Palm Sunday Communion Liturgy

God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift our hearts to God.
Let us give thanks to God, our God!
We give God our thanks and our praise!
On this day of celebration –
on this day of renewing our faith –
on this day of walking with the Christ,
to Jerusalem… to Golgotha… and beyond –
we give you thanks, great and loving God.
Thank you, loving God!
From the very beginning, you have loved us.
You created all that is, calling it into being.
With the ruach – the Spirit – with the Wind and the Word,
you saw what you had created,
and called it, “Good!”
Thank you, loving God!
But.
But?
But.
Time and time again,
in history and in our story,
we have turned away from your love.
We have turned away from your hope.
We have turned away from you.
We have wandered away, thinking we knew best.
But..
But?
But you never left us
to walk by ourselves, loving God.
Even when we turned away.
Even when we turn away.
You walk the road with us.

Through prophets, priests and storytellers,
through mothers and grandmothers,
through fathers and grandfathers,
through teens and children and infants,
you called us back to your love.
Thank you, loving God!
There came a time when you sent Jesus to speak to the world.
To speak to us.
To teach us your love.
To give abundant life.
To make us new.
Thank you, loving God!
He lived a life as one of us – a child, a youth, an adult.
He laughed with those who laughed,
he cried with those who cried.
In all of this, he walked the hard road –
the way of the Cross
and the way of the Resurrection.

On the night before he was put to death,
he gathered for a meal of celebration with his friends.
There he recommitted himself to your love,
and to his people.
He took bread, thanked You, and broke the bread,
giving it to his friends, saying,
“Take this and eat it. This is my body, given for you.
Each time you do this, remember me.”
We remember him.
After the meal was over, he took the cup of blessing,
thanked You, and poured the wine,
giving it to his friends, saying,
“Take this and drink it. This is my blood, given for you.
Each time you drink this, remember me.”
We remember him.
And so we do as he asked us, loving God.
We pray that your Spirit might fill these gifts,
and fill us – that all might be vessels of your love,
your hope and your life in the world.
Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Jesus’ Prayer

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Epiphany – Year A (1 Corinthians 1.10-18)

A Communion Liturgy

One: God is with you.
All: And also with you.
Two: Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them up to God.
One: Let us give thanks to God, our God!
All: Give thanks! Give praise!
Two: In the warmth of the morning’s light,
in the cool of the evening’s dark,
in the moments of wake and of sleep –
All: Thank you, God!
One: For all you have created,
from the quark to the quasar,
matter seen and unseen,
earth and air and fire and water.
All: Thank you, God!
Two: For life in all its fullness,
in the water,
in the air,
on the earth and under it!
All: Thank you, God!
One: For questions, for answers…
and for answers that lead to more questions!
All: Thank you, God!
Two: Throughout our story of life,
as individuals and as humankind,
you have walked with us,
danced with us,
lived with us…
loved us.
All: When we forgot to live your love –/span>
when we forget to live your love –
you sent grandmothers and grandfathers,/span>
prophets and priests,
teachers and preachers,
to remind us of your call.
To remind us that you have never left.
To remind us that you will never leave.
Thank you, God!
One: In time, you sent the Christ.
To remind us, again,
to open our eyes, again,
to say to us, again –
“I love you.”
Two: In Jesus’ story – in his birth, in his teaching, in his death –
in his resurrection –
you gave us new life – life abundant –
life that not even death could overcome!
All: Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.
One: And so, with that great cloud of witnesses,
with people who have explored Christ’s paradox from age-to-age,
with Christ’s disciples here and around the world,
we gather at table and remember.
We remember that on the night before he was taken to his death,
Jesus gathered with his friends.
We remember that he took a loaf of bread,
gave thanks to you, God-of-all-creation,
broke it,
and gave it to his disciples, saying,
“This is my body, given for you.”
Two: We remember that on the night before he was taken to his death,
Jesus gathered with his friends.
We remember that he took a cup of wine,
gave thanks to you, God-of-all-creation,
and gave it to his disciples, saying,
“This cup is my life’s-blood, shed for you,
shed for many,
shed for forgiveness.”
Both: “Each time you eat bread,
each time you drink,
remember me.”
All: We remember.
We re-member.
We remember.
One: Holy God, in this bread, in this cup,
make your love known to us.
Fill them and us with your Holy Spirit,
that they and we might truly be ekklesia –
Christ’s body here and in the world!
All: Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
now and forever.
Let it be!

(If it has not already been shared, some form of Jesus’ prayer would be appropriate here.)

Bread is broken, wine is poured, communion is shared.

All: For the wine we have tasted,
for the bread we have shared,
for who we have been,
who we are,
and who we are becoming,
thank you, God!
May the Life that is in us,
be answer and question,
be way-station and light-house,
be hope and wonder,
for us
and for the world. Amen!

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A Communion Service

This past Sunday was “Remembrance Day” in Canada. Because many of the congregation were to be participants in the Cenotaph services, the Worship Committee decided to have a shortened church service. It was decided that the entire service would be built on and around a communion liturgy.

Greeting & Welcoming:
One: The Lord be with you.

All: And also with you.

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Another Communion Liturgy

God be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to God!
It is right to give God thanks and praise.

We give you thanks, O God, that you have created all things,
and invited all things into relationship with each other.
You have placed us into the world, and called us into relationship with it.
From the earliest days, we have been in the world, in communities –
at times, we have turned away from each other,
we have turned away from the earth.
At time, we have sought dominion over each other,
we have sought dominion over the earth.
You have sent prophets and teachers to call us back to right relationship –
with you, with each other, with all of creation.
Even when we turn away again… and again…
and again, your love calls us back to new life.
Thank you, God!
Thank you, God!

When the time was right, Jesus was born.
He lived his life, as a human being – one of us!
He laughed. He cried. He loved.
Jesus told stories to help us learn.
He told the story of the Good Samaritan,
to teach us about being in right relationship with our neighbours.
He told the story of the Good Samaritan,
to teach us about who our neighbours are…
people of every land and race,
people of every belief and face.
Neighbours – in all the times and all the seasons of our lives.
Thank you, God!
Thank you, God!

On the night before fear and anger, power and indifference
put him to his death, he sat for a meal with his neighbours –
people he loved with all of his heart, mind and soul.
He took some bread, blessed and broke it, saying:
“Take this and eat it. Whenever you do, remember me.”
Later, he took a cup of wine and blessed it, saying:
“Take this and drink it. This is the our covenant. Remember me.”
Thank you, God.
Thank you, God.

So, as his friends and neighbours,
as his disciples, we remember.
We remember his teachings.
We remember his death.
We celebrate his resurrection,
and wait, with hope, for his coming again.

Fill us with your Spirit, one in Christ
and one in love for you and for all people—
as in word and deed,
we seek your reign of peace and justice on earth.
Glory be to you, eternal God, through Jesus the Christ,
in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you, God!
Thank you, God.

Sharing in the elements
Bread for the journey.
Drink for The Way.

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A “Teaching” Eucharistic Prayer

This communion services was the first where all for the Sunday School participated with the rest of the congregation. The children headed to Sunday School for the first part of the service, to worship together, and to do some exploration about communion. They joined the rest of the congregation during the hymn before communion.

To help the children (and everyone else) learn a bit more about communion, I put together the following liturgy. As I cast about for some way of integrating questions and answers into the eucharistic form, I remembered the Passover hagadah of our Jewish sisters and brothers. The maggid section of the hagadah is focused on helping everyone present at the table to integrate the experience of the exodus from Egypt into their own being.

At St. Marys United Church, the minister celebrating the sacrament of communion is seated behind the communion table, between two of the congregation’s elders. On this Communion Sunday, we used the more “traditional” UCCan format (individual glasses and cubed bread).

I asked one of the congregation’s Wise-Ones (aka Everybody’s Grandma) to be the Teaching Elder and one of the children of the congregation to be the Child.

The children joined the rest of us during the singing of “As We Gather At Your Table” (Words: Carl Daw; Music: attrib. Benjamin Franklin White 1844. Words (c) 1989 Hope Publishing Company)

Child: What makes this morning different from other mornings?

Teaching Elder: Today we’ve come together to share in a special meal – a meal that reminds us of Jesus’ time on earth, long ago, and a meal that helps us to remember our connection to all of our family throughout God’s world – people who have already lived and died; people who are living now; and people who are yet to be born. Today we’ve come together to share in a special mean – a meal that helps us to remember our connection to God.

Invitation

Minister: All are welcome at God’s table – at Christ’s table – at this table. People from near or far. Neighbours and strangers. Young and old. Rich and poor. In whatever way you know the Christ, know you are invited to eat and drink with him… and with us. Alleluia!

During the service, the congregation is invited to respond to some of the things I’ll be saying. Don’t worry if you don’t know the responses. If you are able to read, they’re printed in the bulletin. If you can’t read them, don’t worry! If you would like, instead of words, you can follow my actions… or you can sit and listen to what is happening around and inside of you.

God be with you. (Minister extends left arm to left side, right arm to right side.)
And also with you. (People extend left arm to left side, right arm to right side.)
Lift up your hearts (Minister cups hands at centre of chest and raises hands to sky.)
We lift them up to God. (People cup hands at centre of chest and raise hands to sky.)
Let us give thanks to God, our God. (Minister moves hands from raised cup to folded in prayer, and lowers back to chest level.)
It is right to give God thanks and praise. (People move hands from raised cup to folded in prayer, and lower back to chest level.)

Preface
Child: When we sit down for a meal, we try to remember to say grace… to say “thank you” to God for the food that God has given us. Do we say thank you for this food?
Teaching Elder: Oh, yes! We give thanks to God, not just for the food, but for everything that God has shared with creation… every part of our lives.

Minister: We do say thank you, loving God.
We thank you for creating the heavens and the earth.
We thank you for being the source of all life and all creation –
for sharing with us the tiniest seed and the grandest stars…
for creating us – with our tears and our laughter,
with our joy and our sorrow,
with our curiosity and our thinking…
with our life.

We thank you for Jesus, the Christ –
for all that he learned from you and in you.
for all that he taught,
for all that he shared with the disciples,
and all that he shares with us.
Thank you, loving God!

Sanctus
Child: is the minister the only one who thanks God?
Teaching Elder: No! We all have a chance to say, “Thank you!” But we believe that the minister’s voice and our voices join with the voices of everyone who loves God. Not just people, but every part of God’s creation. It’s true – every part of God’s creation! Here.. listen to this song from the bible… (Read Psalm 98)

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Communion Liturgy for World Wide Communion Sunday

One: On this “World Wide Communion Sunday”, we gather at God’s table, joining with disciples of Christ in many lands and places.

This table is for all people.
Christ invited poor and rich, male and female… sinner and saint to his table. At that table, he invited the ordinary to become extraordinary.

He didn’t demand a profession of faith, or an R.S.V.P. Invitation. He only asked that people come.

So, we too invite all to Christ’s table.
Wherever you come from.
Whoever you are.
However you believe in Jesus Christ.
Wherever you are going.

Come and be fed. Come and be refreshed.
Come and be filled with new life!

Today, when it is time, people will be invited to come forward, to be served a piece of the bread or rice-cracker, and a small cup of juice. Please feel free to partake or not, as you believe you need to.

One: God is with you!
All: And also with you.
One: Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them up to God.
One: Let us give God our thanks and our praise.
All: With joy and celebration,
we say, “THANK YOU, God!”

Two: We do thank you, Creator-of-All.
For all things in our lives.
For all people in our lives.
For life itself!
We give you thanks for the many ways
we are transformed,
by the touch of another of your children –
both the ones we meet
and the ones we will never know.
All: Thank you, Loving God!
One: We give you thanks for the many ways
we are transformed,
by the touch of your creation –
our cousins on two feet and four feet,
the ones that fly in the air,
the ones that swim in the waters.
We give you thanks for the
earth and the sea and the stars.
All: Thank you, Loving God!
Two: We give you thanks for all
who have come before us.
Grandmothers and Grandfathers –
by blood and by faith,
who have loved us and taught us,
by their stories and by their lives.
They have shared your love in their love.
We celebrate that they are a part of
your great community of saints –
of which we, too, are a part.
All: Thank you, Loving God!
One: All creation thanks you, Loving God,
and we join them, saying,
All: Holy, holy, holy God!
God of love and life –
heaven and earth are full of your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who comes
in God’s name!
Hosanna in the highest!

Two: We realize that we don’t always live out of
your love.
Sometimes, in fear, we turn away.
Sometimes, in anger, we turn away.
Sometimes, in apathy, we turn away.
Sometimes, not even realizing it…
we turn away.
One: But you don’t let us stay away, God!
Time and time again,
you called our Grandmothers and Grandfathers
back.
Time and time again,
you call us back.
Time and time again.
No.
Always. You are faithful! Hallelujah!
All: Hallelujah!
Two: When the time was right,
you shared yourself with us in a new way –
in the life and teachings,
in the death and resurrection,
of Jesus – the One we call Christ.
One of us, dancing, crying, laughing, loving…
he offered us new life in You.
Hallelujah!
All: Hallelujah!
One: So we remember.
We remember the night before
he was to be put to death.
He gathered with his friends
and shared a meal of celebration.
In love, he tried to help his disciples
understand what was to come.
Two: He took a loaf of bread and blessed it.
So we, too, ask your blessing upon this bread,
Great God, who brings forth grain
from the earth.
May the power of your love
feed us, and the world,
as this bread feeds our bodies.
Jesus broke the bread saying,
“Take this, all of you, and eat it.
This is my body, given for you.”
All: Amen!

Two: He took a cup of wine and blessed it.
So we, too, ask your blessing upon this cup,
Great God, who brings for fruit
on the vine.
May the power of your grace,
fill us, and the world,
as this fruit fills our bodies.

And Jesus offered them the cup, saying,
“Take this, all of you, and drink from it.
In this is my covenant – my promise –
offered to you, that sin might be forgiven.”
All: Amen!

One: Holy God, fill us and these gifts with your
Presence –
that they and we might be the Body of Christ –
feeding your world.
Two: Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory is yours, God most holy,
forever and ever.
All: Amen.
One: And so, as Jesus’ taught us,
we are bold to say…
All: Our Father/Mother, who art in heaven…
Amen.

One: These are the gifts of God
for all God’s people.
All: Thanks be to God!
Two: Come, for the table is prepared,
and our cup overflows!

Sharing in the Communion
Prayer After Communion
All: For what you have given us, God, thank you.
For what you call us to, God, thank you.
For filling us again, thank you!
Help us to be,
all that you know we can be.
In Christ’s name,
in your love,
we ask it.
Amen.

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