Communion Liturgy for Proper 14C

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. (Hebrews 11:1-3:)

The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

The Invitation

Friends, we know that faith is the conviction of things we cannot see. And yet by God’s grace we have been given a visible sign of God’s love: the feast of the Lord. Here are bread and cup: so commonplace and yet a miracle. You are welcome here, to God’s dinner table. You are welcome here, to Christ’s circle of friends. You are welcome here, to the Spirit’s mystery. So come, all you faithful; come, all you doubtful; come all you people, to the table of grace.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
One: The Lord be with you.
All: And also with you.
One: Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them to the Lord.
One: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Creator God, we understand that the worlds were prepared by your word, so that everything we see comes from you. You spoke and the universe spiraled into being; you spoke and the seas began to churn; you spoke and mountains rose; you spoke and a people came into being.

You claimed this people as your own, made in your image, to bear your image in the world. When they were enslaved, you freed them. When they were lost, you led them. When they were hungry, you fed them. When they were aimless, you gave them law and a land. And yet they did not trust in your guiding hand, but made idols, and chose kings, and formed armies, and cheated the poor, and neglected the immigrant, and abused the widow and orphan. And so you sent prophets, truth-tellers, to lead your people home again. Again and again you called your people to return to your way, and to trust in your love.

We praise you for your constant faithfulness, faithfulness new every morning, singing with the joyful saints of all the ages:

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. 

 When your people were in darkness, you promised them a light, and you fulfilled your promise, coming among us as Jesus Christ. Jesus embodied your love, healing the sick, eating with outcasts, touching the untouchable, and telling us new stories in which our ordinary world—sheep and coins and bread and lawyers and mustard seeds—became the theater of God’s grace. Faithful to the end, Jesus died on a cross and rose to new life, showing us that nothing—not even death—can turn God away from loving us.

Remembering all the times we have seen you at work in our ordinary lives, we take these gifts of your creation, bread and cup, and joyfully celebrate the extraordinary miracle of Christ’s death and resurrection, holding fast to our hope that he shall come again. With grateful hearts we offer ourselves, asking that you might transform our lives, that we too might be visible signs of your love in the world, leading all to faith, hope, and love.

The mystery of faith is great: we do believe that in dying, Christ destroyed our death; in rising, he restored our life, and that, as he promised, he will come again.

Free-flowing God, pour your Holy Spirit on us and these gifts of bread and cup, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may, by your mysterious grace, be the communion of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Unite us with Christ and all who serve him, that we may be one in every place, regardless of division or faction. As these are signs of your grace in our lives, send us out to be signs of your grace in the world, a living sacrament in your name.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, all-loving God, today, tomorrow, and forever. 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.

The Words of Institution

On the night before Jesus died, when he knew he would not be with his disciples much longer, he gave them a sign to remember him by. First he took the bread from the table, the Lord 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 Jesus 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.

Sharing of the Bread and Cup

We take communion by the ancient practice of intinction. You are welcome to come forward, receive a piece of the bread, dip it in the cup, and return to your seat.

The feast is ready.

Closing Prayer (unison)

Faithful one, we have met you at this table. As this meal strengthens our bodies, may your grace strengthen our faith. As we go out into the world, to other meals and other tables, remind us that you are with us every step of the way, in visible signs and invisible love, until we return again to you. Amen.

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