Day 6: Theotokos & Mystical Rose

Video, Audio and Written Guides for Morning and Evening Prayer

Morning Prayer: Theotokos

Video podcast coming in June 2023

OPENING PRAYER
Theotokos, you are God-bearer, source of life and nourishment, unconditional love and care. This morning we celebrate your generous flow of abundance and grace. You gaze with loving wonder at all we are able to imagine and offer through our creative actions. We cry out in moments of laboring, wondering if this journey is worth it. Stay by our side until our sacred creation has been released into the world. Support us in giving birth to what is gestating within, not needing to reach or stive- but seeing ourselves as perfectly loved, perfectly enough.

OPENING SONGWe Are Bringing God to Birth

FIRST READING: Elizabeth A. Johnson
Mary’s mothering has the potential to promote the ‘ripeness of maturity’ that enhances the dignity of all women who nurture and serve the life of others, whether biologically or in other ways . . . . We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.

SUNG PSALM OPENING
O Beauty, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. (Repeat)

PSALM 93
You have put on beautiful clothes, Holy One –
This amazing universe!
You have made the nothingness solid
with an intricate web of laws
And brought life into being by your love
to evolve its own forms and find its own heart.
From everlasting to everlasting you Are.

Louder than the pounding waves
Larger than the sea
Is your voice whispering, still and small, in our hearts.

SUNG DOXOLOGY
Glory to the Maker, Lover, and Keeper; as ago, in this breath, and will be ever. Amen, Amen.

As we receive the gift of scripture this morning, let us encounter with awe the gift of holy birthing and God becoming flesh.

SECOND READING: The Gospel According to Luke (2:6-7 – NRSV)
While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

SILENT CONTEMPLATION

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

God of surprises, you placed a tiny spark of human life within a young woman entrusting her to carry it until you were ready to birth new life into the world. We thank you for Mary’s trust. We thank you for her quiet ‘yes’ to this inexplicable mystery which changed everything that had yet to be birthed. Open our hearts to the surprising movement of your spirit. May our “yes” be our faithful response to the myriad ways you call us to carry your divine spark. Through us, birth your life-giving creativity, joy and love.

SUNG RESPONSE
Theotokos, be our guide. Creator God, empower us.

O Mary, bearer of God’s good news for the poor and oppressed, our hearts rejoice as you sing your Magnificat. You sing with disregard for convention and shock those in power. You give voice to God’s longing for justice. You are a risk-taker, courageous and bold. Inspired by you, we join our voices in a global chorus for justice, praying that it crescendos until it is too loud to be ignored by those in power.

SUNG RESPONSE
Theotokos, be our guide. Creator God, empower us.

Mary, Mother of Peace, you embodied heaven’s love and witnessed to God’s maternal compassion. Open our hearts to all who are suffering. Use our hands to reach out with your love to offer support to those fleeing the war. Use our voices to urge our political leaders to seek peace. Use our feet to stand in solidarity with refugees and all engaged in humanitarian response. Use our whole bodies to carry your hope into our world, especially to the mothers and fathers who are besides themselves with worry and fear for their children.

SUNG RESPONSE
Theotokos, be our guide. Creator God, empower us.

Please add the prayers you are longing to express.

SUNG RESPONSE
Theotokos, be our guide. Creator God, empower us.

CLOSING SONGBehold, I Make All Things New

CLOSING BLESSING
Mary, you were called
to become a bearer of God,
to carry the weight and lightness
as heaven and earth joined
together in the holy child.
Blessed was your yes,
sacred was your womb,
divine was its fruit.
Be with us as we too
are called to be God-bearers.
Bless us as we birth the holy
into the world,
as we carry the weight
of our callings and gifts,
as we feel both their heaviness
and lightness, gravity and flight.
May we know ourselves as thresholds between,
flesh infused with spirit’s radiance.
Mary, come be a midwife for our wild dreaming,
support us as we birth a new promise into the world.
Help us to breathe through our labor,
to feel the quickening of our hearts as we bring
to fruition, all that has been growing inside of us.
Place this creation into our arms
so we might behold the fruit
we have brought to fullness
in partnership with God.

SUNG AMEN

Credits

All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner, arranged by Melinda Thomas

Opening Song: We Are Bringing God to Birth by Betsey Beckman from the album Birthing the Holy: Singing with Mary and the Sacred Feminine

First Reading from Elizabeth A. Johnson, Truly Our Sister. (New York: Continuum, 2009), 34

Sung Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan from the album Monk in the World: Songs for Contemplative Living

Interpretation of Psalm 93 by Rev. Christine Robinson

Second Reading from The Gospel According to Luke (2:6-7 – NRSV)

Prayers of Concern written by Valerie Allen

SUNG RESPONSE based on Litany of Mary by Laura Ash. Adapted & recorded by Simon de Voil and Alexa Sunshine Rose.

Closing Song: Behold, I Make All Things New by Alana Levandoski from the album Monk in the World: Songs for Contemplative Living

Closing Blessing written by Christine Valters Paintner from Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and  Renewal used with permission from Ave Maria Press

Please note: All of the songs and prayer responses are published on CDs in the Abbey of the Arts collection. In addition, these songs & responses 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).  Audio and video recordings of the Prayer Cycles are available at AbbeyoftheArts.com.

Evening Prayer: Mystical Rose

Video podcast coming in June 2023

OPENING PRAYER
Mary, Mystical Rose, open up our own inner mystical vision so we may see the sacred beneath the surface of things. You are the mediatrix that brings heaven and earth together. Like the slow opening of rose petals, unfold within us grace beyond imagining. With your thorns you create protection. Guard us and hold steady our boundaries are we move through the spiral way of blossoming into the world.

OPENING SONGMaria Wanders Through the Thorns

SUNG PSALM OPENING
O Beauty, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. (Repeat)

PSALM 87
The whole earth is holy
loved into being with delight.
The earth is beautiful
every mountain, every bush, every fish.
Love encompasses all
Love encompasses all.
Give thanks and praise, use it well
and dance the holy dance.

SUNG DOXOLOGY
Glory to the Maker, Lover, and Keeper; as ago, in this breath, and will be ever. Amen, Amen.

READING OF THE NIGHT: John Henry Newman
It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory. And Mary is the Queen of them. She is the Queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore, is called the Rose, for the rose is called of all flowers the most beautiful.

SILENT CONTEMPLATION

CLOSING SONGLitany of Guadalupe

CLOSING BLESSING
Blessed Mary, Mystical Rose,
you unfold your petals slowly
revealing your mysteries one by one.
The color of passion,
the fragrance of bliss soft like a warm embrace,
reveal to us our own soul’s flowering.
Abide with us as we wait on the buds to open
a journey from holding everything
close to our hearts to the fullness
of opening and offering our gifts to the world.
Rose is medicine for the heart,
tender of traumas, healer of wounds,
a place for grief to soften.
Be our medicine, bring our hearts alive again.
Steady us as we learn to breathe
more deeply and to dance
like petals blowing in the breeze
releasing the perfume of kindness
out into the world.

SUNG AMEN

Credits

All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner, arranged by Melinda Thomas

Opening Song: Maria Wanders Through the Thorns (traditional) sung by Kristy Karen Smith from the album Birthing the Holy: Singing with Mary and the Sacred Feminine

Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan from the album Monk in the World: Songs for Contemplative Living

Interpretation of Psalm 87 by Rev. Christine Robinson

Reading of the Night from Cardinal John Henry Newman

Closing Song: Litany of Guadalupe by Tomás Pascual (1595-1635), adapted by Laura Ash, from the album Birthing the Holy: Singing with Mary and the Sacred Feminine

Closing Blessing written by Christine Valters Paintner from Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and  Renewal used with permission from Ave Maria Press

Please note: All of the songs and prayer responses are published on CDs in the Abbey of the Arts collection. In addition, these songs & responses 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).  Audio and video recordings of the Prayer Cycles are available at AbbeyoftheArts.com.