We used this communion liturgy I wrote in worship this morning, playing off of the words and music of the lovely communion song by Barbara Hamm titled “Come to the Table of Grace,” found in the songbook Worship & Song. Please feel free to use in your worship context if you find it meaningful.
Liturgy for Holy Communion
(Singing #3168 “Come to the Table of Grace”)
This is God’s table.
Here we are invited to taste grace,
the grace that lightens the human heart
and widens the human soul
by creating an opening for God to enter –
the God who brings healing to bodies, minds, and spirits,
the God who meets us in the deep center of life itself
where we discover truth that sets us free.
This is a feast of grace
for the saint and sinner in each one of us.
Let us come to the table of grace.
Sing verse 1: “Come to the table of grace.”
When we gather at the table of our Lord
it is an invitation to live in peace with our neighbors.
The Prince of peace comes among us
and extends a word of peace –
peace for our troubled hearts,
peace for our troubled relationships,
peace for our troubled neighborhoods,
peace for our troubled environment,
peace for our troubled global community.
In Christ we are empowered to lay down our swords,
whether they be cutting words or violent actions,
whether they be divisive symbols or self-justifications,
and yield ourselves to the Savior
who comes with peace on his lips,
peace in his very presence.
Let us come to the table of peace.
Sing verse 2: “Come to the table of peace.”
When Jesus met with his friends
on the night he was betrayed and arrested,
he took the bread that sustains life,
and he blessed and broke it before them.
He took the common cup filled with wine
and he claimed that these ordinary parts of their meal
were in truth sacred reminders of the gifts of God.
The bread reminded them of the manna
their ancestors received to ease their hunger in the wilderness.
The cup reminded them of the miracle of new wine
at a Cana wedding and at the heavenly feast to come.
Together these ordinary signs tell the story of God’s love
being expressed to all generations.
They show how Jesus himself modeled divine love
as he welcomed the outcast, forgave the sinner,
healed the sick, showed compassion for the hungry,
and called a child to come sit on his lap and be blessed.
Now it is for us to live the way of love of Jesus,
to love outside of our comfort zones, our arbitrary walls,
to love extravagantly as though it can’t run out.
Let us come to the table of love.
Sing verse 3: “Come to the table of love.”
God who sets this bountiful table before us,
a table of grace and peace,
a table of love and joy,
pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon these gifts of bread and wine,
that through Christ’s presence here
we may become a people of grace,
a source of joy, a witness to love,
and instruments of your peace.
By your Holy Spirit,
make us one with Christ,
one with each other,
one with all who walk in your light,
and one in ministry to the whole world, no exceptions,
until we feast at the heavenly banquet.
Let us come to the table of joy.
Sing verse 4: “Come to the table of joy.”
Words (c) 2018 Mark Lloyd Richardson