Many people today agree that we need to reduce violence in our
society. If we are truly serious about this, we must deal with the
roots of violence, particularly those that exist within each of us. We
need to embrace “inner disarmament,” reducing our own emotions of suspicion, hatred and hostility toward our brothers and sisters.
Dalai Lama XIV
Quoted in the Washington Post
Sunday, October 21, 2007
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Jesus is the chosen one of God,
God’s mercy, steadfast love, and faithfulness
in human form.
People:Jesus calls us to proclaim the gospel,
the cross of Christ as the power of God.
Leader:The words of the prophets have been fulfilled:
People: We, who were in darkness, have seen a great light.
The realm of God has come near.
Leader: Jesus calls us
to be united in mind and purpose,
sharing God’s mercy with the world.
All: Then our light shall break forth like the dawn.
When we cry out for help, God will answer.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: We hear your call to do justice and love kindness.
People: We turn away, fearful of the personal consequences.
Leader: We discipline our words and actions to avoid violence.
People: But inwardly we cherish our anger against others.
Leader: We are a people of outward compliance
and inward deception.
People: Forgive our inner violence,
for we are broken and hurting.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Holy One knows our inner violence,
and welcomes us as we think again,
and turn our thoughts toward peace.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
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 light and life, we give you thanks
for the shimmering glory of your creation,
where your love shines brightly
even in the darkest night.
People: We give you thank for your Holy Child, Jesus,
who glowed with your eternal light,
teaching us to love and forgive
those who do us harm.
Leader 2: We are grateful for your Holy Spirit,
who shines a light into our darkest thoughts,
inviting us to open our hearts and think again.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
where we learn to transform our darkest emotions
into the bright, transfiguring light of love.
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: Christ calls us to love one another,
even love our enemies.
Let us set aside suspicion, hatred and hostility,
and help each other transform our darkest emotions
into the bright, transfiguring light of love.