Day 7: The Practice of Coming Home

Video, Audio and Written Guides for Morning and Evening Prayer

Morning Prayer

Video podcast release TBD

Audio podcast coming in December 2022

OPENING PRAYER
The Indian poet Tagore wrote that it is now time to sit in silence alone with the Holy One and “Sing / a re-dedication of my life.” As this part of our pilgrimage journey comes to a close we pause to honor the gifts received to share with our community as we return home again. We dedicate ourselves again to being a blessing for others.

OPENING SONG
Blessing to the World
You are the heart. You are the hands.
You are the voice of Spirit on Earth.
And who you are and all you do
Is a blessing to the world.

We are the heart, we are the hands.
We are the voice of Spirit on Earth.
And who we are, and all we do
Is a blessing to the world.
We’re a blessing to the world.
We’re a blessing to the world.

We are the heart, we are the hands.

FIRST READING: Kaitlin Curtice
I did not know that I have both a physical and a spiritual place to return to, a place that was created for me inside the breath of Mystery, just as who you are was created uniquely inside the breath of Mystery. Returning home, whether it’s a physical home or spiritual home, is holy work.

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

PSALM 36:5-10
HOLY ONE, throughout the very heavens is your faithful love,
Your faithfulness beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the eternal mountains,
your judgements are like the mighty deep;
you save humankind and animalkind alike, FAITHFUL ONE.
How precious is your faithful love, O God!
All the woman-born take shelter in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Extend your faithful love to those who know you,
and your justice to the upright of heart!

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

SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 24:28-32
They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?”

SILENT CONTEMPLATION

PRAYERS OF CONCERN

Generous God, we praise you. You have brought us to a meeting place full of your glory. Because we traveled lightly, our hands were open to carry the gifts we desire to share with others. You have given us bread and wine. May we enjoy communion with whosoever will join us at the table of plenty. May we give the fresh water you quenched our thirst with in the desert to those who crawl to us parched and weak. May we offer the milk and honey you gave us in abundance to those in need of sweetness in their lives. Thank you for all these gifts, and for open hearts to freely give them.

Sung Response – O Pilgrim God, pour out through us your blessing.

God of Pilgrims, we are so blessed, yet so often we believe “enough” is less than what we have. There are times that we count our blessings, but don’t appreciate the math. Give us attitudes of gratitude, for without it, we may cling to what we have, imprisoning ourselves, chained to worldly things. Sometimes it’s tempting to squander even the spiritual gifts you have given us, treasures for the spirit we mistakenly believe we’ve earned. Selfishness is not your way. We have returned from our journey with much. Help us to pour into the lives of those who are needy.

Sung Response – O Pilgrim God, pour out through us your blessing.

Gracious One, there is so much trouble in the world. Soon you will lead us away from this tent of meeting filled with your grace, and we will travel to unknown places once more. For now, allow us to enjoy sharing all that you gave us and taught us along the way. Beyond giving earthly sustenance, make us examples of people who follow you, models of faith, hope, love, and justice. May people see your light shine brightly in us, and as they stumble in the dark, help us to find their flailing hands, and holding fast to them lead these new travelers to you.

Sung Response – O Pilgrim God, pour out through us your blessing.

CLOSING SONG
Beauty
Let the beauty you love be what you do.
Let the beauty you love be what you do.

Beauty, beauty. Beauty, beauty.
Beauty, beauty. Beauty, beauty.

CLOSING BLESSING
Godde of Homecomings,
our lives are a pilgrimage journey
seeking the discovery of home in the world.
We travel, not in straight lines,
but in circles and spirals, revisiting old patterns
and ways of being that need healing,
trusting in life’s unfinished nature,
but also our deep desires of the heart calling us
to re-orient ourselves again and again.
Magnify our vision
so that each journey we make leads
to expanded growth and wisdom.
Help us to continue to dive into
the refreshing river of life,
allowing the current to carry us closer to you.
Carve out in us a space for both grief and joy,
so we may meet life with eyes and heart wide open.
Remind us of the ancient pilgrims we travel with,
seeking an experience of you beyond boundaries
drawing us closer to our own wild edges.
Those moments when we do arrive home,
give us the deep rest we desire,
where we remember your presence in all that we do.

SUNG AMEN

Credits

All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer: Written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song:  Blessing to the World by Karen Drucker from the album Monk in the World: Songs for Contemplative Living

First Reading: Kaitlin Curtice, Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God, Brazos Press, 2020. page 15.

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

Psalm Translation: Wilda C. Gafney, A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church © 2021 Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY 10016, used by permission. (Year W) page 38.

Second Reading: Luke 24:28-32. Scripture quotation is from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Prayers of Concern: Written by Claudia Love Mair

Sung Response:  Tune by Betsey Beckman, lyrics by Christine Valters Paintner and Simon de Voil, sung by Simon de Voil and Alexa Sunshine Rose

Closing Song:  Beauty by Betsey Beckman from the album Monk in the World: Songs for Contemplative Living

Closing Blessing: Written by Christine Valters Paintner to companion her book The Soul of a Pilgrim  (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

Video podcast release TBD

Audio podcast coming in December 2022

OPENING PRAYER
The poet R.S. Thomas wrote that the point of our journeys were not to arrive somewhere, but to “return home / laden with pollen you shall work up / into honey.” As we welcome the evening of our final day we rest into the sweetness of all that has come to us in this pilgrimage, knowing the gifts will continue to reveal themselves over time.

OPENING SONG
The World is My Monastery
Ooh … The world is my home
Ooh … The world is my heart
Ooh … The world is my monastery
My monastery

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

PSALM 31:1-5
In you, WOMB OF LIFE, I take refuge;
let me not ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness rescue me.
Incline your ear to me;
quickly deliver me.
Be for me a rock of refuge,
a stronghold to save me.
For you are my rock and my stronghold;
for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, ARK OF SAFETY, God of truth.

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

READING OF THE NIGHT: Judith Smith
My final question, “How will I know when I have reached the destination?” brings me full circle, and I face the Mystery again. Perhaps the truth is that we never arrive, not because the journey is too long and too difficult but because we have been there all along. I am coming to believe that there is no final destination except to continue to be on the journey and to know that every place along the way is a holy place because God is present. I believe that God is calling us to stand on our own ground and know that it is holy and let our roots grow deep. And yet at the same time, the journey goes on. It is a paradox, I know, but perhaps we are traveling most faithfully when we know ourselves to be most at home.

CLOSING POEM
How to Be a Pilgrim

Air travel is like
ancient pilgrims walking on their
knees, flight delays and narrow seats
offer their own kind of penance.

You jettison excess baggage,
leaving behind the heavy makeup case,
knowing the rain will
wash you free of artifice.

Books you wanted to carry left too,
no more outside words needed,
then go old beliefs which keep
you taut and twisted inside.

Blistered feet stumble over rocky
fields covered with wildflowers and you
realize this is your life,
full of sharp stones and color.

Red-breasted robins call forth
the song already inside,
a hundred griefs break open under
dark clouds and downpour.

Rise and fall of elation and exhaustion,
the tides a calendar of unfolding,
a bright star rises and you remember
a loved one waiting miles away.

A new hunger is kindled by the sight of
cows nursing calves in a field,
spying a spotted pony, you forget
the weight and seriousness of things.

Salmon swim across the Atlantic,
up the River Corrib’s rapids to the
wide lake, and you wonder if you have
also been called here for death and birth.

This is why we journey:
to retrieve our lost intimacy with the world,
every creature a herald of poems
that sleep in streams and stones.

“Missing you” scrawled on a postcard sent home,
but you don’t follow with
“wish you were here.”
This is a voyage best made alone.

CLOSING SONG
Following the River Home
Refrain:
Following the river home, I’m following the river home.
Following the river home, we’re following the river home.
Following the river home. Following the river home.

Credits

All songs and texts used with permission

Opening Prayer: Written by Christine Valters Paintner

Opening Song: The World Is My Monastery by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan from the album Singing with Monks and Mystics

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

Psalm Translation: Wilda C. Gafney, A Woman’s Lectionary for the Whole Church © 2021 Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY 10016, (Year W) page 270.

Reading of the Night: Judith E. Smith, from “This Ground is Holy Ground” in Weavings Journal

Closing Poem: “How to Be a Pilgrim” written by Christine Valters Paintner from Dreaming of Stones: Poems, Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA, 2019. page 48.

Closing Song: Following the River Home by Lorraine Bayes from the album Earth, Our Original Monastery: Singing Our Way to the Sacred

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.