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Sacred Energy: Mass of the Universe

7pm Sunday 23rd September 2007 at Pilgrim Uniting Church

Anyone, whether you are from a church or no church, wishing to join the choir is welcome - one only rehearsal at 4pm on the day.

Pilgrim Church Adelaide first presented Mass of the Universe as part of its expo on the theme Valuing the Planet on the last weekend in November, 2005. Since then it has become an annual event. The mass, was written by New Zealand hymn writer and Methodist minister the Rev Bill Wallace.

Bill has been composing hymns over many years and he suggests that the words and music of Sacred Energy: Mass of the Universe represent a spiritual path from adolescent humanity to maturity.

My passion is to seek and write resources that help people connect their worldview to their spiritual path, Bill says. The Mass is the result of 30 or 40 years of thinking about these things. He describes his view of humanity‘s stages in the broad life-cycle terms: dependence, independence and interdependence.

The next stage is when the human race will flourish. This ideal stage is mutual interdependence, and in the Bible we see this happening — St. Paul talked about being co-workers with God.

  The mass with both spoken and choral parts is based on a conversation between humanity and the Universe and reflects many of the insights of eco theology. Humanity‘s journey passes through several stages, from awareness to forgiveness to wisdom to discernment to prayer, all leading to the way of oneness. In a concluding hymn we are invited to be part of compassion‘s robe.

With God we shape compassion‘s robe,
we spin life‘s golden thread;
we guard the pulse of nature‘s flow;
we bake the pilgrim‘s bread.

The Mass has been presented in New Zealand and in Sydney. The 2005 production was a first for Adelaide. Members of the 9.30 Pilgrim community led the mass and the congregation on the night was invited to share in this liturgical and musical event.

Credits - 2005
Universe: Judy Eland
Human Being: Brian Ward
Reader and Universe B: Pat Button
Liturgist: Dean Eland
Choir Direction and Music: Jenny Ward, Jeff Telfer, Norm Inglis
Choir: members of the 9:30am community
Preparation of the Table: Jenny Ward, Ros Wilson, Marelle Harisun
Images and projection: Peter Russell
Production: Dean Eland, Jenny Ward, Jeff Telfer

We wish to thank Brighton Secondary School for the generous loan of the gong and Mr Geoffrey Kong for his assistance.

Some references in the above article are from Touchstone, the Methodist Church of NZ.