Fr. Ted Kennedy’s Memorial Service, Brisbane

About 50 people gathered at St Mary’s Church South Brisbane last night to grieve the death of Ted Kennedy and to celebrate his life and ministry.

As well as spoken tributes and recollections we had the music of Dermot Dorgan who has written songs from his days with Ted in Redfern. We used some of the texts from the Funeral Service including the Gospel: Luke 6:17-23 and the music of Peter Kearney. I composed the opening prayer of the service using some of Ted’s own words from his book, “Who Is Worthy?”

Opening Prayer

God of Ancient Days,
We grieve the loss of our brother Ted whom you have called from this life
We celebrate his passion for justice.

We honour his unfashionable love for the poor of our land.

We delight in his impatience with the disease of clericalism in the Church,
We share his shame of the wrenching distress and grieving, starvation and dying of Aboriginal people.

We remember his certainty of the holiness of the heart’s affection and the truth of the imagination.

We celebrate his love of the Word, made flesh in Jesus.

May our brother Ted who shared in the Eucharist with your people of the streets, come to the banquet of life Christ has prepared for us.

We make our prayer in communion with Jesus our brother and the “Holy Ghost who over this bent world broods with warm breast and ah! Bright wings.”

Amen

Prayers of the Faithful

Loving God, hear the petitions of your people united in grief and inspired by the faithful witness of our brother Ted.

We pray for those who mourn Ted’s passing: his sister Marnie his extended family of Margie, John, Virginia, John, Carolyn, Mark, Megan and Peter, and their children Elizabeth, Sarah, Jonathan, Seamus, Brendan, Martha (in heaven), Greta, Declan, Marcus, Nicholas, Olivia and Sian; Gwen Kennedy and family. May they be comforted in their sorrow.

With confidence and hope we turn to God in Prayer:
Creator God Hear our Prayer

We pray for the people of Redfern who have lost an advocate and friend. May we continue Ted’s ministry of humble communion with the Indigenous peoples of our streets city and nation.

With confidence and hope we turn to God in Prayer:
Creator God Hear our Prayer

We pray for our Church, for those who exercise authority, for those who who stand with the lonely and the unsatisfied, for those who are nerve wracked and enslaved by convention. May we go among them as a great wave of cool water. May we bear a contempt of oppressors. May we speak out against unconscious oppression, speak out against the tyranny of the unimaginative. May we speak out against bonds.

With confidence and hope we turn to God in Prayer:
Creator God Hear our Prayer

We pray for reconcilation and healing in this week when we remember the Stolen Generation and celebrate Mabo Day. May we come to know that our liberation is bound up with the liberation of the Indigenous peoples of this land.

With confidence and hope we turn to God in Prayer:
Creator God Hear our Prayer

We pray for our world. As we experience the depths of winter, half of the planet is living in the heat of summer. May we remember with wonder the balancing of the earth’s resources and our interconnection with each other.

With confidence and hope we turn to God in Prayer:
Creator God Hear our Prayer

The Blessing

We are sent in the name of God,
the Sustainer of the people of the Exodus
in the name of Jesus,
our reminder of Real food and Drink from Heaven;
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
Giver of our sustenance today;
To extend Jesus’ task of giving what we have
To destroy the difference between rich and poor

Amen

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