This communion liturgy is shared freely to churches that offer virtual or in-person worship or a hybrid sanctuary with both home tables and some people practicing distancing and caution in a sanctuary of outdoor space. Feel free to use any pieces of this service helpful to you and add freely language, music, gestures and practices.
Announcement … for Sunday, November 28, or Monday, November 29
Next Sunday, December 5, we share Holy Communion in morning worship. For those who will be receiving the sacrament in church the elements will be prepared for you. For those who bless and receive the sacrament at home, please prepare a slice or roll of bread, a corn tortilla, Naan, or rice cake and a cup of juice of any kind, or wine, with or without alcohol.
We look forward to being with you at the table.
Celebration of Holy Communion
Invitation to Communion – from Todd Jenkins’ longer poem “Advent(ure)”(used by permission)
… The sacred unfolding
of these four gifts —
hope, peace, love, and joy —
in their unvarnished glory,
will flip our political
and socioeconomic culture
on its head,
ushering in a new vision of community
that’s more flush with justice
than we’ve ever dreamed,
as it invites everyone
to the table,
which causes us
to scramble for more chairs.
Come to think of it,
maybe searching for ways
to extend the table
is precisely what Advent
is supposed to be about.
Words of Remembering
We remember that Jesus was always
about more chairs –
for the “friendly beasts”
a cow whose manger fed him,
the birds that never fall unloved,
and the comforting animals
of his forty wilderness days.
Jesus was always about more chairs,
for the poor, lonely, grieving, hungry,
the most vulnerable and rejected,
and even those deep in deserved regret.
And we remember that Jesus
sat in the chairs of anyone who welcomed him.
He came to tables and asked for food,
not to see the guest list.
He knew how multiply barley loaves
but, also, how to grill fish.
In this sacrament on Advent’s day of Peace,
we remember that the starlit Child,
protected by angels
grew up to offer bread and cup
to a betrayer, a denier, a doubter,
several sleepers, many who fled
because at the cross there were no angels.
We remember that Jesus is in the Bread and Cup
for those of us who know its blessing well,
and yet is still pulling out folding chairs
so that more, … even all can come, sit, rest, eat.
Prayer of Consecration
Emmanuel, God with us,
in the hopes and fears of all our years,
we come for comfort,
for peace of mind and peace on earth,
for a blessing on our hands and the Bread in them,
on our lips and the Cup we lift to drink.
(in silence or with music playing – breaking, touching or lifting the Bread, pouring, touching or lifting the Cup)
May this Bread and Cup
be all your holy life,
that we may ponder in our hearts,
and pray in our community …
Prayer of our Savior … Amen
Sharing of the Elements
Leader: The Holy Child of Bethlehem descends to us,
Unison: and is born in us in these days.
Leader: Let us share the bread.
Unison: We hear Christmas angels
their great glad tidings tell.
Leader: Let us drink deeply for in every time
Christ abides with us.
Unison: In every time and every place
Christ abides in us.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Peace-giver, Blesser of tables shared and some tables turned over, we rise or roll from our places at this most welcoming meal prepared anew to live Advent hospitality, by becoming your chair-people, not leaders, but ushers and servers for the worldwide banquet of grace. Amen.
So very much gratitude to Todd Jenkins for his poem to shape this month’s Liturgy.