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.


H. Cooper said...

Thank you for such a great liturgy.

Lahela said...

Absolutely wonderful. I am leading in my very first communion service on Sunday and was feeling really unsure. I think a bit of Divine Inspiration led me to your page! I have bookmarked for further reading :)

Anonymous said...

Divine inspiration indeed. As I lead a house group meeting tonight in a place where we frequently gather around the Communion Table, I wanted something different to flow in our spirit tonight, not the familiar, not the comfort zone, but divine invitation and revelation of heart to release freedom over our lives as we come in obedience to His Word. Thank you for your heart in this matter. God bless everything about your Ministry in Him!