Day 1 Morning Prayer

Opening Prayer: We gather this morning to celebrate Earth as our original cathedral. Let us remember the forests and mountains, the rivers and seas, as our original sanctuary space where we gather to worship God, the Creator and One who is revealed in all of Earth, sky, and sea.

Opening Song: Cathedral of Earth, Sky, and Sea

First Reading: Saint Catherine of Siena

The Sanctuary

It could be said that God’s foot is so vast
that this entire earth is but a
field on God’s
toe,

and all the forests in this world
came from the same root of just
a single hair
of God’s.

What then is not a sanctuary?
Where then can I not kneel
and pray at a shrine
made holy by God’s
presence?

Sung Psalm Opening: O Love, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. (Repeat)

Psalm 84

The sparrow has a place in the rafters.
The swallow raises her young in the nest she has made.
They live and move easily in their places.
They flit and soar around your world altar.
They are home.

It is not so easy for me.
I long for that ease of being and pray
for the grace to live in the world as at your altar.
Happy are they who live in the Pilgrim way;
They walk through desolate landscapes
and find your springs.
They toil through mountains and discover your peaks.
They set themselves to the tasks of love and service
and know deep satisfaction
One day lived in this grace is better than a thousand spent
at our own devices.
When we walk our appointed path in peace,
We find our home and our way.

Sung Doxology: Glory to the Maker, Lover, and Keeper; as ago, in this breath, and will be ever. Amen, Amen.

Second Reading from Teilhard de Chardin

By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us, and moulds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible, whereas in fact we live steeped in its burning layers. . . The world, this palpable world, which we were wont to treat with the boredom and disrespect with which we habitually regard places with no sacred association for us, is in truth a holy place, and we did not know it.

Silent Contemplation

Prayers of Concern:

We offer prayers now for all that is on our hearts.

Help us, O Creator God, to see the world as your sanctuary shimmering with your sacred presence. Inspire us to protect this living cathedral in all the ways needed to support its flourishing.

Sung Response - O God of Earth, shelter us in your sanctuary.

We pray for the courage and fortitude to transform our patterns of daily life, individually and collectively, in ways that honor our kinship with the church of creation. Help us and our leaders to see how necessary radical change is in the way we live our lives and move into a life-giving future for all beings.

Sung Response - O God of Earth, shelter us in your sanctuary.

O Sacred One, we pray that we might find your Presence within Creation that surrounds us. May each stone, each plant, each river, each star speak to our hearts of your Glory and your Presence with us.

Sung Response - O God of Earth, shelter us in your sanctuary.

Please add the prayers you are longing to express.

Sung Response - O God of Earth, shelter us in your sanctuary.

Closing Song: The World is My Monastery

Closing Blessing

May you find sanctuary among trees and stones,
and feel Earth preparing a place for you
to sit and breathe and be.

Let the long limbs of branches
form a canopy above your head,
let the hills open up a place for you to soar.

May the stones form an altar and
see how the sun makes everything shimmer and glisten
so that everything shines forth from within.

Let the tender vine climbing the trunk
show you what it is to reach to the sky,
let all the living creatures that gather,
winged and four-footed ones,
offer a new companionship.

All around you, see yourself as part of this glorious cathedral,
the lake and holy wells are the fonts of baptism,
the river rushes carrying gifts down from the mountains,
the oaks and sycamore create a sacred circle,
the face of the Creator incarnate and immanent
illuminated with each gaze.

Feel the veil between heaven and earth slip away
until you know this sanctuary of soil and sunlight,
listen to the sky whisper her secrets on the wind,
lifted by wings and song.
Sung Amen
 
Credits: All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song: Cathedral of Earth, Sky, and Sea by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

First Reading from Saint Catherine of Siena. Quoted in Daniel Ladinsky, trans., Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and the West. New York: Penguin Books (2002) p. 205.

Sung Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Interpretation of Psalm 84 by Rev. Christine Robinson

Second Reading from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Divine Milieu. New York: Harper and Row (1960) p. 83.

Prayers of Concern written by Christine Valters Paintner and Polly Burns

Sung Response by Betsey Beckman

Closing Song: The World is My Monastery by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Closing Blessing: Earth as the Original Cathedral written by Christine Valters Paintner

Please note: All of the Opening and Closing Songs are published on CDs in the Abbey of the Arts collection. In addition, these songs have accompanying gesture prayers and/or dances created by Betsey Beckman that can be found on the corresponding DVD (each album has a DVD companion).  The Psalm Opening, Doxology, and the Response to the Prayers of Concern also have accompanying congregational gestures. The audio and video recordings of these are available at AbbeyoftheArts.com.

Day 1 Evening Prayer

Opening Prayer: Let us reflect on how we received sanctuary today. How did we become aware of the living cathedral that surrounds and sustains us? Let us move into evening with a heart full of gratitude for all the ways we are safe and supported and offer our prayers for those who are vulnerable and without shelter.

Opening Song:  Open Hand

Sung Psalm Opening: O Love, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. (Repeat)

Psalm 8

Many-Named One
beyond imagining--
When I contemplate the night sky,
the cosmos which all unfolded from a speck,
galaxies, stars, this beautiful earth—
Who are we humans, that you attend to us?
mere mortals in our tiny corner, and you love us?
We are life come to knowing and feeling.
The whole world is in our hands.
plants and animals, oceans and ice caps, rain forests
atmosphere and ecosystem.
Touch our hearts, O God,
make us worthy of this trust
Help us care for life on this beautiful earth.

Sung Doxology: Glory to the Maker, Lover and Keeper as ago, in this breath and will be ever Amen, Amen

Reading of the Night: Colin Tudge

Groves of redwoods and beeches are often compared to the naves of great cathedrals: the silence; the green, filtered, numinous light. A single banyan, each with its multitude of trunks, is like a temple or mosque—a living colonnade. But the metaphor should be the other way around.  The cathedrals and mosques emulate the trees. The trees are innately holy.

Silent Contemplation

Closing Poem: Into the Forest

Come to the forest, I hear the whisper
but I delay, so many tasks ahead
a list as long as the highway,
the engine of doing so loud.

Come to the forest, she teases
but I delay, afraid of the dark,
of the hundred kinds of mosses
the beasts hiding in hollows.

Come to the forest, she insists
but I delay, wanting to locate maps
that chart the way, find my compass,
fill my pack with essentials

Come to the forest, she still cries,
the reasons not to go are so many
and I look back on them
floating behind me like smoke,

even as I lower my head
to pass under branches,
place bare feet on quiet earth
and find a place to rest

eyes closed and I am there
among ash and elder,
hawthorn and yew, all singing
welcome: at last

Closing Song: Be Still

 

Credits: All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song: Open Hand by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Interpretation of Psalm 8 by the Rev. Christine Robinson

Reading of the Night from Colin Tudge, The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter. Three Rivers Press (2005) p. xvii

Closing Poem by Christine Valters Paintner, The Wisdom of Wild Grace. Paraclete Press (2020).

Closing Song: Be Still by Simon de Voil

Please note: All of the Opening and Closing Songs are published on CDs in the Abbey of the Arts collection. In addition, these songs have accompanying gesture prayers and/or dances created by Betsey Beckman that can be found on the corresponding DVD (each album has a DVD companion).  The Psalm Opening, Doxology, and the Response to the Prayers of Concern also have accompanying congregational gestures. The audio and video recordings of these are available at AbbeyoftheArts.com.