Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easter Communion Liturgy

Easter Celebration of Communion

The Resurrection has begun! The Day of Celebration is here!
We gather at the table to share in the Banquet of Life!
Here we meet all who share with us the hope for a brighter future!
All who wish to follow The Way of Life are welcome to eat and drink at God's table.
Let us eat together.

Christ is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
We should give thanks!
Thanks and praise to the One who brings life!

Gracious God, we raise voices hoarse from shouting alleluias,
we sing praises for the wonder of an empty tomb,
we give thanks for the gifts of life, of life that breaks the bonds of death.
We sing songs of praise for the world you have given us, for the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies.
As the spring deepens and the earth thaws, as green breaks through the brown of winter,
we sing songs of hope for new life springing from dead soil, for the promise held in every seed that is sown.

As people of faith we remember all those who have gone before.
People like Moses and Miriam, leading their people to freedom; like Sarah and Abraham, seeking a new life in a strange land; like Peter and Mary, proclaiming an empty tomb and life beyond the cross.
We remember these and many others, named and unnamed, who have embraced Your life, Your hope, and moved into a new age.
And we trust that in remembering and retelling their stories, we too can take the leap into New Life.

Deep among all those memories we remember the life of a Special One.
Jesus, Child of Mary.
Born of a woman, he grew to adulthood among people who struggled daily for life.
Baptized by John, he embraced the life to which You called him.
He taught and preached a vision of a world where all divisions were broken down, where all had what they needed for abundant life, where the Reign of God was as real on earth as in heaven.
And though the powerful in his world fought back, he stood strong.
When offered a chance to take the easy way he overcame his own fear and instead prayed “yet Thy will be done”.
Even though they put him to death you raised him to life, vindicating his vision and bringing hope and healing to the world.

As inheritors of that hope we join together in the cries the welcomed him into Jerusalem, the cries of hope for the world:
Hosanna! Hosanna! Holy One!
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!

As we gather at this table we remember a story told mere days ago
and yet also an age ago
We remember that Jesus gathered with his closest friends in an Upper Room to share the feast of liberation
And while sharing the ancient story of freedom, he called them to remember the promised freedom of God's Kingdom.
We remember that at that table he took the bread, gave thanks for it, blessed it, broke it and passed it among them saying:
This is my body, broken by and for the world. Whenever you eat it remember me.

Then later he took the cup of wine, blessed it and passed it among them saying:
This is the cup of the New Covenant, sealed in my blood. Whenever you drink it remember me, and look toward the fulfilment of God's Kingdom.

And so we break the bread and pour the cup and we remember with hope.
On this Easter Day we share in the Banquet of Freedom to celebrate Life Victorious!

God of Life, in the beginning your Spirit hovered over the water, calling forth life, creating and inspiring.
Send Your Spirit upon we who gather to share this meal, infuse this bread and this juice with the Spirit's power,
As we eat and drink my we feel the power of Life Triumphant pulse in our veins, the fire of hope blaze in our hearts, and the joy of the Empty tomb dance in our souls.
Christ who died is now alive!
Alleluia! Amen.
And so, as children of a loving Parent, we pray together the words that Jesus, the Risen Christ, taught his friends
Our Father, who art in heaven...

Breaking and Pouring
Here at this table we break the Bread of Life
On this Day of Celebration we pour the Cup of Promise
These are Gifts from God for the People of God
Thanks be to God
Come and eat, for all is now ready.

We have eaten, we have drunk, we have embraced the beginning of the new age.
Grant, O God, that we who have gathered together on this Day of Resurrection, will move on as people of hope, people of life, people of the Kingdom.
May the meal we have shared today revive us in body and soul and energize us as we go out to share the Good News. Christ is Risen! Death is Defeated! Life Wins! Alleluia and Amen!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Communion Prayer

Prayerfully, joyfully, reflectively we gather at this table.
At this table God invites us all to share in the Banquet of Life.
The meal we share is provided by God, for this table belongs to God; not the church, not the people. And so God invites all those who seek to walk in The Way to eat and drink from it.
Come and taste the grace eternal, come and see that God is good.

May the Love of God, the Strength of Christ, and the Comfort of the Spirit be with you.

We gather here, Gracious God, with hearts of thanksgiving and praise.
We give thanks for all the gifts with which you have blessed us:
       for the Created world in which we live,
       for family and friends with whom we share our lives,
       for food on our plates and roofs over our heads.
       for all those things that make life abundant ...time of silent prayer...
       we offer our thanks and praise.

We gather here, Merciful God, with hearts that ache for the pain in the world.
And so we offer prayers for those who find life to be challenging and difficult this day:
       those who worry about their health or the health of a loved one,
       those who live in places where peace and justice are known by their absence rather than their presence,
       those who worry about where the next meal will come from, or where to find next month's rent,
       those who have been told that, for some reason or another, they are too different to be acceptable,
       ...time of silent prayer...
       may all who struggle in life know that they are not alone, that they are held in a love that will never let them go.

God of the ages, here at this table we remember all the ways You have spoken to Your children through the ages.
Through prophets and priests you call us to a new way of living together.
Through voices expected and unexpected you challenge us to see the world with new eyes.
Knowing that we stand in the midst of a cloud of witnesses, we share the cry of ages:
       Hosanna! Hosanna!
       Blessed is the one who comes in God's Name!

Of all the ways you have communicated with us, we who call ourselves Christian take special notice of the man from Nazareth: Jesus, Child of Mary.
We seek to live the love that he modelled and taught,
       accepting all regardless of status or station,
       eating and speaking with the outcast and the lowly,
       he offered us a foretaste of the time when the Reign of God is real on earth in all its fulness.

We remember how, on the night he was to be betrayed, Jesus ate a special meal with his closest friends.
He gathered with them in an Upper Room to share the feast of his people's liberation.
As a part of that gathering he took a loaf of bread. He gave thanks, he blessed it, he broke it and and he passed it to them saying:
       Take and eat. This is my body, broken by and for the world. Whenever you eat it, remember me.
Then he took the cup. He gave thanks, blessed it, and passed it to them saying:
       This is the Cup of the New Covenant, sealed in my blood. Whenever you drink from it remember me, remember what I have told you.

Gracious God, pour out you Spirit upon this gathering, this table, this meal. As we eat and drink in fellowship with each other may we be filled with hope for the future. May the Spirit moving amongst us in this place allow this meal to rejuvenate and empower us as we go out to live Your love in the world.

And the people all said. AMEN.

Fraction and Distribution
The Bread we break is the Bread of Life.
The Cup we share is the Cup of Promise.
These are gifts from God for the people of God.
Come and eat. For all is now ready.

Prayer After Communion
The bread has been broken, the cup has been poured, the meal has been shared. Gracious God, we give thanks for bread for the journey, for your wisdom guiding us along the way. May there be friends to share the road as we dare to dream of creation renewed, and hope in the promise of justice for all. Amen.