Liturgies in the journey towards the ordination of women

General Synod 2004
The motion to allow women Bishop’s fails
“A time to grieve and move on”

A liturgy for women and men

Marian Free

Everyone entered the chapel in silence and was given a votive candle.

There was no obvious leader. With the exception of the prayer and instructions to light candles

When all are gathered, a single voice begins:

I am tired –
tired of fighting
tired of being strong
tired of being where I am not wanted
tired of a lifetime in an institution that does not value me as I am
tired of not belonging in the world
tired of God asking me to do something too hard and too painful.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, some days there is no sunrise.

Another voice reads Psalm 56.

Let us pray:

Weeping God,
when our institutions fail us and deny us,
when we know the pain of exclusion, the anger of rejection
and the frustration of limitation,
when we look for you and find you not.
hold us and uphold us
as we shout and cry,
as we struggle once again to pick up the pieces
of broken dreams and shattered hopes.

Take our hands and lead us
as we find the courage to move into a future
which looks no different from the past.

Use our anger to make us strong.
Use our emptiness as an opportunity to fill us with your power.
Use our disappointment to reaffirm our commitment to justice.
Use our tears to nurture hope.
Use our sense of limitation to strengthen our desire for freedom.
And use our pain to create in us something of beauty.

In this moment of darkness we say:
We will not be victims.
We will not be victims.
We will not be defeated.
We will not be defeated.
We will be strong.
We will be strong.
And we will stand together in faith, until a new day dawns.
And we will stand together in faith, until a new day dawns. Amen.

Blessing:

May God who is love hold you in her arms,
May Jesus who shares your humanity stand beside you as your friend
And the spirit who is life empower you to be all that you can be, today and always. Amen.

At the close of the service participants were invited to light their candles and place them in the bowl on the altar. At this point people chose to stay or leave. Some took their candles away with them. We left the chapel in silence.

Copyright: Marian Free 2004

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