So I am posting this Sunday's communion service here on the blog as I have made a number of edits to our usual service. There are a number of new prayers which would be great to recite in unison. This is hard to do in virtual worship so in case folks want and advance run...here they are. The entire communion service is based on a much-adapted (first by my predecessor, M. Boardman, and then by me) service from the Iona Community in Scotland. Some of it still remains so it should be a least a little bit familiar...
Eliot Communion June 7, 2020
Minister: We gather today in spirit, mindful of the trials of the world, but also aware of the divine abundance that exists within and without us; that waits for us and draws us together even in the darkest times.
All: We gather together knowing that this abundance can and will sustain and strengthen us for the journey to come.
Minister: Thanks be to you, O God, for the rising of this day and for the rising of life, itself. May you be with us in our suffering, may you guide us in our struggles, may you celebrate with us when we find joy, may you love with us when we find love.
For we confess this day that :
All: We have not touched, but trampled you in creation. We have not met, but missed you in one another. We have not received, but rejected you in the poor. Forgive us we pray. God, strong and holy, God holy and deathless, bless us with mercy, we pray.
Minister: Dear God, we recognize the special urgency of this day, when we have found our society tested. As a people we stand on the edge of decision. We can decide to continue along the same path we have trod for so long--ignorant of the plight of the oppressed--or we can choose a new direction, persisting in the act of opening our hearts so as to make an equal space for everyone.
God we pray for the wisdom to make the right choices and we are sorry for the choices that have brought us to this point in time. Help us to act with the abundance of our hearts toward all people, no matter how different they may appear from us. Help us to encounter this world in humility, without the burdens of our bias.
Prayer Against Violence
All: We pray for an end to violence as a tool to dominate others. We oppose it’s domestication and normalization in our society as a means to silence the voices of the powerless. We recognize our own complicity in this cycle even if we have never struck out in anger or self-righteousness. Please give us the clarity of vision to find and end the ways in which we have passively and actively contributed to the domination of others. Strengthen us to resist the temptation to ignore the cries that come from society’s margins in this current moment so that all your people may be healed and whole.
Prayer for the Health of the People
All: Dear God we also pray for those who are suffering--physically and mentally, directly or indirectly--from the current pandemic. Please help us to think not only of ourselves but also of those who we come in contact with, understanding that our perceived freedoms do not make us free if they rely on the suffering of others. Help us to care for each other during this difficult time by strengthening us to put our own conveniences aside for the good of those who are most at risk whether that risk is related to health, geography, race, economic circumstance, or any other measure. Help us to see our place in the interconnected web that binds all of creation together so we might bring about a diverse community of mutual care.
Prayer for the Private Cares of Individuals
All: Finally, we pray for the private struggles of individuals that we may never fully know or understand. We recognize that in the midst of these large, attention-grabbing stories there are still issues of birth and death, of illness and pain, of relationships and of isolation that occur beyond the news. We honor those among us who battle these demons far from the light and heat of current events. Help us to respond with love and care to our fellow humans. Help us to understand that we do not know fully what burdens they carry. Help us to make our world a safe place to share our burdens and find mutual support in our journeys.
Minister: At the Last Supper, Jesus, in sharing bread and wine invited his disciples to share his journey. Today we renew that journey with him and with a world of fellow-followers. Come, enter into communion with the Earth, the sky, the sea and all of creation.
Minister: Among friends, gathered around a table, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke the bread and gave it to those who were with him, likening it to his body, His life, which he gave for us and yet remains present to us.
Eat this bread in memory of Jesus and of those who are near and dear to us.
Minister: In the same way he took wine, and, having given thanks for it, poured it out and gave it to his disciples saying, “This cup is the new relationship with God, sealed with my blood. Take and share it."
Drink this wine in memory of Jesus and of those who are near and dear to us.
Minister: Spirit of the Living God, present with us now, may this bread and wine be heaven’s food and drink for us, renewing and making us whole, that we may be your loving and caring body in this world. Amen
Unison Prayer of Thanksgiving
In the end as in the beginning, God is God: Loved by us, wanted by us, praised by us, served by us, filling us with the gifts of the spirit, Making us whole for the good of the earth. For bread and wine, this place and time, thanks be to God, Amen