The Annunciation 25th March WOW Liturgy

Gathering Song and refrain: Sister wisdom, Spirit of grace, arise, awake in us

Voice 1: We gather today

Sisters and brothers

Daughters and Sons

Children of the living God.

To acknowledge the gifts of women and men in our midst

And to share our sadness that women are denied ordained ministries and full equality in our Church.

Voice 2: God of love and compassion, help us as we discern our vocations to serve you and one another, so that we might work for justice for women around the world. We pray for women denied access to clean water, food, education, and other basic human rights. We give thanks for those women who have gone before us to work for justice for women, and we remember those whose gifts we have lost.

Let us speak the names of women who have worked for justice or whose gifts we have lost: (go round the circle or invite contributions)

If the place allows, write the names of women of slips of paper and then crumble up and put into a waste paper bin or bowl (preferably empty as you will see later!!)

Jesus anointed women, and had no fear of women’s gifts. Go round the circle and anoint each other’s hands with oil, saying (Name) your gifts are precious in the eyes of God

Today we celebrate Mary, Mother of Christ, a woman who had to show courage in the use of her gifts, who risked all to follow Christ. We remember our foremothers, those who have brought Christ to us (name names of those who have brought faith to us). These may be actual mothers or not. After each name is said, whether those named are alive or dead, the others respond “presente” (present with us in Spanish).

We give thanks for those who have nurtured our faith.

Reading of the Annunciation

The Annunciation-  Luke1:26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favoured one! God is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, andGod will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.  He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kindom there will be no end."  Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"  The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of God; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

If appropriate, there may be time for shared reflection. Mary received challenging news, and turned it into Good News  

We name the Good News we have been taught by our foremothers, perhaps naming the challenges they faced:

Eg my cousin Dorothy who worked for women’s suffrage

We lament their gifts and the gifts of women called to be priests who cannot live out this calling. We may wish to name women whose vocations are lost, perhaps with the lighting of a candle.

If doing this preparing for a witness liturgy, this would be the time to write slogans on banners, perhaps asking people to have ideas beforehand.

 Magnificat, magnificat, magnificat anima mea, Domina,  (Taizé)

As we remember Mary’s words, saying yes to God against all the odds, believing in a God who tears down the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly, we commit to our work for justice for the inclusion of women in all ordained ministries in the Roman Catholic Church.

We remember how Latin American women would share bread for the journey and the oil of healing. So let us now share bread with one another, dipping it in oil, as a sign of our bread to carry us forward in strength for our future ministries, and the oil for healing of our lost gifts, but also the oil of gladness for what will be.

Sharing of bread and oil with the words :Sister- bread for your journey and oil for your healing and for the future.

Song: Bind us together or another as you wish

Take hands and share the peace with one another

Take from the basket a piece of paper with the name of one of the women written earlier. Take that name, that woman home as your gift from this liturgy. She may be a woman you know or don’t know, but commit yourself to reflecting with and walking with this woman as you journey on in your vocation.

If time allows, some sharing with the person who wrote that woman’s name at the start of the liturgy may be helpful.