Communion Liturgy for Epiphany 5B

Invitation to the Meal
This is the table where we both learn to serve and to be served. Both giving and receiving grace are part of our call.

I have asked our elders to fully serve the bread, meaning they will tear off a piece and hand to you. All you have to do is open your hands to receive it.

So come, and bring nothing but yourself; come, and receive God’s grace.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving + The Lord’s Prayer
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.

We praise you, God of all creation,
who separated sea from land,
set the stars in their course,
splattered the earth with microbial life.

We remember that we are clay and dust,
shaped by your hands into vessels of your spirit,
frail and precious and beloved.

We remember the long story of our ancestors;
enslaved in Egypt, you freed them
wandering without purpose, you gave them law
exploiting each other, you gave them judgement
exiled in Babylon, you brought them home.

We praise you, Jesus Christ, Mary’s boy,
God in feeble flesh, God in a body,
who drove out demons, healed the sick,
ate with outcasts, prayed in the wild places,
touched the unclean, and hoisted a cross onto his shoulders.
We praise Jesus, who put his body through death on a cross,
so that we would come to know
that pain and death are not stronger than love,
not stronger than hope,
not stronger than God.

On the third day he rose up again.

We praise you, Holy Spirit,
you who dwell in us and in every child of God
through time and space,
who binds us together
who transforms us,
who renews our strength
until we rise up like eagles.

Pour yourself out, we pray,
over these gifts of bread and cup,
that the bread we break
and the cup we bless
may remind us that even broken things
can still be a miracle.

By this holy meal, nourish our courage,
that we might remain faithful to your call,
until you return to this world you created.
Until that day, we lift the prayer Christ taught us, 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
Jesus Christ,
at this table we learn to serve
and to be served.
Send us into the world,
to share your hope with others,
and to accept the hope that is offered to us,
all in your holy name.

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