The Lord's Supper
Let us worship God:
A Psalm or Hymn shall be sung:
Come, let us praise the Lord!
Let us sing for joy to God who protects us!
Let us bow down and worship him.
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
Lord God our Father, we come into your presence with praise and thanksgiving. We come before you with joy and gladness. You are our God. You are the source of all that we know of truth and beauty, of justice and mercy, of wisdom and righteousness and goodness and love. We come into your presence with awe and reverence, because you are holy. You have made us, that we might know you and love you. We rejoice to proclaim your greatness to all of mankind, because you and you alone are God, and you have made us your people. Father, as we behold your majesty, we bow before you, in adoration and worship.
Lord Jesus Christ, we praise you that you were willing to take the nature of a servant and become like us, that you might give your life to set us free from the bondage of sin which held us under sentence of death. We rejoice that you walked the path of obedience all the way to the cross, for us. You were wounded because of our sins, beaten because of our evil deeds. We are healed by the punishment you suffered, made whole by the blows you received. Again, we rejoice that it was not possible that death should hold you prisoner, that on the third day, the tomb was empty, and we praise you that you are the risen, victorious Lord of life and death, of time and of eternity. Lord Jesus, as we gather this day to remember your sacrificial death for us, we bow before you in adoration and worship.
Lord God, you have loved us, and in grace, you have made us your people, but we confess before you now, that we have sinned. We confess our secret sins that remain hidden from those about us, and our open sins that are known to many. We confess the sins which lie heavy on our hearts, and the sins which no longer trouble us, because our hearts have become hardened. We confess that we have not loved one another, as Christ has loved us, nor have we forgiven one another as he has forgiven us. Through the death of Christ our Saviour, forgive us and cleanse us, we pray. Your word assures us that if we confess our sins to you, you will keep your promise and do what is right. You will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all our wrongdoing. Confirm to us again this pardon, we pray.
Spirit of the Living God, you are to us the guarantee that we shall receive all that has been promised to us. Your presence with us is indeed the stamp of ownership upon us, assuring us that we are God's people, and that we shall come eventually into that perfect freedom he has promised us in Christ. Fill our hearts and lives with your presence. Make us wise. Open our minds that we might know the nature of the hope to which we have been called, and the riches of the wonderful blessings promised to us. Work in us with that same mighty strength with which Christ was raised from death to life, that in that strength, we might overcome the temptations we shall meet this day, and so live to his glory. In his name, we ask it. Amen.
Hear the Word of God as it is written in the Old Testament.
A Psalm or Hymn shall be sung.
Hear again the Word of God from the New Testament.
Let us respond to the reading of God's Word by affirming together the faith we share. We shall join in saying together the Apostles' Creed:
The Apostles' Creed.
The SERMON shall then be preached.
An Offering/Collection may be taken up.
Then a Psalm or a Hymn may be sung.
Friends, hear the gracious words of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. (Matthew 11:28)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the Communion Table is the table of our Lord Jesus. On behalf of the Session of this congregation, I therefore invite those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and are members in good standing of this or another congregation to join in this celebration of the Lord's Supper.
A Psalm or Hymn may be sung:
Let us pray:
Eternal God our Father, by the blood of his sacrifice on the cross, Jesus Christ your Son our Lord has opened for us a new and living way into the Most Holy Place, into your very presence. Through his death, we have been put right with you. Grant us now the assurance of your mercy, that we, your forgiven people, may gather at this table and share in this celebration, to the praise of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Lord Jesus, this is your table, prepared in obedience to your command. We have come in response to your gracious invitation. Come now to us, Lord, each one. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Friends, hear the words of institution of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, as they are recorded by the apostle Paul. He wrote to the Christians in Corinth, saying:
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognising the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
Today, we follow Jesus' example in word and deed, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we fulfil his institution.
As he, the night of his betrayal, took bread, I take these elements of bread and wine and set them apart from common use to this special purpose; and as he gave thanks, let us present to God our prayers of thanksgiving.
The Lord be with you! And with you!
Lift up your hearts! We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks!
It is right and fitting to do so.
Lord God, it is indeed right and fitting that at all times, and in all places, we your people should delight to give thanks to you. You are the eternal God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, and of all that is in them. You have made us in your own image, and in love and mercy, you support and sustain us, holding us in the hollow of your hand.
We join with the seraphim and with the whole company of the heavenly host who surround your throne, bowing before you in worship, ever praising you and saying: "Holy, Holy, Holy! The Lord Almighty is holy! His glory fills the world!" Lord God our Father, you loved the world so much that you gave your only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
Father, weak and sinful though we are, we praise you for the gift of your Son, for his birth into an ordinary home and family, and for his perfect life among us as a man. We thank you for his death for us on the cross, and we rejoice in his resurrection from the dead. We remember with thanks his ascension to your right hand and his continued intercession for us. With joy, we proclaim to the world that he is king, that he rules at your right hand, and will return to judge all of mankind. For his gift of the Holy Spirit who has sealed us to be your people, we give you endless thanks and praise.
Remembering his sacrificial death for us, we have prepared this memorial to him in obedience to his command. We ask that your Spirit might so work in us, that as we break this bread and eat it, we may truly share in the body of Christ, and as we give thanks for this cup and drink from it, we may truly share in the blood of Christ. Grant that by faith, we may indeed so feed upon him, that we may live in him, and he in us, eternally, to the glory of your holy name.
As we gather at this table, we offer ourselves afresh to you, as a living sacrifice, dedicated to your service. And as we bring you our praise and our thanks, so we ask that you would fulfil in us and in all your people, the purpose of your love in redeeming us in Jesus Christ our Lord, that in him, through the power of the Holy Spirit, your name might be honoured and glorified, for ever and ever. And in the words which Christ our Lord has taught us, we further pray, saying:
The Lord's Prayer may be said.
Following the example and command of our Lord Jesus Christ, and as a memorial to him, we do this. On the night in which he was betrayed, he took a piece of bread, and when he had given thanks to God, he broke it, and said, "This is my body, which is for you. Do this in memory of me." In the same way, after the supper, he took the cup and said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."
At the distribution of the bread, the minister says:
TAKE THIS AND EAT IT. THIS IS THE BODY OF CHRIST, WHICH IS FOR YOU. DO THIS IN MEMORY OF HIM. At the distribution of the wine, the minister says:
THIS CUP IS THE NEW COVENANT IN CHRIST'S BLOOD. DRINK THIS IN MEMORY OF HIM. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Let us pray:
Almighty and Ever-living God, from the depths of our hearts, we thank you that in love, you are pleased to receive us at this table, and to feed us with this spiritual food, again assuring us of your grace and of your mercy towards us. Again you have assured us that we are part of the Body of Christ, and have confirmed and strengthened our expectation, that in company with all his faithful people everywhere, we will through grace be received with joy, into his kingdom. Father, as we go forth to serve you, we pray that you would so sustain us by your Spirit that we may continue in this holy fellowship with you and with one another, and live forever to your glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Psalm or Hymn shall be sung.
Go in peace!
And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God our Father,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all evermore. Amen.