I wrote this communion liturgy for our Advent series, From Generation to Generation. It will be part of our first week of Advent worship service where we will be reflecting on Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. Throughout Advent and Christmas, we are using the First Nations Version for our Gospel readings. This is a new, indigenous translation. While the Christmas story is familiar, and we often take comfort in the way it has always been told, I believe using the First Nations Version will invite us to enter into the story in new ways. It is a reminder that “generation to generation” includes more than our mostly White, European experience. It is also reminds us that no one owns the Christmas story. As the angels said, it is “Good News of great joy for all people.” As such, this liturgy uses the names for the Trinity found in the FNV. If you are interested in listening to the genealogy, you can do so here.
As we ponder all of these things in our hearts, we gather at the Lord’s Table. In coming, we intentionally take our place in the story. We come not on our own, or only as this congregation, but with the Body of Christ throughout the world and the saints in heaven.
We bring all the skeletons in the closet and all our “deviations” from what society tells is normal. We come as real people, loved for all our real or perceived faults. We come as those who are an essential part of the story, because there is room for everyone in this story.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God, the Creator, in the same way you spoke all there is into existence, you wove a tapestry of redemption plan. We trace the story from our walks with you in the Garden, to the moment we realized you heard our cries in our oppression, to manna in our wilderness wanderings, and into the gift of a land filled with Promise. Present with us in times of both exile and blessing, we trust in your faithful love.
Creator Sets Free, Chosen One, you left the glory of heaven to walk in our humanity with us. Teaching the truth, welcoming the outcast, eating with sinners, loving all — you made us part of your story. In your grace, you welcome us siblings. Bathed in your love, you call us by your name.
Spirit of the Creator, you are the bearer of righteousness, peace, and joy within us. When we wander away, you remind us that there is nowhere we can flee from your presence. When we create walls to keep others out, you remind us that there is a place for everyone in God’s family tree. With your Spirit of wisdom and truth, we are part of God’s continuing story of redemption.
Holy Spirit rain down your love and grace upon us. As we gather at your Table, offering the cup and loaf, bring us into full communion as the Body of Christ. Make us one with our Risen Lord as we celebrate this sacrament in his presence.
In the way that you are one — Creator, Creator Sets Free, and Spirit of the Creator — we join our voices together praying the words you gave to us, each using those we find most familiar, saying: Our Father…
We come to the Lord’s Table as those invited. Our welcome depends not on how good we are (or pretend to be). It depends not on whether we feel like we are worthy (or know we are definitely not). Because this Table is a gift of great joy for all people.
It is for all people that the Chosen One’s body was broken that we might be made whole. It is for all people that the Chosen One’s blood was shed that we might be healed.
And as often as we eat and drink this sign of God’s grace, we proclaim the truth of the resurrection and the Chosen One’s return in glory.
You are loved and welcomed. Come and eat, for there is room for all.
Prayer After Communion
From generation to generation, we are nurtured at the Lord’s Table. As we once again tell your story of forgiveness and love, we proclaim our adoption in God’s family tree of kings, carpenters, foreigners, disregarded women, and second sons. May our lives testify that there is a place for everyone in your story of salvation. Amen.
If you are looking for more liturgical resources, please consider checking out my books:
Prayers for the People: Scripturally Based Prayers for Worship is a collection of prayers for worship. These prayers offer the worshipping community fresh perspectives for praying the words of Scripture, using current language and references. Cross-referenced to the Revised Common Lectionary, pastors seeking to lead their people in prayer have found a relevant and beautiful source for worship planning.
Come to the Table: Communion Liturgies of Invitation to Celebrate and Experience the Love of God is a collection of communion liturgies inviting worshippers to experience and respond to the Gospel. These meaningful liturgies enhance and reinforce the biblical message of the day. Worshippers are welcomed to the Table to experience the Word in preparation to go out into the world and live it. Come to the Table includes liturgies for the entire liturgical year providing pastors with a valuable resource in worship planning.