lundi 6 décembre 2010

Advent worship - waiting for light

“The True light that gives light to everyone”
Service for the Second Week of Advent
Visit of the China Christian Council
Praying through the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle for
Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal
6 December 2010

Musical rehearsal
Words of Welcome
Call to Worship

This is the season of holy waiting.
We wait for the time when the desert will bloom abundantly.
We watch for the day when all God’s people will come together with singing.
We wait while the dawning light appears on the horizon.
Come let us walk in the light of God!

Advent hymn
Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh! Viens Jésus, oh! Viens Emmanuel !
Nous dévoiler le monde fraternel,
Où ton amour plus fort que la mort,
Nous régénère au sein d’un même corps.
Chantez, Chantez, il vient à notre appel
Combler nos cœurs Emmanuel. !

Oh! Viens Jésus tracer notre chemin;
Visite-nous étoile du matin.
Au fond de nos regards fais monter
L’éclat soudain du jour d’éternité.
Chantez, Chantez, il vient à notre appel
Combler nos cœurs Emmanuel !

Oh, come, O Key of David, come,
and open wide our heav'nly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path of misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

God of patience and longing may the light of your truth enter our hearts,
that we may see more clearly what promise your coming holds out for us and have the courage to live our lives for you.
Send your Holy Spirit upon us and bless us with your inspiration.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sung Response: Kindle a flame to lighten the dark and take all fear away
(candles can be lit)
Advent Antiphones
O wisdom, coming forth from the Most High,
filling all creation and reigning to the ends of the earth;
come and teach us the way of truth. Amen.
Come, Lord Jesus.

O Lord of Lords, and ruler of the House of Israel,
you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush, and gave him the law on Sinai:
come with your outstretched arm and ransom us. Amen.
Come Lord Jesus.

O root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the nations;
kings will keep silence before you for whom the nations long;
come and save us and delay no longer. Amen.
Come, Lord Jesus.

O key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and none can shut; you shut and none can open:
come and free the captives from prison, and break down the walls of death. Amen.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Sung Response: Kindle a flame to lighten the dark and take all fear away

O morning star, splendour of the light eternal and bright sun of righteousness:
come and bring light to those who dwell in darkness and walk in the shadow of death. Amen.
Come, Lord Jesus.

O king of the nations, you alone can fulfil their desires: cornerstone, binding all together: come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust of the earth. Amen.
Come, Lord Jesus.

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, hope of the nations and their saviour:
come and save us, O Lord our God. Amen.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Sung Response: Kindle a flame to lighten the dark and take all fear away

Bible Reading - Genesis 50:15-21
Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?’ So they approached Joseph, saying, ‘Your father gave this instruction before he died, “Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.” Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, ‘We are here as your slaves.’ But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.’ In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

Please rise to sing Hale, Hale hale luya ~Thuma Mina 55
and remain standing for the gospel reading

Gospel Reading - John 1:1-9
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Reprise Hale Hale Hale luja


(Through the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle this week we pray for the peoples and churches of Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal)

For the darkness of waiting
of not knowing what is to come
of staying ready and quiet and attentive,
we praise you, O God:
For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

Sung Response: Lumière de Dieu (Thuma Mina 150 - in French)

For the darkness of staying silent
for the terror of having nothing to say
and with a greater terror
of needing to say nothing,
we praise you, O God:
For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

Sung Response: Lumière de Dieu (Thuma Mina 150 - in French)

For the darkness of loving
in which it is safe to surrender
to let go of our self-protection
and to stop holding back our desire,
we praise you, O God:
For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

Sung Response: Lumière de Dieu (Thuma Mina 150 - in French)

For the darkness of hoping
in a world which longs to you,
for the wrestling and the labouring of all creation
for wholeness and justice and freedom,
we praise you, O God:
For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

Sung Response: Lumière de Dieu (Thuma Mina 150 - in French)

Let us pray for the unity of the Church and the unity of creation; for all who work that the world may be one; for the work and witness of the Church throughout the world
In silence and aloud we offer our prayers for the world, for our friends and enemies, for ourselves
Silence or free prayer

Gathered together by the Holy Spirit we say the Lord’s Prayer, each in our own language.

Please rise for the sending
Au commencement était la parole!
In the beginning was the Word
Am Anfang war das Wort
In the beginning was the Word

Follow, where the Spirit of Hope leads us.
Listen, as the Child of Peace cries for us.
Rejoice, as the love of God embraces us
and let us go with Hope, Peace and Love in our hearts
and the blessing of the Triune God
Creator, Child and Spirit for ever within us.

Song: Siyahamba ~ we are walking in the light of God ~ Thuma Mina 107;
sung first in Zulu then in English

dimanche 31 octobre 2010

An order of morning prayer for All Saints Day

Morning Prayers in the Ecumenical Centre
All Saints Day Monday 1 November 2010
Praying with the peoples and churches of
Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Greetings and call to worship

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together. (Psalm 34)

Bless the Lord my soul and bless God’s Holy name
Bless the Lord my soul, who leads me into life

Prayer of confession
Compassionate God, forgive us for the times we do not follow the path of your son Jesus Christ and forget or despise our brothers and sisters.
Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

God of Forgiveness,
Help us to treat everyone fairly and with dignity. Teach us your way of love.
Christ, have mercy
Christ, have mercy

Loving God, have patience with us even when we make wrong choices.
Clothe us with your righteousness.
Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

Words of forgiveness
Hear and believe the good news of the gospel:
God is love, and in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Thanks be to the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Amen.

Sing: Bless the Lord my soul and bless God’s Holy name
Bless the Lord my soul, who leads me into life

Ephesians 2:19-22
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

Please rise to sing Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona – Thuma Mina 114 –
and remain standing for the gospel reading

Gospel reading Matthew 5: 1.12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Sing Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona – Thuma Mina 114

Reflection By Canon John Gibaut

Prayers of remembrance and intercession
God of mercy and compassion
As we gather our hearts and minds in prayer grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may be united in prayer with the peoples of Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As we remember them we pray for healing:
of memories, of injured bodies and minds, of relationships.
O Lord hear our Prayer

God of peace and justice
We pray for all victims of war, for the living and for the dead.
In the face of genocide, of rape, of grinding poverty and outrageous greed
We pray for peace, for transformation and an end to weeping
O Lord hear our prayer

God of eternity
We remember and give thanks for all who have inspired us on the journey of life and faith. For their love and work and witness we give you thanks. In the silence of our hearts and aloud we name them: (names are read – please feel free to add names)

The Lord’s Prayer said in our different languages

Sing: La Paz del Señor – Thuma Mina 187
verse 1 in Spanish, verse 2 in German verse 3 in English verse 4 in French

Closing responses
On our hearts and our houses
The blessing of God
In our coming and our going
The peace of God
In our life and believing
The love of God
At our end and new beginning
The arms of God to welcome us and bring us home. Amen
(From the Iona Community)

Bilingual service of Psalms and music for Haiti

What follows is the order of service for the Psalms for Haiti servicet/concert we were fortunate to attend last night.
The music was amazing.

Le 12 janvier 2010, Haïti, un pays de près de 10 millions d’habitants, a été secoué par un puissant tremblement de terre. Bien qu’il n’ait duré pas plus de 35 secondes, il a tué plus de 300’000 personnes et en a blessé tout autant. Plus de 1,5 million de personnes ont dû être déplacées et, au total, 15 % de la population nationale a été directement affectée. Le cœur économique et administratif du pays, Port-au-Prince, et les villes avoisinantes ont été gravement touchés, les habitations, l’infrastructure, les bâtiments publics et les entreprises ayant subi des dommages considérables. Plus de 1’300 établissements d’enseignement et au moins 50 hôpitaux et centres de santé se sont écroulés ou sont devenus inutilisables. Aujourd’hui encore, environ 1,3 millions de personnes vivent dans 1’300 sites d’hébergement temporaires à Port-au-Prince, dont l’un se trouve dans l’enceinte de la cathédrale épiscopale de la Sainte-Trinité.
Le Plan d’action pour le relèvement et le développement national d’Haïti fixe des orientations pour la reconstruction territoriale, économique, sociale et institutionnelle et met l’accent sur la réhabilitation de l’infrastructure et des institutions étatiques. Cependant, rien n’est prévu pour reconstruire la vie des personnes touchées, ni pour rétablir des institutions privées pourvoyeuses de services indispensables à la population d’Haïti.
La cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité est l’une de ces institutions. Non seulement elle est le cœur de l’Eglise épiscopale d’Haïti, mais son rayonnement va bien au-delà de sa paroisse. Le complexe comprenait autrefois trois écoles et un couvent, ainsi que la cathédrale, dont les murs ornés de scènes bibliques peintes par de célèbres artistes haïtiens du 20e siècle lui avait valu une renommée mondiale. La reconstruction de la cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité et de son complexe est devenue un symbole national de résurrection et de résistance face à l’adversité, d’une façon qu’aucun plan gouvernemental ne saurait rendre.

On 12 January 2010, Haiti, a country of almost 10 million inhabitants, was struck by a massive earthquake. Although it lasted for only 35 seconds, it killed more than 300,000 people and displaced 1.5 million, affecting about 15% of the population. The country’s economic and administrative heart, Port-au-Prince and nearby towns, suffered extensive damage to housing, infrastructure, public buildings and businesses. Over 1,300 educational institutions and more than 50 hospitals and health centres collapsed or became unusable. Today 1.3 million people are still living in some 1,300 temporary shelters in Port-au-Prince, one of which is in the compound of Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
The Action Plan for the national recovery and development of Haiti provides a road map for territorial, economic, social and institutional rebuilding and focuses on the reconstruction of infrastructure and state institutions. But none of this foresees the reconstruction of people’s lives, nor the rebuilding of private institutions that provided key services to the people of Haiti.
Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince is an example of such an institution. It is not only the heart of the Episcopal Church of Haiti but has an outreach far beyond the Episcopalian community. The complex once contained three schools and a convent, as well as the cathedral church with its world-renowned murals depicting biblical stories in Haitian motifs, crafted by some of the best-known Haitian painters of the 20th century. Rebuilding the Cathedral and its complex has become a national symbol of resurrection and resilience in the face of adversity in a manner that no governmental plan could ever capture.

Psalms for Haiti

Prelude “Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott” (BWV 651) J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

Welcome / Mot de bienvenue Mme Claudine Haenni-Dale
Anglican UN Office, Geneva

Processional hymn / Hymne d’ouverture (based on Psalm 90)

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home.

En ton amour, comme des fous,
les saints se sont jetés ;
ce même amour, saignant pour tous,
est notre vérité.

Before the hills in order stood,
or earth received her frame,
from everlasting thou art God,
to endless years the same.

L’espace où s’évanouit le temps
nous mène à notre fin.
Mais tu nous tiens hors du néant,
dans l’éternel matin.

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
be thou our guard while life shall last
and our eternal home.

English: Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Français: G. de Lioncourt © Centre de Nationale Pastorale Liturgique, Paris

Prière de recueillement / Opening prayer Mme Charlotte Kuffer
Présidente de l’Eglise protestante de Genève

Psalm 130 “De profundis” Arvo Pärt (1935- )

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
LORD, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

Testimony The Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General Secretary, World Council of Churches

Psalm 42:1-3 “Like as the hart” Herbert Howells (1892-1983)

Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul is athirst for God, yea even for the living God.
When shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my meat day and night,
while they daily say unto me, “Where is now thy God?”

Coverdale translation, Book of Common Prayer (1662)

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the LORD; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Psaume 130 « De profundis » Arvo Pärt (1935- )

Des profondeurs je t’appelle, SEIGNEUR: Seigneur, entends ma voix;
que tes oreilles soient attentives à ma voix suppliante !
Si tu retiens les fautes, SEIGNEUR! Seigneur, qui subsistera ?
Mais tu disposes du pardon et l’on te craindra.
J’attends le SEIGNEUR, j’attends de toute mon âme et j’espère en sa parole.
Mon âme désire le Seigneur, plus que la garde ne désire le matin,
plus que la garde le matin.
Israël, mets ton espoir dans le SEIGNEUR, car le SEIGNEUR dispose de la grâce
et, avec largesse, du rachat.
C’est lui qui rachète Israël de toutes ses fautes.

Témoignage Le pasteur Olav Fykse Tveit
Secrétaire général du Conseil œcuménique des Eglises

Psaume 42,2-4 « Like as the hart » Herbert Howells (1892-1983)

Comme une biche se tourne vers les cours d’eau,
ainsi mon âme se tourne vers toi, mon Dieu.
J’ai soif de Dieu, du Dieu vivant : Quand pourrai-je entrer et paraître face à Dieu ?
Jour et nuit, mes larmes sont mon pain,
quand on me dit tous les jours : « Où est ton Dieu ? »

Psaume 46

Dieu est pour nous un refuge et un fort, un secours toujours offert dans la détresse.
Aussi nous ne craignons rien quand la terre bouge,
et quand les montagnes basculent au cœur des mers.
Leurs eaux grondent en écumant, elles se soulèvent et les montagnes tremblent.
Mais il est un fleuve dont les bras réjouissent la ville de Dieu,
la plus sainte des demeures du Très-Haut.
Dieu est au milieu d’elle ; elle n’est pas ébranlée.
Dieu la secourt dès le point du jour :
Des nations ont grondé, des royaumes se sont ébranlés ;
il a donné de la voix et la terre a fondu.
Le SEIGNEUR, le tout-puissant, est avec nous.
Nous avons pour citadelle le Dieu de Jacob.
Allez voir les actes du SEIGNEUR, les ravages qu’il a faits sur la terre.
Il arrête les combats jusqu’au bout de la terre,
il casse l’arc, brise la lance, il incendie les chariots.
Lâchez les armes ! reconnaissez que je suis Dieu !
Je triomphe des nations, je triomphe de la terre.
Le SEIGNEUR, le tout-puissant, est avec nous.
Nous avons pour citadelle le Dieu de Jacob.
Psalm 18:1-3 “Je t’aimerai, Seigneur, d’un amour tendre”
From “Le Roi David” – Arthur Honneger (1892-1955)

I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
so I shall be saved from my enemies.


Psalm 127 “Nisi Dominus” Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.
Unless the LORD guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives sleep to his beloved.
Sons are indeed a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 34:1-8

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant;
so your faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD,
and was saved from every trouble.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and delivers them.
O taste and see that the LORD is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him.
Psaume 18,1-3 « Je t’aimerai, Seigneur, d’un amour tendre »
Tiré de l’œuvre l’œuvre « Le Roi David » – Arthur Honneger (1892-1955)

Je t’aimerai, Seigneur, d’un amour tendre, Je trouve en lui tout ce que je souhaite.
Toi dont le bras me sut si bien défendre. C’est mon bouclier, mon salut, ma retraite.
Dieu fut toujours mon fort, mon protecteur, Dès qu’au besoin je l’invoque avec foi,
ma tour, ma roche et mon libérateur. des ennemis délivré je me vois.

Tels qu’un torrent ils pensaient me surprendre,
cent fois la mort ses filets me vint tendre
et tous les jours quelque péril nouveau
me conduisait sur le bord du tombeau.


Psaume 127 « Nisi Dominus » Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Si le SEIGNEUR ne bâtit la maison, ses bâtisseurs travaillent pour rien.
Si le SEIGNEUR ne garde la ville, la garde veille pour rien.
Rien ne sert de vous lever tôt, de retarder votre repos, de manger un pain pétri de peines !
À son ami qui dort, il donnera tout autant.
Mais oui ! des fils sont la part que donne le SEIGNEUR, et la progéniture un salaire.
Telles des flèches aux mains d’un guerrier, tels sont les fils de votre jeunesse.
Heureux l’homme qui en a rempli son carquois !
Il ne perdra pas la face s’il doit affronter l’adversaire aux portes de la ville.

Gloire soit au Père, et au Fils, et au Saint-Esprit,
comme il était au commencement, maintenant, et toujours, et aux siècles des siècles. Amen.

Psaume 34,2-9

Je bénirai le SEIGNEUR en tout temps,
sa louange sans cesse à la bouche.
Je suis fier du SEIGNEUR ;
que les humbles se réjouissent en m’écoutant :
Magnifiez avec moi le SEIGNEUR,
exaltons ensemble son nom.
J’ai cherché le SEIGNEUR, et il m’a répondu,
il m’a délivré de toutes mes terreurs.
Ceux qui ont regardé vers lui sont radieux,
et leur visage n’a plus à rougir.
Un malheureux a appelé : le SEIGNEUR a entendu
et l’a sauvé de toutes ses détresses.
L’ange du SEIGNEUR campe autour de ceux qui le craignent, et il les délivre.
Voyez et appréciez combien le SEIGNEUR est bon.
Heureux l’homme dont il est le refuge !
Testimony Mme Yasmina Tippenhauer
Director, Centre culturel Tierra Incógnita / Pou Ayiti (‘For Haiti’)

Psalm 84:1-2,4 “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen”
From “Ein deutsches Requiem”, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

How lovely is your dwelling-place,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.


Testimony The Rev. Canon Ogé Beauvoir
Dean, Episcopal Theological Seminary, Port-au-Prince

Musical reflection “Offrande au Saint-Sacrement” Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)

A collection will be taken towards the rebuilding of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Port-au-Prince, and its adjacent educational and cultural complex. Envelopes are provided for cash contributions; if you wish to be sent a receipt, please mark your name and address clearly on the envelope. Such contributions are tax-deductible for tax-paying residents of the canton of Geneva. Should you wish to donate through ARCH’s postal account, please see the related information at the back of this programme.

Psalm 23:1-4 “The Lord is my shepherd” Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989)

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

King James Version (1611)

Témoignage Mme Yasmina Tippenhauer
Directrice du Centre culturel Tierra Incógnita / Pou Ayiti (« Pour Haïti »)

Psaume 84,2-3.5 « Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen »
Tiré de l’œuvre « Ein deutsches Requiem », Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Comme elles sont aimées tes demeures,
SEIGNEUR tout-puissant !
Je languis à rendre l’âme après les parvis du SEIGNEUR.
Mon cœur et ma chair crient vers le Dieu vivant.
Heureux les habitants de ta maison :
ils te louent sans cesse !


Témoignage Le Révérend Chanoine Ogé Beauvoir
Doyen du Séminaire de théologie, Eglise épiscopale d’Haïti, Port-au-Prince

Interlude musicale « Offrande au Saint-Sacrement » Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)

Une collecte sera faite au profit de la reconstruction de la cathédrale épiscopale de la Sainte-Trinité et de son complexe scolaire et culturel. Pour ceux qui souhaiteraient recevoir une quittance, des enveloppes sont mises à votre disposition. Veuillez y noter lisiblement vos nom et adresse. Ces contributions sont déductibles pour les personnes imposables dans le canton de Genève. Si vous désirez faire une donation par virement sur le compte postal d’ARCH, veuillez vous référer aux informations y relatives au dos de ce programme.

Psaume 23.1-4 « The Lord is my shepherd » Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989)

Le SEIGNEUR est mon berger,
je ne manque de rien.
Sur de frais herbages il me fait coucher ;
près des eaux de repos il me mène, il me ranime.
Il me conduit par les bons sentiers,
pour l’honneur de son nom.
Même si je marche dans un ravin d’ombre et de mort,
je ne crains aucun mal, car tu es avec moi ;
ton bâton, ton appui, voilà qui me rassure.


Sung response: O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer: when I call, answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer: come and listen to me.

Taizé Community, Jacques Berthier (1923-1994)

O God, our help in ages past: We thank you for bringing us together in this place, gathered in this Cathedral house of prayer. We bring before you, in song, in silence and in solidarity, all that is within us, especially our cares and concerns for those in Haiti whose Cathedral house of prayer – a place of healing and hope – has been lost. May your love sustain them through faith and community care even while structures are being rebuilt. In thanksgiving and trust we pray
O Lord, hear my prayer…

O God, our hope for years to come: We ask for continuing strength, that we and the people of Haiti may look with hope towards the future. We give you thanks for life and for those working for the well-being and rebuilding of lives – governments, aid organizations, communities of faith, citizens of Haiti and Haitians throughout the world. Inspire in them and in us the desire to share, to listen to one another and to truly care. In gratitude we pray
Entends ma prière…

O God, shelter from the stormy blast: We bring before you the cries and whispers of those still desperately in need and those who are still experiencing all forms of violence, especially women and children. May your healing touch be mightily felt in the midst of families torn apart and those who have lost home or livelihood. We recommit ourselves to prayer and action for the reconstruction of a country, schools, hospitals, churches, and a Cathedral that will again become shelter for physical and material, emotional and spiritual needs. In sisterhood and brotherhood we pray
O Lord, hear my prayer…

O God, eternal home: We pray that your spirit of justice, peace and joy may be the solid foundation upon which homes, businesses, government agencies, places of worship and places of re-creation are built. For all those who find their true home in your justice and mercy, and for those who may through tragedy yet find a sense of your presence and peace, we pray
Entends ma prière…

O God, our help in ages past: We remember this season all the saints and souls in all times and places who have looked to you in hope, but here today, those whose lives were lost or changed forever when the earth shook. In thanksgiving for all who have come before, and claiming your promise for those yet to come, we bring all that is in us and in the people of Haiti and place it before you. Hear us, heal us, make yourself known to us in the sanctuaries of our lives, that we and they might make your love known in the world.

In renewed commitment we pray, in the words our Lord taught us, each in our own language:

Répons chanté : Entends ma prière, entends ma prière : Seigneur viens, écoute-moi.
Entends ma prière, entends ma prière : quand j’appelle, réponds-moi.

Communauté de Taizé, Jacques Berthier (1923-1994)

O Dieu, notre secours dans les temps passés : nous te remercions de nous avoir rassemblés ici dans cette cathédrale lieu de prière. Nous t’apportons en chant, en silence et en solidarité, tout ce qui est en nous, surtout la sollicitude et l’inquiétude que nous avons pour les Haïtiens dont la cathédrale – lieu de prière, lieu de guérison et lieu d’espoir – a été détruite. Que ton amour les maintienne par la foi et la bienveillance de la communauté tout au long de la reconstruction. Nous te prions avec reconnaissance et confiance.

O Lord, hear my prayer…

O Dieu, notre espoir pour les années à venir : nous te demandons de nous donner la force, afin que nous et le peuple d’Haïti puissions regarder vers l’avenir avec espoir. Nous te rendons grâce pour la vie et pour ceux qui œuvrent pour le bien-être et la reconstruction des vies – les gouvernements, les organisations d’entraide, les communautés religieuses, les citoyens d’Haïti et la diaspora haïtienne à travers le monde. Diffuse en eux et en nous le désir de partager, d’être à l’écoute et de véritablement se soucier les uns des autres. Nous te prions avec reconnaissance.

Entends ma prière…

O Dieu, refuge contre la tempête : nous t’amenons les cris et chuchotements de ceux qui sont encore dans le besoin et de ceux qui souffrent de toutes formes de violence, notamment les femmes et les enfants. Que ta main de guérison soit ressentie avec puissance par les familles déchirées et les personnes qui ont perdu leur maison ou leurs moyens de subsistance. Nous renouvelons notre attachement à la prière et à l’action pour la reconstruction d’un pays, des écoles, des hôpitaux, des églises et d’une cathédrale, qui sera à nouveau un refuge pour les besoins physiques, matériels, émotionnels et spirituels. En communion fraternelle nous te prions.

O Lord, hear my prayer…

O Dieu, foyer éternel : nous prions pour que ton esprit de justice, de paix et de joie soit la fondation solide sur laquelle les maisons, les entreprises, les agences gouvernementales, les lieux de culte et les lieux de re-création soient édifiés. Pour tous ceux qui trouvent dans ta justice et ta miséricorde un véritable foyer, et pour tous ceux qui, dans la tragédie, peuvent encore ressentir ta présence et ta paix, nous te prions.

Entends ma prière…

O Dieu, notre secours dans les temps passés : nous pensons en cette saison à tous les saints et les âmes de tous temps et lieux qui ont regardé vers toi avec espoir. Et ici aujourd’hui nous pensons à ceux qui ont disparu ou ceux dont la vie a à tout jamais changé quand la terre a tremblé. En te rendant grâce pour tous ceux qui nous ont précédés et en annonçant tes promesses pour ceux à venir, nous t’amenons tout ce que nous et le peuple haïtien avons en nous et nous le plaçons devant toi. Ecoute-nous, guéris-nous, dévoile-toi à nous dans le sanctuaire de nos vies, qu’ensemble nous fassions connaître ton amour dans le monde.

Avec un engagement renouvelé nous prions, par les paroles que notre Seigneur nous a enseignés, chacun(e) dans sa langue :
The Lord’s Prayer (each in our own language)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name: thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Song “Sa pòv ginyin” Traditional Haitian religious song (sung in Creole)
arr. Shauna Beesley
The poor bring what they have to the market;
a mother gives her child what she has.
We put our lives into your hands, Almighty,
with the strength to love which you put into our hearts.

We come to give you thanks for all the friends you give us,
for the brothers and sisters who surround us.
It’s the most beautiful gift you could give your children.
Thank you today and forever!

Psalm 100 (Read in Creole)

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100 “Urah, hanevel!” From “Chichester Psalms”, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)

(see text above)

Blessing Curé Jean-Claude Mokry, Episcopal Vicar, Old-Catholic Church of Switzerland

Postlude “Variations sur ‘Nous chanterons pour toi, Seigneur’ (‘Old Hundredth’)”
Denis Bédard (1950- )

All are invited to stay for refreshments in the Cathedral courtyard
Notre Père (chacun(e) dans sa langue)

Notre Père, qui es aux cieux, que ton nom soit sanctifié. Que ton règne vienne. Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel. Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour. Pardonne-nous nos offenses, comme nous pardonnons aussi à ceux qui nous ont offensés. Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation, mais délivre-nous du mal. Car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne, la puissance et la gloire, aux siècles des siècles. Amen.

Chant « Sa pòv ginyin » Chant religieux traditionnel d’Haïti (chanté en créole)
Arrangement : Shauna Beesley
Les pauvres amènent ce qu’ils ont au marché ;
une mère donne à son enfant ce qu’elle a.
Nous remettons nos vies entre tes mains, Grand Maître,
avec la force d’aimer ce que tu mets dans nos cœurs.

Nous venons te remercier pour tous les amis qui tu nous donnes,
pour les frères et sœurs qui nous entourent.
C’est le plus beau cadeau que tu pourrais donner à tes enfants.
Merci aujourd’hui et pour tous les temps !

Psaume 100 (Lu en créole)

Acclamez le SEIGNEUR, terre entière ;
servez le SEIGNEUR avec joie ; entrez devant lui avec allégresse.
Reconnaissez que le SEIGNEUR est Dieu.
Il nous a faits et nous sommes à lui,
son peuple et le troupeau de son pâturage.
Entrez par ses portes en rendant grâce, dans ses parvis en le louant ;
célébrez-le, bénissez son nom.
Car le SEIGNEUR est bon :
sa fidélité est pour toujours, et sa loyauté s’étend d’âge en âge.

Psaume 100 « Urah, hanevel ! »
Tiré de l’œuvre « Chichester Psalms », Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
(voir ci-dessus)

Bénédiction Curé Jean-Claude Mokry, vicaire épiscopal, Eglise catholique-chrétienne de la Suisse

Postlude « Variations sur ‘Nous chanterons pour toi, Seigneur’ (‘Old Hundredth’) »
Denis Bédard (1950- )

Des rafraîchissements seront servis dans la cour de la cathédrale


This event was organised with the support of members of Emmanuel Episcopal Church and the Anglican churches of Holy Trinity and La Côte, as well as the Protestant Church of Geneva and Church of Scotland Geneva. For this, the organisers are most grateful.

We also wish to thank the following:

Readers: Jeya Wilson, Jean-Claude Humbert, Nady Khanya Chalmers
Intercession leaders: Marie-Claude Julsaint, Richard Hawkings
Collection: Rev. John Beach (Emmanuel Episcopal Church), Rev. Roy Taylor (Holy Trinity Anglican Church)

Soloists: Lindy Carmalt, Holly Smith-Dinbergs, Shannon Keith, Roger Gaborell, Andrew Close
Percussion: William Carmalt

Photographs: Alison Wright (, Lutheran World Federation, ACT Alliance, Trinity Wall Street, Eddy Alcindor, Jois Goursse Celestin, Rob Devlin, Helena Mbele-Mbong, Mary Frances Schjonberg, Lauren Stanley, Harvey Wang and others
Audio-visuals: Edgar Wilson

Graphics: Cyril Chapuisat
Printing: Imprimerie Minute, Voie-Creuse 7, 1202 Genève

Language Service, World Council of Churches

Where not indicated otherwise, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Anglicized Version, copyright © 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.


Cet évènement a été organisé avec le soutien des membres de la congrégation des églises anglicanes de Holy Trinity et de La Côte, et de l’église épiscopale d’Emmanuel Church, ainsi qu’avec l’Eglise protestante de Genève et l’Eglise d’Ecosse à Genève. Les organisateurs les remercient pour tous leurs efforts.

Ils souhaiteraient aussi remercier:

Lecteurs : Jeya Wilson, Jean-Claude Humbert, Nady Khanya Chalmers
Pour les intercessions : Marie-Claude Julsaint, Richard Hawkings
Collecte : le Rév. John Beach (Emmanuel Episcopal Church), le Rév. Roy Taylor (Holy Trinity Anglican Church)

Solistes : Lindy Carmalt, Holly Smith-Dinbergs, Shannon Keith, Roger Gaborell, Andrew Close
Percussions : William Carmalt

Photographes : Alison Wright (, Fédération luthérienne mondiale, Alliance ACT, Trinity Wall Street, Eddy Alcindor, Jois Goursse Celestin, Rob Devlin, Helena Mbele-Mbong, Mary Frances Schjonberg, Lauren Stanley, Harvey Wang et bien d’autres encore
Présentation visuelle et enregistrement audio : Edgar Wilson

Graphiste : Cyril Chapuisat
Imprimeur : Imprimerie Minute, Voie-Creuse 7, 1202 Genève

Service linguistique, Conseil œcuménique des Eglises

Les citations de la Bible sont tirées de la Traduction œcuménique de la Bible, © Les Editions du Cerf et Société Biblique Française, 1988.

Additional contributions towards the rebuilding of
the Episcopal Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Port-au-Prince,
and its educational and cultural complex,
may be sent through

Toute contribution à la reconstruction de la
Cathédrale épiscopalienne de la Sainte-Trinité, Port-au-Prince,
et de son complexe scolaire et culturel
peut être adressée à

ARCH is an association under Swiss law, set up on 5 August 2010. Its purpose is to raise funds towards the reconstruction of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Port-au-Prince, and its educational and cultural complex. Membership (CHF 20) is open to all interested parties.

L'ARCH est une association de droit suisse créée le 5 août 2010. Elle a pour objectif de collecter des fonds en vue de la reconstruction de la cathédrale épiscopale de la Sainte-Trinité, à Port-au-Prince, ainsi que de son complexe scolaire et culturel. Toute personne intéressée peut adhérer à l'association (20.- CHF).

lundi 25 octobre 2010

An order of worship - praying for the Indian Ocean Islands

Monday 25th October, 2010

Dieu, mon ami
Tu me fortifies
Dieu, mon bouclier, mon secours
Tu veilles sur moi
Tu me donnes du large
Car tu m’aimes
Tu es la lumière de ma lampe
Tu éclaires ma nuit
Grãce à toi, Dieu, je franchis la muraille.
Pour cela, je te célébrerai
Le matin, et le soir
Maintenant et toujours.

Thuma Mina 134: Laudate omnes gentes
Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and for evermore.
Luke 11: 5-13
And he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.” And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

Reflection - by Faautu Talapusi

Thuma Mina 156: Oh Lord, hear my prayer (English, German, French verses)

In the ecumenical prayer cycle this week we pray for the people and churches of theIndia n Ocean islands: Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles. We pray for the churches and communities of these islands and the different struggles they are facing and in particular, the effects of climate change.
God of mercy, we silently bring our prayers before you…
Your kingdom come. Your will be done.

Let us each bring to mind one headline from today’s news and pray for the people in that situation.
God of love, we silently bring our prayers before you…
Your kingdom come. Your will be done.

Let us each bring to mind one member of our family, a friend or a colleague who stands in need of our prayers
God of mercy, we silently bring our prayers before you…
Your kingdom come. Your will be done.

Let us each bring to mind the work we must do today and offer it to our God.
God of love, we silently bring our prayers before you…
Your kingdom come. Your will be done.

Hear us dear God, and may your persistent love give us strength and courage to act so that we may become an answer to the prayers we have offered.

Lord’s prayer (in our own languages)

Thuma Mina 108: Ream leboga (X3)

Lord God, you open wide your love for all.
We open our lives to one another and to you.
In your spirit we go to do our daily work.
May our worship become our living and our living become our worship.

Have a blessed and awesome week! 

Knock, knock - a poem-sermon by Faautu Talapusi

Monday 25th October, 2010 - Morning worship reflection
Written and preached by Faautu Talapusi who is the World Council of Churches executive for youth. this morning i really regretted not having prepared to do an audioboo, this was a very performed poem with a couple of knocks on the pulpit every time she said "knock knock".
The readings were: Psalm 121 and Luke 11: 5-13

For this morning’s reflection, I would like to share with you a short poem I wrote or rather, a stream of consciousness. I hope it expresses my personal reflections and simple thoughts on today’s readings.

Knock, knock…
Knock, knock…
The times I am facing are rough
The times I am facing times are tough

Knock, knock…
Knock, knock…
My future is bleak
My future is grim

Knock, knock…
Knock, knock…
They tell me…
Be strong, hang on
Don’t give up, don’t lose hope
Empty words, empty words

Knock, knock…
Knock, knock…
ARRRRRRRRRRGH!!! Cut it out! Who’s there? Can’t you see – it’s all about ME?
Go away…come back in better days

Knock, knock…
Please… it is I, the friend in need, the weary visitor

Knock, knock…
Please… I am hungry…in need of food

Knock, knock…
Please… I am cold… in need of warmth

Knock, knock…
Beaten down… in need of comfort

Knock, knock…
Abused… in need of hope

Knock, knock…
Please… it is I, the friend in need, the weary visitor

Knock, knock…
Be strong…
The Lord is your keeper, your shade at your right hand
Have confidence in God

Knock, knock
Hang on…
He will keep you from all evil, he will keep your life
God is forever present and with you

Knock, knock…
Don’t give up
Your help comes from the Lord
His grace and guidance accompanies you

Knock, knock
Don’t lose hope
God’s love is ever persistent and unconditional…for me

Knock, knock
Knock, knock…
God’s love is ever persistent and unconditional…for the friend in need

Knock, knock
Knock, knock…
God’s love is ever persistent and unconditional…for you and me

Knock, knock
Knock, knock…

Copyright (c) Faautu Talapusi/WCC

jeudi 21 octobre 2010

Order of service praying for Pakistan, India and Srilanka

Morning Worship, Ecumenical Centre, Geneva, October 18, 2010
This order of service was prepared by Deenabhandu Manchala

Rebuilding lives, rekindling hopes

Invocation (sung in Sinhala) Repeat line by line after the leader
Namo, namo, mavumkarun We worship you, Creator
Namo, namo, midumkarun We worship you, Redeemer
Namo, namo, sudath(n)gurun We worship you, Holy Spirit
Namo, namo, tiyek(n)murun We worship you, Triune God

Vandagena bathi pem pamen We kneel in love and devotion
Devinduta passasum deemen to praise and thank God,
Devi saranaya, dan path(n)men to seek refuge, and
Karamuwa arayum samen God’s presence among us.

Praise and thanksgiving
God be praised at all times.
Our adoration we proclaim.
We seek God’s presence, and discover holy ground everywhere.
We long for God’s guidance, and find the Spirit in each other.
We know that God is good.
God’s goodness is our refuge and our hope.

In the vastness of your purposes, O God,
We celebrate the risky smallness of our part.
In the holiness of your touch,
We celebrate the fragile fingerprints of human hands.
In the greatness of your salvation,
We celebrate the fumbling of our ideas.
In the light and knowledge of all you are and all you do,
We wait, we wonder and we rejoice.

In the stillness and the moment,
We build a bridge of adoration.
In the glory of our diversity,
We forge a bond of hospitality.
In the work we do this day,
We weave with God’s splendid tapestry

Hymn: Bless and keep us Lord in your love united in Thuma Mina 195

Readings : II Timothy 3: 14 – 4:4 (Read in Sinhalese)
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths.

Reflection by Shanta Premawardhana

Gracious God, as we come together in thanksgiving and prayer before you, we pray for the sub-continent. We pray for Sri Lanka – a nation that has bled for several decades, and continues to bleed which we come to know through the pain and agony of millions of silenced and displaced people, whose lives are constantly threatened, abused and destroyed. We pray for Pakistan which is facing fragmentation at multiple levels and which seems to have become a home for terrorism, even as millions of its people suffer from hunger and malnutrition. We pray for the nearly 400 million hungry people in India that we often hear about as a rising economic power. Grant peace and life to the people of these nations and to all us.

Khuda ya Rahem kar (to be sung after each prayer - No: 45 Thuma Mina)

Compassionate God, we live in a world that is constantly under the spell of something tragic and shocking, which distracts our attention and response quickly from one to the other, we remember today the forgotten victims of the tragic natural disasters that have resulted in the deaths of hundreds and thousands of people – of the floods in Pakistan and India. We pray for the vulnerable – the rural and urban poor, the destitute children and the aged. Grant help, strength and hope that they may see the light of your salvation.

Khuda ya Rahem kar

Loving God, who wants us to reciprocate your love for us by loving one another, we thank you for giving us the capacity to celebrate our differences. We recognise amidst us the causes and forces of division, hatred, suspicion and selfishness that operate through the phenomena of religious fundamentalism, political manoeuvrings and economic injustice. Grant wisdom to the people of these nations and everywhere that they may realise that in your love and wisdom you have made us all, the way we are.

Khuda ya Rahem kar

Merciful God, we remember millions of hungry, homeless and malnourished people of these nations and everywhere even as their governments strive hard for place in the world market. Have mercy on these millions today. Rekindle love and justice in the hearts of people. Grant wisdom to the leaders to realise that their fulfillment is possible only in their ability to protect the vulnerable and not in making the powerful invulnerable.

Khuda ya Rahem kar

God of life, we pray for the churches and Christian communities in these countries which exist and seek to witness as fragmented minority communities, often in extremely hostile situations. We thank you for their courage and commitment. We also pray that you inspire them to seek unity among themselves and with all people of goodwill, with people of other faiths, and with people’s initiatives for peace, justice, human rights, environmental protection so that the world may believe that you have ordained life, life for all in love and human togetherness. Amen

Hymn: Help us accept each other in Thuma Mina 224

In the light of the resurrection despair is always premature.
God has a project in today’s events.
In paths we have not known, God leads, turning gloom into hope.
May the triune God accompany us in this journey of hope today and the days to come, Amen.

Of peach blossom and much besides ... a sermon by Shanta Premawardhana inspired by themes of inter-religious dialogue

II Timothy 3: 14 – 4:4

It is not often that I will recommend a book from the pulpit, but I am going to do so today. Without the Buddha I could not be a Christian, by Paul Knitter is not just a book with a provocative title, but it’s a profoundly reflective spiritual journey of a highly respected theologian and teacher. Knitter, a former Jesuit, and now Paul Tillich professor of Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York is a long time supporter of our work in Interreligious Dialogue at the WCC. In fact, he played a leading role at a Buddhist-Christian dialogue on Engaging Structural Greed that was jointly sponsored by WCC and LWF, in Chiang Mai, this August. The reason I bring this to your attention is that the fundamental premise of the book, how Buddhism helps to bridge the gap between context and revelation (my words) is I believe a critical question for our reflection in the ecumenical community, and is the theme for my reflection today.
I have been wrestling with God (like Jacob which is our other lectionary reading today) with an issue that has been fundamental to my faith formation, growing up Baptist in Buddhist Sri Lanka. It is the same issue Paul Knitter addresses, and before that another Asian theologian, C.S. Song helped me articulate: the connection between context and revelation.
Let me begin with the story of how a Chinese Zen monk, Shou-hsun reached his enlightenment. Shou-hsun began to study Zen under Fo-chien (a Zen master). He went to Tai-ping and resided with the master, but was at a loss how to take hold of Zen. One day, he put a seal on his bedding and made his vow: "If I do not attain the experience of Zen in this life, this bedding will never be spread to rest my body in." So, he sat in meditation during the day, and he passed the night standing up. Seven weeks went by. One day Fo-chien gave a sermon saying, "A world of multiplicities is all stamped with the One." This opened the eye of Shou-hsun. Fo-chien said, "What a pity this lustrous gem has been carried away by this lunatic," and said to Shou-hsun, "Since I once saw a peach blossom, I have never again cherished a doubt. You are all right as far as you go, but you have not really penetrated. Now tell me, where is this unpenetrated spot?" And Shou-hsun replied, "I most appreciate your grandmotherly kindness!"
That of course, is a typical Zen story. If I have to explain it to you, you have not reached the point of satori or enlightenment, you have not penetrated the stubborn spot. But since most of us are in that place, let me say a couple of things in explanation. For Shou-hsun, the world of multiplicities was hidden behind an unpenetrated spot. The realities that can be seen only by the enlightened ones were covered by the spot. All the solutions to his questions, issues, concerns and problems were there. So, as unenlightened ones do, he made a vow not to sleep or eat and to remain immobile until he penetrated the unpenetrated spot -- until his spiritual exercises transformed him.
How we all struggle to get through the unpenetrated spot? We may pray without ceasing, some may fast, others like Shou-hsun may deprive themselves of sleep, and nothing seems to work. But then suddenly, their eye catches the sight of a peach in full bloom: a common place sight, an ordinary phenomenon of nature. And something clicks! The unpenetrated spot is penetrated, the world of multiplicities is opened, the mind is enlightened, the mystery is disclosed, and context and revelation are linked up.
That’s my Buddhist context. It does not expect revelation to come from somewhere out there way beyond the clouds and the stars -- God's words booming through in Charlton Heston’s voice. No, revelation can be found in the most ordinary, mundane, even human things of life -- even a peach blossom.
This is not just another cute story from an exotic place. Had this been a Zen meditation class, you all will be seated on the floor in meditation trying to break through this mystery like Shou-hsun, and I will be going round with a cane, ready to whack you if you were not taking this seriously! Well, you should thank God this is not a Zen meditation class! But nevertheless, I believe this is critical to our ecumenical journey. Here’s why:
Our ecumenical theology is still stuck in an old paradigm. Let me illustrate it this way. The prominent Sri Lankan ecumenist D.T. Niles once confronted Karl Barth. Having heard Barth say that there is no divine revelation in Hinduism, Niles asked if Barth had ever met or made friends with a Hindu. To which Barth replied that he had not met one in his life. If you have never met a Hindu in your life, asked Niles, how can you say that there is no revelation in Hinduism? “A priori” said Barth. There is no need to ask. We know this already from Christian scripture.
And to drive the point home, here’s another. You all know that foundational to our work on interreligious dialogue is the 1938 International Missionary Conference held at Tambaram. Its preparatory text, The Christian Message in a Non-Christian World was written by the Dutch theologian Hendrik Kraemer. Revelation became a serious point of the assembly’s discussion. Kraemer framed the question this way: “From the standpoint of the Christian revelation, what answer can be given to the question: Does God—and if so, how and where does God—reveal Himself in the religious life as present in non-Christian religions?” How do we go about answering this question, asks Diana Eck in her presentation at the 50th anniversary celebration of Tambaram in 1988. “If we want to know what God has been doing in the religious life of Muslims, or what God has revealed of God’s self to Hindus, it would seem imperative to ask a Muslim, or a Hindu, ‘What have you discovered? What have you seen, or what has been shown to you? What is your struggle?’” In other words, engage Muslims and Hindus in a theological conversation about the content of revelation. But, she points out, despite having lived for years in Indonesia among Muslims, Kraemer does not engage Muslims in this way. When he talks about Islam, the voices of Muslims do not enter in. “His method for answering the question, ‘Does and, if so, how and where does God reveal himself to Muslims?’ is to consult Christian revelation, Christian scripture and Christian theology”
Now, you will of course say these are old stories. Surely the ecumenical community has progressed from these early attitudes. Yes we have. But many, perhaps most of our churches are still stuck in the old paradigm. Our churches are still worried about contextual theology (theology coming from the ground up which challenges top down theology), syncretism (which challenges the somehow “pure” Christian tradition) and the perception of a loss of mission (which is a threat to Christian illusions of hegemony).
This is why I chose this text to read today. I have been wrestling with God with this text given to me by my Baptist formation, to instill in me the idea that all scripture is divinely inspired and inerrant. It is revealed, and therefore not to be questioned. This works with Barthian and Kraemerian theologies. But it does not fit with the Sri Lankan Buddhist context.
It is as jarring as a sign that’s in front of a Pentecostal church a in very prominent intersection in the heart of Colombo -- a sign that points to a revelation that will come from above. In big bold letters that lights up the night sky, the sign says, "Jesus is Coming, Are you ready?" One day somebody had written another sign on the wall under that sign, in big bright red letters, "We are ready, when is he coming?" That was some time ago, but when I visited more recently that was painted over, but now, there was yet another piece of graffitti on that wall, which read, "Have coke while you wait!"
It just does not fit. We smile, not just because it’s funny but we who are schooled in contextual theologies know that this does not fit the context. Here’s what might fit the context: During Vesak, the Buddhist celebration of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death, alongside all the pandals, lanterns and flags, you will also see dana sala (salles of almsgiving) -- where Buddhist organizations will provide free food and drink to anyone who comes. Some years ago, an order of Catholic nuns decided that they are going to open a year-round dana sala. It was a simple diaconal ministry with no strings attached. It was Sister Karuna’s idea and she was put in charge. After all the food is prepared, Sister Karuna would gather all the volunteers around to pray. They would pray, in thanksgiving for God's bounty even in the really small things, and she would pray for the workers who volunteered many hours preparing the food, and Sister Karuna would say, "Lord Jesus. we know you are going to come in this line today; when you come in here, Lord, help us to treat you right."
Wouldn’t it have been much easier if Jesus had worn a name badge? No, you remember, how the righteous will answer, "Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty or naked or in prison or a stranger and did not minister to you?" Sister Karuna knew to see Jesus in the people who came in the food line: revelation is in her context. "When you did not do it to the least of these my sisters or brothers, you did not do it to me." I think God is not interested in making things any less ambiguous; rather, God is interested in making us more perceptive.
So, let me come back to our text. As you can imagine, I have a love-hate relationship with this text. It’s a text that has been used to bludgeon people with the question of inerrancy of the Bible. Those who hold that position, of course, are the same ones who hold that revelation comes only from above and beyond, that context has nothing to do with it. They are the ones who look for Jesus to come on the clouds and not in the soup kitchen line.
Let me suggest to you that the Bible is a confessional book. It is a book of faith and love. This is the key to understanding it. The purpose of the biblical authors was to take human communities from places of arrogance, and dependence on human power and might to humility and dependence on God; to inspire faith in a new order, to motivate us to love across boundaries of hate and indifference.
My colleague and predecessor Wesley Ariarajah illustrates it this way: when my daughter tells me that I am the best daddy in the world, and there can be no other father like me, she is speaking the truth. This comes out of her experience. She is honest about it; she knows no other person in the role of her father. But of course it is not true in another sense. For one thing, I myself know friends who, I think, are better fathers than I am. Even more importantly, one should be aware that in the next house there is another little girl who also thinks her daddy is the best father in the world. And she too is right. In fact at the level of the way the two children relate to their two fathers, no one can compare the truth content of the statements of the two girls. For here we are not dealing with absolute truths but with the language of faith and love. The problem begins when we take these confessions in the language of faith and love and turn them into absolute truths. It becomes much more serious when we turn them into truths on the basis of which we begin to measure the truth or otherwise of other faith claims. My daughter cannot say to her little friend in the next house that there is no way she can have the best daddy in the world, because the best daddy in the world is right there in her own house. If she does, we will have to dismiss it as child-talk.
This turns my Baptist formation on its head. The Bible is not about uncompromising, unambiguous, absolutely certain, written in stone, revealed from the sky truth claims. It is about people dialoguing with God, like Jacob wrestling with God, trying to penetrate the stubborn, unpenetrable spot. If the Zen master can be our guide, it might be wise to look to a peach tree in full bloom, if Diana Eck might be our guide, it might be wise to talk to a Muslim whose story we’ve never considered, or if Sister Karuna were our guide to see Jesus coming in the food line.
And when we see that, it might be like seeing the peach blossom for the first time again. Something might click. The world of multiplicities would open up. We might find that we are the ones writing on the wall, “Have a coke while you wait,” or retorting back to our teacher, “I most admire your grandmotherly kindness!”

copyright (c) Shanta Premawardhana/ WCC

lundi 11 octobre 2010

Worship for food security and food justice

Ecumenical Centre
10 October, 2010
Prepared by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance

Week of Churches Action on Food

Musical Preparation


We gather hungry.
Blessed are those who are hungry now,
hungry for rice and beans,
hungry for righteousness,
hungry for a world where children do not die of hunger.
Blessed are those who are hungry now, for they will be satisfied.
We praise a prodigal God,
creating an abundant world with enough so no one needs to be hungry.
We worship the maker of new heavens and a new earth,
the Blessed Trinity, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Hymn We come to the hungry feast


Hungry God,
hungry for justice,
hungry for a world spending on hungry children as it spends on football games,
hungry that your promise of blessing the hungry be fulfilled,
draw us into your hunger
so we discover the life you offer when we give ourselves away,
and others do not have their lives taken away by the greedy and corrupt.
Give us the courage to risk a new hunger to do your will through Jesus Christ. Amen.

“For hunger is a curious thing: at first it is with you all the time, walking and sleeping and in your
dreams, and your belly cries out insistently, and there is a gnawing and a pain as if your very vitals were being devoured, and you must stop it at any cost and you buy a moment’s respite even when you know and fear the sequel. Then the pain is no longer sharp but dull, and this too is with you always, so that you think of food many times a day and each time a terrible sickness assails you, and because you know this you try to avoid the thought, but you cannot for it is with you. Then that too is gone, all pain, all desire, only a great emptiness is left, like the sky, like a well in drought and it is now that the strength drains from your limbs and you try to rise and find you cannot, or to swallow water your throat is powerless, and both the swallow and the effort of retaining the liquid tax you to the uttermost.” (Kamala Markandaya)

Sung Response Khudaayaa raeham kar

Old Testament Reading Isaiah 65:17-25
For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice for ever in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
and its people as a delight.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
or the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labour in vain,
or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—
and their descendants as well.
Before they call I will answer,
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

Reflections Dr.Fulata Mbano & John Baxter Brown

Hymn Cielos nuevos, tierra nueva

With the ecumenical prayer cycle we pray for the people and churches
of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We pray for the people along the Danube, threatened by toxic waste.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
We pray for those whose traditional lands and livelihoods are threatened.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

During this week of action on food we pray for the hungry.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer (in our many languages)

Invitation to sign the petition to the Chair of the Food and Agriculture Organization Committee on Food Security in Rome

Hymn Un camino se abre hacia la luz


mercredi 15 septembre 2010

An order of morning prayer based on 1 John 1:1-4

Tuesday 14 September 2010
This order was compiled by Theodore A Gill

Opening Sentences
Clap your hands, all you peoples, shout to God with loud songs of joy.
God is king over all the nations. God sits upon the highest throne. Amen.

Hymn 20: “Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren”: first verse, in German (1), English (2)

Scripture reading: 1 John 1:1-4
We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen
with our own eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life. This life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. We have declared to you what we have
seen and heard so that you may also have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

A Time of Prayer: response 156 “O Lord, Hear My Prayer”

Almighty God… …Lord, hear our prayer.
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer, when I call, answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer, O Lord, hear my prayer, come and listen to me.

Christ, our Redeemer… …Lord, hear our prayer.
Gott, hör mein Gebet, Gott, hör mein Gebet: komm und er-höre mich.
Gott, hör mein Gebet, Gott, hör mein Gebet: komm und erhöre mich.

Spirit of Life and Love and Peace… …Lord, hear our prayer.
Entends ma prière, entends ma prière: Seigneur viens, écoute-moi.
Entends ma prière, entends ma prière: Quand j’appelle, réponds-moi.

The Lord’s Prayer / Vater Unser – each person prays in his or her own native language

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you now, and remain with you always.