Communion – various

Reflection on sharing around a table
People of faith understand just how sacred the act of gathering around a table for can be. It was around a shared table that Jesus taught some of his most important lessons, while in the process revealing the depths of both his divinity and his humanity. He performed his first miracle not at the Temple, but at a wedding feast in Cana where he transformed water into wine (John 2: 1-12). He subversively shared meals with sinners and tax collectors (Luke 5: 27-32). With his blessing over two fish and five loaves of bread, five thousand people were fed (Matthew 13-21).
Just as tables today can be the source of tension and fierce debate, the tables where Jesus ate were not devoid of conflict. In one of the more controversial moments of his ministry, Jesus shuns a Syrophoenician woman who seeks his help in healing her daughter. Despite his initial rejection, she nevertheless persisted until Jesus agreed to set her daughter free from her affliction. Their encounter has much to teach us about the risk of engaging across lines of difference. The possibility of being cast aside and ignored is always there, but so is the chance for true transformation when we see the “other” as part of our common story and collective life.
(source: Rev Jennifer Bailey, published on Patheos)

A Prayer for Easter
Today we remember and give thanks for Jesus
and the seasons of his life
– when he was full of life and hope and possibilities
– when life took him into unknown territory
– when life tested him to the limit
– when, in the depths of his Winter, he believed Spring would come.
This Easter season,
we rejoice that his life
and all that he lived for
all that he believed and taught
leads us to see beyond death and darkness
and to believe in transformation beyond our imagining.
In his memory,
we gather once more around bread and wine
symbols of nourishment
of hospitality
of friendship
and of commitment.
We share this bread and wine today
committing ourselves
to be Easter people,
people who see beyond the barriers,
the pain, the darkness and hard times,
people who live in faith, hope and love
in all the seasons of our lives
whatever the ups and downs.
We open our eyes,
we open our ears,
we open our hands,
we open our minds,
we open our hearts.
We pray for one another:
May you love the life within you
may you love the life around you
and may you know that
a part of everything is here in you
a part of everything is here in you.
We pray for ourselves:
May I love the life within me
may I love the life around me
and may I know that
a part of everything is here in me
a part of everything is here in me. (Source: Michael Morwood)

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)

Call to the table
God calls us to the table to find a new way: 
a new grace, a new hope, a new faith, a new life
God calls; we come
Come to the table and let go of the worn out: 
worn out habits, worn out pains, worn out angers, worn out burdens. 
God calls; we come
Come to the table and receive
blessing, freedom, mercy, love. 
God calls; we praise

Here is the company of heaven, seen and unseen.
Here is the bread and wine to be broken and spilled.
Here is Jesus the Christ, holy rebel and sacred friend.
This is the belonging place.
Here are the people of God, saint and sinner.
Here is the congregation of heaven,
those ready and those not ready to receive.
Here is the story of God, crucified and risen.
This is the belonging place.
Here is the table of life, open and free.
Here is the grace of God, unconditional and without end.
Here is the love of Jesus, given and given again.
This is the belonging place.
Whoever we are and aren’t,
whatever we believe and don’t,
we belong here – at this table.
(Quoted on this page)

Communion liturgy (St Martin-in-the-fields)
Lord Jesus Christ, you have invited us to come to this table.
We have come from many places and experiences; 
we have come wth all our differences; 
We have come to the place where journeys meet. 
You have called us into the heart of God. 
The Lord be with you/and also with you
On the night that Jesus was betrayed he told us to prepare a place for him. And then he offered us a sign. A sign of how he would give himself to us to give us new life. He had always loved us, and now he showed us how perfect his love was. 
While his disciples were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread in his hands, like this, and he blessed it: 
Blessed are you Lord God of all creation; 
through your goodness we have this bread to offer, 
which earth has given and human hands have made. 
It will become for us the bread of life. 
And then he said to them: 
This is my body broken for you, do this is in remembrance of me. 
And then Jesus took a cup of wine, like this, and gave you thanks: 
Blessed are you Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. 
It will become for us the cup of salvation. 
And then he said to them: Drink this, all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me. 
His disciples did not understand these words; how could they understand?
But later they would see Christ’s body broken, his love poured out – his death for us so that we might share his risen life. The life he gave then, he shares with us now. 
Lord Jesus Christ, 
as we do in this place what you did once and for all, 
breathe your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread and wine
the they may be heaven’s food, 
renewing, transforming, sustaining and making us whole, 
so that we may be your body on earth, 
loving and caring for your creation, 
where all are welcome and the poorest are fed. 
Bless the earth, heal the sick, let the oppressed go free, 
and fill each one of us with your love from on high. 
Gather your people from the ends of the earth
to feast at your table with all your saints. (followed by The Lord’s Prayer)
Look, Jesus Christ, the Bread of Heaven, is broken for the life of the world. 
The gifts of God for the people of God. 
Jesus, Bread of life, Bread on the edge, Bread for the world
Communion is shared
God of hope, in bread and wine, you have restored us to relationship with you. Show us how to be a people that live your reconciling love in the world, so that we may recognise your presence in those we meet, and our hearts like those first disciples may burn within us upon the road. 
Lord Jesus Christ,
You are the Word for us to speak;
You are the Truth for us to tell; 
You are the Light for us to light in the darkness. 
You are the Bread of Life for us to share
Now all of us must go out into the world
and live God’s love there. 
Look for Jesus in the oppressed and burdened. 
Look for Jesus in those who have lost hope. 
Look for him among the poor in heart. 
Among the merciful. Among the peacemakers. 
Among the persecuted for the sake of right. 
Look for Jesus on the edge. 
A chant may be sung. 
Go simply, lightly, gently. 
Go with obedience. Go with love. 
And the blessing of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you now and forever. Amen. 
(Source: Liturgy on the Edge: Pastoral and Attractional Worship, by Samuel Wells)

Craig Mitchell’s communion liturgy (between Palm Sunday and Passover) using ‘questions’ reminiscent of the Passover meal structure.
There are times when the story of our lives takes an unexpected turn
A new chapter that throws us off-balance a turn of events that leaves us stumbling, bewildered, frightened, and speechless
a shocking, unexpected loss
a close relationship shattered
a bitter reality revealed
an undeserved fall from grace
A time when all our beliefs are called into question
when friendships turn fickle
when every choice feels like a dead-end
when truth itself is played like a chess piece
There are times when the story of our lives pauses at a blank page
and there seems nothing to write, nowhere to go next,
no-one to tell, and no-one who cares
We all know times like these
we all carry their memory in our hearts
Today we gather in order to remember such a story of a week in which promise and betrayal, wild expectation and deep despair, firm friendship and fierce denial, go hand in hand.
In this time between Palm Sunday and the Passion
amidst cries of welcome and calls for execution
we place ourselves alongside the disciples of Jesus
who knew him well, who chose to flee
Today we remind ourselves of the unpredictable journey of those days
Let us step into the twilight of this story
trusting that light will be shed on the shadows of our own lives
hoping that things left buried might stir from their graves
and stumble toward a new dawn
What longings and yearnings to you bring to this Easter journey?
What temptations and betrayals might test your heart?
We invite you to glimpse and listen and touch and taste,
to allow your senses to be windows to a story
waiting to be written on your heart, mind and soul.
(note: the link gives information about the ‘stations’ people explored)
Let us accompany one another into this place
where promises will be broken
where truth will be compromised
where tears will flow
where a kiss means death
May we not look for an easy way out of this eventide
but learn to wait, to watch, to listen
to hope that that the night might reveal what the daytime conceals.
Why have we gathered here?
We come because we have been called to live out a story
What story shall we live?
The story of saving love
Where did this story begin?
It was whispered before time began,
it was sung in the melody of Creation.
Whose story is this?
This story is God’s alone to tell
It hums in the rivers and the trees
It whispers in the skies and the seas
It calls to the people of all places
It speaks in our hearts, in our lives

Why then should we speak of this story?
This story calls our name in Creation
This story claims our lives through the Cross
This story shapes our future through the Spirit
We are its telling in this time and this place
So tell me the story of this table
The Lord Jesus, on the night when he was betrayed
took bread, and when he had given thanks,
he broke it
(taking and breaking bread)
Tell me what he said and did
This is my body which is broken for you
Do this and remember me

Tell me what he said and did (taking and pouring cup)
In the same way, he took the cup and said
This is a new covenant in my blood
Drink it and remember me
This is our common story
our deep memory, our true destiny
So let it also be our story-telling, our testimony
Let’s celebrate the way that grace has shaped our lives
I invite you to say aloud a prayer of thanks (pause)
Hear the storytellers of all ages whisper with us
Holy. holy, holy Lord
God of power and might
heaven and earth are full of your glory
Hosanna in the highest
Blessed in the one who comes in the name of the Lord
Hosanna in the highest

What is our prayer on this day?
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us
So this everyday meal becomes an eternal feast
So that our eating and drinking today
unites us with Christ,
whose body and blood are given for us.
So we know that you live in us
and that we live in you
So that we live in your world

knowing it is indeed yours.
Living God, this is our prayer. Amen. (Craig Mitchell, Mountain Masala)

A communion liturgy by Ann Siddall here
Holy Communion.AnnSiddall

A communion used at the Uniting Women’s Conference in Adelaide in 2016 and freely available to download on the CMLA website.

A communion from St Martin’s in the field
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation: 
through your goodness we have this bread to set before you,
which earth has given and human hands have made. 
It will become for us the bread of life. 
Blessed be God forever. 
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation: 
through your goodness we have this wine to set before you,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands. 
It will become for us the cup of salvation. 
Blessed be God forever. 
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation: 
through your goodness we have these gifts to set before you, 
which are from you, yet shaped by human hands. 
Use them in the hallowing of our lives. 
Blessed be God forever. 
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 thanks and praise.
God of wisdom and truth, we give heartfelt thanks for the joy of your creation, and abundant praise for the grace of your liberating love. You gathered the 12 tribes of Israel and spoke your words to Elijah and your prophets. In the fullness of time, your Son gathered 12 disciples and walked the way of the cross that John the Baptist had prepared for him. After his great passion and suffering, he rose to glory on the third day. And so with the host of heaven we gather around your throne, singing your eternal hymn of glory: 
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
Suffering God, your Son knew betrayal and denial and pain and death. In his broken body we see the extent of your love for us and the depths of our rejection of you. Send your Spirit upon those gathered here, that this meal may be an outpouring of your love and a healing of our rejection. Send that same Spirit upon this bread and wine, that they may be for us the life of Christ. Who at supper with his disciples took bread, gave you thanks …. (narrative of the words of institution). 
Great is the mystery of faith. 
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again
We break this bread to share in the body of Christ. 
Though we are many, we are one body, 
because we all share in one bread
Communion is shared
Prayer after communion: May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world. Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth to praise your name. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. 

As God calls all people to the table of forgiveness, peace, and loving fellowship, (CHURCH NAME) affirms an inclusive and open Communion Table. All persons (all ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations/identities, dis/abilities, religious affiliations, and other distinguishing features) are welcome to partake of this sacrament which affirms that we are all part of God’s family and are to commune together in sacred relationship. Love and peace are the uniting virtues of this spiritual meeting place. Therefore, all who wish to join in this ritual of unity are invited to do so providing that you do so in the spirit of peace and mutual love for one another.
The Purpose of Holy Communion
God seeks to be in communion with us, and wills that we be in communion with one another. Through the Christ in Jesus, God drew closer to us by living among us with all the desires and temptations of being human, and showed us that we each have the power to overcome wrongdoing by the inspiration of our spiritual lives and the discipline of our physical lives; thereby effecting the Christ in us. Jesus represented the individual model of how we each can do this; and in calling to his side the disciples and followers in his way of love and peace, many of whom were ostracized by the wider society, he revealed how to model this in our community here on Earth.
Reminding us symbolically of this union of body and spirit, Jesus took a loaf of bread, broke it like we are often broken in our relationships with one another, and showed us the way to reconciliation by asking us to share our bread with one another in remembrance of his own example. Through the broken bread, we participate in and become the body of Christ in the world.
In like manner, Jesus took the cup filled with the fruit of the vine, the vine that sustains us and links us to one another, and the fruit that nourishes the spirit of virtue that abides within and between each of us, and asked us to drink of that same spirit of loving-kindness and uniting harmony that was in him. Through the cup of blessing, we participate in and become the new life of Christ in the world.
The bread and fruit we partake nourishes us that we may nourish others. Through this sacrament of Holy Communion, we affirm that we are committed to Christ’s way of love and peace by our motives, thoughts, actions, and practices in this world. We acknowledge that we are one community made by God, and that we must consciously choose, day by day, to be in right relationship with God, each other, and our sacred values. We therefore dedicate ourselves, individually and collectively, to make the Body and Spirit of Christ real in this world, here and now, and throughout our life as a community of the faithful. What we symbolize here in this holy space, we make real by our service when we go forth from this place.
Christ invites “all” to the table of reconciliation – those who affirm their intrinsic worth, and those who are yet to do so…those whose hearts and minds are admirable, and those still struggling to make them so…those who are most like us, and those who are least like us. In the spirit of Christ, we at (CHURCH NAME) welcome you to share your spiritual journey with us as we share ours with you in a sacrament designed to bridge all differences in a spirit of extravagant welcome, of heartfelt openness, and of mutual loving-kindness. In coming together, let us recognize our responsibility in living in love and peace with one another and all creation so as to be joined together as one Holy Communion of Body and Spirit throughout this good earth.
Partaking of the Bread and Juice
Go forth with forgiveness, courage, faith, hope, love, peace, justice, kindness, and gentleness. May these virtues, representing the image of God in each one of us as was also manifested in Jesus, strengthen you to reach out in compassion as you nurture and aid others within this worldwide community. May the Spirit and grace of God be with you and among you. Blessings be. 
(Source: Communion Liturgy written by Rev. Bret S. Myers)

Words for Invitation
In the name of the One who said, ‘I am the bread of life’,
I invite you to come and eat.
In the name of the One who said, ‘I am the true vine’,
I invite you to come and drink.
In the name of the One who said, “Love one another, as I have loved you”,
I invite you to the table of Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Approach
Be present, risen Lord Jesus, as you were with your disciples,
and make yourself known to us in the breaking of the bread;
for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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. 

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ. 
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread

Creation and communion liturgy
A Liturgy of Creation and Communion – John Van De Laar

A simple communion by John van de Laar

A communion focussed on children’s understanding and participation:
Kids Sunday Communion

Post communion prayer
God our creator,
you feed your children with the true manna,
the living bread from heaven:
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.

“The one who is nourished on the Bread of Christ cannot remain indifferent before the one who, even in our day, is deprived of daily bread.”
(Source: Caritas Australia website)

Giving God, your Spirit moves within us and among us, stirring our pride in belonging and evoking humility before our responsibility.
We offer you these gifts which you have given us, this bread, this wine, this money. With them we offer ourselves, our lives and our work.
We commit our intentions to be led by Christ’s Spirit. With all that we have we seek to be faithful. Accept our endeavors and bless our ambitions. Honor our commitment.
Let the grace of his holy communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in Christ’s name. Amen.
(Sourced from an online liturgy from FPC)

An After Communion Prayer
God of Communion,
Help us to connect with you and with each other.
May the example that Jesus set, in terms of self-giving love,
inspire us towards love in our relationships with all in our lives.
As we have shared of this symbolic meal,
may we also remember those who go hungry in our world.
Help us to seek ways to be less self-focused and to work for justice in the world.
As we remember the suffering of Jesus,
may we also remember those who cry in suffering,
those who are beaten and battered, and who pray for mercy and justice.
Help us to seek ways to be less self-centred and to work for healing in the world.
As our focus is drawn towards broken bread and poured out wine,
may we remember that at times our relationships are broken and the love is spilt rather than shared.
Help us to seek ways to be less self-oriented and to work for reconciliation in this world,
Particularly between those we may be estranged from in situations and relationships.
God of Communion and Community,
Bind us together as a people.
May our differences enrich, not divide us.
May we share our brokenness with patience, grace and forgiveness, that we may be a community that brings healing and wholeness.
This is asked in unity with Christ.
(Source: Jon Humphries)

Rex AE Hunt Communion liturgies
New 2014 communion liturgy
Summer communion liturgyAutumn communion liturgy
Autumn-Lent communion liturgy
Winter communion liturgy
Spring communion liturgy
Advent communion liturgy
Christmas Eve communion liturgy
Flowers communion liturgy

Christmas Eve
The Lord of light is with you/And also with you
Open your hearts to where the light shines.
We open our hearts, we offer our minds
Watch and wait/ hope and prepare
Dare to see the divine spark
that makes our darkness safe
that makes our futures possible.
Seize, nurture and share the flame,
the source of all our thanks and praise

A communion liturgy by Kurt Struckmeyer
The eucharistic prayer:
For the power of love in human life and history,
we give thanks and praise.
Long ago our ancestors knew love’s power
and they became the tellers of love’s tale.
Love bound them in covenant,
teaching them to live in community
with compassion and concern
for the poorest among them.
Yet centuries of domination and violence
shaped a different kind of community
based on selfishness and inequality.
In the struggle against oppression,
Jesus became the face of love,
showing us the way to abundant life.
In word and deed, he announced
love’s new reign of justice, reconciliation, and peace.
Filled with the courage and passion of love’s spirit,
he gave his life to challenge the unjust systems of this world.
On the night of his betrayal and arrest,
as he shared a meal with his friends,
Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it,
and gave it to his followers, saying:
“Share this bread among you; this is my body which will be broken for justice.
Do this to remember me.”
When supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it to his disciples, saying:
“Share this wine among you; this is my blood which will be shed for liberation.
Do this to remember me.”
God of love, spirit of compassion,
bless us and this bread and wine.
May this meal be food and drink for our journey—
renewing, sustaining, and making us whole.
When we eat this bread and drink from this cup
we experience again the presence of Jesus in our midst.
The table is ready. All are welcome. Come, for the feast is spread.

As the bread and wine are shared, these words are said:
The bread of life for all who hunger.
The cup of compassion for a broken world.

The blessing after the meal:
May this meal nourish us and refresh us,
may it strengthen us and renew us, may it unite us and keep us in God’s gracious love,
now and forever. Amen

Prayer after communion:
Let us pray.
God of love, we give you thanks for satisfying our hungry hearts with this meal.
Send us from here to reveal your love in the world.
Inspire in us the resolve and the courage, the compassion and the passion,
to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with you. Amen

Prayer after communion
We have been guests of Jesus Christ.
We have received God’s good gifts.
Now we go to our homes,
to our neighbours, to our work
equipped to put Jesus’ words and being into action, to be the salt of the world,
to seek justice,
to make peace,
to preserve the creation, to gain life. Amen.
(Source: 2nd European Ecumenical Assembly, Graz, Europe, 1997)

Go forth in service: to fight, work, and pray for the unjust suffering of the innocent in our world*.
(* Martin Luther, “The Blessed Sacrament of the Holy and True Body of Christ, and the Brotherhoods,” 1519, published in Luther’s Works, Volume 35: Word and Sacrament I. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1960)

Sending prayer after communion
Go with haste! 
Go fast!
Never stop going out of the church, 
out from the peace and the quietness, 
out to the noise and the uneasiness, 
out to the laughter and the tears. 
Carry with you the bread of life that you received
as a treasure in your hands and in your heart. 
Share it, again and again. 
It will always be enough, 
if you continue to break it. 
Never stop coming back to this place!
Never come empty-handed. 
Bring the cry remaining inside. 
Let it sound here. 
Bring the yearning within, 
the struggle yet not won. 
Bring the one that has been your neighbour
without you knowing it. 
Here is the meeting place in the 
reflection of God’s light. 
(Source: Hans Olav Mark)

Music for communion
Many and varied, of course.
O Bread of Life
This is a meditative song by Kathy Douglass. O Bread of Life is inspired by words by Henri Nouwen – taken, blessed, broken given. Kathy suggests it could be used for the season of Lent. It could be played using the Soundcloud file during communion (could be on a loop if longer is needed).
O Bread of Life, feed our hungry souls
Come satisfy the emptiness we know
Take and bless us,
Break and give away
This Bread of Life
This Bread of Life

Take and Eat
A MIDI audio track is on this website, and includes the words by Phil Bates. Beautiful!
1. Take and eat, come have your fill now.
Take this bread, come as you will.
For the life of the world, be, be not afraid.

2. Take this cup, take and be filled now.
Take and drink, come as you are.
For the life of the world, be, be not afraid.

3. Take my song, come be refreshed now.
Take and live, take and be free,
For the life of the world, be, be not afraid.
© Phil Bates 1985.

Communion (for All Saints Day)
Invitation to Communion
Siblings in Christ, join me today at this table to a feast belonging to Jesus the Christ.  Siblings in Christ, join me today for a feast which will comfort our souls.  Siblings in Christ, join me in this sacrament knowing that we will grow close to God, neighbor, and self at this table.
Prayer of Communion
Friends, we come to this bittersweet ritual today filled with a bundle of emotions.  While our gratitude for this family of faith is plentiful, our spiritual pain still may be suffocating us at five weeks or four months or three years or even two decades after the death of our beloved.

Our pews are a little lighter.  Our homes are a quieter.  And our hearts know well of the gaping hole resulting from our loss.

Even as this void still consumes this day-to-day living, we come here looking for hope that we can find only in you.  Through this meal, we connect the past and present together, knowing that generation after generation has come to this table in their joy and grief.

God, we pray that this feast be one that fills our souls with comfort.  May this meal kindle warmth and light inside our spirits.

May your Holy Spirit bless this bread and cup.  May the Spirit bless us as we celebrate at the peaks of life and as we abide in the shadow-filled valleys.  May the Spirit bring us the peace that will permeate our grief-coated hearts.  And may the Spirit use this time and space to remind us that we are never alone in our difficult spaces.

With his friends, Jesus shared his last communion before death.  The group recognized the sacred in their gathering and celebrated their friendship and their community of faith.

One more time, Jesus took the bread and blessed it.  In his breaking of the bread, Jesus yearned for them to remember his teachings and their times together.  “Whenever you eat this bread, remember me.”

One more time, after supper, Jesus took the cup and blessed it as well.  In his grasping of the cup, Jesus yearned for his followers to recall their times together.  “Whenever you drink of this cup, remember me.”

As we join together for this meal, let us remember with gratitude our loved ones who once ate at this table and many other tables with us.  While they no longer abide with us here today, help us to recognize that they are a part of the great cloud of witnesses, celebrating eternity with our Creator.

May this meal be a gift to each of our souls today.

Unison prayer of Thanksgiving

We express our gratitude for this meal, Divine Host.  We give thanks for the times we spent with our loved ones here at this table, and we thank you that this table is a reminder of our love for you, God.  Accompany us into the world with peace in our hearts and strength in the days to come.  Amen.
(Source: Michelle L. Torigian’s website)

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. The pastor may lift hands and keep them raised.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
always and everywhere to give thanks to you,
Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth.
You created light out of darkness and brought forth life on the earth.
You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life.
When we turned away, and our love failed, your love remained steadfast.
You delivered us from captivity, made covenant to be our sovereign God,
and spoke to us through your prophets.
In the fullness of time
you gave your only Son Jesus Christ to be our Saviour,
and at his birth the angels sang
glory to you in the highest and peace to your people on earth.
And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.
As Mary and Joseph went from Galilee to Bethlehem
and there found no room,
so Jesus went from Galilee to Jerusalem and was despised and rejected.
As in the poverty of a stable Jesus was born,
so by the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection
you gave birth to your Church,
delivered us from slavery to sin and death,
and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

As your Word became flesh, born of woman, on that night long ago,
so, on the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread,
gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:
“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
When the supper was over he took the cup,
gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:
“Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,
that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ,
one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world,
until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church,
all honor and glory is yours, Almighty God, now and for ever. Amen.


Wisdom’s Feast
(Music: Ellacombe 1, TiS 361)
Now Wisdom’s feast continues,
her well-aged wine still slows,
the bread of heaven fills us,
and love of learning grows.
When faithful people listen,
when hopeful people pray,
when loving people flourish,
they show us Wisdom’s way.

Through books and prayers and silence,
in company, alone:
O Holy Wisdom, feed us
and form us for your own.
And give us joy in learning,
and help us in our turn
to hand on what you give us,
so others, too, may learn.

For you are God our Teacher
and, drinking in your Word,
we take to heart true wisdom
and your whole church is stirred
to show the world your kindness,
to teach the world your grace,
to bring the world, rejoicing,
to greet you face to face.
(Words: Elizabeth Smith)

Come to the table (communion hymn) — Stephen Best, Wales UK
Tune: Blessed Assurance

Come voice your struggles, come shed your tears,
Come calm your anger, come lose your fears.
Here we encounter the Living Lord
Through bread that’s broken, in wine that’s poured

Come to the table, join in the song,
This is the place where all shall belong.
Voices in chorus, seeking Christ’s ways,
To become God’s living stones of praise.

Come voice your laughter, come show your joy,
We’ll be a temple the world won’t destroy.
Founded on caring, compassion and love,
Strength of lion, peace of the dove.


Come voice your outrage, come right what’s wrong,
Working for justice, together we’re strong.
More than the sum of each separate part,
Seeking and sharing the way of the heart.


(Source: Stephen Best ordination and induction service, on Worship Words)

Music: What Shall I pour?
The lyrics ask the questions – What are we searching for? and What can we do to make room for the Spirit? The words also remind us that, in our hurry to find God, we may need to slow down, be open, and wait for God’s “newness” in our life
What shall I pour out to make some sacred space?
What might I let go?
What sweet or bitter taste?
What shall I give up to give my God-Self place?
I listen, I open, I wait.

What do I yearn for that truly lifts me up?
Where can I drink deep to fill my Spirit up?
Surely comes the grace to pour my healing cup!
I listen, I open, I wait.

As we break the bread that shares to make us kin
As we pour the cup that drinks the Spirit in
As we take the time to venture deep within
We listen. We open. We wait.
(Source: James McGowan and Ellie Barrington, Gathering 2019, p.62)

Come to God’s table, for all is prepared,
The bread we have offered is broken and shared,
Christ’s presence among us is food for the soul,
reviving, renewing, and making us whole.

Come to God’s table, and drink of the wine,
the blood of the Saviour, in mystery divine,
The cup of salvation both priceless and free,
transforming God’s people to all we can be.

Come to God’s table, we come as we are,
we bring all the burdens we’ve carried so far,
in body, in spirit, in soul, mind and heart,
to feed on the grace only God can impart.

Come to God’s table, then go in that grace
to hold all the earth in a heav’nly embrace,
Sent out in the Spirit to tend and to care
in thought, word and action, our life is our prayer.

(Tune: Slane; Words © Ally Barrett /Jubilate Hymns Ltd
In honour of clarinetist Jeffrey Telfer, this visual and musical piece was put together by Geoff Boyce and Rodney Boucher to become a resource for the communion liturgy at Pilgrim Uniting Church. It tells the story of the transformation of grains of wheat in the earth to become the common bread we share as communion, in remembrance of Jesus Christ.

Communion liturgy written by Jenny Ducker, Susan Burt and Judi Hartwig as part of Ruth Duck’s elective session. It is designed to accompany the lectionary Gospel reading for Sunday 6 August – the feeding of the 5000.

More hymns with this tune:
Come Now, and Praise the Humble Saint (G. W. Williams) –
Deliver Us, O Lord of Truth (Herman Stuempfle) –
Here, Master, in This Quiet Place (Fred Pratt Green) –
How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds (John Newton) –
Jerusalem, My Happy Home (F. B. P.; adapt. Joseph Bromehead) –
Show Me Your Hands, Your Feet, Your Side (Sylvia Dunstan) –
This Is a Story Full of Love (Brian Wren) –

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette’s Hymns for Communion

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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