Lenten Season: Invitation to the Table and Words for Footwashing

I continue on Lenten Mondays sharing Lenten communion liturgies which have been shared with me.This is from June Goudey. The communion prayer comes from her book The Feast of Our Lives:Re-Imaging Redemption. Pilgrim Press 2002

In Lent you may wish to prepare hearts and minds for Holy Communion by an experience of footwashing. (Gather bowls, towels, and pitchers in advance and offer a reading of John 13: 3-16. Each person participating should both wash and be washed. Rather than pushing someone to profound discomfort or eliminating someone who is not dressed to easily expose feet, offering an alternative of feet or hands works well. The effect of not forcing intimacy or shaming those whose life experience makes physical intimacy difficult is a blessing which may not be experienced until the following year.)

The Rite of Footwashing:

Name______________ I wash your feet as a sign of love.
Receive this gift
as an expression of grace,
and a prayer of humility;
accept your humanity,
and honor the divine presence within each of us.

Each person will greet the one who washed their feet with a sign of peace; then kneel to wash the feet of another. When all have participated in this ministry of love, silence will be kept for a brief period, followed by a Gloria: a Sung Response

Communion Invitation
Sundays in Lent are for feasting not fasting.
So come to this table with hope.
Come too with hearts ready to receive, for God’s gifts are now before us.

Communion Prayer
One: The Holy One is here,
People: With us and before us.
One: Let us open our spirits to God.
People: We come open and ready.
One: Give thanks to the Blessed One.
People: We give our thanks and praise!

Generous God, mother and father, of us all
Bread baker and wine maker extraordinaire,
We give you thanks and praise.

You lovingly brought the world into being,
Gifted all creation with abundant life,
and exquisitely shaped us in your image.
Knowing this we remember past and future.

We recall Jesus’ ministry of grace…his willingness to eat with outcasts and sinners, his reticence for judgment, his openness to new ways of seeing the world and his delight in life itself

We recall the challenges he encountered, the difficulties he embraced, the truths he faced with honesty and conviction.

We recall his journeys taken, and his promises kept always in your name and for your greater purpose. In life and in death through crucifixion and resurrection, he leads us in paths of integrity, he restores our souls.

Fed by the bread of life and the fruit of the vine Jesus offers in your name
we eat willingly and joyfully

Surely your word is alive in all living things
Surely we are one with all creation.

Knowing Jesus is with us now, we sing: (this, found in many hymnals or a similar song)

Eat this bread, drink this cup, come to me and never be hungry.
Eat this bread, drink this cup, trust in me and you will not thirst. Jacques Berthier (27 June 1923 – 27 June 1994) French composer of liturgical music, best known for writing much of the music used at Taizé.

Because Jesus speaks to us of grace amazing, Holy One, we open ourselves to the wonder of life lived in your presence and your power. Bless these gifts that they may fortify us for the journeys before us and bless our being-ness that we may live from this day forth with generous and expansive hearts. As we eat together in faith may we become a community of justice worthy of your high purpose. May we not fail you and may we not fail one another. Amen

Sharing of the Bread and Juice by Intinction:

In the breaking of the bread,
we recognize the Risen Christ.

In the cup of blessing,
we taste and see how gracious is our God.

These are the gifts of God for the people of God

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Let us pray. Holy One, you gave us this day our daily bread and nourished us with the presence of Christ/Christa: we thank you. Through the one loaf and cup, you have made us one with you and one another: we thank you. By your love and care, feed the world with this bread; bring it joy with this fruit of the vine. Make it leaven and salt in us, a community of faith strengthened by your meal. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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