Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blessing of the Free Farm - Ritual

The text and photos below are from the blessing of the Free Farm. We've posted the information below in hopes that you will bless your own garden sites. Please feel free to use the service in whole or in parts. We planned our service by mapping out a route through the garden, you may want to do the same.

All Leaders were encouraged to add, substitute or subtract any words they desire or to offer their own blessing. Religious leaders were asked to dress casually in clothes suitable for gardening and to wear a sign of their faith - particularly those that had agricultural roots. For example, stoles are a sign of being yoked to God as an oxen is yoked to a plow. And bishops often have staffs used for shepherding.

Service of Blessing for the Free Farm

Apr 17, 2010

Gathering Song: Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell

Opening Words:

Welcome! Grace and peace to you. As we begin, you are invited to look at your surroundings here – Feel your feet in the dirt. Feel the wind on your face. We are standing on the remains of St. Paulus Lutheran, a church that fell victim to the destructive power of fire. While we typically stand aghast at the desolation that a fire can cause. Fires are also profound catalysts for new growth. Consider the Mountain Grey Gum tree (eucalyptus cypellocarpa) which has adapted to grow masses of fresh green shoots of leaves within days after a fire sweeps through. Fire is a natural element necessary to the harmony of nature. In the Christian tradition fire can also carry connotations purification. And now as we stand in the ashes and dirt of fire, we look around and see the budding of new plants. Hope springs eternal to the faithful and we look to this garden to be a sacred space that will provide nourishing food to those in need. This space will serve as a church without walls for the community providing a place for whole body health, education, worship, and food justice.

Song: Gather Us In vs 1,2,4

Prayer:

Spirit of grace and truth, we ask that you make your presence felt in this garden today and everyday. We ask that you make our hands and hearts both strong and humble as we work this ground. We ask that you provide the necessary balance of energy and rest for the gardeners. Inspire us, God, so that the words we speak here today may have a lasting effect on our lives and the lives of all that we connect with. Amen.

Blessings:

Gate

Spirit of grace and truth, bless this gate. May all that pass through it have the desire to do goodness and work towards justice. Place your angels on these fences and command them to dispel evil wherever it attempts to enter. May this gate speak “welcome” and “peace” to all that walk by.

All: God bless this garden and all of the life and potential that it represents.


Community Area

Participants walk to the community Area. Anyone interested in offering a blessing at this time is welcome. You may use your own blessing or the words printed below.

If no one speaks in this space we will observe a time a silence to remember the saints who have come before us, particularly the generation after generation of farmers that planted and collected seeds. The presider will end the time of silence by reading the words below.

Spirit of grace and truth, bless this community area. May it be a space of fellowship, trust, and communion. We ask that you open the hearts and minds of all that gather here, and that you would bless their hands for the work that needs to be accomplished.

All: God bless this garden and all of the life and potential that it represents.

Greenhouse

Participants walk to the greenhouse.

Spirit of grace and truth, bless this greenhouse. The earth is cool and dark, and far below, new life begins. May the soil in this greenhouse be blessed with fertility and abundance, with the heat of the sun, with the energy of the raw earth. May the soil be blessed as the womb of the land becomes full and fruitful to bring forth the garden anew.

All: God bless this garden and all the life and potential it represents.

Tool shed

Participants walk to the tool shed.

Spirit of grace and truth, bless this humble tool shed made from pallets. We give thanks for these tools that were bought, borrowed, donated or rescued from the dump. You are the God who turns swords to plowshares, help us to use these tools you have given us safely, with mindfulness and to remember to put them away neatly when we are done.

All: God bless this garden and all the life and potential it represents.

Labyrinth

Participants walk to the labyrinth.

Spirit of grace and truth, bless this labyrinth. Thank you for giving us times of stillness, peace, and meditation. Thank you for those blessed moments where your light can be seen briefly if not comprehended. Help us to find those moments in this labyrinth. Grace this place with your light so that it might inspire profound self-examination and reflection.

All: God bless this garden and all the life and potential it represents.


Strawberry terraces

Participants walk to the terraces.

Spirit of grace and truth, bless these strawberry terraces. May you help us to realize the juiciness rife with potassium that are strawberries. Help us to pause in our daily life and recognize what little wonders of creation strawberries are. If we could make communion wine from these strawberries we would be grateful for your ever present blessing on our lives.

All: God bless this garden and all the life and potential it represents.


Water Station

Participants walk to the raised beds.

Spirit of grace and truth, bless this water station. You who split the Red Seas, sprung water from rock in the desert, tamed the stormy waters and used water to name us your children, help us to be good stewards of this water that will be used to clean soiled hands, nurture plants and quench the thirst of those who toil.

All: God bless this garden and all the life and potential it represents.


Seedlings

Participants walk to the seedlings.

Spirit of grace and truth, bless these seedlings. May they grow into nourishing and healthy plants to sustain us in life. We thank you for the rain and the sun that is so graciously provided and we ask for the proper balance as these baby plants grow and mature.

All: God bless this garden and all of the life and potential that it represents.

Raised plant beds

Participants walk to the raised beds.

Spirit of grace and truth, bless these plant beds. May their growth be a reminder to us of the constant growth that we experience everyday. As God says in Genesis (1:11-12), "Let the land produce vegetation: seed- bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”

All: God bless this garden and all the life and potential it represents.


Compost


Participants walk to the compost piles.

Spirit of grace and truth, bless this compost. May it give the plants the nutrients they need. As we encounter its smells, let them be a reminder to us about the order and chaos of life and death. For as it is written in Genesis (3:19), “by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

All: God bless this garden and all the life and potential it represents.


Murals

Participants walk to the murals.

Spirit of grace and truth, bless these murals. Thank you for the gift of art. Thank you for t he talent you have instilled in us. Thank you for our anxious moments of being where we can do nothing but mock you with our own creations. Thank you for being an untouchable creator. May these murals be signs of peace and justice to all that look upon them. May they be welcoming to all who need welcomed. May they be distracting to passers-by that they may become interested and volunteer. May they be inspiring to all the gardeners as they toil.

All: God bless this garden and all the life and potential it represents.


Commissioning:


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

All: And also with you.

Brothers and sisters: We have come together to commission this garden for the glory of God and building up of the body of Christ. From this day forward let it be a place for the gathering of the people of God, a place for proclaiming the Gospel through Word and Sacrament, a place for bringing life and hope to us and to this community.

Let us pray: Direct us, O Lord in all our doings with your most gracious favor and further us with your continual help, that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name and finally, by your mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen

Peace to this garden.

All: And all who enter here.

( Psalm 122) “I was glad when they said to me “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built as a city that is at unity with itself; to which the tribes go up the tribes of the Lord, the assembly of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord. For there are the thrones of judgement, the thrones of the house of David.

(Psalm 122 cont.) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls and quietness within your towers. For my brethren and companions' sake, I pray for your prosperity. Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek to do you good.

All your works praise you, O Lord,

All: and your faithful servants bless you.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe. In the beginning your Spirit moved over the waters and you created heaven and earth. You have made water for us sign of rebirth and by it we share in the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ. Pour out your Holy Spirit, so that new life may be given to all those who believe. To you, O god, be given praise and honor and worship through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever.

All: Amen

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe. You have revealed your love for your creation in your Word, our Lord Jesus Christ. Inspired by him, we seek to hold fast to the truth and to know your purposes. Purify the hands of those who work here, and grant us grace to hear your love in all that is proclaimed from this garden.

All: Amen

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe. The heavens and earth cannot contain you, yet you are willing to make your home in human hearts. We are the temple of your presence, and this garden is the house of your church. Accept us and this place to which we come to share with others the covenant you make with us, to praise your name, to receive your forgiveness, to hear your Word, and to be nourished by the body and blood of your Son. Be present always to guide and illumine your people. And now, O god, visit us with your mercy and blessing as we dedicate this garden to your glory and honor and to the service of all people in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen

Closing Song: Canticle of Turning vs. 1,2,4


Benediction

Go in peace and tend the garden!

All: Thanks be to God

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. You have done such a good job, Megan. Blessings to you and all of your volunteers! Cheryl

    ReplyDelete