Great Thanksgiving- Open to Your Call

communion cup 900x
ONE:
Blessed God
One, yet Three
Eternally loving, creating, calling

ALL:
We lift up our hearts to You!

ONE:
You call the wonder of creation into being
You fill the world with light and life

ALL:
Glory to God! Make us your light!
Glory to God! Raise us to life!

ONE:
When the fullness of time had come
You called our sister Mary
to nurture and nourish your Word Made Flesh
You called our brother John
to make way for your Glorious Good News

ALL:
Open our ears and hearts to Your call

ONE:
When the fullness of time had come
Your Son, our Savior,
Called one and all to
“Come and see”
“Come and follow”

ALL:
Lamb of God, I come, I come

ONE:
When the fullness of time had come
Jesus called his followers to table
“Come, take, eat and drink”
Giving thanks, breaking bread, raising cup
Body and Blood
Pardon and Provision
Grace upon grace

ALL:
We bow in remembrance
We stand in awe
Forgive us and empower us
so we may lead lives worthy of Your calling

ONE:
Come Holy Spirit,
Abide with us and in us
and on these gifts of bread and wine
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ
that we may be the Body of Christ:
carrying Your welcome to all people
useful to You in Your saving work

ALL:
Holy One- Father, Son, Spirit
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done
All to the glory and honor of Your Name. Amen

A Great Thanksgiving is also known as a Eucharistic Prayer or Prayer for Holy Communion. It is used to consecrate the bread and the wine/grape juice.

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Great Thanksgiving- Open to Your Call © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Interactive Holy Thursday Service

Holy Thursday collage 2ITEMS IN THE CENTER OF EACH TABLE

  • Candle with matches
  • Towel, empty bowl, small pitcher of water
  • Pita bread, cup of grape juice (Pastor will also need a large bunch of grapes)
  • Bowl of earth with small stones
  • Large nail
  • Small bowl of scented oil (frankincense and myrrh)

ROOM

  • Consider offering this service in the round with the tables around a large cross in the center and plenty of room for folks to pray at the cross.
  • The service begins with the cross covered. We used a large piece of black fabric.

SERVICE PROGRAM

  • Click Here for a pdf sample program
  • Place one at each place setting
  • The program includes the order of worship with lyrics for each song and some simple instructions

FULL SCRIPTS

  • Click Here for a pdf of the full script
  • As persons arrive, ask them if they would be willing to do a reading. If they say yes, exchange their program for a full script.
  • Each reading part is highlighted in a different full script
  • The Narrator may be the same person throughout the entire service or change with each scene of the story
  • Persons stand and read from where they are seated

WELCOME

OPENING PRAYER
Modeled after a Jewish Sabbath prayer

PASTOR
Please light the candle in the center of your table. Look at the candle as we pray. Repeat after me.

Merciful God, our Rescuer and Redeemer
Open wide our minds, to receive your Holy Word
sweep hands around to forehead

Open wide our hearts, to receive your saving love
sweep hands around to chest

Open wide our spirits, and fill us full of light
sweep hands around to cupped position

JESUS WASHES THE DISCIPLES’ FEET – based on John 13:1-17, 34-35 (NIV)
SOLOIST OR ALL SINGING:
The Servant Song, The Faith We Sing #2222, verse 1
Brother, sister, let me serve you
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant, too.

NARRATOR
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

SOLOIST OR ALL SINGING:
Brother, sister, let me serve you
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant, too.

NARRATOR
Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,

SIMON PETER: Lord, are you going to wash my feet?

JESUS: You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.

SIMON PETER: No! You shall never wash my feet.

JESUS: Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.

SIMON PETER: Then, Lord, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!

JESUS
A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.

NARRATOR
For Jesus knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.

SOLOIST OR ALL SINGING:
Brother, sister, let me serve you
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant, too.

JESUS
Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

WASHING ONE ANOTHER’S HANDS
As a sign of Christ’s love at work in us, we serve one another and are vulnerable to one another
Option- offer a foot washing instead of washing hands. Instrumental music during the washing

THE LAST SUPPER
PASTOR:
After the meal, Jesus prayed a prayer of thanksgiving. Please repeat after me:
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who has saved our ancestors from Egypt
and who is saving us.
May your will be done
so your name is glorified in all the earth
and so all people may be moved to worship you with one accord.

Speaks while picking up a piece of bread
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who brings forth bread from the earth.

Speaks while picking up some grapes
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the universe,
who creates the fruit of the vine.
Amen. (end echo)

Then Jesus took the bread, broke it, gave it to those seated around the table and said, “Take, eat, this is my body broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Then he took the cup, gave it to those seated around the table 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 sin. Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.”

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon 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.

HOLY COMMUNION
One person at each table lifts the pita bread as the pastor does. One person lifts the cup as the pastor does. Following the consecration, share the bread and juice with each other at the table.

ALL SINGING- What Wondrous Love is This, United Methodist Hymnal #292 (vs 1-2) or a solo/ensemble selection of your choosing
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, that caused the lord of life to lay aside his crown for my soul, for my soul, to lay aside his crown for my soul.

BOWL OF EARTH
Share, touch and smell the bowl of earth with each other. Take a stone and hold it during the next reading.

JESUS PRAYS IN GETHSEMANE- Matthew 26:36-45 NRSV
NARRATOR:
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated.

Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”

Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”

Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.”

ALL SINGING- What Wondrous Love is This, United Methodist Hymnal #292 (vs 3-4) Or a solo/ensemble selection of your choosing
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing,
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM, while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
while millions join the theme I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free I’ll sing and joyful be, and through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and through eternity I’ll sing on.

THE ARREST AND CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS- based on John 18-19 NRSV
NARRATOR:
The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them,

JESUS: Whom are you looking for?

ALL READERS: Jesus of Nazareth.

JESUS: I am he.

NARRATOR:
Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them,

JESUS: Whom are you looking for?

ALL READERS: Jesus of Nazareth.

JESUS: I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.

NARRATOR:
This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus.

JESUS:
Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?

NARRATOR:
So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus and bound him. First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter,

WOMAN: Are you not also one of this man’s disciples?

PETER: I am not.

NARRATOR:
Now the slaves and the officials had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered,

JESUS:
I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.

NARRATOR:
When he had said this, one of the officials standing nearby struck Jesus on the face

OFFICIAL: Is that how you answer the high priest?

JESUS:
If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?

NARRATOR:
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him,

OFFICIAL: Are you not also one of his disciples?

PETER: I am not.

NARRATOR:
One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked,

SLAVE: Did I not see you in the garden with him?

NARRATOR:
Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said,

PILATE: What accusation do you bring against this man?

OFFICIAL: If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.

PILATE: Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.

OFFICIAL: We are not permitted to put anyone to death.

NARRATOR:
This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him,

PILATE: Are you the King of the Jews?

JESUS: Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?

PILATE:
I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?

JESUS:
My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.

PILATE: So you are a king?

JESUS:
You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.

PILATE: What is truth?

NARRATOR: After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them,

PILATE:
I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?

ALL READERS: Not this man, but Barabbas!

NARRATOR:
Now Barabbas was a bandit.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe.

Pause while someone presents a crown of thorns and/or purple robe to the congregation.

They kept coming up to him, saying,

SOLDIER: Hail, King of the Jews!

NARRATOR: and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them,

PILATE: Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.

NARRATOR:
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them,

PILATE: Here is the man!

NARRATOR: When the chief priests and the officials saw him, they shouted,

ALL READERS: Crucify him! Crucify him!

PILATE: Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.

OFFICIAL:
We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”

NARRATOR:
Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus,

PILATE: Where are you from?

NARRATOR: But Jesus gave him no answer.

PILATE:
Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?

JESUS:
You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.

NARRATOR: From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out,

OFFICIAL:
If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.

NARRATOR:
When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon.

PILATE: Here is your King!

ALL READERS: Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!

PILATE: Shall I crucify your King?

OFFICIAL: We have no king but the Caesar.

NARRATOR: Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

THE CROSS IS UNCOVERED
Pass the large nail to one another during the next reading

NARRATOR:
So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,

OFFICIAL:
Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’

PILATE: What I have written I have written.

NARRATOR:
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another,

SOLDIER: Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.

NARRATOR:
This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.” And that is what the soldiers did.

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother,

JESUS: Woman, here is your son. Here is your mother.

NARRATOR: And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture),

JESUS: I am thirsty.

NARRATOR:
A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said,

JESUS: It is finished.

NARRATOR: Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

PRAYER AND REFLECTION
You are encouraged to come forward and pray at the cross.

ONE OR ALL SINGING DURING PRAYER TIME:
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, United Methodist Hymnal #298
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

BURIAL OF JESUS
NARRATOR
Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

If possible, have someone play a military snare drum as the cross is covered.

THE CROSS IS COVERED

SIGN OF THE CROSS
Smell the anointing oil and use it to make the sign of the cross on a neighbor’s forehead
Please leave in silence when you are ready to exit

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Service conceived and compiled by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia © 2015
You are welcome to use this service with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa directly for publishing and posting consideration.

The Last Supper Experience

2011 upper room 3

I’ve received communion many times in many different ways, yet I was surprised how powerful and profound it was to share holy communion in this way, a way similar to the first Christians. The peaceful way everyone helped one another, the simplicity of breaking bread and passing the cup, the intimacy of seeing faces young and old gathered around the table listening to the story and praying together. Every group was different, yet meaningful. I cannot encourage you enough to offer this experience to your congregation and community. – Lisa <><

For a pdf of this script, click here Last Supper Script- The Passion Week Experience

Last Supper Experience
Setting:

  • Simple room, low lighting or candlelight
  • Lots of cushions, pillows, and low benches for people to sit upon around a long floor level “table”
  • Table setting includes 2 cups of grape juice, plates of flat bread or pita, 2 “welcome plates” of hummus-flat bread-black olives- figs-shredded chicken, 2 baskets of dark red grapes
  • Pitcher of water, bowl, and towel as props for the disciple who tells this part of the story
  • Background music loop (7-8 minutes in length) with a cue for the group to be dismissed. We used a solo guitar selection and added the sound of a person knocking on a wooden door as the cue.

Sources:

  • The prayer said before sharing communion is based on a traditional Seder prayer.
  • The words spoken by the Pastor are adapted from Word and Table II from the United Methodist Hymnal
  • The disciples and pastor have their lines memorized

Participants gather in a welcome room and are divided into groups of 10-12 persons. It’s important to experience this in a small group setting. As participants leave this room and enter “the upper room”, they encounter “disciples” dressed in biblical garb standing and seated around the table. This could be all 11 disciples or a representative group. The disciples welcome the participants and encourage them to sit with them and between them around the table. “Servants” offer baskets of grapes and the “welcome plates” after everyone is seated,  placing the trays and baskets on the table. The disciples adlib discussion appropriate to Biblical times with the guests for a few moments while everyone snacks.

2011 upper room 2

DISCIPLE ONE:
Welcome to the upper room. The story of Jesus’ passion begins here, at a meal with those who were closest to him. Many of our meals were happy occasions, but not this meal, not tonight. Jesus had many serious things he wanted to share with us. He knew his death was coming soon.

DISCIPLE TWO: speaks while pouring the water into the bowl
Jesus began by taking a bowl of water and a towel and washing our feet. We were very confused by this because this was usually done by a servant. After Jesus washed our feet he told us to love one another and serve one another as he had just done.

DISCIPLE THREE:
After the meal, Jesus prayed a prayer of thanksgiving. Please repeat after me:
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who has saved our ancestors from Egypt
and who is saving us.
May your will be done
so your name is glorified in all the earth
and so all people may be moved to worship you with one accord.

DISCIPLE FOUR: speaks while picking up a piece of bread
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who brings forth bread from the earth.

DISCIPLE FIVE: speaks while picking up some grapes
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the universe,
who creates the fruit of the vine.
Amen. end echo

PASTOR (who is dressed as one of the disciples):
Then Jesus took the bread, broke it, gave it to those seated around the table and said,
“Take, eat, this is my body broken for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

Pastor breaks a whole piece of pita in half. It is shared around the table till everyone has a piece. The pastor and other costumed participants hold their bread to encourage others to wait rather than eating it right away.

The Pastor lifts a cup of grape juice and continues
Then he took the cup, gave it to those seated around the table 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 sin.
Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.”

The Pastor dips his/her bread into the cup and then eats the bread to model communion by intinction for the others. The cups are passed around the table so everyone may participate.

Moments of silence until the cue in the music is heard

If persons are continuing on to another experience (ie Gethsemane), the Pastor or another disciple dismisses the group with the following.
After this, they arose from the table and departed for Gethsemane. Go in peace.

As people leave, words of blessing and peace are spoken by the disciples. The servants clear the table and refresh the food as needed. The water in the bowl is poured back into the pitcher to be used again with the next group.

The next group enters.

upper room 1

Upper Room Set, Sketch 1 designed by Nicole Sallee. We used the space between the front pews and the platform in our sanctuary as the location of the Upper Room.

 

upper room 2

Upper Room Set, Sketch 1 designed by Nicole Sallee. We used the space between the front pews and the platform in our sanctuary as the location of the Upper Room.

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The Last Supper Experience was originally offered as the second of five interactive experiences in The Passion Week Experience, a walk through, Holy Week event conceived and written by members of the Worship Arts Ministry of Community United Methodist Church in DeBary, Florida. It would be equally effective as part of a series of prayer stations or other intimate worship experience.

adaptation and compilation © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

A Great Thanksgiving For Easter Incorporating Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Christ-The-Lord-by-Five-Heart-Home-700pxGreenA Great Thanksgiving For Easter
A Great Thanksgiving is also known as a Eucharistic Prayer or Prayer for Holy Communion. It is used to consecrate the bread and the wine/grape juice.

This Great Thanksgiving incorporates texts from Christ the Lord is Risen Today by Charles Wesley as congregational responses. The text are used in an order which best fits the Eucharistic Prayer. The responses may be sung or spoken. If spoken, consider speaking only one Alleluia at the end of each stanza rather than at the end of each phrase.

ALL SINGING:
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

ONE:
Holy One, Eternal and Blessed

ALL:
We lift up our hearts to You.

ONE:
Your love overflows, calling the wonder of creation into being
Filling the world with beauty and goodness

ALL:
Receive our thanks and praise

ONE:
We join the company of heaven
and Your faithful in every time and place
in celebrating Your victory over sin and death

ALL SINGING OR SPEAKING:
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

ONE:
Glory to You, God of grace and majesty
and glory to Your Son, Jesus Christ,
our Savior and Savior of the world

On the third day, You raised Jesus from the dead.
Death could not destroy him!
The grave could not enslave him!

ALL SINGING OR SPEAKING:
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

ONE:
The world despised and rejected You.
You responded with grace, humility and welcome.
The proud questioned Your power, devised Your death.
You responded with peace, forgiveness and new life.

ALL SPEAKING:
Forgive us, merciful Jesus
Our arrogance
Our selfishness
Our violence
Make us like You

ONE:
On the night in which he gave himself up for us,
Jesus took bread, gave thanks to You, broke the bread,
gave it to those gathered around the table, 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 those gathered 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.”

ALL SPEAKING:
We remember You
We need You
We claim Your resurrection power:
Dying, You destroyed our death
Rising, You restored our life.
Lord Jesus, come in glory.

ONE:
Come Lord Jesus
And come Holy Spirit,
Abide with us and in us
And on these gifts of bread and wine
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ
That we may be, now and forever, Your Easter people,
Whole, Holy, Alive
One with You and one with each other
Together fulfilling Your saving work

ALL: singing or speaking
King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

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A Great Thanksgiving For Easter © 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Reader’s Theater: Jesus, Bread of Life (John 6:28-40)

christ eucharist bread icon
ALL SINGING:
Eat this Bread
by Robert Batastini and Jacques Berthier
United Methodist Hymnal #628
or
Hungry, verse 1 and chorus
by Kathryn Scott
CCLI Song # 2650364
or
another song of your choosing

The instruments continue during the scripture reading.

VOICE ONE:
The crowd asked Jesus,

CHOIR or CONGREGATION:
What must we do to perform the works of God?

JESUS:
This is the work of God- that you believe in him whom he has sent.

VOICE ONE:
What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

JESUS:
Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven,
but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

CHOIR or CONGREGATION:
Sir, give us this bread always.

JESUS:
I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

ALL SINGING:
Eat this Bread or Hungry vs 1, chorus
Or another song of your choosing

JESUS:
You have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.

ALL SINGING:
Eat this Bread or Hungry vs 1, chorus
Or another song of your choosing

********
Adapted from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Reader’s Theater: Jesus, Bread of Life (John 6:28-40)
© 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

#LukeActs2014: Come Sup With God (Luke 14)

World Communion Altar Table, photo by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

World Communion Altar Table, photo by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Luke 14:12-14 NIV
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

In the story of the feeding of the 5,000 we see Jesus once again addressing the most essential, physical needs of his fellow human beings – hunger, thirst, companionship – and once again, breaking down every socially-constructed barrier that keeps us from eating with one another. He did the same thing when, much to the chagrin of the religious leaders, he dined with tax collectors and prostitutes and told his more well-to-do hosts that “when you give a banquet, invite the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.” The English word companion, is derived from the Latin com (“with”) and panis (“bread”). A companion, therefore, is someone with whom you share your bread. – Rachel Held Evans, 5000 Companions

Luke 14:15-24 NRSV
One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come; for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, “I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, “Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ And the slave said, “Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’ Then the master said to the slave, “Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’ ”

Sadly, the way we as Christians have historically responded to the gift of the Eucharist is to make sure that we understand it, then to make sure we put boundaries around it and then to make sure we enforce both the correct understanding and the correct boundaries. But on the night Jesus was betrayed he didn’t say “this is my body broken for you…UNDERSTAND this in remembrance of me….he didn’t say ACCEPT this or DEFEND this or BOUNDARY this in remembrance of me he just said do this in remembrance of me. – Nadia Bolz Weber, “This teaching is HARD, who can accept it” – a sermon on the Eucharist

The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you! The calf is fattened; let no one go forth hungry! Let all partake of the Feast of Faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness. Let none lament their poverty, for the Universal Kingdom has been revealed.
– John Chrysostom

Come Sup With God
by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Meter 88.88 (LM)
Suggested tunes:
HURSLEY (United Methodist Hymnal #339) or
GIFT OF LOVE (United Methodist Hymnal #408)

Come sup with God all you who thirst
All you who hunger be the first
Feast on Christ’s Body and his Blood
O taste and see this meal of Love

Come children, elders, blind, and spent
Come foolish, able, indigent
Confess, repent, and then receive
Forgiveness flows abundantly

Come often, friend, for here is grace
made manifest in time and place
Christ’s mercy floods our brokenness
with healing balm and righteousness

Come to be changed. Come to be fed.
Come savor Christ, the Life, the Bread.
Drink deep the gift of healing poured
and leave a vessel of our Lord.

Sing Praise to Christ our Host and meal
Whose saving work provides the seal
for us once bound, now freed from death
to live for Christ with every breath

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Come Sup with God © 2000 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

A Great Thanksgiving For Christmas Based on O Holy Night

O Holy NightA Great Thanksgiving For Christmas Based on O Holy Night
A Great Thanksgiving is also known as a Eucharistic Prayer or Prayer for Holy Communion. It is used to consecrate the bread and the wine/grape juice. This Great Thanksgiving is inspired by the beloved Christmas classic, O Holy Night.

ONE:
Holy One, Eternal and Blessed

ALL:
We lift up our hearts to You.

ONE:
Your love breaks forth,
Calling the wonder of creation into being
Filling our weary world with hope and light

ALL:
We rejoice with the angel voices
Bowing before You in thanks and praise
Holy, holy, holy, Lord
God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of Your glory.

ONE:
When the fullness of time had come
You sent your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ
That all people might know their sacred worth
And embrace your perfect love

ALL:
Your law is love and Your gospel is peace

ONE:
The demands and burdens of the day left no place for Your birth.
The poor and the animals made room.
The proud sought Your power and Your death.
Wise Ones sought Your presence, brought You gifts.
In our sin and error we despise and reject You.
You respond with steadfast love and persevering grace

ALL:
Divine One, forgive us
End our foolish longings
Teach us to love you
And to love one another as sisters and brothers
In Jesus’ Name
Break the chains of isolation and fear
Cease the oppression and the prejudice

ONE:
On the night in which he gave himself up for us,
Jesus took bread, gave thanks to You, broke the bread,
gave it to those gathered around the table, 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 those gathered 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.”

ALL:
We remember You, and welcome You,
And proclaim Your power and glory forever:
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again!

ONE:
Come Holy Spirit,
Abide with us and in us
And on these gifts of bread and wine
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ
that we may be filled with Your hope and Your light
and be useful to You in Your saving work.

ALL:
Holy One- Father, Son, Spirit
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done
All to the glory and honor of Your Name.

ALL: singing or speaking
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

Click Here, for a Great Thanksgiving Celebrating the Joy of Christmas
This Great Thanksgiving incorporates texts from well-known hymns and Christmas carols as congregational responses. The responses may be sung or spoken.

Click Here, for a Great Thanksgiving for Christmas
This Great Thanksgiving uses traditional Christmas images and congregational responses.

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O Holy Night” (“Cantique de Noël“) is a well-known Christmas carol based on the French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians) by Placide Cappeau. Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwightcreated a singing edition based on Cappeau’s French text in 1855.

A Great Thanksgiving For Christmas Based on O Holy Night © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia. You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.