Holy Communion Liturgy for October 2, 2022, World Communion Sunday

Indigenous Sunday, Nancy Arthur Best, Navan Ontario

I have written many World Communion Services over the years from my own perspective (white, woman, US born United States citizen of settler heritage). Some have been shaped and blessed with words in original languages and translations offered for the two global worship anthologies I edited with Kathy Wonson Eddy. You can find these on this blog. This year I feel less comfortable being a patchwork maker with others’ languages, elements, and national perspectives, but I offer this very imperfect liturgy simply to name the multitude of nations on whose land we worship, in the woven grief and hope that always is Communion. My deep gratitude to R. Matthew Stevens (Anishinaabe Elder) and Nancy Arthur Best (Golden Feather Woman, Mohawk heritage)who were willing to be sensitivity readers. Thanks to Nancy for her photography.

Celebration of Holy Communion (for people from the United States and perhaps other countries as well)


We are invited to acknowledge
on World Communion Sunday
that we live within national borders
that include many sovereign nations,
stewards of land from
which they have been dispossessed,
people of faiths that have not been protected,
and their holy places often stolen,
shapers of traditions and languages
willfully strangled.

Some of us are of this heritage
and some of us are of settler heritage,
and some are of a heritage
of coming to this place enslaved.
All gather today to a table
with indigenous and settler peoples
in many lands around the world

to receive a Communion,
not of our own making but of God’s.

Words of Remembering

Today we celebrate all the World,
far away and near at hand,
remembering with Isaiah,

“Lift up your eyes and look around;
    they all gather together; they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
    and your daughters
shall be carried in their nurses’ arms.”

We remember that tobacco, sage, cedar,
sweetgrass are holy, dance is holy,
four directions are holy,
sweat and quest, all are holy.

And Jesus of Nazareth called his disciples
to name as holy the most common food,
the most common drink
in remembrance of him,
his life, death and resurrection.

And that we do today.

Prayer of Consecration for World Communion Sunday

God, bless the meeting of hunger and generosity in all places.
Bless the memories of all that is Holy Land,
the place of Jesus’ lineage and Passover custom,
the land under our feet,
all land remembered,
land honored, land with justice.

Bless all that is Communion
but especially what we take into body and spirit,
so that you can live and walk, sit, roll with us.

Bless the great giveaway for which we are grateful.
We open ourselves
and pray the prayer that binds us …
Prayer of our Savior …Amen.

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 poured like the overflowing of tears and joy.            
Unison: Drinking deeply, we will never thirst.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God, we give you thanks that someone taught us about the four directions, for we take this sacrament into us so that we can face the east and the north and the west and the south, not claiming to know what we find there, but asking that you turn us the particular way we should go tomorrow. amen

The turtle is in a garden at a United Church in Ottawa ON. It is planted with sacred medicines.
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8 Responses to Holy Communion Liturgy for October 2, 2022, World Communion Sunday

  1. This is beautiful, very appropriate here in Australia too, where white settlement was intrusive and abusive, doing much harm to indigenous peoples and cultures.

  2. Joan says:

    thank you for this profound liturgy – so helpful for me on so many levels

  3. Peter Lane says:

    Reblogged this on NZLPA – New Zealand Lay Preachers Association and commented:
    A service for World Communion Sunday.

  4. Rev. Dale Susan Edmonds says:

    “Some of us are of this heritage
    and some of us are of settler heritage”

    I’d love for this to be amended to also include an acknowledgement that there are not only to options. I’d love a line about those forced to accompany the settlers because they were enslaved…

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