wishing you could join us at the table, kirk

Today marks the first anniversary of Kirk Robson’s death. Kirk was remarkable. He was an actor, musician, producer… he embodied reconciliation and justice… he was simply brilliant company.

Kirk died in a car accident while travelling to a remote indigenous community in the Northern Territory, where he was to help produce a community theatre production. It was such a huge shock, an unspeakable reality. It was impossible to believe that someone so alive could be dead. In some attempt to find a way through the horror of those first days, we held a very simple and intimate eucharist one night for family and friends. This was the liturgy for that worship:

Music: Bliss, Song for Olabi
Gathering:
Welcome to this time of worship.

We have come to find holy space.

We gather in the company of God, creator of life in all its intricate beauty and fragility,
Jesus, who gave God’s love its human shape,
and the Spirit who breathes compassion and hope into every moment.

The peace of Christ be with us all.

We pray:
Make this holy space God,
Where somehow you find us through the sadness and desolation of this cruel week.
Where we can rest in your company through this strange journey of numbness, bewilderment, despair and anger.

Make this holy space God,
Where we come face to face with the immensity of your love in bread and wine, and the company of each other,
Where you offer us faith that your grace will transform us
Where we can grasp your peace to hold us through these next few days.

Make this holy space, God.
Amen.

Music: Sarah McLachlan, Answer

Bible reading: Mark 14:22 – 25

Introduction to the Eucharist:

Tonight, when we can find no words to make sense of Kirk’s death, we let this bread and wine speak for God. Through them we hear the ancient promise of God’s unfailing compassion and relentless love.

For 2000 years people have gathered around a meal like this. In times of war and peace, beauty and ugliness, despair and joy, the sharing of this meal has been a common point.

It remembers a truth for us when we cannot remember that truth for ourselves:
that the breaking of life is not the end of God’s story
that we hold this cup of suffering in the company of God.

We have rehearsed this meal often, perhaps in preparation just for this moment. Tonight we remember the promises that are part of the meal, and we trust God to make them real again now.

Communion liturgy (taken from Uniting in Worship)

Music during the distribution of the bread and wine: My Friend the Chocolate Cake A Slow Storm Brews

Prayer for others:

In this silence and space we pray to you, God
for those tonight who long for peace

for those who do not know where to find the strength to get through tomorrow

for those who fear the night

for those who ache with loneliness

and for each of us here.

And in this silence now, we pray those prayers for which we have no words…

You hold all that we are and all we feel with infinite compassion, God of love. We trust our lives to your grace.
Amen.

Blessing:

The meal is finished.
The love it holds lives on, through the night we return to.
Go in peace, with the hope, written on our hearts, that comes of sharing together at God’s table.

Amen.

Music: Sigur Ros, Untitled 3 from ( )


A postscript…

A couple of weeks ago i was looking through photos of the sacred space we created during Holy Week last year. I came across a photo of Kirk. He was sitting at the Last Supper table, next to Kylie, his partner, drinking a glass of wine and laughing. At this station, people were invited to write onto the table cloth the names of those whose company they long for at the table.

Your name would be written over and over, Kirk. We miss you very much.

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I am struck by the line about “praying those prayers for which we have no words.” We recently lost a bright, gifted, young 23 year old musician, vibrant part of a worhip team for a large community of faith, friend and teacher to our son –killed in an auto accident along with his fiancee. Their memorial service was on the day they were to be married. Kind of takes your heart and brain and throws them against the wall, yet we heard about God-stories even in the midst of the details of the accident. Again, thanks for your words. I love the idea of partaking of communion together. Seems very appropriate.

  2. Cheryl

    what a devastating story.

    it does take your heart and brain and throw them against the wall. that’s it exactly.

  3. Blair

    Thanks for sharing this Cheryl. I feel privileged to share (remotely) in this window you’ve offered. It reminds me how important simple liturgy and ritual is; how the word can heal and the meal can nourish; and presence is everything.

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