World Communion Sunday – 6 Oct 2019

World Communion Sunday is a celebration observed by several Christian denominations, taking place on the first Sunday of every October, that promotes Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation.

Liturgy for World Communion Sunday (Canada)

Call to worship
Gathering God, joined as one family
we come to worship you today,
mindful of the breathing
of the life that you have called into being
across countries and climates;
all creatures and all creeds.

Jesus, teacher friend,
today you call us to your table
and invite us to feed on you,
so that we might then feed others.
Let our hunger for justice
and our desire for peace
never be exhausted
until all your children are safe and fed.

Life-giving Spirit,
let the words that reach our open ears
and your movement in our souls
in this time together
bless, comfort and disturb us.
So that the work of your servants here
may be directed along the right paths
for the sake of the world,
And all the people say: Amen.
(Source: Rev. Jennie Gordon)

Table Blessing
To your table
you bid us come.
You have set the places,
you have poured the wine,
and there is always room,
you say,
for one more.

And so we come.
From the streets
and from the alleys
we come.
From the deserts
and from the hills
we come.
From the ravages of poverty
and from the palaces of privilege
we come.

we come.

We are bloodied with our wars,
we are wearied with our wounds,
we carry our dead within us,
and we reckon with their ghosts.

We hold the seeds of healing,
we dream of a new creation,
we know the things
that make for peace,
and we struggle to give them wings.

And yet, to your table
we come.
Hungering for your bread,
we come;
thirsting for your wine,
we come;
singing your song
in every language,
speaking your name
in every tongue,
in conflict and in communion,
in discord and in desire,
we come,
O God of Wisdom,
we come
(Source: Jan L. Richardson from In Wisdom’s Path: Discovering the Sacred in Every Season)

And the Table Will Be Wide
A Blessing for World Communion Sunday
And the table
will be wide.
And the welcome
will be wide.
And the arms
will open wide
to gather us in.
And our hearts
will open wide
to receive.

And we will come
as children who trust
there is enough.
And we will come
unhindered and free.
And our aching
will be met
with bread.
And our sorrow
will be met
with wine.

And we will open our hands
to the feast
without shame.
And we will turn
toward each other
without fear.
And we will give up
our appetite
for despair.
And we will taste
and know
of delight.

And we will become bread
for a hungering world.
And we will become drink
for those who thirst.
And the blessed
will become the blessing.
And everywhere
will be the feast.
(Source: Jan Richardson, Painted Prayerbook)

2011 World Communion Sunday – we asked people in many parts of the world to send greetings, and made them into postcards to give out to people as part of our prayers for others.

From a sermon by Diana Bass, “Jesus Takes a Knee”, for World Communion Sunday (text Phil 2:1-13): “These beautiful words in Philippians point toward the finality of all Caesars and all throne rooms. In Jesus, hierarchies of power, based in honor and loyalty fall. Their delusions revealed for what they are: shame and violence. These throne rooms give way to banquet rooms, a high chair of glory replaced by a table of compassion and sympathy and humility, where all feast and serve. To enter this room, we do kneel – we kneel in imitation of Jesus, the One who invited us to this meal by taking the form of a slave and washed our feet. This exultation is the exultation of loving our neighbor, not a exultation of power whereby Christians rule as some new Caesar. No. The rule of Jesus is that of bended knee. Not toward him, but with him, and toward one another in endless mercy.”


God bless to us our bread (Traditional Argentinian)
“God bless to us our bread, and give bread to all those who are hungry, and hunger for justice to those who are fed. God bless to us our bread”.
Music sample here – track 1.

One in Love, We Meet Together (Tune: ‘Hyfrydol’ 87 87D)
One in love, we meet together,
one in time, and never apart.
We in flesh as brother, sister,
makes us one in mind and heart.
All incarnate, we would offer,
all we most sincerely prize,
Learning though traditions differ
how they join to make us wise.

One in outlook, always searching,
not to bind in common creed,
As a people, be more ready
to respond to other’s need.
Here we are so finely fashioned,
understanding, here to serve,
Never narrow in compassion,
empathy without reserve.


The narrative of the Lord’s supper

St Paul writes: The tradition which I handed on to you came to me from the Lord himself: that on the night of his arrest the Lord Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks to God broke it and said: ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in memory of me.’
In the same way, he took the cup after supper, and said: ‘This cup is the new covenant sealed by my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this in memory of me.’ For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes.

The invitation
These are the words that have echoed in the mouths and hearts of countless followers through countless generations who have gathered round a table in community breaking bread and sharing the fruit of the vine with Christ, our Saviour. And today we share in this sacred meal, joined as one body in Christ with Christians all around the world this day – in grand cathedrals, in tiny churches, in homes, and shared in many languages and cultures. We gather around this table where Christ is host and we – disciples of Christ, those baptised in Christ – are the guests invited to share this sacred meal.

The Great prayer of thanksgiving
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God, for you watch over the strangers and the needy and raise us from death to new life. You made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. You raised up prophets among your people and through them spoke your word of life and truth. Jesus lived among us as One who showed compassion, who opened the eyes of the blind, lifted up those who were bowed down, gave food to the hungry, and set free the prisoners of death. When the powers of death rose against him and destroyed him, you spoke your word of life again, raising him to new life, as the revelation of your grace who will reign forever in justice and truth. So, we lift our voices, filled with joy, joining them with the glad songs of every place and generation, all creation praising your name:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might. 

Heaven and earth are full of your glory, 

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. 

Hosanna in the highest. 

The prayer of consecration

We thank you that your Spirit is poured out on all people. Send your Spirit now on us and on these gifts of bread and wine, that we may know Christ’s presence, real and true, and be his faithful followers showing your love for the world.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,  all honour and glory are yours forever. Amen.

Breaking of the bread
The bread, the life of Christ, broken. 
The cup of salvation, God’s love poured out for all people. 
The gifts of God for the people of God.
Communion is shared

Prayer after communion
We have been fed with the bread of life, the life of Christ: let this holy food sustain us through our earthly pilgrimage until we come to that place where hunger and thirst are no more; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Words of mission and benediction 
May God’s grace flow freely in our life together.
May Christ’s love take us on a  journey of compassion.
And may God’s Spirit grant us courage to act with love. Amen.

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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