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‘One Bread’
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An Order of Service based on the
Christian Ecology Link LOAF Principles.

INTRODUCTION

“Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry…’ ” (John 6:35)

(All stand for the entrance of ministers and choir)

HYMN Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation;

(Words: Joachim Neander trans. Catherine Winkworth;;
Tune: from ‘Praxis Pietatis Melica’)

Minister: Praise be to you, Sovereign God, Creator of all.

By your Word the universe came to be,
and through your Word
every living creature is nurtured and sustained.

We thank you for the fertility of the soil
and the harvest of the land;
we thank you for those who grow and provide our food,
both here and abroad,
and we thank you for those who sell it to us in their shops.

We confess that, in this network of productivity,
we have often allowed relationships
which should be good and mutually enriching,
to become destructive and exploitative.

You have given us Jesus, the Bread of Life,
and in you is our light and salvation.

As we celebrate your goodness
open our eyes, O God, to behold your presence amongst us
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world, marred by our sin,
may know the peace and joy of your kingdom,
of the pure harvest that is at one with your will,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

All: Blessed be God for ever.

Minister: O be joyful in the Lord, all the earth;

All: Serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Minister: Know that the Lord is God;

All: It is he who has made us and we are his.
(Psalm 100)

Minister: The LOAF principles urge us to eat what is Locally produced, Organically grown, Animal friendly and Fairly traded. As we meet to worship almighty God, the Father of all, we are conscious of the many ways in which our food is tainted by sin. Let us confess our sin, and the sins of our society.

(Congregation sit or kneel. Silence is kept.)

The grace of God has dawned upon the world
with healing for all. (Titus 2:11)

God our Father,
we have been ungrateful for your love
and disobedient to your will.
We have sinned:

All: forgive us and heal us.

Minister: You have called us to serve you here in N.
(the name of the town or village may be mentioned),
yet we have blinded ourselves to your blessings in this locality.

We buy and eat out of season food whenever we want and from wherever we want, regardless of the damage this may do.

We create excessive greenhouse gases
through wasteful transportation of food, especially by air.

We have sinned:

All: forgive us and heal us.

Minister: We have harmed the land you have given us.

Through our abuse of chemicals
we have polluted its soil,
drained its goodness
and needlessly destroyed the wildlife.

We have sinned:

All: forgive us and heal us.

Minister: We have inflicted upon farm animals
cruel and unnecessary suffering.

We have subjected them to cramped
and overcrowded conditions,
excessively long journeys,
and undignified, inhumane deaths at abattoirs.

We have sinned:

All: forgive us and heal us.

Minister: We have traded unfairly to our own advantage.
We have pursued our own prosperity
to the detriment of the poor,
and selfishly exploited the weak and vulnerable
within the world community.

We have sinned:

All: forgive us and heal us.

All: Gracious Lord,
in our sin we have avoided your call
to further your kingdom of peace.

Our love for you is like the morning cloud,
like the dew that goes away early.

Have mercy on us;
deliver us from judgement;
bind up our wounds and revive us;
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(cf Hosea 6)

Minister: May the God of love bring us back to himself,
forgive us our sins,
and assure us of his eternal love in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MINISTRY OF THE WORD

(All stand)

PSALM 72: 1-5, 11-14, 18-19: ‘Prayers for the Righteous Ruler’

Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to the king’s son;

That he may rule your people righteously
and the poor with justice;

That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people,
and the little hills bring righteousness.

He shall defend the needy among the people,
he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.

All kings shall bow down before him,
and all the nations do him service.

For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress,
and the oppressed who has no helper.

He shall have pity on the lowly and poor,
he shall preserve the lives of the needy.

He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,
and dear shall their blood be in their sight.

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous deeds!

And blessed be his glorious name for ever!
and may all the earth be filled with his glory.

Amen. Amen.

(Sit)

NON-BIBLICAL READING:

(Possible readings: ‘Green’, by Elizabeth Jennings; ‘God’s Grandeur’, ‘Spring’ or ‘Binsey Poplars’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins; an extract from ’Auguries of Innocence’ by William Blake; ‘Still Falls the Rain’ by Edith Sitwell; ‘They Had It Coming’ by Steve Turner)

ANTHEM

OLD TESTAMENT READING OR EPISTLE:
One of the following is read:

Genesis 3: 14-19: ‘Disharmony within God’s Creation’
Isaiah 11: 1-9: ‘A Vision of God’s Universal Peace’
Micah 6: 6-8: ‘Justice, Mercy and Humility’
Amos 5: 18-24: ‘A Plea for Justice’
Romans 8: 18-27: ‘The Redemption of the Created Order’
Colossians 1: 15-23: ‘The Gospel Proclaimed to all Creatures’
James 5: 1-6: ‘Warnings to Rich Oppressors’

HYMN: ‘Gospel Joy’ (Tune: ‘Lord of the Dance’)

(Stand)

The Lord is our Father. In his mercy and grace
He has called us and led us to serve him in this place.
His blessings are many; let us pray that they’ll grow
In the land we inhabit, the love we sow.

Praise God, you people ev’rywhere!
Praise your Creator who holds you in his care!
As freely he gives to us, so freely we share
In the joy of his gospel that’s just and fair.

The Lord of the Harvest knows our ev’ry need,
We let go of our craving, our selfishness and greed,
So pollution and spoiling of this earth may cease
And Creation may enter God’s Reign of Peace.

The creatures exploited on our farm and our field
Are much more than a measure of economic yield.
They are loved by the Father; let us care for them too.
It’s the task of dominion for me and you.

The God that we worship is the God of the poor.
It is wrong when they hunger while we have always more.
Let’s trade so they benefit; let’s share and let’s give,
That we all of his bounty may taste and live.

The Lord is our Maker and his Purpose is good,
So then why does it seem that he’s so misunderstood?
We have nailed our rejection to a cross of wood
And have failed to obey as we know we should.

GOSPEL READING:

Luke 12: 22-34: ‘The Priorities of God’s Kingdom’

ADDRESS:

INTERCESSIONS:
(Sit or kneel)

The Lord’s Prayer is said.
Let us pray to God,
that he will bring to fruition all that he desires for his creation.
Father, Lord of creation,
In your mercy hear us.

You have created the universe by your eternal Word,
and have blessed humankind
in giving us responsibility to care for your earth.
We pray for your world, that we may share and conserve your gifts,
and live in reverence for the creation and in harmony with one another.
Father, Lord of creation,
In your mercy hear us.

You have blessed us with a wonderful world,
a land of streams and springs, wheat and barley, vines and oil and honey.
We have made by sin a world of suffering and sorrow.
We pray for those who bear the weight of affliction,
that they may come to share the life of wholeness and plenty.
Father, Lord of creation,
In your mercy hear us.

In Christ you call us to a new way of life, loving our neighbour as ourselves.

Help us to treat with care and respect the world as it is
as we live in hope and anticipation of the world as it will be,
when your kingdom comes and your will is done.

Thank you for those, living and departed,
who have guided and inspired us
to reverence what you have made.

Help us to follow in their footsteps,
until, with them, we see you face to face,
where all is made new in Christ our Lord.
Merciful Father,
Accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.

ACT OF COMMITMENT (based on the LOAF principles):

(A few moments of silence are kept as the congregation prepares to stand and make this act of commitment. The congregation should be assured that one does not have to make a commitment to all four LOAF principles simultaneously. It is hoped that people will feel able to affirm at least one of the principles them.)

(All stand)

Will you strive to live more simply,
to value food that is locally produced,
and to appreciate the regional varieties of the produce grown
here in this place to which God has called you?
With the help of God, we will.

Will you oppose the unnecessary pollution of the soil
and destruction of habitat for wildlife,
will you commit yourselves to explore the merits of organic food,
and will you endeavour, in whatever way you can,
to respect and care for the environment?
With the help of God, we will.

Will you combat cruelty to farm animals
and seek both to improve their conditions
and to promote their well-being?
With the help of God, we will.

Will you seek to serve Christ in one another,
rejecting the exploitation of the poor
and working for fairer trade
and a greater sharing of the blessings God has given us to enjoy?
With the help of God, we will.

(A large, locally baked, organic loaf of bread is brought forward and placed on the altar. The loaf is a reminder of the LOAF principles and of our dependence upon the Bread of Life. It is held by the minister whilst the following words are said:)

All: God of Love, Bread of Life,
Saviour of the poor and weak,
receive with this loaf of bread
our gratitude for your goodness,
our penitence for our pride
and our dedication to your service in Jesus Christ our Lord.

(The bread is broken and shared)

* * * * *

(NB. If there is a Communion and not just a fellowship meal through the sharing of bread, the Eucharistic Prayer, Fraction and Distribution may follow here.)

Proper Preface in the case of a Communion:

And now we give you thanks
because he broke bread with those whom others scorned
and when the multitude were hungry
he fed them abundantly.

* * * * *

CONCLUSION:

HYMN God is love: let heaven adore Him;

All: Blessed are you, Lord God, king of the universe,
who feeds the whole world through his goodness,
with grace, kindness and mercy…
and prepares food for all his creatures that he has created.
Blessed are you Lord, who gives food for all.

Our God, our Father, be our shepherd and feed us,
provide for us, sustain us and support us,
and save us from all our troubles,
for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Minister: May God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is the source of all goodness and growth,
pour his blessing upon all things created,
and upon you his children,
that you may use his gifts to his glory
and further his reign of universal peace;
and the blessing …


Printable PDF Format

Except for ‘Gospel Joy’ all the suggested hymns need to be covered by the Christian Copyright license. Please check you have a C.C.L. license before using them.

CEL is grateful to Revd Hugh Broadbent of ASWA who wrote and compiled this Service of Worship.

This Order of Service has been produced by Christian Ecology Link, 3 Bond Street Lancaster LA1 3ER +44 (0)1524 33858 www.christian-ecology.org.uk  You are welcome to print it out if you acknowledge CEL. June 2005.

For a sample copy of The Ark and all membership details, and for questions, comments and submissions, please contact:
Deborah Jones at Catholic Concern for Animals cca@catholic-animals.org

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