Friday, July 31, 2009

Communal Eucharist Liturgy


Invitation

1: When Jesus sat at tables and enjoyed communion with tax collectors, oppressed women and men, and people at all levels of society, he proclaimed that God’s love and care knows no bounds. Through this ministry, Jesus and the disciples invited all people to experience the love, justice, and mutuality of the Kin-dom of God.

All: We proclaim again the comfort and challenge of that witness: all are welcome, worthy, and invited to share the grace of God’s table, and to taste the Bread of Life and Holy Vine.

2: In this moment we join together with the community of saints through the ages who have participated in the mission and ministry of God.

All: Tabitha, who showed solidarity with the poor.
3: Lydia, who welcomed the tired and weary.
All: Priscilla, who shared her knowledge with many.
1: Phoebe, who served as a minister in Cenchrae.
All: Mary Magdalene, who financially supported Jesus’ ministry.
2: Elsa Tamez, who strives to liberate Central Americans living in poverty.
All: Delores Williams, who strives to liberate oppressed peoples in North America.
3: Jane Goodall, who works tirelessly to protect your Creation.
All: Peggy Way, who helps humanity find the dignity in our diversity.
1: Kathy McGinnis, who seeks to extend your peace in the lives of many.

(We now welcome you to share any other members of the community of faith whom you’d like to name.)

2: We are bold to welcome all people to join with these saints to celebrate God at this table.

Communion Prayer

3: God is with you.
All: And also with you.
1: Open your hearts.
All: We open them to God.
2: Let us give thanks to God.
All: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

3: Holy One, we thank you for the gift of your beautiful Creation, our home. You are the source of all love and mercy in this relational world. And we take courage in your abiding presence through it all. If we ascend to the heights of the mountains, you are there. If we descend into the depths of the valleys, you are with us. Your care truly knows no bounds for you even feed the birds and clothe the lilies.

All: We also thank you for Jesus, your Word, who lived among us, uncovering your presence, and demonstrating your Way of love, justice, and mutuality. We know this Way through Jesus’ ministry of empowering the oppressed, giving voices to the voiceless, welcoming diversity, and including outcasts in his ministry.

1: We also know your Way through the ministry of the many women and men who followed and served with and for Jesus, from Bethlehem to the Galilee, from sea shores to mountain tops, from the cross to the streets of the world. Jesus, with these disciples, emboldened the saints through the ages to live out the reality of your Kin-dom – a place where all people have a place at the table. We are grateful for the witness and the ministries of these saints. Through their lives and relationships, and empowered by your Spirit, we find a better and more communal way to move, live, and have our being.

All: Amazingly, when we fail to follow your Way, sinning against you, our neighbors, or ourselves, you offer us forgiveness and transformation, so we may be led afresh to your Way of love, justice, and mutuality. We recognize that this involves risk, for Jesus, in proclaiming a new Kin-dom, was unjustly killed by the systems of domination of his day. This system said “no.” But through Jesus’ resurrection, you provide us with a transforming “yes.” We praise you, Resilient God, because in spite of death and suffering, you bring new life and restoration of relationships with God and others!

2: In the sharing of this bread and wine, we joyfully remember and celebrate this new life and restored relationship you continually offer.

Blessing

All: As this grain once was scattered in the fields and has come together into one bread, so we, with different needs and hopes, practice coming together as one diverse Church, for we share one bread. This is the Bread of Life!

3: The cup that we share is the fruit of the Vine. With Christ as the vine, and we as the branches, God brings forth fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, and faithfulness. This is the Fruit of the Holy Vine!

All: Holy One, by your Spirit, bless this community, and the meal we share, so we may be nourished by Your unbounded love and grace in order to be Your free and joyful community. Amen.

1: Come, for all things are ready and God is in this place.

Thanksgiving

All: Gracious God, thank you for this sacred moment and meal, where we come together to celebrate your love, grace, and Kin-dom. May this food and your abiding presence nourish, strengthen, and heal us all, so we may taste and share in your Kin-dom of love, justice, and mutuality. Praise be to you, Holy and Abiding God. Amen.

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