Communion Liturgies

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All prayers should be used with printed credit to enfleshed unless otherwise noted.

God calls us

Community of saints,
beloveds of God,
we are invited to come and gather at the table of love and liberation,
to feast on the dreams of God,
to be nourished by but a taste of what God desires to do among us.

God calls us from institutional halls of power,
From shelters and the streets;
God calls us from classrooms and pulpits,
Gay bars and prison cells.

God calls us as we are, from wherever we are,
to come and be in solidarity with Christ,
who lives and loves on the margins.

God whispers “come”
and live abundantly,
turning from all that claims blessings
flow from money, power, or control.

Come, and
love relentlessly;
following Christ on paths of uncertainty,
taking risks for one another,
calling down unjust power from its throne
and lifting up the lowly,
the impoverished,
the burdened.

To answer the call of Christ is to find ourselves
no matter our social location,
choosing to align ourselves with the causes
of the marginalized, the oppressed,
the outcast, and the isolated,
with the faith that
together,
we might enflesh new possibilities
of healing,
of connection,
of freedom from all that destroys.

When these are the desires of our hearts,
we open ourselves to God.

Blessed are those, Jesus said, who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

And so let us come to the table,
expectant,
eager,
open
to tasting the rich blessings of heaven
born from unexpected places, and people, and experiences.

In this meal,
we remember the life, death, and resurrection of
the One who still takes on flesh among us today.

On the night he would be arrested,

Jesus gathered his friends and companions.
In the midst of a tense and dangerous time,
they found each other at table,
connecting over the story of God-enfleshed among them.

And as they did so, Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, broke the bread and shared it with his disciples saying,

“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

When the supper was over, he also took the cup, gave thanks to God, and shared it with his disciples, saying,

“Drink from this, all of you; this is the cup of the new covenant. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

And so we pray,
Come Holy Spirit,
Breath of God,
Renewer of life,
settle on these gifts and all who gather here,
that we might be transformed in our remembrance
of your radical love,
your eternal embrace,
and your grace that makes all things news.

For the sake of our shared lives,
the life of this land on which we live,

and the lives of those yet to come,
nourish us and renew our hope
that soon Christ may rise again among us.


Ordinary time

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Open your hearts to the One who is Love
We open our hearts to you, O God
Let us give thanks to God, who gathers us together
To the One who welcomes us to the table, we give thanks and praise

God, your invitation to come and feast in your presence is but a taste of the love you extend to us every day. By your very nature, you are always seeking us out – searching for ways to connect us and connect with us. You meet us in the most ordinary of places and you make them sacred. By your grace, we come to recognize the holiness that dwells in the world around us, in our neighbors, in our own internal depths.

Therefore we join our voices with your people on earth and all the company of the heavens,
singing praise to you,

Holy, Holy, Holy One
God of justice and love
Heaven and earth are full of your wonder
Hosanna, among us

Blessed are you and blessed is your eternal table. You welcome all who thirst for justice and hunger to grow in love. You ask us to extend this same welcome to all our neighbors, but God, since our beginning, we have struggled.

And so in your love for us, you took on flesh in Jesus. Through his life, you pointed to your presence on the margins. You revealed the sacredness in all life. You showed us how to live together, even among forces of destruction.

Believing it could transform the world, Jesus proclaimed the Good News. He called for the captives to be set free. He spoke of the lowly being lifted up. He talked of redistributing wealth and eradicating the causes of poverty. His commitment to practicing love knew no bounds – not even the bounds of death.

On the night of his arrest, Jesus shared a meal with his companions.

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said:

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

After the meal, he took the cup, blessed it, and shared it saying:
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”

In remembrance of all you have done to save us,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ was birthed among us.
Christ was killed among us.
Christ rises again among us. 

Pour out your Spirit on these gifts, O God. Make these ordinary elements into the Sacred gift of your presence with us once again. May they awaken us anew to your everlasting invitation into a life of resurrection. Aliven us in our pursuit of a world where all needs are met, power is balanced, and the worth of every creature and creation is celebrated.

In collective longing for a taste of your Kindom on earth,
we join together in echoing the prayer of Jesus:

Our Creator, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy Kindom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kindom, the power, and the glory for ever.
Amen.

Prayer after receiving

God, by the bread of heaven and the cup of life, you make us one body. Bind us together by your spirit that we might live into your hopes for us, a community centered in Christ and rich in compassion, commitment, courage, and care. May it be so.


Advent 

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Open your hearts to the One who is Love
We open our hearts to you, O God
Let us give thanks to God with us
To the One who took on flesh, we give thanks and praise

Creator of all that is, Mother of life itself, by your hand we were formed.
You made us relational.
You created us to thrive – not alone, but together.
You shaped the entire cosmos so that every form of life depends on another.
You never intended for us to power through these lives alone.
You made us strong and resilient people, but equally vulnerable and dependent on you, the earth, and all our neighbors.

You gifted us with the need to rely on one another,
bone of each other’s bone, flesh of each other’s flesh.
In your wisdom, you created us with both desire and need to be in community.

Therefore we join our voices with your people on earth and all the company of the heavens,
singing praise to you,

Holy, Holy, Holy One
God of justice and love
Heaven and earth are full of your wonder
Hosanna among us

In our longing for your presence with us, we often expect your arrival in traditional places of power. We seek our hope and salvation in the false promises of dominance and might. But instead, you brought us salvation through vulnerability. You too became bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh. God, in the form of a baby, you made yourself dependent on us. An infant, revealing the transformative power of giving and receiving love through human flesh.

Throughout the life of Jesus, we saw lives transformed by your willingness to make yourself vulnerable. And yet, the same vulnerability also came at a price. Though some fed you and raised you and befriended you, others persecuted you to the point of death. Seeking to eradicate their own feelings of vulnerability, those in power preyed on yours.

Still, today, we often crucify the ones who dare to risk it all on love.

On the night of his arrest, Jesus shared a meal with his companions.

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said:

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

After the meal, he took the cup, blessed it, and shared it saying:
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”

In remembrance of all you have done to save us,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ was birthed among us.
Christ was killed among us.
Christ rises again among us. 

Pour out your Spirit on these gifts, O God. Give us a taste of resurrection hope that lasts through even the most challening of relational betrayls. Meet us in this bread and this cup and hear the prayers of your people in this aching world. Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

In collective longing for a taste of your Kindom on earth,
we join together in echoing the prayer of Jesus:

Our Creator, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy Kindom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kindom, the power, and the glory for ever.
Amen.

Prayer after receiving

God, we recognize the ways you still make yourself vulnerable to us today. In gratitude for a taste of your Kindom, may our discipleship shape us into fierce protectors of the vulnerable, give us courage to practice our own vulnerability, and help us to honor the sacredness of our need for one another. In Christ’s name we pray,Amen.


Epiphany 

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Open your hearts to the One who is Love
We open our hearts to you, O God
Let us give thanks to God, who welcomes the stranger
To the One who reaches across every border, we give thanks and praise

In wonder of your expansive embrace, we give you praise, O God. Through your radical welcome, you reveal the limitations of our own imaginations. You break down walls and boundaries we don’t even realize we have erected.

Like the magi guided by the light of star through foreign territory, you call us all towards you.
You lead your people across borders of hate and into lands of curious and different. You strengthen us as we journey, learning and unlearning stories about one another. Gathered in your presence, we come to recognize the gifts of community rich in diversity.

Therefore we join our voices with your people on earth and all the company of the heavens,
singing praise to you,

Holy, Holy, Holy One
God of justice and love
Heaven and earth are full of your wonder
Hosanna among us

You move in mysterious way, O God. This journey with you is filled with more questions than answers. Each time we think we have you figured out, you surprise us again, revealing yourself in new ways.

In Jesus, we saw your radical welcome of strangers extended in challenging ways. Ways that disrupt our traditions and unsettle our comfort zones.

Jesus broke religious rules in order to include all people.
He lifted up the sacredness of the people and places deemed unclean.
He cared more about the well-being of the oppressed than his own reputation.

Jesus taught us to rethink your presence among us, but we couldn’t accept it. Resistant to transformation, your people sent him to the cross.

On the night of his arrest, Jesus shared a meal with his companions.

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said:

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

After the meal, he took the cup, blessed it, and shared it saying:
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”

In remembrance of all you have done to save us,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ was birthed among us.
Christ was killed among us.
Christ rises again among us. 

May the same Spirit that lifted Christ from the grave be poured out on these gifts. Make this bread and this cup be an extension of your welcome that knows no bounds. Fill us with the courage and faith to join you in the work of tearing down walls that exclude and pointing to the Sacred in the margins.

In collective longing for a taste of your Kindom on earth,
we join together in echoing the prayer of Jesus:

Our Creator, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy Kindom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kindom, the power, and the glory for ever.
Amen.

Prayer after receiving

God, this meal we shared together is a remembrance of your radical embrace of the outcast and oppressed. May it strengthen us as we open our minds and hearts to new ways of recognizing your presence among us. Amen.


Lent

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Open your hearts to the One who is Love
We open our hearts to you, O God
Let us give thanks to God, who gives us courage
To the One who calls us to lives of service, we give thanks and praise

From our beginning, you shaped us to live in service to one another and all the earth. You set us in the garden to co-create life with you. You surrounded us with creatures and creations that depend on our care. Our destinies have always been wrapped up in one another – our individual well-being bound to the well-being of all.

Therefore we join our voices with your people on earth and all the company of the heavens,
singing praise to you,

Holy, Holy, Holy One
God of justice and love
Heaven and earth are full of your wonder
Hosanna among us

Gracious One,  we struggle with spirits of fear and greed that tempt us away from your original plan for us. We excuse ourselves from responsibilities to our neighbors. We struggle to believe we have anything to offer to the whole.  And at times we knowingly do harm to others for the sake of our own gain.

You know our struggles, O God. And so you sent us Jesus.

In him we learn how to show up for one another. Jesus lived in service to collective well-being. He sought out those in need of community. He befriended the ones who were isolated. He challenged the structures that destroy.

Through his life, you taught us that the same capacities live in us. We too can choose the way of service to collective life. You have given each of us gifts to play our part.

The same spirit of courage that kept Jesus proclaiming love even in the face of death lives in us.

On the night of his arrest, Jesus shared a meal with his companions.

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said:

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

After the meal, he took the cup, blessed it, and shared it saying:
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”

In remembrance of all you have done to save us,
we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ was birthed among us.
Christ was killed among us.
Christ rises again among us. 

Pour out your Spirit on these gifts and make this bread and this cup sustenance for our lenten journey. By your grace, may we experience anew the call you place on our lives to serve one another. In feasting at your table, may our hearts be filled with courage once again to follow Christ, come what may.

In collective longing for a taste of your Kindom on earth,
we join together in echoing the prayer of Jesus:

Our Creator, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy Kindom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kindom, the power, and the glory for ever.
Amen.

Prayer after receiving

God, your bread and your cup renew our spirits. No matter the times we have failed to show up to your call, or to our own needs, or to the cries of our neighbors, you receive us again. May your unending grace be our foundation as we journey with Christ towards justice. Amen.


Longing for liberation

By Rev. Anna Blaedel

Beloveds.
Beloveds.
Beloveds.

We come to this Table because we are claimed in covenant
Because we are still learning what covenant and togetherness means
how it looks and moves and feels
Because we long for liberation
Because we thirst for justice
Because we know the need—fierce and urgent—
for grace and freedom and nourishment in our flesh and our bones
Because this is not a table of The United Methodist Church
This is Christ’s table
and you are invited to bring your whole lives
and all are welcome here. Period.

Because we remember:
On the night he was arrested
while the powers and principalities
of Empire, and supremacy, and dominance raged,
Jesus—
a brown skinned, radical, healer, community organizer, insurrectionist—
gathered people
invited their fears and longings
invited people into radical solidarity
justice-love-in-action
healing of and in the world
to which, for which, he gave his life over and over and over.
Jesus took bread
broke it
shared it, and said:
Take and eat: this is my body.
The bread of new life.
Share this, and remember.
Then Jesus took the cup
blessed it
gave thanks for it, and said:
Take and drink: this is the power of my life-blood.
The salve of salvation.
The cup blessing.
Share this, and remember.

And so, we do.
We remember.
We offer.
We receive.
And we share in this nourishing feast.
Because we know how to nourish each other in ordinary and extraordinary ways.
Because we need each other
and we need this sacrament, this visible sign of life-giving grace, flowing and overflowing.

So, come.
Come.
Come.


Meditative and intimate

God is with us. I invite you to take a moment and close your eyes, draw your awareness to the presence of the divine in this space…and in each person Gathered here.

Draw your attention to your heart and imagine breathing in and out of your heart- opening it up to the divine with gratitude as we pray…

Loving one, close to us as breathing yet reaching into eternity, we give you thanks. Your outpouring of radical love has brought forth life among us. You have shown yourself to us as parent, creator, lover, and friend. In whatever image will bring us healing, you come to us.

Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with all of creation, all of heaven and earth who forever sing this hymn:

ALL: “holy holy holy One, God of Love and Light. Heaven and Earth are full of your glory! Hosanna in the Highest! Blessed is the One who comes in your name, O God. Hosanna In the Highest.

Presider: Blessed are you and blessed is your child, Jesus Christ. He showed us the ways of justice and mercy, turning the norms of society upside down. He welcomed and empowered the outsider and stood in resistance to the powers of oppression. Like so many among us today, Christ’s choice to live his truth and challenge oppression put him at risk.

And yet, on the night in which death, hatred, and betrayal would seek to have the last and lasting word, Christ remained centered in radical peace and showed us love embodied by washing the feet of his beloved’s and serving them at your table.

At the table he took the bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread saying “take, eat, this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Likewise, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks to you and said “drink from this all of you this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

And so in remembrance of these, your acts of love in Jesus Christ we offer ourselves and all of who we are in union with Christ’s offering as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

ALL: christ has died. christ is risen. christ will come again

Presider:  Pour out your holy spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and cup. Make them be for us the Body of Christ, that we might become interdependent with each other as Christ’s body, reflecting your diverse image in the world.

By your spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other and in each other’s struggles, until we feast at your heavenly banquet. Through your beloved Jesus Christ, with the love the Holy Spirit, in your church- all love and devotion is yours, O God. Amen


In the uncertainty

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the One who guides our life together.
It is our joy to offer gratitude and praise.

God, you never promised us that way would be clear. You have, however, created us in your image – the image of One who is Wisdom, who is Love, who is Courage. You breathed your life into us with the assurance that we have, within and around us, everything we need to be your faithful people. Though we sometimes act in disregard for your call on our collective life, still you show up with and for us, relentlessly. And so we join with all the saints who have gone before in gratitude for your abiding presence:

Holy, holy, holy One, God of power and presence
all that is, is full of your glory
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of Love

Sacred is your presence and blessed is Christ with us.
Through the life of Jesus we saw an example of what it means to navigate an uncertain path, practice creative ministry, and face with courage and compassion all the barriers that work against your Spirit on the move.

Jesus lived and breathed a ministry rooted in your Love for all people.He prioritized the lives of those who are suffering and showed us what it looks like to be with and for one another, even under great distress. Though evil attempted to silence his proclamation of an all inclusive Kindom of God, not even death could keep Love from growing.

On the night in which he was arrested, he gathered among friends for a meal.
He took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread and shared it with his disciples saying,

“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:

“Drink from this, all of you; this is the cup of the new covenant. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

And so, in remembrance of Christ with us, and in the assurance of your Love persistent, we offer our lives, our ministries, and our church in the service of your healing work as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again.

Pour out your Spirit on this community and these gifts. Make them a taste of your Kindom through Christ with us, that we might leave the Table both nourished by your Love and still hungry for justice for all your people.


Different and One

The Holy One be with you.

And also with you.
Open your hearts to the One who is Love.
Our hearts are open to God.
Let us give thanks and praise to the Holy One.
We give you thanks, O God!

Indeed, we give you thanks, O God, for you keep showing up to meet us at this table. Created in your image, you made us different from one another and yet we are also one. Still, we fight tooth and nail to keep your table from hosting the fullness of your body. Though we long to practice love, evil still has its way in us and our communities. We struggle to confront the unjust powers and prejudices that keep us from being in full relationship with you and one another.

In Jesus, you showed us an alternative way. Jesus, who practiced counter-cultural socializing, was friends with the despised ones of his time: Sex-workers. The ill. Bleeding women. Tax collectors. The poor. Jesus, God enfleshed, found companionship in the ones deemed sinners or unclean by religious leaders. And he modeled for us what it looks like to practice love, not only interpersonally, but by confronting political and religious powers that destroy.

Because of his relentless pursuit of love, he was seized by those in power. On the night he would be arrested, he gathered with his companions for a meal.

He took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread and shared it with his disciples saying,

“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:

“Drink from this, all of you; this is the cup of the new covenant. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

And so, in remembrance of Christ with us, and with the hope that we too might pursue love so relentlessly, we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again.

Pour out your Spirit on these gifts, O God. Make this a meal that nourishes us on this long journey we share together, that by your Spirit we might seize every opportunity before us to advance love, justice, and compassion in the face of evil in all its forms.

For the sake of all that aches in this world, our church, and within every creature and creation, we come to your Table, hungry for a taste of your Kindom. Amen.


God’s relentless invitation

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Open your hearts to the One who is Love
We open our hearts to you, O God
Let us give thanks to God, our life-breath
To the One who sustains us, we rejoice in your presence!

With gratitude, O God, we remember that it is through you we are made truly alive. Every creature and creation – the tiny ones, the scaley ones, the human ones, the leafy ones – all that is has been shaped by you. There is nothing on this earth that has not been touched by your Sacred hand. In your love for us, you claim us – individually and as a whole – as your beloveds. You will for us life abundant and you invite us into co-working with you towards a world where harmony among all life is restored.

And yet, daily, we turn away from you and one another. Destructive and divisive powers lure us away from connection and relationship. We forget that we need each other. We pretend that our lives are not deeply entangled. When injustice threatens our neighbors, we too easily cower or hide.

Like those who turned on Jesus when things became too difficult, we too are tempted to desert those most vulnerable.

But you do not abandon us to our fear or sin. In the life of Jesus, Love enfleshed, we are shown that the invitation to join in your work of transforming and healing and restoring is always open. No matter our past. No matter our regrets. No matter the wrong done to us or the wrong we have done to others, you keep calling us back to you.

This relentless invitation of yours that entices with freedom and joy and forgiveness is such a threat to empire that it still attempts to crucify every incarnation of your love today. And so, we are reminded of the example given to us in the person of Jesus.

On the night of his arrest, he gathered around table with his companions.

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said,

“This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

He did the same with the cup after the supper, saying,
“This cup that is poured out is the new covenant.”

And so in remembrance of the One who never gave up on love, we pray that the Spirit would make us one in our commitment to the liberation of all your creatures and creations. Pour out your Spirit on this bread and this cup, that through these ordinary gifts, we might taste a glimpse of your Kindom. May they be for us a reminder of what we are capable of becoming and what we are capable of accomplishing together. Amen.

[Invitation to the table]

Prayer after Communion

God, we give you thanks for this meal that nourishes us, body and soul. May it sustain us as we confront evil that keeps us from living the lives you intended for us and for all your creatures and creations. Until every life can be lived abundantly, be our guide, be our hope, be our comforter. Amen.

 


Claiming our power

The Holy One be with you
And also with you
Open your hearts to the One who is Love
We open our hearts to you, O God
Let us give thanks to God who takes risks for love
For the courage of the Holy that lives in us, we give thanks

Throughout history, O God, we have struggled to claim the power you have given us. Destructive forces within and around us make us question your call upon our lives. We turn ourselves over, in ways ordinary and remarkable, to what is. To what has been. To the familiar.

But you have created us for so much more. In Jesus, we saw a life lived in all its potential. In all its Sacred power. Life that is abundant. Love that was creative, and fervent for justice.

We saw, too, the consequences of living as if the Kindom were close.

And so we wonder.

If we live with such courage, what will we lose?

In proclaiming truths that confront unjust power, do we stand a chance of survival?

How will it go for us, if we are willing to risk everything for love?

You have never promised us safety, but you have shown us what is possible.

The Spirit brings new life even to places of death.

Jesus, knowing the dangers ahead, still did not cave to the threats of power or give in to the temptations of the popular.

There was nothing he would trade for his love of the suffering and betrayed, not even his own life.

On the night of his arrest, he gathered around table with his companions. His friends. His beloveds in the struggle. Even the one who would turn him over to the cross.

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to all of them and said,

“This is my body which is given for you.

Take, eat, and remember me.”

After the supper, he did the same with the cup, saying,

“This is a symbol of the new covenant. Drink in remembrance of me.”

In remembering the life of Jesus, we remember what he taught us about ourselves – about the power God has given us. We remember that God enfleshed is Good News that feeds, that protects, that heals, and delivers. We remember the words he spoke: “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing,and they will do even greater things than these.”

And so we pray, pour out your Spirit on this bread and this cup, O God. Through these gifts, fill our hearts with courage to believe the Kindom is within us, to live boldly in pursuit of love that liberates, and to follow the Wisdom that leads from the margins.

Blessed be this meal of hope.

Prayer after Communion

God, we give you thanks! For this meal that nourishes us in body and spirit. For a taste of your dreams. For the earth that gifts us these resources. And for these bodies of ours through which you take on flesh. May our gratitude produce faithfulness and our faithfulness produce justice. Amen.

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