The Holy Communion


    The Holy Communion is the fellowship meal of Christ's new community. Its origins go back to the Passover meal. In that meal the people of Israel would remember they were once slaves in bondage. Set free, they wandered in the desert and were led to a land flowing with milk and honey. Each time they ate the Passover meal they would, for that moment, be the people of long ago. In that eating they fellowshipped, they became one with that bondage people, freed and tasting of the promised land.
    As Jesus and his disciples ate the Passover meal on the night before his crucifixion, he took bread and wine, they ate and drank, and he said, "Do this in remembrance of me". New symbols for the new Exodus. So we eat and drink. We look back and believe in the person of Jesus and all he has done for us. We look forward and rejoice with thanksgiving for all that will one day be ours. As we eat and drink we share with all who believe and rejoice in every age.
    The Holy Communion can either follow a conservative "translation" of the 1662 service which follows closely Archbishop Cranmer's 1552 service, or the now commonly used modern service of Holy Communion which i] restores the "catholic" form of the Great Thanksgiving and ii] incorporates elements of Morning Prayer. Both forms have their value, eg. the conservative "translation" is very useful in Lent.
    The service has two basic sections:
      1] The liturgy of the Word. In this section the focus is on the present rule of Christ through the Scriptures.
      2] The liturgy of the sacrament. In this section the focus is on the past work of Christ, his sacrificial work on the cross. Our eating of the bread and drinking of the wine symbolises our believing in Christ's sacrifice for us. The life-giving results of Christ's death and resurrection are applied to us in the present as we remember and believe in what Jesus has done for us.
    Between these two sections the table is prepared and the offertory collected. This is probably the most practical moment to perform both acts, but it is important to stress that there is no sacramental link between the two. All that is taking place is that the gifts toward ministry are collected and the table prepared for the fellowship meal.
    The movement of the service is from reflective (focus on the Scriptures), to penitential (recognition of sin and unworthiness, a call for mercy and the offer of forgiveness), to thanksgiving and praise. It is a simple service of worship which enables us to meet with our risen Lord who has promised to be with us when we gather. We hear him through the Scriptures, confess him, pray to him, repent, thank and praise him. Above all we remember and believe.
    In Prayer Book reform there is continuing difficulty placing Cranmer's "Prayer of Humble Access". In fact, some have suggested that it is best left out. In 1549 this prayer was virtually the Consecration prayer. It is too beautiful a part of our Anglican worship to abandon.
    There is a very pretty Musical setting for the Prayer of Preparation written by John Harding. A variety of settings can be found in "Sing Alleluia", The supplement to The Australian Hymn Book.
    For notes on the individual elements of the service, search out your Christian library for an old book titled "This Service", by Albert Mitchell. The book discusses the individual elements of the 1662 service which remains the basis our modern revised services.
The Liturgy
      The Greeting. Priest. Said firmly and with warmth.
      The Sentence. Read by the Deacon/Minister. The sentence and prayer establishes the theme of the service. Found in "The Collects and Readings for the Holy Communion".
      The Prayer of Preparation. The collect for purity - a request for purity of worship. Led by the Deacon/Minister. Introduced by "Let us pray".
      The Commandments, either the Ten Words or the Two Great Commandments. Read by the Priest. Although rightly a declaration of the Covenant, the Commandments are best seen as a reminder that "our righteousness is but filthy rags". We are slaves to sin. In the more modern orders this "Cranmer" tradition is no longer followed.
      Response - Kyrie Eleison - is an address to the persons of the Trinity. It expresses unworthiness of approach. It's origin is Greek.
      Trisagion is an optional anthem may be used at this point
      The Confession - optional position. Introduced by the Deacon/Priest and led by the Deacon/Minister after a pause for self examination. There were two confessions in the Mediaeval mass. Cranmer dropped this first one which was said by the Priest alone. The Lutherans dropped the second. Modern orders retains it as an alternate in the 2nd Order. It best fits following the Commandments (Reformed). The Priest then pronounces the Absolution.
      The Gloria in Excelsis. An ancient hymn sung as a joyful shout of praise.
      Collect. Prayed by the Priest. Standing or kneeling.
      Old Testament reading. Read by a member of the congregation.
      Psalm. Led by the Deacon/Minister. Said together seated with the appointed verse said before and after.
      Epistle. Read by a member of the congregation.
      Gradual Hymn or Anthem.
      The Gospel reading. Read by the Deacon. Responses said, congregation standing. Standing for the Gospel does not imply that the gospels are more inspired than the rest of scripture, rather that the words of Jesus are the center of God's revelation to mankind. Responses are used before and after and the gospel is often introduced with a gospel acclamation which is seasonal in nature
      Nicene Creed. Led by the Deacon/Minister, all standing. The creed is not an essential part of the service. It came in as a result of the doctrinal arguments of the 4th century. It fits well as a response of allegiance to the truths of scripture following on from the Bible readings and sermon.
      Intercession. Usually led by the Priest in the midst of the congregation or from the Prayer Desk. Flexibility may be used at this point. Alternate forms may be used. Here we wrestle and overcome the powers of darkness. The walls of Jericho come crashing down. The Lord's Prayer may be used here, or immediately before or after the communion.
      Sentences. Deacon/Minister. Selection is important as some lead naturally into the confession. They reflect the "comfortable words" of BCP.
      The prayer of Humble Access. Led by the Deacon/Minister. This beautiful prayer by Cranmer was designed to be said just before all took the communion. In that sense it is a kind of prayer of preparation as we unworthily feed on Christ by faith. It does not quite fit in this position, but most would not like to lose it, so we use it to prepare us for the Great Thanksgiving. Scriptural base, Luke.16:31 and Mark.7:28.
      The Greeting of Peace. The greeting is given by the Priest. [Personal greetings to those in close proximity may follow although this practice is increasingly disturbing the "transcendent" nature of the service.]
      Offertory Hymn. Deacon/Minister. The elements are received from members of the congregation (if this is the tradition of the church) and the table is prepared by the Priest/Deacon/Servers. The Credence table is used to allocate the bread and wine required and these elements are then placed on the Communion table.
      The gifts of the people are received. The offertory prayer is given by the Priest.
      The Great Thanksgiving. The Priest now stands at the Holy Table in an Northern position (Low church) or East or West (High church). At the last supper, when Jesus and the disciples gathered together, they most probably gathered together for the Passover. When Jesus gave thanks at the meal he would have recited the Jewish liturgical berakah, or prayer of adoration, blessing God. This liturgy has four parts; an invitation, a statement of motives which are given by rehearsing the great deeds of God on behalf of his people, prayer, and a doxology. These four elements are contained in the modern (2nd Order) thanksgivings.
        The Sursum Corda (including the greeting). May be sung as a canon, standing.
        "Let us pray" is often added and gives a cue if the congregation is to kneel.
        Then follows the recounting of God's great deeds concluding with the Sanctus in which we are privileged to share in the praise of the Heavenly host. The Benedictus is an optional anthem, but often not used in Evangelical circles. It must be stressed that recounting Math.21:9 has nothing to do with the Spirit's coming upon the elements of bread and wine to somehow change them into the body and blood of Christ. Anglicans uphold the Protestant view that the bread and wine always remain bread and wine. It simply reminds us of the Passion of Christ through which he comes to reign over us.
        The institution of the Last Supper. A more explicit statement of motives. The bread and wine are raised by the Priest at this point to indicate their setting apart for a special use - symbols of Jesus' life given that we may live.
        The acclamation is followed by the Anamnesis - a statement of belief that the bread and wine serve as symbols of Jesus perfect sacrifice upon the cross, and do so until his coming again.
        The Epiclesis, or Petition for the congregation - "Renew us by ........"
        The Doxology. A trinitarian praise taken from the song of the angels who stand before the throne of God, Rev.7:11-12.
      The Communion. The Priest breaks the bread before the people and leads the responsory, 1Cor.10:17. We are united through the sacrifice of Christ for us.
      The Agnus Dei may be sung here as an optional Anthem. It serves as a meditation upon the broken bread - Christ's sacrifice for us.
      The invitation calls the congregation forward to take the communion and also allows them to hear the full words of distribution along the lines of BCP.
      Distribution. There are numerous words of distribution in Prayer Book revision. An Australian Prayer Book has three. For example, looking at the words for the bread:
        1. "The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life; take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your heart by faith with thanksgiving". This option follows Cranmer who followed Calvin. Here it is implied that if we eat, believing in the memory of Christ's death on our behalf, his body broken, his blood shed, then we do actually feed on Christ, although it is a heavenly feeding.
        2. "The body of Christ keep you in eternal life." This option is more Lutheran/Catholic. It can imply that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ to the true believer. It implies that the words said over the bread and wine have made them the body and blood of Christ. This is the doctrine of transubstantiation, rejected at the Reformation.
        3. "Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you and be thankful." These words are in line with the teachings of Zwingli who said that in eating and drinking we are simply using the elements to remind us of Christ's death on our behalf. As we eat, we remember, as we remember, we believe. Eating is believing. cf John 6. Evangelicals tend to use these words of distribution although they do not reflect Cranmer's view.
      Sentence. The concluding section of the service begins with a sentence of scripture to sum up the theme of the Word element of the service. Said by the Deacon/Minister.
      Prayer of Thanksgiving. A shortened form of Cranmer's prayer in the BCP works well.
      A concluding prayer of thankfulness. We commit ourselves to dedicate our lives to Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Notices may follow.
      Dismissal Hymn.
      The Blessing with seasonal additions. Said by the Priest. It is a prayer that we be at peace, be at rest, with God. The greatest of all blessings is that we stand in an eternal relationship with our God and creator.
      The Dismissal is led by the Deacon/Minister.
Weekly pew sheets for the service variables
      The weekly variables in the service, namely: Sentences, Collects, Readings and Acclamations, are now freely available in A5 pamphlet form following the RCL readings. In Australia the Anglican Benedictine Monastery at Camperdown, NSW. 3260, produces a very good pew supplement.
      In Low Anglican the priest wears Cassock, Surplice and Scarf. In Middle church the Scarf is replaced by a Stole (coloured to the season), and in High Church the dress is Alb (a white linen Cassock-like vestment), Stole and Chasuble. The Amice, a linen piece under the Alb representing a breastplate, and the Maniple, a miniature Stole worn on the left forearm, is usually only worn in High Anglocatholic churches.
Holy Table ornaments linen...
      Cross. In Low church it is not placed on the table. In High Church it is often a Crucifix.
      Alter Lights. If used, usually two signifying that Christ is the light of the world.
      A Book Desk, or sometimes a cushion, used to support the Prayer Book for the celebrant.
      A Fair Linen Cloth. White linen covering the Holy Table and hanging down at the ends. It is often embroidered with five crosses signifying Christ's five wounds. In a High tradition it represents Christ's burial cloth, but in a Low tradition it is a table covering for a meal.
      The Corporal. A square of linen upon which the vessels are placed.
      The Pall. A square of supported linen placed over the Chalice.
      Purificators for wiping the Chalice.
      The Burse. Two hinged squares in the colour of the season placed on the Paten/Chalice and used to hold extra Purificators.
      The Chalice Veil. A square of embroidered silk in the colours of the season placed over the Chalice, Paten etc.
      The Chalice
      Paten. To hold the consecrated bread.
Credence Table (South side of sanctuary)
      Pix. A container for the bread. In Low church the bread is actually bread, but in High church it is usually unleavened wafers.
      Cruets. A container for the wine, and one for water where intincturing (a mixed chalice) is practiced.
      Lavabo Basin. For had washing
      Alms Dish. For the collection.
Liturgical Colours
      White: Christmas, Easter, Epiphany, Saints Days, Weddings...
      Red: Pentecost, Feasts of Martyrs.
      Green: Ordinary Sundays
      Violet: Advent, pre Lent Sundays (Septuagesima....), Lent, Ember Days.
      Black: Good Friday and Funerals.

The Lord's Supper

Approaching the Word
    [A]. Deacon, Assistant Minister or Priest, or Lay Reader
    TRADITIONAL. Traditional Order
    MODERN. Modern Order
    [ ]. Item may vary its position
CALL TO WORSHIP     A call to recognise Christ's presence
  The Lord be with you
    And also with you
During the Easter season
  Christ is risen
    He is risen indeed.
Come! Come, Lord Jesus and stand in the midst of us, as you stood in the midst of your disciples. Mozarabic Missal
SENTENCE and PRAYER OF INVOCATION     Scripture sentence and 2nd Collect from the 3 Year Series AAPB. [A]
PRAYER OF PREPARATION.     Collect for purity. [A]
  Let us pray (Let us kneel and sing/say together......)
    Almighty God,
    to whom all hearts are open,
    all desires known
    and from whom no secrets are hidden:
    cleanse the thoughts of our hearts,
    by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
    that we may perfectly love you,
    and worthily magnify your holy name,
    through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our words and our actions will not be true worship unless they are inspired and taken up by the Holy Spirit.
  My soul truly waits upon God, for from him comes my salvation. Psalm.62:1
    God spoke these words and said:
    I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of slavery.
    You shall have no other gods but me.
    You shall not make for yourself a graven image.
    You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
    Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    Honour your father and mother.
    You shall do no murder.
    You shall not commit adultery.
    You shall not steal.
    You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
    You shall not covet.
  Our Lord Jesus Christ said: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
  Lord, have mercy on us:
    and write your law in our hearts by your Holy Spirit.
  Or on weekdays etc. the Kyrie elesion
    Lord, have mercy,
    Christ, have mercy,
    Lord, have mercy.

Optional Anthem. The Trisagion. Not generally used
  Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.
COLLECT     The 1st Collect of the day, Three Year Series.
PSALM     The set response printed in red at the beginning of the Psalm is said together before and at the end of the Psalm. The Psalm is read together. [A]
THE EPISTLE     Lay Reader
  This is the word of the Lord.
    Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL READING     Deacon or Priest
  Gospel acclamation
    The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ according to..., chapter..... verse....
      Glory to you, Lord Christ.
  Gospel response
    This is the Gospel of the Lord.
      Praise to you, Lord Christ.
        The seed is the Word of God. Luke 8:11
  We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.
  We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten not made,
    of one Being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us men and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
    he was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the Scriptures;
    he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
    and his kingdom will have no end.
  We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
    He has spoken through the Prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.

  In the Nicene Creed we express the faith of the universal Church using a form which goes back to the great councils of Christian leaders held in the fourth century.
SUPPLICATION and INTERCESSION     Appropriate prayers for ourselves and others.
Let us pray for all people and for the Church throughout the world:
(APBA prayers for occasional use)
  1] The Church. Send out the light and truth of your gospel and bring people everywhere to know and love you. Enable those who minister among us to commend your truth by their example and teaching. May we gladly receive and obey your word. APBA
    Father, hear our prayer.
      Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  2] The Nations. Guide with wisdom and power the leaders of the nations, so that everyone may live in peace and mutual trust, sharing with justice the resources of the earth. Give the people of this land a spirit of unselfishness, compassion, and fairness in public and private life. APBA
    Father, hear our prayer.
      Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  3] Friends and Family
  4] Those in need. We commend to your fatherly care, merciful God, all who are in sorrow, sickness, discouragement or any other trouble. Give them patience and a firm trust in your goodness. Help those who care for them, and bring us all into the joy of your salvation. APBA
    Father, hear our prayer
      Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  5] Thanksgiving for the faithful departed. We praise you for all your servants whose lives have honoured Christ. Encourage us by their example, so that we may run with perseverance the race that lies before us, and share with them the fullness of joy in your kingdom. APBA
    Father, hear our prayer.
      Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
[Accept our prayers through Jesus Christ our Lord who taught us to pray:
  Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your Name,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be done
    on earth as in heaven.
  Give us today our daily bread.
  Forgive us our sins
    as we forgive those who sin against us.
  Lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
  For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
    now and for ever. Amen.
  As we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Gal.6:10
OFFERTORY HYMN [A]  At this point in the Traditional service, the Priest and Assistants ([A]) would move to the Sanctuary and prepare the table.
Preparation for the Holy Communion
[THE CONFESSION     Said together
  Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  maker of all things, judge of all men,
  we acknowledge with shame the sins we have committed,
  by thought, word, and deed, against your divine majesty,
  provoking most justly your wrath and indignation against us.
  We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for all our misdoings.
  Have mercy on us, most merciful Father.
  For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake
  forgive us all that is past,
  and grant that from this time forward
  we may serve and please you in newness of life,
  to the honour and glory of your name,
  through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
  Mercy is unmerited favour from God himself to an erring people who can do nothing to earn it except hold our their hands. Sherwood Wirt.
  My soul truly waits still upon God, for of him comes my salvation. Psalm.62:1
THE WORDS OF ASSURANCE     The comfortable words.
  Hear the words of assurance for those who truly turn to Christ:
    Jesus said: Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt.11:28.
    God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John.3:16.
    The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1Tim.1:15.
    If any one sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the perfect offering for our sins. 1John.1:1,2.
Since we have confidence to enter the most holy place by the blood of Jesus.. let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. Heb.10:19.
  Jesus said: I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. John.6:35.
  God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John.3:16
The priest would usually move from the Prayer Desk and kneel at the Sanctuary steps for the prayer of Humble Access.
[PRAYER OF HUMBLE ACCESS   [A]     Said together.
  We do not presume
  to come to your table, merciful Lord,
  trusting in our own righteousness,
  but in your manifold and great mercies.
  We are not worthy
  so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table
  But you are the same Lord
  whose nature is always to have mercy.
  Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord,
  so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ,
  and to drink his blood,
  that we may evermore dwell in him,
  and he in us. Amen.
    Jesus Christ invites us to be guests at his table.
THE GREETING   The Pax. The priest would normally now move to the chancel steps and greet the congregation. Personal greetings may follow, although there is a great danger of this disturbing the flow of the service.
  We are the body of Christ,
    His Spirit is with us.
  The peace of the Lord be always with you.
    And also with you.
HYMN [A]     At this point in the Modern service, the Priest and Assistants would move to the Sanctuary and prepare the table.
  Blessed are you, Lord God our Father; through your goodness we have these gifts to share. Accept and use our offerings for your glory and for the service of your Kingdom.
  Blessed be God for ever.
The Great Thanksgiving
The Sursum Corda -Invitation to thanksgiving.
  Lift up your hearts
    We lift them to the Lord
  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
    It is right to give him thanks and praise.
The preface
  It is indeed right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to you, Lord, holy Father, might Creator, and eternal God,
Special preface for a Holy Day.
  Therefore with angels and archangels, and with the whole company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, evermore praising you and saying:
The Sanctus - The praise of the heavenly host
    Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts
    heaven and earth are full of your glory.
    Glory to you, O Lord most high.
Prayer of consecration
  All glory to you, our heavenly Fater, for in your tender mercy you gave your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death on the cross for our redemption; who made there, by his one oblation of himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficiient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world; and who insitituted, and in his holy gospel commanded us to continue, a perpetual memory of his precious death until his coming again.
  Hear us, merciful Father, and grant that we who receive these gifts of your creation, this bread and this wine, according to your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy insitution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed body and blood; who on the night he was betrayed Here the priest takes the paten in his hands took bread, and when he had given you thanks, He breaks the bread he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take, eat; He lays his hand on all the bread this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me." Likewise after supper He takes the cup in his hands he took teh cup, and when he had given you thanks, he gave it to them saying, "Drink from this, all of you; for He lays his hand on the vessels in which is wine to be consecrated this is my blood on the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." Amen.
Sursum Corda
  Lift up your hearts.
    We lift them to the Lord.
  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
    It is right to give thanks and praise.
  All glory and honour, thanks and praise, be yours now and always, Lord, holy Father, mighty Creator, everliving God. We give thanks and praise for your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, who by his death on the cross and rising to new life offered the one true sacrifice for sin and obtained an eternal deliverance for his people. Therefore with the whole company of heaven we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying
    Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
    heaven and earth are full of your glory.
    Hosanna in the highest.

Optional anthem. The benedictus qui venit. Not generally used.
    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
    Hosanna in the highest.
The Anamnesis
  And now, Father, we pray that we who receive these your gifts of bread and wine according to our Saviour's word may be partakers of his body and blood.
  For on the night he was betrayed he took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, his almighty Father, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying "Take, eat. This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." After supper, he took the cup and again giving you thanks he gave it to his disciples, saying, "Drink from this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
    Christ has died;
    Christ is risen;
    Christ will come again.

The Epiclesis
  We offer our prayer and praise, Father, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord:
    Blessing and honour and glory and power
    are yours for ever and ever. Amen.
Optional Anthem, Agnus Dei, is not normally used. 1Cor.10:17.
    Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us.
    Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us.
    Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: grant us your peace.

  We who are many are one body in Christ,
    for we all share in the one bread
  Come let us take this holy sacrament of the body and blood of Christ in remembrance that he died for us, and feed on him in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.
  You hear the words "The body of Christ" and you answer "Amen". Be therefore members of Christ that your "Amen" may be true.... If you have received well, you are that which you have received. St.Augustine
After Communion
CONCLUDING SENTENCE.     The Three Year Series AAPB. [A]
  Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your Name,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be done
    on earth as in heaven.
  Give us today our daily bread.
  Forgive us our sins
    as we forgive those who sin against us.
  Lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
  For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
    now and for ever. Amen.
  Father, we thank you that you feed us who have received these holy myseries with the spiritual food of the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ. We thank you for this assurance of your goodness and love, and that we are living members of his body and heirs of his eternal kingdom. Accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and help us to grow in love and obedience, that with all the saints we may worship you for ever. (AAPB)
  Christ's Body, the Church, exists today to be broken for the world.
  Father, we offer ourselves to you
  as a living sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  Send us out in the power of your Spirit
  to live and work to your praise and glory. Amen

  Glory to God in the highest
  and peace to his people on earth.
  Lord God, heavenly King,
  almighty God and Father,
  we worship you, we give you thanks,
  we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
  Lord God, Lamb of God,
  you take away the sin of the world:
  have mercy on us;
  you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
  receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One;
  you alone are the Lord:
  you alone are the Most High,
  Jesus Christ,
  with the Holy Spirit,
  in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
  Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
    In the name of Christ. Amen.
I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to whatever task you want, rank me with whoever you wish; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside; for you are mine and I am yours. John Wesley (adapted)
Readings that may be used when we "Gather in the Lord's Name."
      Jesus, we're here again. What are we doing here? I mean, how is communion with you possible? You're holy, and we're very human. Yet I remember that you also became human.
      I wonder how we can honestly be nourished and cleansed by your body and blood. Yet I realise that communion is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. I accept this mystery.
      We are grateful for this intimacy with you, Jesus. We thank you for letting us share this corporate action as we offer to God all of creation including our lives. Give us faith to understand what it means to be thankful. Malcolm Boyd
      I am kneeling at a communion rail, Lord, with a few of your disciples.
      I take a piece of bread, a sip of wine.
      This is a symbol of your Body and Blood in which we share.
      I look around.
      We all have our joys and sorrows, our hopes and disappointments.
      We will go forth to love as best we can,
      or to face some difficulty with renewed strength,
      or to forget until we meet here again,
      or to deny you with Peter,
      or even perhaps to despair with Judas.
      We, Lord are your Body.
      For the short time we meet together,
      Draw us closer to yourself.
      Make us aware of your presence,
      Enable us to remove the sting from those problems that arise between us,
      Weld us into the type of reconciled community you wish mankind to be.
      And then send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise. Rex Chapman.
      He makes himself known in the Action which he instituted and which ever since has been the central act of the Church on the Lord's Day. In it he makes present to us, through the power of his risen life, all that he wrought on the Cross, till he comes in final victory.
      We come first, to commemorate with thanksgiving that he in his life, death and resurrection offered himself thus to be taken and consecrated, broken and given for us:
      Secondly, to trust his promise that in the bread and wine, taken, blessed, broken and shared as he commanded, he will come to us;
      Thirdly, to let our lives likewise be taken, blessed, broken and given in union with his, that God's redeeming work and rule may be extended through us. J.A.T Robinson
      Let us reflect how in the Holy Communion, the night of Christ's birth, the night in which he was betrayed, the hours upon the cross, the morning of the resurrection, the glory of the ascension, and our own worship and need, are brought together in one eternal moment.
      Let us thank God that throughout the world the Holy Communion is the most loved and solemn act of Christian worship; that in this sacrament (sign) Christ comes to us in forgiveness and love, to unite us to himself, to transform us for service. George Appleton

Index of studies: Resource library
[Pumpkin Cottage]
Pumpkin Cottage Ministry Resources
Lectionary Bible Studies and Sermons