table
Enter into this sacred time.
Enter with joyful hearts.
Enter with reverent thoughts.

It has taken long months beneath cold ground
for flowers to prepare their blooming.
It has taken each of us long times of growth,
through sorrow and joy,
to prepare for our living now.

The blooming season is short.
Flowers stay only a brief time.
We are travellers upon the earth:
travellers through all too brief life times.

Therefore let our moments together be bountiful.
And let us rejoice in our unique colours, aromas, and sounds. (Elizabeth Strong)

Offerings
Our offerings, and gifts of flowers, bread and wine, shall now be received

Presentation
The landscape of life is full of the presentness of Creativity God:
a daffodil in bloom,
a single green leaf,
the red and green flash of a parrot.

May we too be a people of adventure and life,
grace-filled companions, offering
courage and hope in unexpected places.

Thanksgiving
Have you considered the flowers, the lilies of the fields?
They spin not, neither do they sew,
yet Solomon, in all his glory
was not arrayed as one of these.

Say what you will about the economy of life,
flowers are irrefutable proof of nature’s extravagance.

Flowers do not bloom for us.
They do not care whether or not we see them.
They grow and bloom because they are full of life.
They are a gift of grace.
They invite us to seek the beauty in each moment.
They encourage us to find fulfilment in life and the living of it.

As you came into this sacred place this morning,
you brought with you a flower,
from your yard,
from along your street,
from a florist,
from your neighbour’s flower bed,
from the basket in the entrance.

From many different sources
these many different flowers have come.

Together on this table they symbolise the extravagance of nature,
for as various as these flowers are,
they do not begin to exhaust
nature’s inventiveness
in creating forms
and colours
and beauty.

And what nature has done for flowers,
nature has done for us.

Bread and Wine
In all the colours and scents and tastes and sounds
of the world, we see the beauty of the universe.
In this season of spring it is fitting we should celebrate
the renewal of life and hope using
the symbols of bread and wine and flowers.

Time out of mind we have watched grain buried in the dark soil.
Time out of mind we have watched sprouting seeds
break through the soil, reaching towards the warm sun.
Time out of mind we have watched grain broken,
ground into dust-like flour.

Yet mixed with water and leavening,
it stirs, rises, becomes bread,
the sustainer of our lives.

For longer than we can remember
the fruit of the vine has been our companion.
It’s clustered fruit is harvested and crushed,
and juice is stored and fermented
saved for festive occasions.

We have shared the fruit of the vine
in moments of joy and sorrow,
and to mark momentous turnings. (David Bumbaugh)

Communion
Remembering the tradition surrounding Jesus…
we break this bread and fill this cup with wine.
Bread broken. Wine poured out

We give thanks
And seek to live in harmony with all about us.
We give thanks
And take our place in the human story,
struggling for the unity of humankind.
We give thanks
And join with all in a quest for justice.
We give thanks
For all that Jesus, human like us, means to us.

Bread and Wine served

After Communion
And now we prepare to leave this place.
As you do, you are invited to take one of the flowers.
Take a different one than the flower you brought.
Take it not to keep forever and forever.
Nothing is forever.

Take a flower as a symbol of gratitude
for beauty we did not create,
for joys which come when unexpected.

Take a flower as a symbol of your participation
in the community of this congregation,
in the community of human kind,
in the community of all living things,
in the universal community.

Take a flower as a symbol that beauty
and grace
and joy
and love
are not matters of reciprocity.

In this world we cannot earn or deserve
that which is most important.
It comes to us as a gift.
(David Bumbaugh)

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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