Day 2: Hospitality

Video, Audio and Written Guides for Morning and Evening Prayer

Morning Prayer

Video Podcast Coming Soon

ETA Autumn 2021

OPENING PRAYER

Let us begin this day by committing to radical acts of hospitality and welcoming the stranger both without and within. As St. Benedict writes in his Rule: “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for him himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”   (Rule of St. Benedict 53:1)

OPENING SONG

Blessing the Breath of God

 

FIRST READING: John Chryssavgis

“If God is right there in the midst of our struggle, then our aim is to stay there.  We are to remain in the cell, to stay on the road, not to forego the journey or forget the darkness. It is all too easy for us to overlook the importance of struggle, preferring instead to secure peace and rest, or presuming to reach the stage of love prematurely.  It is always easier to allow things to pass by, to go on without examination and effort.  Yet, struggling means living.  It is a way of fully living life and not merely observing it.  It takes much time and a great effort to unite the disparate, disjointed, and divided parts of the self into an integrated whole.”

SUNG PSALM OPENING

O Justice, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. (Repeat)

PSALM 56

Have mercy on me, O God,

I am hounded by inner voices—

Anger, shame, anxiety, disappointment, untoward pride.

All day long, they assault and oppress me.

 

When they scatter me, I will put my trust in you.

Your Oneness brings me back to oneness.

In God I trust and will not be afraid,

for what can mere voices do to me?

 

All day long, they work against me.

They band together and lie in wait.

“My people”, some call them.

I am persecuted by my people.

 

You have noted my misery,

put my tears in your bottle.

Are they not recorded in your book?

Whenever I call on you, you will scatter “my people”.

Bring me to centeredness in myself and in You

I am bound by the vow I made to You, O God,

I am grateful and will live my life in gratitude.

For you have rescued my soul from dissipation

and my feet from stumbling.

Thank you.

 

SUNG DOXOLOGY

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

SECOND READING: Genesis 18:1-8

God appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, ‘My lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.’ So they said, ‘Do as you have said.’ And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.’ Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

SILENT CONTEMPLATION

PRAYERS OF CONCERN

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

(We place our hands on our hearts) Holy One, you planted your image deep in our hearts.  You gaze upon our divine beauty with eyes of love.  But despite this holding, voices rise up within us causing us to question our worth and doubt our desirability.  Open our hearts to practice inner hospitality and to welcome the wonder of who we are, your beloved.

Sung Response – O God of Love, extend through us your welcome.

 

(We reach our hands out in front of us) Welcoming One, you set a place at your table for the outcast and stranger.  Create a space within us and fill it with compassion for those in our communities who are marginalised or excluded.  Open our ears to listen to their experiences and guide our actions as together we set a table at which everyone may feast.

 

Sung Response – O God of Love, extend through us your welcome.

 

(We reach our hands out to the side) Encircling One, you envelop all peoples in love and desire for us peace and wholeness.  Hear our cries for the men, women and children whose reality is different, for those fleeing their countries and homes in search of safety.  Yet even in our powerlessness, we turn to you and trust your call to do justice and love kindness.  Open our imaginations as we seek ways to welcome with love the refugee, asylum seeker, and those who have experienced violence.  May our hospitality be grounded in a mutual sharing of gifts and wisdom.

 

Sung Response – O God of Love, extend through us your welcome.

 

Please add the prayers you are longing to express.

Sung Response – O God of Love, extend through us your welcome.

 

CLOSING SONG

Welcome in the Stranger

 

CLOSING BLESSING

Holy Presence of God,
you shimmer in every stranger I encounter
whether in the world or in my heart.

When you came in human form

you sat at table with all those who walked the edges

of life and knew their presence as sacred.

Create in me a space to welcome in

all that is hard and disorienting,

those moments when I feel lost, angry,

heartbroken, overwhelmed, ashamed,

joyful, grieving, or in love with life.

Help me to honor the guests who arrive at the door,
to usher in the grace that newness offers

and find Christ’s compassionate presence there.
May your infinite compassion grow in me

the way sunlight spills across a field,

and include everyone in that loving embrace.

 

SUNG AMEN

Credits

All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song: Blessing the Breath of God by Denise Pyles

First Reading from John Chryssavgis, In the Heart of the Desert.

Bloomington, IN: World Wisdom, Inc. (2008),

Sung Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Interpretation of Psalm 56 by Rev. Christine Robinson

Second Reading from Genesis 18:1-8 (NRSV)

Prayers of Concern written by Valerie Allen

Sung Response by Betsey Beckman

Closing Song: Welcome in the Stranger by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Closing Blessing: 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

Video Podcast Coming Soon

ETA Autumn 2021

OPENING PRAYER

As we come to the end of this day, let us reflect on those moments when we encountered strangeness today. When did we feel most disoriented, most out of our element? Where did we meet the face of the Holy One in these moments? What longing is still knocking on the door of our hearts?

OPENING SONG

Listen to My Sighing

SUNG PSALM OPENING

O Justice, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. (Repeat)

PSALM  122 -The Temple

I was glad when they said to me,

Let us go to a sacred place

A place where the divine is

to give thanks.

 

Though I know

That God is everywhere, I go gladly.

 

I pray for peace, here and in all the places of earth.

Peace in Jerusalem, peace in Baghdad,

peace in Albuquerque.

Peace and Justice. Peace for my friends,

peace for my adversaries.

I seek what is good for all for the sake of Peace.

 

SUNG DOXOLOGY

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

READING OF THE NIGHT: Nicholas Black Elk

Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.

SILENT CONTEMPLATION

CLOSING POEM: St. Kevin Holds Open His Hand

Imagine being like Kevin.

Your grasping fist softens,

fingers uncurl and

palms open, rest upward,

and the blackbird

weaves twigs and straw and bits of string

in the bowl of your hand,

you feel the delicate weight of

speckled blue orbs descend,

and her feathered warmth

settling in.

 

How many days can you stay,

open,

waiting

for the shell

to fissure and crack,

awaiting the slow emergence

of tiny gaping mouths

and slick wings

that need time to strengthen?

 

Are you willing to wait and watch?

Not to withdraw your

affections too soon?

Can you fall in love with the

exquisite ache in your arms

knowing the hatching it holds?

 

Can you stay not knowing

how broad those wings will

become, or how they will fly

awkwardly at first,

then soar above you

 

until you have become the sky

and all that remains is

your tiny shadow

swooping across the earth.

 

CLOSING SONG

Open Hand

Credits

All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song: Listen to My Sighing by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Psalm Opening and Doxology by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Interpretation of Psalm 122 by Rev. Christine Robinson

Reading of the Night from Nicholas Black ElkBlack Elk Speaks. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press (2014).

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

Closing Song: Open Hand by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

 

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 and Doxology also have accompanying congregational gestures. The audio and video recordings of these are available at AbbeyoftheArts.com.