Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Eucharistic Prayer

Here's something easy: I can paste the Eucharistic prayer I wrote for the new service at church. I gotta say it's such a thrill to hear them actually say it. Now they don't do the whole thing, just the intro and then they skip to the Lord's Prayer. But still, it's my words, and that's incredibly cool.

One day I'll write a post about the service. It's going pretty well. The one thing I love is that they use real bread, and there's just something about the chewiness that is such a great metaphor to contemplate. Like you're chewing on Jesus, you're chewing on what you've experienced in the service. It takes longer and it slows your mind down and engages your senses so much more than a dissolving wafer. It does taste funny with the wine, so I have to figure a way around that. Maybe it shouldn't be a sweet wine (they use port I think) with real bread - maybe real bread needs a nice Zinfandel or Chianti. Interesting.

Anyway, here's my liturgy:

Eucharistic Prayer
Spoken while preparing the table for communion:

When Jesus lived on earth, he frequently provided food and drink to those around him who had none. In his first miracle he changed water into wine at a party; in his last days with his friends he cooked them fish on the beach. With sinners and religious leaders, with thousands and with just a few, Jesus would take bread and bless, break, and share it, as provider and host to those surrounding him.

When we come to this table, we remember that Jesus not only fed his friends, but feeds us today. In God’s ultimate act of solidarity and love, Jesus’ own body was broken, and is now shared with us; from his side flowed blood and water, which quench our thirst forever.

ALL: This is his body; this is his blood.*

When we come together to break bread and drink wine, we remember how God will always provide for us, and we remember that Jesus died to open the way to life. We offer God our thanks. We marvel at the mysterious communion which is here created between heaven and earth, and between ourselves. And we look forward to the day when we will join God’s heavenly banquet forever.

ALL: We ask the Holy Spirit to come upon each person here and upon this food and drink. We ask Jesus Christ to be our bread of life and the vine in which we abide. And we ask the Father to take us into his care and kingdom as beloved children. Eternal God, We offer You these gifts, and our lives, in gratitude and awe for your infinite love.

Here at this table, we speak words that echo around the world and across time. We say these words and do these actions because they make us, together, a church, and they make us, together with all Christians, The Church. Let us pray with boldness the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples 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.
Save us from the time of trial,
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
Now and forever. Amen.

The table is prepared. As Christ freely fed those around him, so he desires to feed you today. Come and enjoy the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation.

*Here the elements may be raised and/or the bread broken.

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