Holy Communion Liturgy for September 6, 2020

“Hearts starve as well as bodies – give us bread but give us roses.”
Bread and Roses Strike 1912, Lawrence Textile Mills,
song based on a poem by James Oppenheimer

Next Sunday, September 6, we will share Holy Communion in morning worship. I am privileging the United States in this posting by lifting up some Labor Day themes (not, I hope to the exclusion of others). I know that other countries celebrate this at different times and yet, in the midst of the pandemic, it is important to name the contributions of essential workers, even without speaking about the contemporary dismantling of collective bargaining, labor protections and fair wages.

This service is written for churches that offer virtual worship, but also hopes to be inclusive of some churches with a hybrid sanctuary that want both those at home tables and those practicing distancing and caution in a church yard or building to acknowledge equal partnership in the community of faith and communion of the table. This is my sixth month of offering Communion liturgy to celebrate how Sacrament transcends circumstance. Feel free to use any pieces of this service helpful to you and add freely language, music, gestures and practices.

Announcement … for late August

Next Sunday, September 6, we will share Holy Communion in morning worship. Those who are blessing and receiving the sacrament at home, please prepare a slice or small loaf of bread, corn tortilla, or rice cake or what is sacramental and joyful to share and a cup or small cups of juice — perhaps grape or cranberry — or wine, with or without alcohol.

(Note: Add for those with hybrid sanctuary — people at home and people in an outdoor place near the church or the sanctuary with physical distancing. Notice the choice — some congregations prefer people bringing their own elements to the church building rather than passing commonly prepared ones): For those who will be receiving the sacrament in the church building the elements will be prepared for you / please bring the elements you have prepared for yourselves.

We look forward to being with you at the table.

Celebration of Holy Communion

Invitation from Psalm 81               (in one voice or responsive)

We make a joyful muffled noise –
rhythm and blues, country, rap,
a masked, distanced, sweet response to the voice of God –

“I relieved your shoulder of the burden
and your hands were freed from the basket.”

We pick up the tambourine and the bass guitar –
“I relieved your shoulder of the burden
and your hands were freed from the basket.”

We Zoom, Google Meet, Livestream
Drive-in and Pew-space!
“I relieved your shoulder of the burden
and your hands were freed from the basket.”

The first Exodus released those unjustly worked
to bring them to a new and safe place.

This is a new Exodus time,
a time to give attention to
domestic workers, migrant workers,
food service folks heading to the curbside,
housekeepers keeping motels COVID-clean,
to those in mandatory overtime,
those jobless and waiting,
those who work in dangerous conditions.

For we experience the voice of God, saying –
I will give you finest wheat;
from the rock, I give you honey.

Prayer of Consecration

In the Bread we eat, we honor farmers and bakers.
we honor truck drivers, and those who stock grocery shelves.
In the Cup we drink, we honor those who pick fruit,
often endangered by pesticides,
and those who work in bottling plants.
In Bread and Cup, we honor those who have written,
translated, printed, sold, given, and taught
the Good News of the new covenant.

(Each person laying hands on bread and cup)
Holy One, this is the Sacrament we share, because others have passed it on – spiritually and physically – to each of us. We pray that your Spirit of life and love, of tenderness and power, rest upon every bread and every cup, so that they may feed our inmost needs and pour forth a grace that can change the world. Risen Christ, live in us, that we may live in you. Amen.

Words of Remembering

Leader: (the first two stanzas are very loosely adapted from Henry Van Dyke’s hymn for Labor Day in public domain …It is usually sung to Pleading Savior or Beecher).

Jesus, our divine companion,
by a lowly human birth
surely came to join the workers,
burden bearers of the Earth –
known as carpenter of Nazareth,
gathered those who fish for food,
promised – “raise the stone and find me,
I am here, just cleave the wood.”

In the times of fires and flooding,
Here Christ is to claim and own;
where the virus finds a victim,
no one shall be left alone.
Christ the peace which passes knowledge
dwells within the daily strife;
in the bread of Heaven broken
in the sacrament of life.

My friends, We remember a Passover in Jerusalem
when Jesus borrowed an upper room,
soaked and scrubbed the tired feet of others,
and explained that there is
a God-shaped hole in everyone’s belly
and Jesus would fill it with love.

And on Easter afternoon in Emmaus,
Jesus reminded us that the bread of welcome
on anyone’s table, on everyone’s table,
is blessed to be a holy sacrament,
sending us out
to find the cup in the world around us.

Sharing of the Elements

Leader: The bread on your table is blessed and broken.
As long as it is open to all, it is holy.
Unison: Sharing love, we will never be hungry.
Leader: The cup on your table is blessed and shared
like the overflowing of tears and joy.
Unison: Drinking deeply, we will never thirst.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

O Holy One, we give you thanks for honey from rocky times, hope from fearful thoughts and burdened shoulders, bread and roses from the labor of hands and minds, and your blessing as we receive this sacrament in the holy dispersion of virtual worship (and the holy distancing in church pews)to reach out and change your world one footwashing servanthood at a time, one Emmaus joy at a time. Amen

Benediction

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6 Responses to Holy Communion Liturgy for September 6, 2020

  1. Sharon van der Laan says:

    On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 3:31 PM Gifts in Open Hands wrote:

    > > Thank you, thank you! > > > > > Maren posted: ” > > “Hearts starve as well as bodies – give us bread but give us roses.” > > Bread and Roses Strike 1912, Lawrence Textile Mills, > > song based on a poem by James Oppenheimer > > Next Sunday, September 6, we will share Holy Communion in morning worship. > I am privil” > > > >

  2. Maren says:

    You are very welcome.

  3. Pingback: Online Worship for September 6, 2020 | Church of the Holy Cross Online Worship for September 6, 2020 | God's still speaking from Hilo

  4. Just set time aside to read this, Maren. Another moving offering. Thank you!

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