Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Communion liturgy for Christmas Eve

This is basically The Great Thanksgiving for the day from the UM Book of Worship, with the Invitation and Pardon my own writing (at least I am pretty sure, since I have used this for several years).

Invitation and Pardon

....Christ our Lord was not born to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. And so Christ invites to his table everyone who loves him or wishes to love him, who hears his voice or desires to hear it, who comes this holy day from religious devotion or family duty, and who can pray with sincere heart:
....Merciful and forgiving God, we confess we withhold our love from you. We too easily fail to be obedient to your will. Forgive us, we pray, and free us for joyful obedience through Jesus Christ our Lord! Instill in us a true desire to live lives of worshipful holiness. Embolden us to rejoice always in your love, to love our neighbors as ourselves and to heed the cry of the needy. On this holy day, accept our prayers and worship as our thanks for your incomparable Christmas gift.
....Hear the Good News! Christ died for us while we were still sinners; that proves God’s love toward us. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!
....In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!

The Great Thanksgiving
Pastor: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Lift up your hearts!
We lift them up to the Lord!
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
....It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. And so, with all your people on earth and all the company of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn,
....Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory! Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!
....Holy are you and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ. 
....Long ago, you called Abraham to walk in your way. With his wife Sarah he founded a people chosen by you to bring light to the world. Knowing that their descendants were bound in slavery in Egypt, you made with them a covenant of righteousness and led them to freedom in the Promised Land.
....Through the prophets of Israel you made known your salvation-righteousness and through the prophet Jeremiah foretold of a New Covenant. In this covenant, you said,
....“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God,  and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor,  or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
....In the fullness of time you chose a woman of holy character named Mary, telling her through your messenger,
....“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
....When Jesus was grown he was baptized and your Spirit rested powerfully upon him. He resisted temptations and preached the Good News to all who would hear. He healed the sick, proclaimed freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, and announced the year of the Lord's favor.
....Betrayed by a disciple, he was adjudged guilty of blasphemy against you, O God, who formed him in his mother’s womb. Though innocent, he was sentenced to die by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate.
....And yet, according to your will, by the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection you gave birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.
....On the night in which he gave himself up for us he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples and said, “Take eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
....When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Drink from this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
....And so, in remembrance of these, your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
....Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again!
....Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, That we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.
....By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and for ever.

....And now, with the confidence of children of God, let us pray the Lord’s Prayer.
....Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.