An Advent Communion Liturgy

Invitation

John the Baptist stood by a river in the wilderness, crying, “Come! Come and experience God’s grace.”

Christ stands at a table in the upper room, crying, “Come! Come and experience God’s grace.”

If you are yearning for someone to trust, come to the table. If you are longing for a sense of peace, come to the table. If you are hungry for joy in your heart, come to the table. If you are thirsty for love, life-changing love, come to the table. Come and meet the Lord your God, the eternal Christ, who welcomes you as his guest. Come to the table of grace.

Great 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. 

Praise to you O God, who formed the mountains and filled the seas, who set the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night. You have been faithful to your ancient promises to your people, whom you guided out of slavery and into freedom through fire and cloud and law. When your people turned away from your paths, you gave your prophets courage to speak words of your righteousness and justice. You comforted your people in their time of suffering and oppression, promising us that you are Immanuel, God-with-us.

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with the heavenly choirs
and with all the faithful of every time and place, who forever sing to the glory of your name:

Sanctus
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. 

In time you visited your people with a new word, a living word, a word made flesh to live among us. We remember the life of that Christ-child: born in a manger amidst the poor and the outcast; driven from his homeland by cruel and frightened leaders; returning to grow into a teacher, a healer, and a friend. Jesus ate with sinners and brought sight to the blind, reclaiming a lost and scattered people in your name. Murdered by those he had come to save, Jesus rose again to prove that not fear, not sin, not even death can halt God’s plan of love.

Remembering how you sent the light of the world into our darkness, we take from your creation these gifts of bread and cup and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising as we await with hopeful hearts the day of his coming. With thanksgiving we offer all that we are to you as a holy sacrifice, to be your servants, your light to shine for all the world.

Great is the mystery of faith:

Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory. 

Gracious God, 
pour out your Holy Spirit upon us 
and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, 
that the bread we break
 and the cup we bless 
may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit unite us with the living Christ 
and with all who are baptized in his name,
 that we may be one in ministry in every place.
 As this bread is Christ’s body for us,
 send us out to be the body of Christ in the world. Teach us to sow hope where is despair; peace where there is violence; joy where there is mourning; and love where there is hatred. We name in our hearts the places and people who need your presence… (silence.)

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God, now and forevermore. Amen.

Let us now join together in the words that Jesus taught us to pray, saying…

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Words of Institution

Truly Jesus showed God’s love to all, for while there was no room at the inn when he was born, he makes sure that there is room for all at his table, even for the one who would betray him.

For on the night before he died, Jesus took bread,
 and after giving thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat.
 This is my body, given for you.
 Do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way he took the cup, saying:
 This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it,
 do this in remembrance of me.

Prayer After Communion

Holy One, we have met you at this table. Nourished by your holy food, send us out as one people, full of vision and courage, to prepare the way for your kingdom. Filled with your grace, show us how to live so that all may know your hope, your peace, your joy, and your love. We pray in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, child-king, divine Messiah, and Prince of Peace, Amen.

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