Friday, October 29, 2010

UPDATED: Holy Communion: Choose Your Specialness

Note: Links are now updated (2/24/2015) since originally posted in October 2010.

From Harare to Manila, from Helsinki to Honolulu, and from Boston to Anchorage, United Methodists spoke with one voice a refrain heard across the globe when asked by members of the Holy Communion Study Committee about their experiences of Holy Communion in their local worship settings: "We want more!" 

Over and over again, from listening stations in cities to rural areas, of every ethnicity and nation and language we could reach at the time, what we were hearing was that communion often felt disconnected, off-putting, uninviting, routine, dull, too complicated, poorly understood and even more poorly led. 

And yet, for all that, it was still deeply and powerfully important in their lives. 

GBOD's video, "Living into the Mystery," documents the experience of laypeople in four diverse congregations where communion is celebrated well and with confidence and joy. You can view it online  here. And you can find ordering instructions for a DVD version here.

This blog entry isn't primarily about that video, though. I want you to know it's available, and that's relevant to the topic at hand. But that's not the main point.

The main point is we also heard something else. We heard that part of the more folks wanted was more frequent celebration of Holy Communion-- with weekly as a norm-- but also that there was real concern that if we celebrated Holy Communion weekly, it would become less "special."

John Wesley was hearing that same concern raised against his insistence that Methodists participate in the celebration of the sacrament as frequently as they possibly could. In Wesley's time, people said they feared their "reverence" for the sacrament would be "abated" if it were celebrated weekly or more. He answered that "objection" (along with many others!) in his sermon "The Duty of Constant Communion." 

Here's the relevant excerpt.

Reverence for the sacrament may be of two sorts: Either such as is owing purely to the newness of the thing, such as men naturally have for anything they are not used to; or such as is owing to our faith, or to the love or fear of God. Now, the former of these is not properly a religious reverence, but purely natural. And this sort of reverence for the Lord's Supper, the constantly receiving of it must lessen. But it will not lessen the true religious reverence, but rather confirm and increase it... [Thus] its abating our reverence is no excuse; since he who gave the command, "Do this," nowhere adds, "unless it abates your reverence" (emphasis mine).

In other words, Wesley agreed that if you do celebrate communion frequently, it will feel less special. 

Indeed, that is true of anything we do frequently. The more we do something, anything, the less we have to think about it consciously. We're no longer relying on "working memory," which is how we deal with new things and complicated problems placed before us. It's slower than other forms of memory-- but it helps us plod through. 

And the less we experience anything as "new", the less we produce the "feeling chemicals" in our brain that help us deal with newness as well. Some of these chemicals create a sense of  alarm and heightened alertness. Those intensify our focus on the new or not entirely familiar things in front of us. Others produce a sense of well-being or reward when we engage the "new thing" successfully. 

But once we've practiced something enough that it gets into our bones, our muscles, and our breath-- and in our brains into an almost "hard-wired" synaptic pattern, two things happen. First, with the synaptic pattern being well established, electrical activity to enable it goes down. And second, partly in response to the first,  our brains reduce the production of those "alarm and "reward" chemicals to almost zero, meaning the "feeling" we may have had the first time or the first few times we did it abates over time. Both holy fear and joy, the basic ingredients of the feeling we call "reverence," physically subside.

So in the end there's almost no getting around the physiological fact that we can't have it both ways. Holy Communion can either be "special" (because it is a relatively infrequent, or because we do it a very different way every time, even if we do it more frequently), or it can be offered with deep competence and graciousness because it's gotten into our bones, muscles and breath. 

But note I said almost.

The power of something practiced and "hard-wired" over time is that then you can make small changes, slight variations, that will introduce just enough novelty to re-engage the alarm/reward system without at the same time having to re-engage working memory, and thus make the whole event feel clumsy, forced or awkward.

This is how jazz musicians learn to riff. They learn everything they can about the basic song-- rhythm, cadences, melody, harmonics, syncopation and sound level-- practicing and practicing until it is in their bones, muscles and breath. The song itself doesn't change. But what happens with the song, after the combo establishes it a few times-- that's where the joy comes. And it's the little things that bring it. Not switching  up everything.  Variations on a steady and ongoing theme. The song itself doesn't change-- it just gets expressed differently, surprisingly.

So as you look at what we've all said we long for as United Methodists-- celebrations that are gracious, well-led, and engage us well in worship-- and reflect on our widely stated fear of losing the specialness of Holy Communion by more frequent celebrations, consider well the choice that lies before you-- a choice built into our brains and bodies.

Do you want a specialness that comes from infrequent celebrations, and so also persist in not being practiced enough to be competent and gracious every time? 

Or do you want the specialness that comes from frequent practice, a specialness that is experienced in the small variations that not only your presider, but your entire worshiping community can move into and appreciate because the Great Thanksgiving-- its words, its actions, its gestures, its meaning, and its music-- are already deep in your bones, muscles and breath, ready at a moment's notion to riff as the Spirit moves in your midst?

I know my choice.  What's yours?

Peace in Christ,

Taylor Burton-Edwards
Director of Worship Resources
The General Board of Discipleship of
The United Methodist Church

Image Credit: Photo  by "wonker." Used by permission under a Creative Commons License

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Christmas at College

Taylor's new post about rethinking Christmas (not to mention the Hallmark store selling ornaments I passed last night) got me thinking about one of the peculiarities of worship in communities which are not congregations.

I serve in campus ministry, so when it comes to celebrating Christmas with my college students, I can't. By the time December 24th rolls around, finals are complete, the dorms are vacant, and students--even if they live only 25 miles away--are home. Not on my campus. Not celebrating Christmas.

Which makes Advent, misunderstood and largely ignored already, pretty much it. Not that it can really hope to compete with the last-day-of-class parties and cramming for finals and teary semester-ending goodbyes. It just hopes it can hold a candle to Lent and Easter. But I faithfully stood by its side for my first few years.

But celebrating the liturgical season properly (i.e. getting through the first 2 weeks of Advent and then calling it quits until Baptism of the Lord in January) just didn't work right, so I bailed on the calendar. When students come back from Thanksgiving, we do a week (or 2 if the calendar permits) of Advent, lighting candles and heightening expectation. Then, the last week of class, we have our Christmas service...about 3 weeks early.

I rationalize, in good Methodist fashion, that this is a mission field appointment with unique contours and a distinctly un-congregational rhythm which the lectionary and liturgical year are ill-equipped to manage. And I do encourage the students to participate in their home congregations where they can experience the extraordinary richness of the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle. But it seems a better compromise to fit the trajectory of the seasons to the context than to summarily truncate it without so much as an acknowledgement that Advent exists to set the stage for the coming of Christ past, present, and future.

Of course, this isn't without its problems: it certainly sets the stage for liturgical whiplash (which is problematic since the pattern of the calendar is an essential component for its effectiveness) and breaks the ecumenical consensus just as much as the Rethink Christmas proposal does. And it plays into exactly the same hand.

So what do you think? Does celebrating Christmas "early," though in a different way from what Taylor proposes, deepen the cultural captivity for these college students? Or does it open up new possibilities for entering the mystery of the Incarnation?

Josh Hale is an ordained United Methodist elder in the Texas Annual Conference. He is appointed to extension ministry with the Wesley Student Center at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. He microblogs @expatminister on Twitter. This is his first post for United Methodist Worship.

Image credit: by Kvitaluk as found on Wikimedia Commons, licensed by a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ReThink Christmastide for 2010/2011

The Problem

We’ve all seen and lived the pattern. Christmas Eve services are a huge celebration bringing in folks we may rarely see at any other time of the year. On Christmas Day, unless it is on Sunday, we may be lucky to fill the choir area. The Sunday after Christmas is typically a low Sunday because many regulars may be visiting elsewhere if they attend worship at all. The Sunday after that is the celebration of Epiphany which marks the end of Christmastide and is also typically a “low Sunday,” one last chance for a weekend off before school and work routines resume.

Thus, while the church calendar has offered a full twelve days (thirteen if you count Epiphany) to celebrate and ponder the mystery of the Incarnation, the real church calendar” (what we actually do with this time in our congregations) may offer perhaps just a single night with any intentionality or intensity.

Clearly, the official church calendar and the real church calendar are out of sync with each other. With perhaps few exceptions, I see no easy way for individual congregations to get them back in sync, at least not in North American culture.

Something’s got to give. Either individual congregations need to become far more insistent on giving these days at this time of the year more serious attention and find ways to get their members to do likewise, or the culture has got to give the church these days back again. 

The latter is not going to happen. And let’s be clear about this. When Christmastide was recognized and set apart in the culture as a whole it was because the state made it work that way. Do we really want, expect, or even need that kind of thing to happen again?

Given the nature United Methodist congregations in the US as essentially public, voluntary associations, I see little likelihood of individual congregations being terribly successful at changing the habits of their own members to show up at these services much less participate in them in large numbers without alienating a lot of people in the process.

If we agree that we as church really do need at least a couple of weeks and probably several services during those weeks to focus intently on celebrating and pondering the mystery of the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, we really can’t decide to let the current situation continue. We need the time. How do we find the time and give the observance of Christmastide the level of attention and meaning it deserves? 

A Congregational Solution
One answer is related to the one perhaps most commonly practiced by North American Protestants generally: carve the two weeks leading up to Christmas out of Advent and use those days to celebrate “Christmastime.” It’s not at all uncommon for congregations to start singing Christmas hymns by mid-December at the latest. It’s also fairly common for congregations to schedule a variety of Christmas-related special events, such as services of Lessons and Carols or cantatas or Christmas parties or caroling during those weeks. And the culture at large in North America seems to endorse such “early celebration” as well, especially given that Christmas themed commercials and displays as well as Christmas-related shopping start happening everywhere just after Halloween.

There are two significant problems with that approach, though neither is necessarily fatal. One is that it’s so easy to fall into (witnessed by the fact that we have in fact done so!) that we may not be consciously celebrating and pondering the mystery of the Incarnation as fully as we might. After all, Christmas really isn’t until December 24 after sunset, right? So at the present time we’re sort of engaging in the “guilty pleasure” of “pre-Christmas Christmassing.”

A simple remedy is possible for this, however. Make these weeks intentionally Christmastide. Keep the Christmas Eve celebrations more or less as they but using the readings for Christmas Day instead so the focus is more on incarnation than the baby in the manger. That way, instead of that service being seen as the kickoff, it could function more intentionally as the culmination of the season. That means moving the readings for Christmastide (First Sunday after Christmas and Epiphany) back to the preceding Sundays, and in reverse order. By this scheme, what had been the Third Sunday of Advent would now function as Epiphany Sunday, followed by the readings for the First Sunday after Christmas on the Sunday before Christmas Eve. This gives everyone the opportunity to do Christmastide intentionally while folks are actually around to do so and may have the added benefit of taking a bit of a load off of the next two Sundays when folks aren’t generally around at all.

Of course, it also shortens Advent from four weeks to two, perhaps to the point of leading the congregation to wonder whether we need Advent at all. And I would argue strongly that we do. Advent functions in the church year to refocus us on remembering that the end is our beginning and that we always live as disciples of Jesus in the “between times” of this age and the age to come already made manifest here and now. We in North America probably really do need four whole weeks to rewrap our heads around that understanding given that the air we breathe constantly tells us to live for today as if there is no tomorrow. We need that kind of sustained celebration and reflection so that when we get to celebrating and pondering the mystery of the Incarnation, we’re not doing so as those lulled by the siren songs calling us instead to ooh and ahh at the cute little baby asleep in the manger (which he likely wasn’t in the relevant texts!).

In our article, “A Modest Proposal for Advent/Christmas Peace,” Dean McIntyre, Safiyah Fosua and I have noted that it’s possible and maybe even helpful to consider starting the Advent focus two weeks early, as the texts at the end of the “official church calendar” actually pick up the very same kinds of themes as the Advent texts do. Doing this locally doesn’t change when Advent is, officially. Only General Conference could do that, and it is unlikely to do so. But it could add to your congregation’s capacity to connect with these themes meaningfully.

What we didn’t suggest there is what I’m suggesting next. Given that the texts for Christmastide would already have been used leading up to Christmas Eve, consider using the texts from Advent 3 and 4 during weeks between Christmas Day and Baptism of the Lord. In the light of the celebration of the birth having already happened on Christmas Eve, these texts could then be interpreted as lead-ins to Baptism of the Lord (the first Sunday after January 6), thus creating, at least for those who are around to participate in this, an even greater sense of “buildup” for the reaffirmation of baptism at that time.  

For Advent beginning in 2010, here’s how that would play out with a full four weeks for both Advent and Christmastide.

November 14, 2010 [Purple or Blue]
Advent 1

Isaiah 65:17-25
Isaiah 12 or Psalm 118 (UMH 839)
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Luke 21:5-19

November 21, 2010 [White or Purple and Blue]
Advent 2: Christ the King/Reign of Christ

Jeremiah 23:1-6
Luke 1:68-79 (UMH 208)
Colossians 1:11-20
Luke 23:33-43

November 28, 2010 [Purple or Blue]
Advent 3

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122 (UMH 845)
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

December 5, 2010 [Purple or Blue]
Advent 4 (Year A)

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 (UMH 795)
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12

December 12, 2010 [White or Gold]
Christmas 1: Epiphany

Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 (UMH 795)
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12

December 19, 2010 [White or Gold]
Christmas 2
Isaiah 63:7-9
Psalm 148 (UMH 861)
Hebrews 2:10-18
Matthew 2:13-23

December 24, 2010 (White or Gold)
Christmas Eve

Isaiah 9:2-7
Psalm 96 (UMH 815)
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-20

December 25, 2010 [White or Gold]
Christmas Day

Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 98 (UMH 818)
Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12)
John 1:1-14

December 26, 2010 [White or Gold]
Christmas 3

Isaiah 35:1-10
Luke 1:47-55 (UMH 199)
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

January 2, 2011 [White or Gold]
Christmas 4
Isaiah 7:10-16
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 (UMH 801)
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-25

January 9, 2011 [White or Gold]
Baptism of the Lord
Isaiah 42:1–9
Psalm 29 (UMH 761)
Acts 10:34-43
Matthew 3:13-17

Sounds like a win-win-win. Advent gets four weeks, or maybe even six.  Christmastide gets two. Baptism of the Lord gets more prominence. Everyone is happy, right?

Maybe not. This kind of local rearranging of calendars and texts really is a significant  break from the long-established Christian calendar and could be distressing to our ecumenical partners. So while this may be a win-win-win for local United Methodist congregations, from the standpoint of Christian unity, it could be a lose. It might be received as one more sign that Methodists are more interested in doing their own thing to suit them than being part of the “church catholic.” Maybe that kind of assessment would not happen where you are. Just be aware that it could.  

A Connectional or Ecumenical Solution
All that has been shared above presumes that congregations either do or should celebrate Christmastide more or less on their own. If the major reason that we don’t celebrate Christmastide more intentionally or with more energy is that a good number of people in our individual congregations aren’t around to do so, perhaps we should look outside the individual congregational box a bit. 

Not everyone leaves, after all. There are some people who do attend services we offer as individual congregations. So what if, instead of worrying about the gaps created by those absent we created larger gatherings of those who are likely to be present? What if Christmastide were not expected to be celebrated by each congregation on its own? What if, instead, Christmastide were planned and celebrated by clusters of congregations, perhaps even ecumenically, in local communities. Imagine joint choirs, liturgical resources shared from the riches of various traditions, preaching from the best who are present in the community, and festive meals shared from the finest recipes of each congregation that participates.

Imagine the abundance and the joy! And imagine, too, the folks from other places who may come to visit where you are, and their joy in finding that Christmas joy really does continue with gusto in the worship and the life of your communities, whatever the “secular” calendar says.

When I imagine that, I begin to imagine something else as well. A clustering of UM and other congregations like this sounds like a remarkable example of the body of Christ happening here and now. This kind of gathering, perhaps far more than our individual congregations, might be able to help all those who can participate both celebrate and ponder the mystery of God become flesh and body in our midst in Jesus. 

So perhaps, just perhaps, it is time to ReThink Christmastide.

Peace in Christ,

Taylor Burton-Edwards

Image Credit: The Peace Tower at Christmas. Ottawa, Canada. Used by permission under a Creative Commons 

“ReThink Christmastide” is Copyright © 2009, 2010 The General Board of Discipleship. Any local church or United Methodist agency may reprint any or all of this page as long as the following copyright notice appears:

Copyright © 2009, 2010 The General Board of Discipleship. Used with permission.
This page was created by  Taylor Burton-Edwards, Director of Worship Resources, GBOD.  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Worship Resource: A Global Contemporary Service for All Saints Day/Sunday, Year C

Taylor W. Burton-Edwards
We Enter and Praise God
The service begins with a festal procession accompanied by djembe and other instruments as available. As persons enter the worship space, they are invited to touch the water of the baptismal font.

Come, All You People (Uyai Mose)                                                     The Faith We Sing, 2274
Use the verse in TFWS as a refrain. Use the following verses between singing the refrain to the same tune. All stand and dance throughout the singing, and remain standing for the responsive prayer that follows.

Come all you holy ones, come receive the kingdom.
Come all you holy ones, come receive the kingdom.
Come all you holy ones, come receive the kingdom,
Come receive the kingdom of God.

Sing, dance, rejoice! Make melody to Jesus!
Sing, dance, rejoice! Make melody to Jesus!
Sing, dance, rejoice! Make melody to Jesus!
Sing, dance, rejoice and be glad!

You brought us truth, the gospel of salvation.
You brought us truth, the gospel of salvation.
You brought us truth, the gospel of salvation,
And you have filled us with love.

Blessed are the poor, the hungry and the hated!
Blessed are the poor, the hungry and the hated!
Blessed are the poor, the hungry and the hated,
blessed by the kingdom of God!

They are the saints in glory everlasting!
Make us your saints in glory everlasting!

They are the saints in glory everlasting,
Saints in the kingdom of God!

During the responsive prayer, the instrumental music continues and segués from “Come, All You People” to “You Alone are Holy”)

God of all the saints,
God of mercy, love and power,
we have come to praise you today.

God, cleanse our hearts.
Cleanse our hearts!

Jesus, cast out unholy fear.
Cast out unholy fear.

Open our lips, enliven our minds
and set our bodies dancing
to the cadences of your Truth.
Come, Holy Spirit,
and fill us for your glory;
for you, O God, are One and holy!

You Alone Are Holy                                                                       The Faith We Sing, 2077

Sing at least twice. Then invite the congregation to hum the tune as the accompaniment fades away.
After a brief silence, invite all to be seated.

We Listen and Respond to God’s Word

Dim lights in the worship space to near darkness, if possible. Shine a spotlight or bring a large candle to the first reader, stationed by the baptismal font.

If possible, project images of the sea at night or sunset as the reading is offered. (The large clouds in the linked video clip could remind one of the beasts Daniel describes).

A Reading from The Prophet Daniel                                                           Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18


Reader: Though the actions of earth’s rulers may frighten us,
People: the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom for ever and ever.

Lights come up.

“Freedom is Coming”       The Faith We Sing, 2192

Sing three times. First time: a praise team or ensemble. Second and third time: whole assembly. Third time, unaccompanied.

The second reader begins, standing behind the Lord’s Table. The tone of this reading is bold and vibrant.

A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Christians near Ephesus                         Ephesians 1:11-23

Reader: May we come to know the riches of Christ’s glorious inheritance among the saints.
People: And may we truly be Christ’s body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.

“Come now, O Prince of Peace” (O-So-So)                                            The Faith We Sing 2232

On the fourth verse, all stand as the reader of the gospel walks into the midst of the assembly. During the reading, the djembe begins to play again. All remain standing for the reading.

A Reading from the Gospel of Jesus according to Luke                         Luke 6:20-31

“Come All You People” (Reprise)                                                          The Faith We Sing, 2274
Blessed are the poor, the hungry and the hated!
Blessed are the poor, the hungry and the hated!
Blessed are the poor, the hungry and the hated,
blessed in the kingdom of God!


As the sermon/homily concludes, the djembe begins to play again.

Remembering the Dead

“Come All You People” (Reprise)                                                          The Faith We Sing, 2274
These are your saints in glory everlasting!
These are your saints in glory everlasting!

These are your saints in glory everlasting,
Saints in the kingdom of God!

The djembe continues to play as the names of those who have died in the previous year are read. A bell may sound or a candle may be lit as each is named. A final bell is rung or candle lit for those whose names are unknown to us but known to God. The congregation resumes singing:

Come all you holy ones, come receive the kingdom.
Come all you holy ones, come receive the kingdom.
Come all you holy ones, come receive the kingdom,
Come receive the kingdom of God!

Instrumental music continues and segués into “The Prayers of the People, TFWS 2201. All kneel, hands lifted, palms up for the prayers, as able.

The Prayers of the People                                                                                  The Faith We Sing, 2201

At the conclusion of the prayers, all are invited to stand as able.

We Give Thanks at the Lord’s Table
Come to the Lord's Table,
all you who love him.
Come to the Lord's Table,
confess your sin.
Come to the Lord's Table,
be at peace.

Confession of Sin
We have not believed you or trusted in your power.
Lord, help our unbelief.

We have stained our souls by our action and inaction.
Cleanse us, Lord.

We are broken by disease, bruised by the sins of others, weakened and unable to repair ourselves.
Heal us, Lord.

We ignore your call to center our lives in you, and so are deaf to the hopes and cries of the poor, the sick, the needy, and the earth.
Ground us, Lord!

When we confess our sinful ways, God abundantly pardons.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we are all forgiven. Glory to God!

By one Spirit we are all baptized into the one body.
Let us then pursue the things that make for peace and build up our common life.

The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be always with you!
And also with you.

Signs of peace may be offered and exchanged.
All stand or remain standing for the Great Thanksgiving. All are invited to pray with hands raised, palms up (orans position).

Thanksgiving and Communion

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to you, Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to praise you, O God!

It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
Always and everywhere to give thanks to you,
Holy Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is praised among all peoples.

Therefore we praise you,
joining our voices with your people on earth
and all the company of heaven
who for ever sing this hymn to the glory of your name:

(Use a call and response version, such as TFWS 2257)
Holy, holy, holy, Lord,
God of power and might
Heaven and earth are full…
Full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who comes
In the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!
Hosanna in the highest!

You are holy, Almighty One!
Blessed are you, Jesus Christ!
In the power of the Spirit
you created all things, blessed them, and called them good.

You called to yourself a people
to make your mercy and truth known in all the world.

We betrayed your calling;
You were faithful.

We wandered from the way;
You called us to return, and led us home.

And still we turned from your ways,
abused your creatures,
and made ourselves slaves to sin and death.

At the right time
you came and dwelt among us,
as one of us,
bringing good news to the poor,
healing the sick, raising the dead,
sharing table with the unrighteous,
and teaching the way that leads to life.

By your incarnation, life, suffering, execution and resurrection
you gave birth to your church,
delivered us from slavery
made a new covenant with us
by water and the Spirit,

and receive us and all your saints to yourself
in glory everlasting.

On the night of your betrayal, Lord Jesus,
you took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to your disciples and said,
"This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
You did the same with the cup after the supper, saying,
"This cup that is poured out is the new covenant in my blood."

Blessed Trinity, in remembrance of all you have done to save us,
we offer ourselves to you in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ's offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

Christ has come among us. Christ has died.
Christ has risen. Christ abides with us.
Christ will come again.

Pour out your Spirit on us
Pour out your Spirit on us

Pour out your Spirit on these gifts
Pour out your Spirit on these gifts

Make these gifts the body and blood of Christ
Make us, through them, Christ's body alive in the world.

Abba, Father!
Let your kingdom come!

Glory to you!
Glory to you!

Come, Lord Jesus!
Be our daily bread.

Glory to you!
Glory to you!

Holy Spirit!
Send us to the world.

Glory to you!
Glory to you!

Holy, Blessed Trinity!    
One God forever!

Glory to you!
Glory to you!

Breaking the Bread

Giving the Bread and Cup

Giving Thanks
(All pray):
Lord, you now have set your servants free
to go in peace as you have promised.
For these eyes of ours have seen the Savior
whom you have prepared for all the world to see!
Blessing and honor and glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.

As the prayer concludes, the djembe resumes.

We are Sent into the World
Come, All You People (Uyai Mose)                                                        The Faith We Sing, 2274
Your saints surround us, your Spirit guides us.
Your saints surround us, your Spirit guides us.
Your saints surround us, your Spirit guides us.
Send us, your people, in peace.

You have seen the Savior. Go now in peace.
And the blessing of God,
One in Three and Three in One,
Go with you.


A Global Contemporary Service for All Saints Day/Sunday, Year C is Copyright (c) 2010, The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. Congregations are free to use it for worship or education provided this copyright statement is included in its entirety. It may not be sold or reproduced on websites not under the auspices of The General Board of Discipleship without written permission. To obtain permissions, contact