Watershed Eucharist

Salal + Cedar outdoor altar Credit: Laurel Dykstra


^Laurel Dykstra reads their piece as part of Geez Out Loud. The audio is an exact reading of the written article.

Salal + Cedar is a Wild Church community in the lower Fraser Watershed. Our Eucharistic prayer and our outdoor worship are active reminders that we do not practice our discipleship and celebrate our sacred meal in First Century Palestine nor on “England’s pleasant pastures” but among a little lifeboat of companions on the territory of the Coast Salish People at a time of global climate crisis.

Our Eucharistic prayer names the creatures – plants, animals, waterways, of our bioregion. Under our creative-commons-take on liturgy as the work of and for the people – you are welcome to borrow and adapt this prayer to your work and biome. In return please credit us, note that you have made changes, and make a financial contribution to Indigenous land defenders near you.

________________

May God be with you
And also with you
Lift up your hearts
We lift them up
Let us give thanks to God our Creator
It is right to give our thanks and praise

It is right in all times and in all places to thank and praise you, Creator of all. We praise you here where the Fraser River meets the Salish Sea, where city and farm, wilderness and industry are side by side. We praise you at a time when the body of earth is broken again and again.

We give thanks for our place in the story of salvation. Our ancestors journeyed with you in creation and migration. They depended on the land, were displaced from the land and displaced others from their lands. They knew you in tents and cities, on mountains and by wells, in families and in dreams, and through wilderness prophets who spoke of cedars and listened to ravens.

Together with angels and ancestors, orca and salmon, bear and raven, salal and cedar we join our voices with all creation in this ancient honour song:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

We give thanks to you for Jesus, whose first bed was a feed trough. He was baptized in the Jordan, tested in the wilderness, he travelled in fishing boats and told parables of famers and seeds, labour and wages, yeast and bread.

On the night before he died, Jesus took bread, food of the poor, the work of field and hearth. He gave thanks, broke it and gave it to his friends saying, “Take and eat, this is my body, given for you, do this to remember me.”

Again after supper he took the cup of wine, fruit of the land, gave thanks and gave it to his friends saying, “This is my blood, which is shed for you. When you do this, do it in memory of me.”

Remembering Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and awaiting his coming kingdom, we offer you this bread and this cup.

Creator, send your Spirit on these gifts so that we know Jesus in them and are gathered together with everyone who shares this sacred meal of justice and community.

Fill us with the courage and love of Jesus, that we may strive for justice and peace, respect the dignity of every human being, and safeguard the integrity of creation.

Bring us with (name loved ones who’ve died in your community) and all your saints to your commonwealth of sparrow and lily, child and beggar which is both now and yet to come.

All honour and glory are yours, Creator, Christ and Spirit, now and forever. Amen

Laurel Dykstra is an Anglican priest, author, agitator, organizer, and observer who lives on Coast Salish territory, lower Fraser Watershed.

Image credit: Salal + Cedar outdoor altar, Pacific Spirit Park, Vancouver, B.C., Coast Salish Territory, 2015, Laurel Dykstra.

Issue 54

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 54, Fall 2019, Climate Justice.

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