Day 2: Earth as the Original Scriptures

Video, Audio and Written Guides for Morning and Evening Prayer

Morning Prayer

Opening Prayer: Let us remember this day, Earth as the big book of revelation and our original scripture text. May the continuous turning of the leaves from green to amber and ruby to their surrender to the ground again remind us of our own cycles and rhythms.

Opening Song: Turn Me Earth

First Reading: John Scotus Eriugena

For the divine knowledge cannot be restored in us except by the letters of scripture and the sight of creatures. Learn the words of scripture and understand their meaning in your soul; there you will discover the Word. Know the forms and beauty of sensible things by your physical senses, and see there the Word of God.

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

Psalm Prayer: Psalm 147

It is good to sing praises to you, Mother of all creation,
And to recognize the touch of your love.
You bring us home, help us heal,
You love your creation
You call every one of your stars by name.
You bless the young, the poor, the ill
You wait forever for the lost to turn to you.
Your love is music to our hearts, and we sing.
You are in the clouds that darken the sky
You send the rain which gives us life.
The cycles of the seasons and the growth of the plants are your delight.
You provide food for the wild animals; even the young ravens when they cry.
You love the horse’s proud strength and the athlete’s prowess.
You crave our love and attention.
And so we pray.
We give thanks for life, for children, for the beauty of the snow that lies soft in the morning.
We give thanks for the storm, the hail, scattered like popcorn on the grass.
We are in awe of your power.
When the seasons turn, the growing warmth reminds us of your warmth
The flowing waters remind us of the life which comes from you.
Thank you, Mother of us all, help us
to keep your love in our hearts and to love your creation.

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

Second Reading: Bernard of Clairvaux

Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters.

Silent Contemplation

Prayers of Concern

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

We ask your forgiveness O Creator, for when we deface your word by the desecration of the Natural world. May we hold the planet in the same reverence as we hold any holy text, knowing it is as much your word as those written in ink.

Sung Response – O God of Earth, reveal to us your Wisdom.

Thank you that you are a God who speaks to us. May we fully open our senses to hear your voice, in the song of the winged ones or in the sound of the wind in the trees. May we hear your whisper in the rain wet on our cheeks, your call of passion in the bushfire’s fury.

Sung Response – O God of Earth, reveal to us your Wisdom.

Help us learn of your ways through the seasons of the year. Teach us to know when to plant seeds of hope, nurture love and to see the harvest in our lives and the lives of others. Forgive us for being addicted to growth and production. Teach us the wisdom of fallow times and the beauty to be found in the darkness of winter.

Sung Response – O God of Earth, reveal to us your Wisdom.

Please add the prayers you are longing to express.

Sung Response – O God of Earth, reveal to us your Wisdom.

Closing Song: Song of Brigid

Closing Blessing

May our eyes be opened to the Word of God
scribed on every leaf and petal,
on every wing and paw.

As the seasons unfold in their vibrant dance of change
may we hear the call from their pages
to blossom forth, to bear fruit,
to surrender and yield, to rest into mystery.

Let the journey of caterpillar to moth
teach you the path of transformation
Let the patience of mountains and singing of stones
give guidance for what it means to endure.
Let the rise and fall of the sun and moon
circling the blue-tiled sky
teach you about journeys to fullness
and to rest and release.

May Holy Wisdom be revealed in each season,
reading grace at every turn.

Sung Amen

Credits

Credits: All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song: Turn Me Earth by Peter Mayer

First Reading from John Scotus Eriugena. Quoted in Mary C. Earle. Celtic Christian Spirituality: Essential Writings — Annotated & Explained SkyLight Paths Publishing (2011) p. 75.

Sung Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Interpretation of Psalm 147 by Rev. Christine Robinson

Second Reading from Bernard of Clairvaux. Quoted in Epistola CVI, sect. 2; translation from Edward Churton The Early English Church (1840) p. 324.

Prayers of Concern written by Polly Burns

Sung Response by Betsey Beckman

Closing Song: Song of Brigid by Laura Ash

Closing Blessing: Earth as the Original Scripture 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.

Evening Prayer

Opening Prayer: The poet William Stafford invited us to consider the continuous scripture of leaves and the poet Kabir said that leaves on the trees can teach us like scripture when our eyes and ears are open. We pray in gratitude today for all the ways our senses were awakened to the revelation all around us.

Opening Song: Seed of Life

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

Psalm 19

The being and beauty of the universe
declares the Glory of God.
No words are necessary.
Contemplation of nature revives my soul.

When I view this as unspoken teaching, I am wise.
When I align myself with Love my heart rejoices
This enlightenment is more to be desired than gold.
It is sweeter than honey, and my great reward.

Cleanse me of my secret faults and presumptuous sins
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart
Be acceptable in thy sight, O God my strength
and my redeemer”.

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

Reading of the NightFyodor Dostoevsky

Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light.  Love the animals, love the plants, love everything.  If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things . . . When you are left alone, pray.  Love to throw yourself on the earth and kiss it. Kiss the earth and love it with an unceasing, consuming love.

Silent Contemplation

Closing Poem: Original Poetry

The mountains stand
as guardians of eternity
against a mottled sky,
the tide withdraws,
then turns, approaches me
like a shy lover,
each morning the sun
appears once again
and buttercups open
their lemon mouths to sing
of light and I can almost believe
resurrection is possible,
can almost see the world is a poem
hiding under the fragile stem
of flower that bows at the force
of the coming storm.

Closing Song: Oscaill Mo Chroi

Credits

Credits: All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song: Seed of Life by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Interpretation of Psalm 19 by the Rev. Christine Robinson

Reading of the Night from Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.  Wordsworth Editions (2007) p. 352 and 356.

Closing Poem by Christine Valters PaintnerThe Wisdom of Wild Grace. Paraclete Press (2020).

Closing Song: Oscaill Mo Chroi by Deirdre Ni Chinneide

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.