MT Communion Liturgy
Below is a simple Communion Liturgy to be used on Maundy Thursday. It was written for an “upper room” service that begins with a light potluck supper and ends with a service of Tenebrae. In between is an “unforgetting” of the Last Supper and a celebration of Holy Communion around the dinner table. It was written for two celebrants but could be easily adapted for one.
Invitation – For the first time, or for the 1,000th time, we gather tonight around Christ’s table. The chairs at this table are not for some, they are for all. The elements at this table are not for some, they are for all. The love and forgiveness at this table are not for some, they are for all. At this table, you don’t have to look a certain way or love a certain way. At this table you don’t have to believe what I believe, or what the person next to you believes. At this table, all you have to do is come, seeking the Christ who is seeking you. So come all of you, and be welcomed, and be transformed, at this table of grace.
Communion Prayer – Let us pray. It was after Jesus overturned tables in the temple and cursed a fig tree. It was after Mary had anointed Jesus with expensive oil. And it was after Judas had received his 30 coins. That’s when Jesus reclined at the table with his followers for the final time. Oh, there was betrayal in the air. There was murder in the air. But there was also love…and forgiveness. There was also freshly baked bread and blood red wine. And there was time yet to share a meal. And so that is what they did. They shared a meal together. And look, here we are: gathered, remembering, unforgetting, and reenacting that meal. And look here we are, praying this: Come, Spirit Come, breathe into us on this night of betrayal and desertion, blow through these grains, trouble the blood red wine, and inspire us for the shadow walk ahead. AMEN.
Breaking Bread and Pouring Wine –
Celebrant 1: Among friends, gathered ‘round a table, Jesus took bread, and broke it, and said: “This is my body broken for you.”
Celebrant 2: Later, he took a cup of wine and said, “this is the new relationship with God made possible because of my death. Take it, all of you, to remember me.”
Instructions – This evening, as we celebrate Holy Communion we will serve one another. So now, be at peace at Christ’s table, for these are the gifts of God for the people of God, and all things are ready.
Distribution of the Elements
Prayer of Thanksgiving & Lord’s Prayer – Let us pray. Loving and saving God…because you ate with us, we have eaten together. Because you have invited us to this table, we have been fed. Because you will die on the cross, we will have new life. Because you taught us to pray, we pray now together, saying: Our Father…Amen.
© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2017