Transfiguration, Year B

Musical Reflection
Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot


God of Moses and Elijah,
revealed in burning bush
and chariot of fire;
you speak to us in freedom,
your glory escapes our naming:
in your mercy, dwell with us
and lift us beyond
all fear and empty worship;
through Jesus Christ, the glory of God.
First Reading
Snow Signs
by Charles Tomlinson
They say it is waiting for more, the snow
Shrunk up to the shadow-line of walls
In an arctic smouldering, an unclean salt,
And will not go until the frost returns
Sharpening the stars, and the fresh snow falls
Piling its drifts in scallops, furls. I say
Snow has left its own white geometry
To measure out for the eye the way
The land may lie where a too cursory reading
Discovers only dip and incline leading
To incline, dip, and misses the fortuitous
Full variety a hillside spreads for us:
It is written here in sign and exclamation,
Touched-in contour and chalk-followed fold,
Lines and circles finding their completion
In figures less certain, figures that yet take hold
On features that would stay hidden but for them:
Walking, we waken these at every turn,
Waken ourselves, so that our walking seems
To rouse some massive sleeper out of winter dreams
Whose stretching startles the whole land into life,
As if it were us the cold, keen signs were seeking
To pleasure and remeasure, repossess
With a sense in the gathered coldness of heat and height.
Well, if it’s for more the snow is waiting
To claim back into disguisal overnight,
As though it were promising a protection
From all it has transfigured, scored and bared,
Now we shall know the force of what resurrection
Outwaits the simplification of the snow.
Second Reading
Dance and Transfiguration

by Mark Turbyfill

In the dead of night in spring
The Illinois Emergency Relief
Whines among the tree-tops,
Arranged a choreography of grief.

The social worker shuddered
And made the window fast
Against the leafless waltzing in the blast.

Blessed be his name
Who recognized the Dance Renascent,
And saw it stoop amidst the barren mise en scene
To plant in cardinal positions
The feet of as many as understood.

Gospel Reading
Mark 9:2-9

Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain where they were alone. He was transformed in front of them, and his clothes were amazingly bright, brighter than if they had been bleached white.

Elijah and Moses appeared and were talking with Jesus. Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here. Let’s make three shrines—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He said this because he didn’t know how to respond, for the three of them were terrified.

Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice spoke from the cloud, “This is my Child, whom I dearly love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Human One had risen from the dead.

Musical Reflection
Border Song (Holy Moses) by Aretha Franklin
Prayer for Transfiguration Sunday
Many Voices, adapted

Radiant God, source of light,
as you surrounded Jesus with your glory,
so you come to us in penetrating brightness.
You catch us off guard and expose our weakness.
We choose the limelight while you call us to explore the shadows
and brighten the darkness.
We seek the spectacular while you bind up the broken in
countless acts of mercy.
We seek to stay on the mountain or in comfort while
you walk to the valleys of need.
Radiant God,
fill us with light and courage to carry goodness into all the
corners of the world and to bring back the joy of your presence.

The Lord’s Prayer

Holy One, our only Home,
hallowed be your name.
May your day dawn,
your will be done,
here, as in heaven.
Feed us today, and forgive us
as we forgive each other.
Do not forsake us at the test,
but deliver us from evil.
For the glory, the power,
and the mercy are yours,
now and forever. Amen.

Musical Reflection
The Transfiguration (Sufjan Stevens) by the David Crowder Band


May God’s hope be a clearing sky before us,
a compass in our hearts
guiding us to where we belong;

and the blessing of God,
the Mind, the Idea, and the Expression,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.


Artwork by Fernando Botero

Invocation and Blessing from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot

Poem Snow Signs by Charles Tomlinson

Poem Dance and Transfiguration by Mark Turbyfill

Musical Reflection Border Song (Holy Moses) by Aretha Franklin

Prayer for Transfiguration from Many Voices

Lord’s Prayer from Mother Thunder Mission

Musical Reflection The Transfiguration by the David Crowder Band

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