Tradition, which is always old, is at the same time ever new because it is always reviving—born again in each new generation, to be lived and applied in a new and particular way.
Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island, p 151
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Holy Fountain of constant creativity,
the world around us struggles to maintain the past
even as you call us to wake up to new beginnings.
People: We celebrate the incredible power
of your ongoing incarnation.
Leader: Holy Jesus, you came among us as flesh and blood,
transforming old ways into new life.
People: We come to walk with you in faith.
Leader: Holy Spirit, you stir our hearts
with surprising new epiphanies.
All: We come to celebrate that you have called us
Into your family of tradition and transformation.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: God of ancient stories and new generations,
we confess that we cling to what is comfortable,
reliable, and safe.
People: We confess that we rush headlong into the future,
leaving behind the deeper truths You have given us.
Leader: We confess that we forget that love and forgiveness
cast out hatred and fear.
All: Forgive us when we fail to let
traditions, memories, and visions
transform us into bearers of Your peace.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Holy One knows our fears of change
and promises new life and freedom
if we will but let the tradition be born again.
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
INTERCESSION AND PETITION
All: O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen.
Leader 1: This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.
Leader 2: We gather now as one body, joined around the table.
Here we celebrate God’s presence among us
united in Christ’s spirit, broken and whole all at once;
All: Nourished and hungry, loved and loving,
sinner and forgiven; we make one circle of knowing,
believing, rejoicing, being,
as God lights and rests among us.
Leader 1: God of ancient stories and new generations,
we give you thanks for the sun of winter,
transforming the long, dark night into radiant dawn.
People: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
who breathes new life into tired routines,
transforming wheat into bread and water into wine.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for Jesus, the Christ,
who taught us forgiveness in all that he did,
transforming hatred and fear into love and promise.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
where traditions, memories, and visions
transform us into bearers of your peace.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Leader 1: Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Leader 2: Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
Leader 1: On the night of his arrest, Jesus took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, broke it and said,
This is my body,
broken for the healing of the world.
Whenever you eat it, do so remembering me.
Leader 2: After supper, Jesus took the cup and said,
This is the cup of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for all.
Whenever you drink it, do so remembering me.
All: O Holy One, send down your Spirit
that these gifts of bread and cup
may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Unite us with Christ forever
and bring us with the whole creation
to your eternal realm.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
If you do not wish to receive the elements today you are welcome to join the circle and allow them to pass, or remain in your seat. We serve grape juice in our cups.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
in our celebration of bread and cup.
Bless this body of Christ
that we may attend faithfully
to our call to be your servants,
with each other and throughout the world.
Leader: Let us go forth from this place transformed,
fully awake and fully alive,
as we practice tradition in new ways,
serving the needs of the world in which we live.
In the name of the Holy One who calls us,
the Christ who walks with us,
and the Spirit who guides us,
let us greet one another with signs of peace.