A simple communion liturgy based on the scripture from 1 Kings:17-16 for a 'Great Thanksgiving in Time of Uncertainty and Distress'
One: Let us pray together.
All: The Lord be with you.
One: But is God truly with us?
All: YES, God is--now and forever. Now, lift up your heart!
One: How can we lift them to the Lord when there is so much uncertainty and distress?
All: Goodness is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than fear; victory is ours through God who loves us. So give thanks to the Lord our God--always and everywhere-- and especially now and in this place.
One: It IS right to give our thanks and praise.
All: It is truly right and our greatest joy to give you thanks, O God. You are the One who encircles us, with ever open arms inviting every person in.
One: Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, You are the One who loosens within us tongues of fire and streams of living water. You are the One who gives life itself.
Invitation to the Lord’s Table
Let us continue to pray together.
Always and everywhere, O God we do well to remember your care for us from of old, and to remember in this jar of meal (raise the jar) the fields of wheat, that sustained Adam our father and Eve our mother when the world was young, and we had sinned against you. But even in the midst of our sin, your first thought was the preservation of our lives, so you clothed us and provided for us. When we were unsure and frightened, you made covenants with us: a rainbow to show your love, night skies filled with stars to bear witness to your promise of fruitful lives.
In these sticks (raise the kindling) we remember the faithfulness of Abraham and Isaac who were willing to prove their faithfulness even unto death. We remember that You provided a ram instead and saved your people Israel. This wood reminds us also of the staff of Moses and Aaron by which You led Your people through the wilderness until again your promises were fulfilled in a land flowing with milk and honey. And in the fullness of your time, you proved your love to us by allowing us to lift your only Son on the wood of the cross in heartache and misery. Yet he turned that misery into joy and that heartache into salvation out of love for us. And that joy and love will never die nor be defeated.
We give thanks that in Christ Jesus, water was turned to wine (lifting up the bottle of the fruit of the vine) and Christ’s blood that was shed for us has given us life and hope, in this cup that we share together, even in times of uncertainty and distress.
Words of Institution
On the darkest night of the soul that Jesus had ever known, He took the last of the passover bread in His wonderful hands, and having given thanks in the face of death itself, broke it and shared it saying: “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me”. (the bread is broken) Friends please do come to the table, bringing with you your empty plate, for it will be filled and you can return to your seat to continue to eat.
Likewise, Jesus took the cup; he cup that was waiting for the Holy One of Israel to appear, the One who was coming in the name of the Lord. Christ took this cup and blessing it said: “This is the cup of new salvation that is poured out for you. As often as you drink it, do so in remembrance of me.” (pour the cup)
Friends please do come to the table, bringing with you your empty glass, for it will be filled and you can return to your seat to continue to drink.
Even in these times when the world is in uncertainty and distress, the wine of gladness and the bread of plenty that we share reminds us that though weeping may endure for a night, joy comes in the morning.
Remembering all these things, in confidence we raise our voices with the saints who have passed through trials and arise triumphant, and with them we join in saying together....
All: Holy, Holy Holy! Lord God Almighty
All Thy works shall praise Thy name
in Earth and Sky and Sea!
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty,
God in Three persons, blessed Trinity!
You are holy, O God and your wonders did not cease with Christ’s resurrection, but You are continually healing us through the work of the Holy Spirit, poured out like oil on troubled waters, like medicine on your hurt and wounded people. In this small jar of oil (lift the oil) we remember the rich sensuous flavour that the Spirit gives to life, and the promises to the Widow of Zarapheth that You are always mindful of us and will never abandon us. Through your work we are made one with Christ’s followers here in this place and throughout the entire world. Whatever happens to us, O God, we pray that you will keep us faithful to you and to the gifts that you have given each one of us. In this we praise you Father, Son and Holy Spirit, even as we dare to pray as one church the prayer that Christ taught us saying...
the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.