We celebrate the continuation online worship and the sacred trust and truth of Holy Communion as feeding God’s most vulnerable children. This service is written specifically for churches who at this time are resisting the pressure to re-open buildings and name them the definition of church. This is my third Communion service shaped for those who are digitally and spiritually connected, a simple service with words of liturgy relating to the Revised Common Lectionary, to which you can may add freely language, music, gestures and practices.
Announcement … for Pentecost
Next Sunday, June 7, we re-commit ourselves to living Pentecost lives, listening to the words of youth, sharing the dreams of elders, inviting new languages, some digital, to tell our good news. We will share Holy Communion in our online Livestream/Zoom/other format worship.
Before the service you will want to prepare a slice or a small loaf of any kind of bread to share and a cup or small cups of juice — perhaps grape or cranberry — or wine, with or without alcohol. Set these elements in the living room or kitchen where you experience worship electronically with our faith community. Place a mask and a glove on your table symbolically as well. Perhaps you want to put everything on a lovely cloth or fabric that reminds you of a special time or person. Perhaps light a candle or place a flower or the photograph of someone you wish to bring into the circle of faith beside the bread and the cup.
Thank you for your preparation.
Celebration of Holy Communion
(Pause to invite those who have not already prepared elements quickly to do so. They can be very simple. Communion does not need elements.)
This morning you are invited for Holy Communion
in the Body of Christ.
That Body of Christ is not the loaf of bread
you see on my plate on your screen.
The Body of Christ
is not even the bread on your table.
The Body of Christ is us
as we are strengthened by sharing together
this meal of hope and grace and presence.
The parables on the table this morning
include a mask and a glove,
symbols of care for the Body of Christ.
As Jesus might have said —
the Realm of God is like a mask of compassion
on the Bread of Heaven and a
gloved hand lifting the Cup of Blessing
so that all be served and safe.
We pause to honor with tender memory
the holy table in our church home
and to consecrate with love for all God’s children
these many holy tables in our home churches.
Prayer of Consecration
Leader: We Are the Body of Christ dispersed and gathered at the same time,
which is always true though we do not always see it.
(Sung of Spoken) Como granos que han hecho el mismo pan
como notas que tejen un cantar
como gotas de agua que se funden en el mar
los cristianos un cuerpo formaran.
Like the grains that become one whole loaf,
like the notes that are woven into song,
like droplets of water that are blended in the sea,
we, as Christians, one body shall become. *
In your many kitchens, and living rooms, rest your hands lightly upon these elements which we set aside today to be a sacrament. Let us ask God’s blessing upon them and upon us and upon all those who are in our prayers this morning.
Gentle Host, rest upon us as you rested upon water and light, earth and creatures, human beings, all in your image, and holy Sabbath. Send your Spirit of life and love, power and blessing upon your children who are staying at home so that this Bread may be broken and gathered in love and this Cup poured out to give hope to all. Risen Christ, live in us, that we may live in you. Breathe in us, that we may breathe in you. Amen.
Words of Remembering
Leader: We remember the Creator blessed all creatures and all human beings with plants of the ground and fruit of the trees. We remember the Sarah’s hospitality to angels, manna in the wilderness, oil that never gave out, and the Psalmist speaking down the ages, “Taste and see that God is good. We remember.
We remember a twelve year old at a Passover in Jerusalem, a meal cooked by Peter’s mother-in-law, a small boy’s lunch, Zacchaeus feast, Martha’s one-dish hospitality, a story about a fatted calf and dancing, another Jerusalem Passover, broken bread in Emmaus, and fish on the beach. We remember.
We remember communal dining inspired by the Holy Spirit, Peter’s unkosher dream that meant all God’s children are accepted, Paul’s communion on a sinking ship and a vision of the fruit of the trees in the New Jerusalem. We remember.
Our tables are a various as these and they are as truly the meal of grace blessed by Creator, Christ and Indwelling Spirit.
Sharing of the Elements
Leader: Let us at our many tables receive the gift of God, the Bread of Heaven.
Unison: We become the Body of Christ in the Bread we share.
Leader: Let us in our many places receive the gift of God, the Cup of Blessing.
Unison: We are one in Christ in the Cup we share.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Leader: In thanksgiving for this meal of grace, rejoicing that, in the holy dispersion of virtual worship, we claim the risen Christ’s love is not limited by buildings made with human hands, nor contained in human ceremonies, let us pray …
O Holy One, our tongues have tasted the good news and our lives are filled with the Spirit that hovered over creation and blew fresh hope on Pentecost. Creator open our hearts. Word, speak peace in our voices to all the people in all the hotspots and hurts of the world. As we journey masked through our lonely or dangerous or over-busy day, Holy Spirit, fill us with this blessing — that it is good. Amen
*words adapted from verse three of “Una Espiga” “Sheaves of Summer” Author: Cesáreo Gabarain Translator: George Lockwood