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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

496 Sunday Celebration: What does Mary Magdalene have to teach us today?

A Message from Steve Lyman:

Dear Sisters and Brothers: I just wanted to let you know my mom, Juanita Lyman, passed on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 7 pm. Many of her children and one grandchild were surrounding her with love and affection. She was comfortable and died peacefully. We are all doing well.

- Steve

Please remember to put this on your calendars:

Celebration of Life for Irene Bachelder

August 14th 2021:

3:00 PM - St. Leo’s Catholic Church at 601 Agua Caliente Rd W, Sonoma, CA 95476

Tom would like to invite attendees to share memories of Irene during the celebration (more on that later).

After the celebration we continue with a reception at

Burlingame Hall on the campus of the First Congregational Church at 252 W Spain St, Sonoma, CA 95476. Tom has reserved the hall between 4:00 and 7:00.

The church has asked us to refrain from serving alcoholic beverages. Due to Covid all food and beverages to be consumed outdoors. Waiting on the congregational church property committee to decide whether we can set up shade structures outdoors, or if we need to bring in a whole bunch of umbrellas… Tom has reserved 10 x 20 and 20 x 40 shade structures, with tables and chairs for the area between Burlingame Hall and their exit driveway.

Indoor masking is strongly preferred for both

Patti has offered to crew chief the food committee. Community members are encouraged to bring salads desserts and appetizers. Costco is the source for Deli platters and beverages, and Patti and Tom will be ordering Basque boulangerie rolls for sandwiches.

Emmaus Intentional Eucharistic Community

Liturgy for Feast of Saint Mary Magdala, July 25, 2021

Join Our Zoom Celebration This Afternoon at 4:45

Here's the link:

Passcode: 1234

Meeting ID: 519 315 8573

One tap mobile

+16699006833,,5193158573# US (San Jose)

WORD and PDF Versions of the Celebration to download and print

Emmaus Liturgy 7-25-21_v2
Download DOCX • 29KB
Emmaus Liturgy 7-25-21_v2
Download PDF • 125KB

Victoria: Welcome

Tonight, our Emmaus liturgy celebrates the feast of Mary Magdalene, and hopes to honor her legacy by exploring what Mary of Magdala might have to teach us. We’ll use scriptural texts, poetry, and prayer, and our liturgy will look at how a woman who was barely mentioned more than a dozen times in scripture, can come to be known as “The Apostle to the Apostles.” The essential question is "What does Mary Magdalene have to teach us today?”

Mary seemed to love Jesus with her whole being -- she "got" his message, maybe in a way that the more fearful apostles didn't. Jesus knew this. He felt this love. It was Mary to whom he first appeared. She didn't recognize him at first, thinking he was the gardener, until he said, "Mary," and she recognized his voice. Then she rejoiced. She wasn't fearful. She embraced the risen Christ and didn't doubt. When she ran to tell the apostles, it was the apostles who doubted!

The apostle’s left brain, rational (masculine) minds said,

"No -- this cannot be…it doesn't make any sense." They were shut up in that upstairs room, both physically and metaphorically! It was Mary who burst through the door of their fear, in the same way that Jesus burst forth from the tomb.

Mary can teach us that it isn't belief that’s important. It isn't a set of rules or a creed that is important. It’s simply love! Mary calls us to love. To open our arms and our hearts to the power of love. Not to worry or fear, not to make rules or laws about how to worship, about who is worthy to receive, not to worry about who gets in and who doesn't. She shows us that we must leave the door open…and just love.

Victoria: Rings the Singing Bowl (X3)

Pat: Opening Prayer: The Magdalene’s Blessing (by Jan Richardson)

You hardly imagined

standing here

everything you ever loved

suddenly returned to you,

looking you in the eye

and calling your name.

And now

you do not know

how to abide this hole

in the center

of your chest,

where a door

slams shut

and swings open

at the same time,

turning on the hinge

of your aching

and hopeful heart.

I tell you

this is not a banishment

from the garden

This is an invitation

a choice

a threshold,

a gate.

This is your life

calling to you

from a place

you could never

have dreamed,

but now that you

have glimpsed its edge,

you cannot imagine

choosing any other way.

So let the tears come

as anointing,

as consecration,

and then

let them go.

Let this blessing

gather itself around you.

Let it give you

what you will need

for this journey.

You will not remember

the words—

they do not matter.

All you need to remember

is how it sounded

when you stood

in the place of death

and heard the living

call your name.

Opening Song: Give Yourself to Love (by Kate Wolf)

Kind friends all gathered 'round, there's something I would say:

That what brings us together here has blessed us all today.

Love has made a circle that holds us all inside.

Where strangers are as family, loneliness can't hide.

You must give yourself to love if love is what you're after;

Open up your hearts to the tears and laughter

And give yourself to love, give yourself to love.

Jeanine: First Reading: The Risk (A poem by Marcella Marie Holloway)

You take a risk when you invite the Lord whether to dine ore talk the afternoon

away, for always the unexpected soon turns up; a woman breaks her precious nard, a sinner does the task you should assume, a leper who is cleansed must show his proof; suddenly you see your very roof removed and a cripple clutters up your living room.

There’s no telling what to expect when Christ walks in your door. The table set for four must often be enlarged and decorum thrown to the wind. It’s His voice that calls them and its no use to bolt and bar the door; his kingdom knows no bounds of roof, or wall, or floor.

Kay: The Good News according to John Chapter 20:Verses 11-18

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been.

And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her. “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,”which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them,

‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary went and announced to the disciples, I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.

Victoria: Video Clip: Jesus of Nazareth

Victoria: Dialogue Homily

Reflection Song: Give Yourself to Love (by Kate Wolf)

I've walked these mountains in the rain and learned to love the wind;

I've been up before the sunrise to watch the day begin.

I've always knew I'd find you, though I never did know how;

Like sunshine on a cloudy day stand before me now.

So give yourself to love if love is what you're after;

Open up your hearts to the tears and laughter

And give yourself to love, give yourself to love.

Love is born in fire; it's planted like a seed.

Love can't give you everything, but it gives you what you need.

And love comes when you're ready, love comes when you're afraid;

It'll be your greatest teacher, the best friend you have made.

So give yourself to love if love is what you're after;

Open up your hearts to the tears and laughter

And give yourself to love, give yourself to love.

Give yourself to love if love is what you're after;

Open up your hearts to the tears and laughter

And give yourself to love, give yourself to love

What Do We Bring to the Table Tonight?

Mary: Tonight I ask each of you, in the silent spaces of your heart, to offer what it is you wish to bring to the table this we now offer our very selves and begin our Eucharistic prayer.

Eucharist Prayer:


You have filled us, and all creation, with your blessing

and fed us with your constant love;

you have redeemed us in Christ Jesus

and knit us into one body.

Through your Spirit you replenish us

and call us to the fullness of life.

And so we join the great cloud of witnesses in proclaiming your glory as we say:


Holy Holy Holy, Lord God of hosts

Heaven & earth are full of your glory



hosanna in the highest

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.



hosanna in the highest


On the night before he died,

Jesus was at table with his friends.

He took bread, gave thanks to you,

broke it, and gave it to his friends saying,

All: “This is my body, broken for you.”


As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine.

Again he gave thanks to you,

gave it to his friends and said,

All: “This cup is the new covenant of my lifeblood offered for you and for all. And as often as you do this, do this to remember me.”


Now gathered at your table,

we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine,

and ourselves, a living sacrifice.

Pour out your Spirit upon all these gifts that

they may be, and we may be, the Body and Blood of Christ.

Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth

and make us your new creation.

In the fullness of time

bring us with all your saints

from every tribe and language,

from every people and nation

to feast at the banquet prepared

from the foundation of the world.


Now together, as one community, we offer the prayer our brother, Jesus taught us:


Our Mother, Our Father Holy and blessed is your true name.

We pray for your reign of peace to come. We pray that your good will be done.

Let heaven and earth become one. Give us this day the bread we need.

Give it to those who have none.

Let forgiveness flow like a river between us, from each one to each one.

Lead us to holy innocence beyond the evil of our days.

Come swiftly Mother, Father, come.

For yours is the power and the glory and the mercy:

Forever your name is All in One.


Now let’s offer each other a sign of peace: Peace Be With You All!

Victoria: Welcome to our table, and your table!

This is the table, not of the church, but of this welcoming community.

It is a table made for those who love.

And for those who want to love more.

Receive now these gifts of God, for the people of God.

We are the body, and the life blood of our God! Amen

Communion: (Time is given now for each person to share in their own communion)

Communion Song: The Land of Make-Believe (by The Moody Blues)

We're living in a land of make believe

And trying no to let it show...

Maybe in that land of make believe

Heartaches can turn into joy

We're breathing in the smoke of high and low

We're taking up a lot of room

Somewhere in the dark and lonely night

Our prayer will be heard

Make it soon

So fly little bird

Up into the clear blue sky

And carry the word

Love's the only reason why...

Open all the shutters on your windows

Unlock all the locks upon your doors

Brush away the cobwebs from your day-dreams

No secrets come between us anymore

Oh, say it's true

Only love can see you through

You know what love can do to you


Post Communion Meditation (taken from Land of Make Believe by The Moody Blues)

…Somewhere in the dark and silent night

Our prayer will be heard

Make it soon.

So fly little bird

Up into the clear blue sky

And carry the word

Love’s the only reason why.

Open all the shutters on your windows

Unlock all the locks upon your doors

Brush away the cobwebs from your day-dreams

No secrets come between us anymore

Oh, say it’s true

Only love can see you through

You know what love can do to you…


Closing Blessing (from: Soul Sisters Women in Scripture Speak to Women Today by Edwina Gateway)


your story of the empty grave

was dismissed as rambling—-

distraught woman-nonsense.

But you returned

to the empty space

and stayed there—

unable to leave the ground

made precious

by the brush of his skin.

It was there,

in that deep and empty space,

that he whispered

your name, Mary,

leaping you into another world—

hurtling you

from reality

into the Realm of God—

spinning in a miracle,

love saturated,

as Jesus, Son of God

all risen up,

breathed your name—

claiming you

as treasured and chosen.

Ah, Mary,

we, your sisters and brothers

need to hear your running

and your story

resurrected and dusted from the tomb

of scriptural exegesis

into the bright sunlight.

We need to claim

your vision

breaking through

dead history

into our warm lives.

We, all those in prison,

we, all those waiting,

we, all those silenced

we, all those battered,

we, all those of us who weep alone by the grave

need to find you

Mary of Magdala.

In the torn threads

of our own journeys,

we need to weave you, Mary,

sister and friend,

into our lives

that we might

stir and rise,

fluttering in the hope

of new beginnings,

no matter how long dead

we have lain

in the ground.

Ah, then, Mary,

brave woman of Magdala,

we too will run

from our tombs

singing our song

of resurrection

with you, soul sister,

into the bright,

bright sun.

And the people of this, our beloved Emmaus Community, say:

All: Amen!

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