ARCWP Liturgy at St. Andrew, Rialto, Dublin, Ireland on September 15, 2019

ARCWP Liturgy

The Spirit Welcomes All

Opening Prayer:

We celebrate the spirit of Divine Presence in all creation as we behold the beauty of every living creature on earth. With St. Brigid, we light the fire of God’s desire as prophets of a new vision that welcomes all to the Banquet Table of Infinite Love.

Opening Song: Light the Fire

In honor of St, Brigid (composed by Liam Lawton, January 1993)

There travels forth from the passages of history
A woman’s voice that is heard across the plains,
That calls once more, for a people of new vision
To heal our wounds and green our Earth again,
To heal our wounds and green our Earth again.

She spreads her cloak ‘cross the land and far beyond it,
A shadow cast on a people void of hope.
She speaks of peace and the chains that weigh upon it
And there her light shall glimmer from the oak
And all that binds the people shall be broke.

So light the Fire of God’s desire
Within all hearts, let sorrows end.
So light the Fire of God’s desire
God’s chosen one, Your peace upon us send.

And we today need a prophet of new vision,
To lift the low – the forgotten child to heed,
To be the voice of the wounded and the weary,
To plant anew a fresh and peaceful seed
To dance the dance of God’s own Blessed Bríd.

So light the Fire of God’s desire
Within all hearts, let sorrows end.
So light the Fire of God’s desire
God’s chosen one, Your peace upon us send.

First Reading

All has been consecrated. The creatures in the forest know this, the earth does, the seas do, the clouds know, as does the heart full of love.
Strange, a priest, would rob us of this knowledge and then empower himself with the ability to make holy what already was.

These are the words of St. Catherine of Siena and we affirm them by saying: Thanks be to God.

Psalm Response: Amen. Truly I say to you, gather in my name, I am with you. (2x)

Psalm 146

Praise be to you, Divine Lover,
I will praise you with all my being;
I will sing joyfully
And with thanksgiving
To you, Heart of my heart!


Blessed are those whose strength is in the Beloved,
Whose trust is in You, O Divine Lover,
Who gave birth to the universe–
The heavens, earth, and sea –
And all that is within them.
You are forever faithful,
Bringing balance and harmony to earth, nourishment to body and soul.


May You, who lives forever in our hearts, loose the fetters of fear that bind us,
That we might praise you always with free and joyful song!
May it be so!


Second Reading: A passage inspired by Celtic theologian Pelagius (360-418)

Look at the animals roaming the forest: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the birds flying across the sky: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the tiny insects crawling in the grass: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the fish in the river and sea: God’s spirit dwells within them. There is no creature on earth in whom God is absent. When God pronounced that creation was good, it was not only that the Holy One’s hand had fashioned every creature; it was that the divine breath had brought every creature to life. Look, too, at the great trees of the forest; look even at your crops. God’s spirit is present within all plants as well. The presence of God’s spirit in all living things is what makes them beautiful; and if we look with God’s eyes, nothing on the earth is ugly. Go out into the natural world and look with God’s eyes; listen with God’s ears; know your place within God’s good creation.

These are the words of Pelagius, Celtic theologian and we affirm them by saying: Thanks be to God.

Alleluia sung by Jan Phillips

Gospel – Luke 15: 1-10

By this time a lot of men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.

“Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”

These are words from the Gospel of Luke, and the community affirms then by saying: Thanks be to God.

Shared Homily

Homily Starter

With St. Brigid of Kildare, we light the fire of God’s desire as prophets of a new vision that welcomes all to the Banquet Table of Infinite Love.

The point of Jesus parables about the lost sheep, and the lost coin is that just as the shepherd goes to every byway to find the lost sheep, and the woman uses precious lamp oil in her search for the missing coin, both the shepherd and the woman are evocative images for the Holy One working through each of us to procure the return of the lost and hosting an exuberant celebration in their honor.

Scripture scholar Barbara Reid sums up the message in these words: “Like Woman Wisdom (Prov 9: 1-6), Jesus “ has welcomed a scraggly array of all types to dine with him. We can stay outside and grumble, or we can enter into the party and allow ourselves to be surprised by the host.”

Since the first ordination of 7 women on the Danube on June 29, 2002, Roman Catholic Women Priests have been offering a new model of priestly ministry in a community of equals within the Roman Catholic Church. We now have 265 members, on 5 continents, in 13 countries and 34 states in the U.S.

Women Priests are leading, not leaving the Church as we deconstruct patriarchal theologies and rites that exclude, and create theologies and rites that include. Our mission is to live the Gospel and the mystical, prophetic and sacramental treasures of our sacred tradition.

Our movement ordains women called to liturgical and prophetic ministry in inclusive communities of faith that welcome all to celebrate sacraments.

As prophets of a new vision on the inside edge of the Roman Catholic Church, women priests have, like our Sister Brigit of Kildare, lit the fire, and the party has already begun!

What did you hear in our readings today?

Statement of Faith:

We believe in one God, a divine mystery beyond all definition and rational understanding, the heart of all that has ever existed, that exists now, or that ever will exist.

We believe in Jesus, messenger of God’s Word, bringer of God’s healing, heart of God’s compassion, bright star in the firmament of God’s prophets, mystics, and saints.

We believe that We are called to follow Jesus as a vehicle of God’s love, a source of God’s wisdom and truth, and an instrument of God’s peace in the world.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the life of God that is our innermost life, the breath of God moving in our being, the depth of God living in each of us.

We believe that God’s kin-dom is here and now, stretched out all around us for those with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it, and hands to make it happen.

Presider 1: As we prepare for this sacred meal, we bring to this table our blessings, cares and concerns. please feel free to voice your intentions beginning with the words “I bring to the table….” And respond with: Holy One You hear us.

Presider 2: We pray for all of these intentions and all unspoken concerns. Amen.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Presider 1: Blessed are You, God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Presider 2: Blessed are You, God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Eucharistic Prayer

Presider 1: Our God is with you.

All: And also with you.

Presider 1: Lift up your hearts.

All: We lift them up to our God.

Presider 1: Let us give thanks to our loving God.

All: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Voice 1: O Divine Fire of Love, glowing embers dance in our hearts. Our souls are purified by the searing truth that ignites our spirits and by the fire that penetrates the cold around us, setting our hearts aglow with tenderness.

Voice 2: How often have we felt tender love that is without limits or boundaries! How often have we been consumed with delight by love in a human touch! How often have we been embraced through Earth’s beauty, a part of the beloved creation that surrounds us! We are energized to work for justice and peace in our world and we raise our voices with grateful hearts as we say:

Holy, Holy, Holy are You, Source of All Creation,
Heaven and earth are filled with Your glory,
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed are we who come in Your Name,
Hosanna in the highest!

Voice 1: Holy Mystery, may we listen with assurance and excitement as the infinite, boundless, depths of love are revealed within and among us. May we awaken to the promise that we are always, no matter what the obstacles or setbacks we experience, embraced with love and compassion.

Voice 2: May we be consumed with such a hunger and thirst for justice that our words and actions inflame others to become signs of justice. May we have eyes to see human need, hearts to care for our sisters and brothers and hands and feet to lighten others’ burdens.

Voice 1: We are thankful for Jesus, and his strong, but gentle presence, whose message blesses and transform our lives. He showed us how to live as your new creation.

Presider 2: I invite you, the People of God, to extend your hands and pray together:

All: Loving God, intensify the presence of Your Spirit in these our gifts, as they, and we, become the Body and Blood of Jesus the Christ for our wholeness and the wholeness of all creation.

Presider 1: (lifts bread as community prays the following:)

All: On the night before Jesus died, he gave us a special gift of love divine. He took bread, broke it and shared it with friends who gathered around the table saying:

Take and eat of the Bread of Life
Given to strengthen you
Whenever you remember me like this
I am among you. (pause)

Presider 2 (lifts the cup as community prays the following: )

All: Jesus then raised a cup of blessing, spoke the grace saying:
Take and drink of the covenant
Made new again through my life in you.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you. (pause)

Presider 1: Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

All: Christ dies, Christ rises, Christ comes again and again.

Voice 1: May we become Spirit-Fire, as we fan the flames of love over the entire cosmos. May all of our families and friends, the young and old, the sick and dying and all those in need experience nurturing love this day.

Voice 2: Inspire our leaders, both religious and political, so that they act without fear to bring your justice. May they become peacemakers who transform your church and society so that all living beings and our planet may thrive.

Presider 1: You have gathered us around this table in friendship, with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the apostles, and all the saints. May all who are suffering in any way be strengthened and consoled by your Presence. You bless all who have gone before us and bring them into the lasting joy and peace of your presence.

Presider 2: You gather together women, men and children of every race, language, religion and way of life to share in your one, eternal banquet. In your presence, we give you glory with all creation and with Jesus through whom your goodness flows.

Presiders hold up bread and wine

All: Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, may all glory and honor be Yours, all-loving God, forever and ever.

All: Great Amen (sung)

Presider 2: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:
ALL: Our Father and Mother, who art in heaven ….

Sign of Peace:
Presider 1: Jesus said, “My peace I give you.” Let us share that peace with one another.

Song: Peace is Flowing Like a River by Carry Landry

Presider 1: Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread: (Presiders break the bread)

ALL: Holy One, we are called to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.
We are called to be presence of Love in the world. We will love tenderly
We are called to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.

Presider 2: This is the Bread of Life and the Cup of Blessing, through it we are nourished and we nourish each other.

ALL: What we have heard with our ears, we will live our lives; as we share communion we will become communion, both love’s nourishment and love’s challenge.

Presider 1: Our Eucharistic celebration is all-inclusive. You are a spark of the Divine and nothing can separate you from Divine love. All are welcome to receive at this table. Please pass the bread and the cup with the words “You are the Body of Christ.”

Communion Meditation: Deer’s Cry (Celtic Woman)

Presider 2: Holy One, we are thankful for this holy meal which reminds us of the need to willingly give of ourselves completely. Our hearts are fueled with divine energy. May we share the love we have experienced with all of creation and may we live always as instruments of faithful love. Amen.

Final Blessing:

Presider 1: Please extend your hands in blessing.

All: In the spirit of St. Bridget of Kildare, we welcome the poor and sick to the feast, for they are God’s children. We welcome the marginalized and excluded to the feast, for they are God’s joy. Together, in a circle of love, we dance a new Church of hospitality and welcome embracing all.

Closing Song: We Are Called by David Hass

Come, Live in the light!
Shine with the joy and the love of our God!
We are called to be light for the kin-dom,
to live in the freedom of the City of God.

We are called to act with justice,
We are called to love tenderly,
We are called to serve another;
To walk humbly with God!

Come, open your heart!
Show your mercy to all those in fear.
We are called to be hope for the hopeless,
So all hatred and blindness will be no more!


(Liturgy is by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP and Mary Theresa Streck, ARCWP. Permission is given to use or adapt.)

For more information about:

The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, Visit:

Bridget Mary’s Blog:

People’s Catholic Seminary, visit