The Planetary Mass was created by the Nine O'clock Service in the early 1990s. The following is a transcription of the words, for use at a Grace meal. Of course it lacks the distinctive and dramatic music and visuals of NOS.
The parts in italics were added for Grace and are not part of the original Mass.
Welcome and Opening Prayer
The planetary mass is our celebration of life and our ritual of celebration and repentance on behalf of our culture. Here we seek to mourn the destruction of so much life on our planet and to cultivate a compassion that feels in our own flesh the wounds inflicted on others and on our planet and to awaken to the incredible awe and beauty of our existence with God.
Whether humanity has a future or whether it is going to become extinct in the next few centuries depends on our will to live and that means our absolute will for our one indivisible life. We have got used to death, at least to the death of other creatures and other people and to get used to death is the beginning of freezing into lifelessness itself. So the essential thing is to affirm life, the life of other creatures, the life of other people, our own lives.
The Lord is here
His Spirit is with us
Breathe in the Holy Spirit...
Breathe in life
And out fear
And out numbness
And out death
Wisdom - let us attend. From the book of Deuteronomy:
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curses. Now choose life so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.
This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
[Read Declaration of Rebellion from 'This is Not A Drill']
Creator God the Source of all life we confess our sin to you.
We confess where we have turned away from you and where in ignorance we have turned our back on the earth and on each other.
We confess that as we have wanted more and more we have dominated and exploited your creation.
And we admit that we are responsible for abusing the riches of our home, that we are complicit in crucifying you by polluting the air and the sea, by destroying the forests, by starving the people of the two-thirds world, and by robbing the future generations of life not yet here, our children and grandchildren.
God of all creation we turn away from our addiction
We turn back to you
Our Source and our Hope
We repent and we turn back to you
This ritual is a symbol of the worship already happening in creation. The whole universe is invited to this intimate event, the feasting on Christ. The church here has no walls - we worship with plants, planets, animals, and angels.
The day before Christ suffered he took bread in sacred hands and looking up to heaven he broke it and gave it to his disciples saying ‘take eat this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me’. In the same way after supper he took the cup and gave thanks. He gave it to them saying ‘drink this all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this to recall me, to remember me.’
Creator and soul of the cosmos
The universe shines with your life Lord
You’re everything we desire.
We give our lives to you
You created everything that lives
Through Christ you are the Source
We believe and trust in you
Our desire is to let go of death and give ourselves to the vision of life your son Jesus believed in to the point of his own death
We commit ourselves to him
Spirit of life, integrity and truth who raised our brother from death and gives us hope beyond death here now
You are our strength and compassion
We believe and trust in you
God of life we bring wine to the table. Touch this now to become a life blood transfusion.
Christ our life we bring bread to the table to become your precious flesh. In our global village we offer it in the presence of those who starve.
Eternal source we offer water: The overwhelming swell of the oceans unique to this planet.
Creator God we thank you for the gift of soil: The foundation of the forest, the sign of our mortality
Creator God we offer ourselves along with these elements of bread and wine and join with the voice of the whole universe crying out for life and healing.
Father hear our prayer through Jesus Christ.
We can no longer see ourselves as separate from nature. We are all given a chance to participate in the story of the universe. We’re all in it together - people, particles and God. Through Christ hope is built into the very fabric of space time and matter.
So now there’s hope. Now contains the possibility of resurrection. So let’s come to the table now and let’s reconnect with Christ, hope of the cosmos, the power to renew us and change our lives now.
[share bread and wine]
Let us pray together now for the universal church and the world.
Christ our hope at this critical time lead us into facing our denial. As the church, as a culture wake us up to an awareness of the responsibility and opportunities we now have.
We honour the wisdom gained by centuries of spiritual and artistic endeavour through the experience of our mystics and the lives and deaths of all our saints.
We pray for an open church that celebrates the coming together of all faith and wisdom traditions, the sciences and the arts.
We pray for a new time of hope, mystery and promise as we bring all these riches to bear on our global crisis.
God the Mother and Father of all creation we pray that a new way of living emerges out of the present reductionist system that’s robbed the world of its spirit and turned human beings into objects and nature into a machine.
We pray for a culture that allows us to live in harmony with all creation and stops crippling the earth’s diversity.
We pray that your Spirit of passionate life that raised Christ from the dead bursts now into all people in our earth community.
Creator God we pray that we will wake up to a new consciousness.
[Watch Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot video]
[Listen to Numbers by Radiohead]
May Holy Wisdom whose voice calls all to the feast
Whose hand draws the whole cosmic community of life to her table,
preserve you in eternal life.
And the blessing of God Creator, Liberator and Holy Spirit be amongst you and stay with you always
The mass has ended
Go in peace