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Mass on the World with Bread and Wine Eucharist

NOTE: A simplified version of the Mass on the World that can be followed in any group setting is available in pdf format HERE

You can also read Cynthia’s explanation for what she describes as “A Negative Space Eucharist Based On Teilhard’s Mass on the World” HERE

 

bread and wine eucharist

 

Mass on the World with Bread and Wine Eucharist – as celebrated Nov 2015 at the Introductory Wisdom School, Kanuga NC

The following is adapted from the Offertory of Teilhard’s “Mass on the World”. This version with bread and wine eucharist was presided by Cynthia and celebrated at the Kanuga Wisdom School 2015. Included is Cynthia’s homily for that day.

Cynthia provided this introduction to the mass:

In Teilhard ‘s original Mass on the World he was working on an extended geological paleontology exploration in the deserts of China near outer Mongolia. As a Jesuit priest, he was obligated to offer Mass every day, but where would he find bread and wine in outer Mongolia, much less the requisite silver challis and patents. In this extraordinary vision of where he was, he realized that he could walk up upon the holy mountain at dawn and lift up the whole earth.

He began to see that the body for the bread would be the body of the toil that humanity lifted up that day. The wine to be poured into this universal goblet would be the fruit of it, the fruit of the labor including the suffering. His challis and his patent were his soul laid bare to the mystic presence. He tried to gather in his arms the whole world and offer that up as the substance of his offering.

The following text includes stretches of the “Mass on the World” and combines them with other parts of a more traditional and also slightly nontraditional liturgy.

Our intention in celebrating this is truly to offer a mass on the world representing the solidarity of all human kind and all centered beings, and the earth itself.

 

 Mass on the World with Bread and Wine Eucharist:

Reader:  Ephesians 1:4-12

Blessed be the God and Father

of our Lord, Jesus Christ

Who has bestowed on us in Christ

every spiritual blessing of heaven.

Before the world was made

He chose us

chose us in Christ

to be holy and spotless in his sight.

To be equal of love.

He destined us, such as was his whim and pleasure.

To be accepted as his children through Jesus Christ.

In order that the glory of his gracious gift graciously

bestowed on us in his beloved might resound through

his grace.

For in Christ, our release is secure

And our sins forgiven through the shedding of his blood.

Therein lies the richness of God’s grace.

Lavished on us in all wisdom and insight.

He has made known to us his hidden purpose

made so kindly in Christ from the beginning.

To be affected when the time was right.

That all heaven and earth be brought together

in unity through Christ.

 

Bell

 

Cynthia:

A reading from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “The day will

come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the

tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies

of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the

history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”

 

Chant

First part:

Become a whole world

For a whole world

Become a whole world

For a whole world

 Second part:

Remember the mercy

Remember the mercy

Third part:

Be whole as I am whole

Be whole as I am whole

 

Bell

 

Readers:

The Gospel of our lord, Jesus Christ, according to

Matthew. When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up to the

mountain and when he had sat down, his disciples came

to him. Then he began to speak and taught them, saying

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of

heaven.

Bell

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Bell

Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.

Bell

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for

righteousness.

For they will be filled.

Bell

Blessed are the merciful.

For they will receive mercy.

Bell

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Bell

Blessed are the peacemakers

For they will be called children of God.

Bell

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’

sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Bell

Blessed are you, who in the midst of persecution, when

they hate and pursue you even to the core of your being,

cannot find you anywhere.

 

Bell … Bell

 

Chant:

Speak through the earthquake

The wind and the fire

Oh, oh

Still small voice of love

 

Cynthia:

When Teilhard made his offering of the mass upon the world that morning in 1923 in the steppes of Asia, having no bread or wine or altar and being impelled by his ordination as a priest to offer the mass on the world. He decided to raise himself up through and beyond the symbols to the pure majesty of the real itself. “I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and will offer you all the labors and sufferings of the world.”

 

Cynthia’s homily:

Now it’s very interesting to me that Teilhard, in his intuitive genius, would begin to sense that the two things that would be offered, in which you would very soon associate with the bread and the wine are the labor and the suffering, as the Eucharistic offering. After ten years in the Gurdjieff Work, this rings a profound bell for me because Gurdjieff used to say that the only two things that we human beings can offer and must offer as our sacred obligation, as our role in the universe, are our conscious labor and intentional suffering. By conscious labor, Gurdjieff meant whatever brings us from the state of autopilot, reactivity, conditioning, automaticity, to waking up. It is work, but it’s more than just work done on the treadmill of habit and duty and routine. It’s the conscious awakening. “I am here and I give this work.” In that sense, that is conscious labor.

Intentional suffering is more difficult to grasp, partially because it feels so morbid at first, our suffering. In the tradition, Gurdjieff and many who have followed him start with a very important distinction between what Gurdjieff calls involuntary or stupid suffering and what is intentional or innocent, or willing suffering. Now, we’re not talking about involuntary suffering so much. That’s the suffering in this language that we bring on ourselves through the frustration of our own false self programs, our neuroses, our agendas, our insistences (Buddhist expression: “squeezing the cactus.”) That kind of suffering only adds to the misery of the world and it’s entirely unnecessary and it’s that kind of suffering that the Buddha begged us to rise up through our conscious laboring to make ourselves free of. But not so much in the Christian west so that we can live in peace and bliss, but so that we could participate voluntarily and willingly in innocent suffering.

Gurdjieff spoke of it beautifully as “may we work off as quickly as possible the debt of our arising so that we can voluntarily work to reduce the sorrow of his endlessness.” There is a piece of suffering which is a river that flows through the human condition and is part and parcel of our arising itself. It flows through our condition in a river of blood, of innocent lives lost, of betrayals, of brokennesses, of injuries committed, of deaths alone and in misery. It flows through and is almost a Planck’s constant of the conditions of this world. Even Jesus would not take them away, but merely sit with them and hallow them with his presence.

Eckhart Tolle talks about it as the “collective pain body of humanity.” What particularly is carried in Christianity is the sense that as we can become free and clear and intentional, that we can, out of free choice, offer our consciousness to help carry this burden, this shadow side of our sacred humanity in solidarity with the whole planet and that, in that way,  if and when we will become part of that river of suffering through our own diminishment that will be our death — that in that river we can offer that as part of our work. We can lift it up.

That was the deep meaning — that conscious labor and intentional suffering are the two transformed fruits of our humanity because you can’t get there unconsciously. Each of them requires an alchemical transformation, just as bread and wine does, to become what they are. In an extraordinary way, Teilhard sensed these, too. He never read Gurdjieff, I’m sure. He probably lived in the same city with him for about four years in Paris right after the war, but I’d be astonished if their paths actually crossed. In the imaginal world, all paths cross. Somehow Teilhard sensed that there was a relationship between the conscious labor and bread, and this intentional suffering as wine. As you look at it and come back to the Eucharist, as we’ve known and experienced it in Christianity, aren’t these the two arms of Jesus, didn’t he effect his transformation of a planet, through conscious labor, his teaching? I am the path, walk me. Be whole as I am whole, awake, conscious labor, and his intentional suffering. These are the essence of the Christian path, and they can so easily join what’s already beginning to hold here and be put on the bread and the wine.

In that template, that transposition, the macrocosm and the microcosm join. The very specific thing we will be doing at the table shortly in solidarity, in living remembrance with the living Christ. Through the conscious labor and intentional suffering flows out to be our priestly offering in solidarity with our whole planet. At this point in time as we hover here, what a wobbling point which may be a tipping point. And so let’s make our actions consciously as we shift now and move into that most sacred part of what we do, the bringing and the offering and consecrating of the elements, both micro and macro. (homily ends)

 

Chant

Come to know the one

in the presence before you.

And everything hidden

All will be revealed

 

Cynthia (reading from Mass on the World, by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin):

Since once again Lord I have neither bread nor wine nor altar. I will raise myself beyond these symbols up to the pure majesty of the real itself. I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar, and on it I will offer you all the labors and the sufferings of the world. I will place on my paten Lord God all the harvest to be won from your renewal. Into my chalice, I shall pour all the sap which is to be pressed out this day from the earth’s fruits and from its sufferings. All the things in the world to which this day will bring increase; all those that will diminish; all those, too, that will die: all of them, Lord, I try to gather into my arms so as to hold them out to you in offering. This is the material of my sacrifice, the only material you desire.

The restless multitude, confused or orderly, the immensity of which terrifies us, this ocean of humanity, the slow, monotonous wave blows troubles the hearts of even those whose faith is most firm. Grant me the remembrance and the mystic presence of this, our one world, born ever onwards in the stream of universal becoming.

(Invite all to raise their arms)

Receive, O Lord, this all-embracing host which your whole creation, moved by your magnetism, offers you at this dawn of a new day. 

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus

Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

Pleni sunt cæli et terra gloria tua.

Hosanna in excelsis.

 

All say in unison:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

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

 

Cynthia:

Holy and beloved one, Lord Jesus Christ, though your state was that of God, yet you did not deem equality with God, something you should cling to. Rather you emptied yourself into all creation and were born in human likeness. You being known as one of us humbled yourself, obedient unto death, even death on a cross. On the night you were handed over to suffering in death, at table with your students, you broke the bread, gave it to your beloved ones and said, “Take. Eat. This is my body which will be given for you. Do this in living remembrance with me.”

After supper, you took the cup of wine and when you had given thanks you said to them, “Drink this, all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of all innocence spilled throughout the ages. May it become a river of compassion flowing through the mystical body of our one common humanity. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance with me.”

All of you are invited to stand now and collect your own intentionality and extend your own hands in a common consecration.

And so beloved One, we call upon you once again to send down your fire upon this earth, the fire of your love. May this bread become the cornerstone of your mystic body here on earth. May this wine become the radiant mirror in which all of humankind united in a common heart may at last behold its face. This bread, our toil, is of itself, I know, but an immense fragmentation. This wine, our pain, is no more, I know, than a draft that dissolves, yet in the very depths of this formless mass you have implanted, and this I am sure of, for I sense it, a desire irresistible, hallowing, which makes us cry out, believer and unbeliever alike, Lord, make us one!

All:

Lord, make us one! Lord, make us one! Lord, make us one! Lord, make us one! Lord, make us one! Lord, make us one!

 

Cynthia:

Jesus says, “I am the light shining upon all things. I am the sum of everything, for from me everything has come and toward me, everything unfolds. Split a piece of wood and there I am. Pick up a stone and you will find me here. Eat, friends. Drink. Drink deeply, of love.

 

Chant:

Abide in my love

Abide in my love

Abide in my love

Abide in my love

Jesus, remember me

this day in paradise.

Jesus, remember me

this day in paradise.

Jesus, remember me

this day in paradise.

Where I am

there may you also be.

Where I am

there may you also be.

Where I am

there may you also be.

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

 

Cynthia:

Let us sit for a moment in silence, gather that energy in, and in our own way, bestow it on the planet.

Bell

 

Reader: Ephesians 1:9-11

He has made known to us his hidden purpose

Met so kindly in Christ from the beginning

to be affected when the time was ripe.

That all heaven and earth be brought together

in unity through Christ.

The time is ripe. The leap is now. Let us go forth into the

world, born ever onwards in the stream of universal

becoming. Amen.

Chant:

Every cell of this body

sings glory.

Every cell of this body

sings glory.

Every cell of this body

sings glory.

(begin singing in rounds)

glory, glory.

 

Cynthia:

Turn, like the earth! (turning while drumming and chanting…..)

Amen.

 

Cynthia:

Let’s see as we go out the door if you can remember yourself as you go, not to spill all this energy but contain it in that way we can keep it for the world and give it to the world as it turns and turns and turns. And may we, as human beings, join in that turning forever, as one.

Amen.

arms in air

 

 

*****

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