Liturgy was written for the Reconciliation Liturgy at the Loud and
Clear conference 2007. The First Reading of the Day was the
encounter of Moses with the Burning Bush - and so was born the idea
of celebrating the transforming encounters with God - in biblical
history - and within the setting of a celebration of the Sacrament
liturgy began at 5pm - priests were available for individual
confession (on a rota!) for about three hours and people re-gathered
at 9pm (after supper) to conclude the liturgy. The time of
confessions was interspersed with music and many people simply
stayed to pray quietly during this time.
We have come at the invitation of our God,
called into this place
called into this time
called into the presence
The God of Abraham –
who taught humanity to gaze to the stars
and await –
generation by generation –
the fulfilment of his
The God of Isaac –
conceived in the promise of angels –
delivered by the mercy of God
to bless his son as patriarch
founder of God’s people
The God of Jacob
who wrestled by night with his Creator
and at dawn received his blessing.
We come at the invitation of our God –
the God whose call echoes across ages;
resounding in time and space
yet intimate –
|Reader||A voice that calls us to encounter:|
|to encounter with grace beyond telling –|
|to encounter with healing and transformation –|
|to encounter that calls us to stillness and to awe –|
|to encounter with the presence whose compassion brings healing –|
|the power that transforms|
the love that cherishes us into
|Music started quietly under the introductory readings and then went straight into|
|Be still for the presence of the Lord|
Lord God, you created a world of beauty and majesty
entrusting it to the keeping of your people.
Grace us with your presence
lead us to your truth
and bring us to perfection of faith, hope and love.
Exodus 3: 1-6, 9-12
Moses encounters God in the Burning Bush....
It may be that the
"reflector" would prepare this themselves drawing from their own
I could have walked by.
It was a strange sight to be sure…
but I could have walked past –
averted my eyes
and focused on the sheep.
(fondly) Silly animals!
But a full time job…
A wife – a family – a job…
I had no need to notice anything out of the ordinary –
life was full –
life was good –
life was all I wanted it to be…
and yet I looked.
A bush – burning and yet not consumed by the flame.
I was puzzled –
all that –
and yet more…
It was as if I was drawn –
I was called
I was pulled
I was invited…
It was not my initiative but that of… (possible other voices – as if “angels prompting”!)
that of something speaking to a yearning I did not yet know I had –
that of something enfolding a desire so deep it was hidden from me –
that of something –
speaking in tones that resonated
touched chords in me that vibrated with the harmony of the heavens –
calling the deepest within
to the utterly beyond.
The bush was burning –
all that was needed of me was to notice –
to notice and not to walk by –
to notice and allow this thing I had never seen before
to touch my curiosity –
to create an attraction that was easier to act on than to ignore.
And once attracted…
ah, once attracted –
then I knew this was not about a burning bush –
this was not an interruption to a day going about my daily business –
not an aside.
God had stepped into the ordinariness of a day
and enticed me to step into the extraordinary.
In the wideness of the wilderness
God marked out a sanctuary –
a holy ground
onto which he invited me to stand:
bare sole against bare sand
so that my body should know in time
my soul’s encounter with the eternal.
God sanctifying human time and space –
a bush – burning…
on such a small thing did the changing of history depend.
A small thing
a strange thing –
and I could have walked by.
But I did not –
I took off my shoes and took the risk of standing on that holy ground –
a mortal man, I dared to speak with the immortal and omnipotent God of my ancestors –
and my God transformed me.
History knows my name because God called it first.
An encounter – not in palace or temple –
not between God and the great and the good –
but an encounter next to a bush
between God and me – a man slow in speech –
unaware of my destiny…
An encounter such as can happen in this place –
where God enters the ordinary
to encounter his people –
coming into a place where many are gathered
in order to speak to sons and daughters
of his dreams for them:
to release them from that which holds them bound
to liberate them from their doubt and darkness
to send them renewed
on the great adventure
of the journey to his Promised Land.
Reflection/ symbolic gesture (creating holy ground)
Reconciliation stations set up beforehand but at this point priests are invited to come forward and take lit candles to where they will be sitting. As they go, the following prayer is said (perhaps several times - accompanying each priest...)
May the blessing of God the Creator be upon this place
The blessing of Christ, Incarnate Redeemer –
The blessing of the Spirit, hallowing and healing –
The blessing of our Triune God on all who come in peace
and seek an encounter with
the loving and divine.
As people celebrate the sacrament - or
simply wish to acknowledge an encounter with God, they tie a strip
of cellophane to the "bush". To add to the effect, the tree can be
up-lit. Music and quiet song are played at intervals.
Simple reflection on what has happened
the transformative encounter with God in the sacrament -
the importance of the prayer one for another -
and time to thank God and prepare to depart.
Exodus 3: 13-15
The encounter with God ends when Moses is sent to the people to set them free...
God of infinite power and tenderest mercy,
open our hearts and minds to awareness of your presence.
Challenge our complacency –
assure us of your forgiveness –
empower us to place before you
the sin which diminishes
us as your children.
|Concluding Song||To celebrate the encounter with God.|
© 2007 Wellspring