Celebration of Holy Communion — January, 2023

Words for those who use these materials:

Holy Communion for January 2023 is probably a moveable feast. Maybe it will happen on New Year’s Day, January 1, even though many will have stayed up for Watchnight or New Year’s Eve celebrations. After all, it is easier to understand being fed than many sermons while sleep deprived. In other places it will be postponed to January 8, which may or may not be an Epiphany celebration. These may be on-the-road occasions with the earlier gospel lesson giving us Joseph and Mary both fleeing with their child to Egypt and returning to Nazareth, and the later date lifting up the journey of the magi following the star, detouring to Jerusalem, finding Bethlehem and famously going home by another way. there are hints of these stories here.

In any case, many of us liken our beginning of the calendar year to beginning a journey, taking a road. I am grateful for the Road Communion / Beach Communion photographs shared with me by Priscilla Merrill which you may freely use and for the Prayer of Consecration taken from Todd Jenkins’ longer piece “Deep Pool”

Invitation to Communion

Come to your new journey to be sustained
by the food and drink of this holy table.

We come following the stars of guidance.

Come in spite of all the detours of your life.

We know God shows us every year, every day
an oasis of safety and rest
when we are escaping
from dangers all around us,
and the ‘home by another way’
which may be a new staying place
or a new adventure.

Come for there is always a table waiting.

We come to share what strengthens us
and receive the gifts of others.

Words of Remembering

We remember that scripture tells us
that people are fed on the roads of life.

There is manna in the wilderness,
Abigail’s early door-dash, meals-on-wheels,
one innkeeper’s unexpected kindness,
and another’s, much later, in Jericho
for a Samaritan,
inspiring the first warming shelter.

But mostly we remember
that final evening with his disciples
when Jesus shared with a meal
with friend, betrayer, denier,
in a borrowed room, under fear’s shadow,
in the Passover tradition.

So is bread and wine redefined,
as a promise to us and those we carry
in the baggage of life
that we pack for every road –
both the tourism of life’s joys
and the paths we take through sorrow.

This Holy Communion is the “Take-Away”
from all our stories on all our journeys.

Prayer of Consecration (Todd Jenkins)

Give us strength and courage,
O Dreamweaver, to cast our lot
into the deep and refreshing pool
of your unconditional grace,
so we may become
your next chapter of hope
for all who hunger and thirst
for the loaf and cup of shalom. amen.

Sharing of the Elements

For all your paths in the New Year,
and all the light arising on your way home,
Take this bread and eat.

For every meal you share with others,
and every sip you need of hope.
Take this cup and drink.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God, as you serve us in sacrament, shine before us a star, and teach us to be cooks and servers for the hungry in the world, those who are escaping some tyranny, those who just need a gift, we go forth to share your kindness, your wisdom, your open heart and resting place … and we pray with the words you gave your band of travelers …

Prayer of our Savior. Amen

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3 Responses to Celebration of Holy Communion — January, 2023

  1. Patricia A. Dubois says:

    Just praying this I feel fed Maren! Thank you for opening the table and my heart! Patricia

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