Church Stuff-More or less

Does the church make sense or do we make it too hard for people to come in? I think yes and yes and the task then is to make it easier. Maybe for someone out there, this will be the case. I write as a Lutheran (or, perhaps a Lutherpalian) although I might seem out of the mainstream from time to time. That's okay, isn't it? Let's blog on.

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Location: Northport, Long Island, United States

Contrary to what Google will tell you, I have been blogging for several year, right here. Look for Churchstuff-moreorless. life was a hell of a lot easier when you could talk to someone to get help. Now, you can't do it on the telephone, you can't do it on the internet. Life was easier and made more sense because people actually cared. Now they will screw you as quickly as they will help you. Unfuck the world.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Eucharistic Prayer for the Feast of Constance and her companions, Martyrs of Memphis (September 9)

It is truly right and a good and joyful thing 
that we should at all times and in all places, 
offer our thanks and praise to you, 
Holy God through Christ our Lord.

You founded human communities so that the needs of the poor, the sick, and the disenfranchised might be met. 
You promise to be with us, in sickness and in health, even unto death.  

We praise you for servants who respond to your call, especially those who risk all to be present with the less fortunate in their midst.

And so with the Church on earth, 
with Constance, Amelia, Thecla, Hughetta, and all the hosts of heaven, 
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
The Sanctus is said or sung.

P: You are indeed holy, O God, 
and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.  
He came into the world that he might reconcile all creation to you, 
even to the point of laying down his life 
that we might be restored and given the gift of everlasting life.

By the baptism of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection, 
you gave birth to your church, 
delivered us from slavery to sin and death, 
and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

On the night before he suffered death,
our Lord Jesus gathered his friends around
the table and as he took bread, he offered thanks to you; 
breaking it, and giving it to all of them, saying: 
“Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” 

After all of them had eaten, 
he again took the cup and offered thanks to you, 
and gave it for all to drink, saying: 
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness
of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.” 

And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, 
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, 
in union with Christ’s offering for us, 
as we proclaim the mystery of faith: 
Christ has died. 
Christ has risen.
Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here and on these gifts of bread and wine. 
As they are the body and blood of Christ for us, 
so may we be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood. 

Inspire us to follow the examples of the saints that our eyes might be opened to the needs
of others.

By your Spirit bind us to Christ,
one to another, 
together in ministry to all the world, 
until Christ comes in final victory 
and we feast at the heavenly banquet. 

Through your son Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit in your holy church, 
all honor and glory is yours, 
Almighty God, now and forever. 

And now, as God’s confident children, we boldly pray: 
Our Father in heaven...

Author’s note: In 1873 a group of sisters of the Sisterhood
of St. Mary went to Memphis, Tennessee, at the request of
Bishop Charles T. Quintard, to establish a school for girls
adjacent to the Cathedral of St. Mary. They were
confronted by an epidemic of yellow fever and began to
care for the sick. Yellow fever returned in 1878. The sisters
stayed in Memphis to continue to minister to the sick
while others fled the city. Sister Constance and six other
Sisters of St. Mary, Sister Clare of the Society of St.
Margaret in Boston, and a number of Memphis clergy
ministered to the victims of the deadly disease. More than
5,000 people died, including Sister Constance on
September 9, 1878, Sister Thecla on September 12, Sister
Ruth on September 17, and Sister Francis on October 4.


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