Sunday, January 20, 2008

THanksgiving Communion

Inviting
As the seed which was scattered to all corners of the field comes together to make bread on our table,
So God’s people gather from all corners of the world to share the great Banquet of thankfulness and hope.
At God’s table there are no divisions. At God’s table all are welcome to share in the bounty of abundant life.
Here at God’s table we join with all who seek to follow The Way. Here we taste the grace eternal. Here we know that God is Good.

Great Thanksgiving
The Spirit of the Living God be with you all
And also with you.
In this harvest season we pause to give thanks to God.
It is a good thing to give thanks for all God has given us.
God of growth, God of harvest, God of gifts, here we pause to give thanks for the abundance of our lives.
For the fruit of the earth, for the food on our tables, for the love of our brothers and sisters in faith around the world.
For the promise of hope in a world given to despair, for the possibility of peace in a world torn apart by violence,
For these, and many other, things we offer our thanks and praise.
We remember the stories of our forefathers and mothers in the faith,
People like Sarah and Abraham, Miriam and Moses, Peter and Mary,
Prophets and leaders and all who have proclaimed your hope over the centuries.
We lift up the countless saints who have gone before us to teach about the possibilities of being your people.

And so we lift our voices in song, singing together the praises of ages (MV #203 tune: Kingsfold)
O holy holy holy God,
O God of time and space.
All earth and sea and sky above
bear witness to your Grace.
Hosanna in the highest heav’n,
creation sings your praise.
And blessed is the One who comes
and bears Your name always
Remembering
In the middle of our thankfulness we give special thanks for a man from Nazareth, Jesus, the one we call Christ.
Child of Mary, child of grace, he came to teach about the wonders of Your love. He came to break down the walls of division among Your people.
As he ate with the despised and the least of his world he showed us what the Glorious Banquet of life could be like.
We give thanks for his witness and commitment to The Way. We give thanks for his healing of broken spirits and broken bodies.
We give thanks for his life, his death, and his resurrection.
Here, now, as we gather at the table to which Jesus calls us, we remember another table long ago and far away.
At that table Jesus gathered with friends to tell again the ancient story of liberation from bondage.
And then at the end of the meal he took bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it among them saying:
This is my body, broken for all. Take, eat. And whenever you eat it remember what I have taught.
Then he took a cup of good wine, blessed it and passed it to them saying:
This is the seal of the new covenant. Take and drink and remember.
And so, God of Cross, Empty Tomb, and Banquet, we eat and drink and remember.
Giving thanks for the Love Jesus poured out on all he met: Jew and Gentile, sinner and saint, healthy and broken.

And in our remembering we sing the mystery of faith (MV #204 tune: Kingsfold)
Sing Christ has died and Christ is risen,
Christ will come again!
Sing Christ has died and Christ is risen,
Christ will come again!
Transforming
God, you call us to sing the songs of faith in places both familiar and strange. You call us to share the Banquet of faith with long time friends and new acquaintances.
Pour out your Spirit on this table and these people. AS we eat and drink may we feel the wind of the Spirit in our hair, the fire of the Spirit in our bellies, and the love of the Spirit in our hearts.
May the presence of the Spirit make this meal an occasion of transformation for we who gather to eat it together. Amen.
God of the Banquet that is and is to come, on this day we gather with people all around the world to share this meal.
Creator, our Source of Love; Christ, Love Incarnate; Spirit, Love’s flowing power be praised, now and forever.

And the people all sang: (MV #205 tune: Kingsfold)
Amen, amen, O Holy One!
Hosanna and amen!
Amen, amen, O Holy One!
Hosanna and amen!
And now, as beloved children of a loving Parent, we pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…

Breaking, Pouring, Serving
The Bread we break is the Bread of Life.
The Cup we Share is the Cup of Love.
These are the gifts of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God.
Come and eat, the banquet awaits.

Closing
We have eaten, we have drunk, we have tasted your goodness. May this meal we have shared here today fill our souls with Love. May the meal we share with all the world fill the world with Hope. May we leave this table refreshed and replenished, ready to be recipients and agents of Grace. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for this beautiful and meaningful liturgy. I will be using it in our weekly Communion service tomorrow at Mt. View United Church in Aurora, CO. Peace & Blessings to you, wayne