A Garland for May Day

May Day Mass

At S. Martin in the Fields
Trafalgar Square, London
1 May 2002

The Jubilee Group offer this Mass as part of our commitment to restoring May Day to a central place in Catholic liturgy. This celebration will be quite small scale and provisional, in the hope that over time we will deepen and develop this liturgical action, and that the celebration of May Day will spread within the Christian community.


May Day music is played

Celebrant says the Entrance Antiphon

Sound the trumpet throughout all your land! Hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you! Leviticus 25: 9-10

Opening Hymn

1. Let streams of living justice
Flow down upon the earth;
Give freedom's light to captives,
Let all the poor have worth.
The hungry's hands are pleading,
The worker's claim their rights,
the mourners long for laughter,
The blinded seek for sight.
Make liberty a beacon,
strike down the iron power,
abolish ancient vengeance,
proclaim your people's hour

2. For healing of the nations,
For peace that will not end,
For love that makes us lovers,
God grant us grace to mend.
Weave our varied gifts together,
Knit our lives as they are spun;
On your loom of time enrol us
Till our thread of life is run.
O great Weaver of our fabric,
Bind church and world in one;
Dye our texture with your radiance,
Light our colours with your sun.

3. Your city's built to music;
We are the stones you seek;
Your harmony is language:
We are the words you speak.
Our faith we find in service,
our hope in other's dreams,
our love in hand of neighbour:
our home land brightly gleams.
Inscribe our hearts with justice;
Your way - the path untried;
Your truth - the heart of stranger,
Your life - the Crucified.

Words: William Whitla (1934-)
Music: Gustav Holst (1874-1934), Thaxted


Celebrant: In the Name of the + Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

C. Alleluia, Christ is risen!
P. He is risen indeed, alleluia!


by Fr. Ken Leech, (Community theologian at S. Botolph, Aldgate, Jubilee group Executive)

The Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of + God the Father.

The Collect of the Day

C. Let us pray:

Almighty God, Who created us in your own image; Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with ppression; And, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. P. Amen.


First Reading

Isaiah 65: 17-25

For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord - and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent-its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

This is the Word of the Lord.
P: Thanks be to God


Mercy and truth have met together.
Justice and peace have embraced.

8 I will listen to what the Lord God is saying,
for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to him.
9 Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land. R./

10 Mercy and truth have met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring up from the earth,
and righteousness shall look down from heaven. R./

12 The Lord will indeed grant prosperity,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him,*
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet. R./

Gospel Reading

We stand as the Gradual Music is played & turn to face the Gospel.

Jesus said, 'You cannot serve God and wealth.
Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness'

C. The Lord be with you.
P. and also with you.
C. Wisdom! Let us attend!
Hear + the Gospel + of our Lord Jesus Christ + according to S. Matthew (6:24-34)

P. Glory to you, O Lord.

"No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you -- you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his justice and all these things will be given to you as well. "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.

This is the Gospel of the Lord
P. Praise to you, O Christ.

Homily by Savi Hensman, (Jubilee Group Executive)


After each petition this or another response,

Lord, in your mercy
P. Hear our prayer.

+ May the souls of the departed rest in peace.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now,
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

C. Merciful God,
P. accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

The Peace

We stand and join hands in a circle.

The Celebrant introduces the Peace,

C. Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live for ever and ever.

The peace of the Lord be always with you, Alleluia!
P. And also with you, Alleluia!


C. Blessed are you, Lord, God of all Creation: Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.
P. Blessed be God for ever.
C. Blessed are you, Lord, God of all Creation: Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink.
P. Blessed be God for ever.
C. Pray, my sisters and brothers, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the almighty Father.
P. May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of God's name, for our good, and the good of all God's Church.

The Celebrant says the Prayer over the Gifts.

Lord, may the saving sacrifice of your Son, our King and peacemaker, which we offer through these sacramental signs of unity and peace bring harmony and concord to all your children. P. Amen.

The Eucharistic Prayer

C. The Lord be with you.
P. And also with you.
C. Lift up your hearts.
P. We lift them up to the Lord.
C. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
P. It is right to give God thanks and praise.

The Celebrant praises God for his mighty acts in the Preface of Christ the King and all respond:

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 in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

The Celebrant recalls the Last Supper, followed by the acclamation:

C. Let us proclaim the mystery of faith
P. Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

The Prayer continues and leads into the doxology, to which all respond boldly:



The Lord's Prayer

C. Let us pray for the coming of the kingdom:

P. Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name:
thy kingdom come; thy will be done;
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

C. We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
P. Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

Agnus Dei

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.

C. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper.
P. Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed.


At the distribution of Holy Communion,

C.The Body / Blood of Christ.
P. Amen.

Celebrant says the Communion Antiphon Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.

Post-Communion Prayer

C. Lord Jesus our Leader,
P. help us to give ourselves to you, for the cause of your glorious kingdom, for joy or for sorrow, for success or for failure, for life or for death, now and evermore. Amen.


C. The Lord be with you.
P. And also with you.
C. Let us go in peace and proclaim to the world God's jubilee of justice and liberation; and may God's blessing be with you, the Father, + and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

P. Amen.

Closing Hymn: God is the only Landlord

1. You faithful saints and martyrs
Who fought for truth and right,
We ask your prayers and blessings
To aid us in our fight.
Your faith shall be our watchword,
Your cause shall be our own -
To fight against oppression
Till it be overthrown.


Lift up the people's banner
And let the ancient cry
For justice and for freedom
Re-echo to the sky.

2. In many a golden story,
On many a golden page,
The poets in their poems
Have sung the golden age,
The age of love and beauty,
The age of joy and peace,
When everyone lived gladly
And shared the earth's increase.


3. Today the tyrants triumph
And bind us for their gains,
But Jesus Christ our Saviour
Will free us from our chains,
And love, the only master,
Will strive with might and greed,
Till might is right no longer,
And right is might indeed.


4. God is the only Landlord
To whom our rents are due.
God made the earth for everyone
And not for just a few.
The four parts of creation --
Earth, water, air, and fire --
God made and ranked and stationed
For everyone's desire.


5. God made the earth for freedom
And God alone is Lord,
And we will win our birthright
By truth's eternal sword;
And all the powers of darkness
And all the hosts of pride
Shall pass and be forgotten
For God is by our side.


6. Christ blessed the meek and told them
That they the earth should own.
And he will lead the battle
From his eternal throne.
O have no fear, my comrades,
Cry out in holy mirth!
For God to us has promised
His Kingdom here on earth.


Tune: Wir Pflugen und wir streuen "We plough the fields and scatter" (MIDI): A grand old Anglo-Catholic Socialist hymn, based on Charles Dalmon's "St George for Merrie England". Fr. Ken Leech has revised this version.

Celebrant: Fr. Paul Butler, (Vicar of S. Dunstan, Bellingham & Rural Dean of East Lewisham, Jubilee Group Executive)

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