communion

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Sunday Morning Communion Service

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Setup

Chairs in a semi circle with a center aisle. The focus was on a table. The chairs were arrange in four sections to facilitate the reception of communion at four different stations.


Liturgy

Opening Prayer/Call to worship (Joel)

#66 (p. 248) from Chalice Worship

Let us praise our God, Holy Mystery, Source of all being, Word and Spirit. Let us Praise and exalt God above all, forever.

Song: Highest Glory (Paul)

OT Reading: Isaiah 53:2-6 (Camper)

Responsorial Ps (Camper/Paul) Psalm 118

Choral Response: Asalam Shalom
Verses 5-7: When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
He brought me into a spacious place.
The Lord is with me;  I will not be afraid.
What can human beings do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
I look in triumph on my enemies.
Choral Response: Asalam Shalom

NT Reading: Acts 17:16-23a [stop at "to an unknown god"] (camper)

Song: Alleluia

Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-16 (Camper)

Reflection on the reading from Acts with the Gospel as a response.

Summary: We live in a world which is spiritual but not religious. Many claim that they cannot know God. We, as Christians however are able to call our God by name, and we know him as Jesus Christ.

Prayers of Intercession (Tamara)

Confession/Pardon

Communion Song: Let’s Break Bread Together (Paul)

Procession of Gifts (2 Campers)

Eucharistic Prayers (Tamara)

The Lord be with you
And also with you
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks the the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Prayer over the elements

Song: (Paul)

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.

Words of Institution (Tamara)

Song: (Paul)

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Song: Lord’s Prayer (Paul)

Peace (Tamara)

The peace of the Lord be with you always
And also with you.
Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

Song: (Paul – Sung during peace above)

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world have mercy on us (x2) Lamb of God you take away the sins of the word, grant us peace.

Instruction (Joel):

Come forward, down the center isle, one row at a time. Take a piece of bread, and dip in cup. Receive the Lord and each other in this meal.

Reception

Dismissal.


Commentary

The common practice at this camp is to celebrate communion at the final worship service on Monday morning. However, in Disciples tradition it is (nearly) universal to celebrate communion at least every Sunday. I presented the idea to celebrate communion at both the Sunday morning service as well as the closing Monday morning service to honor both traditions – that of the camp and that of the Disciples whom we serve at camp. This proposition was accepted and we celebrated communion on Sunday morning. Due to the weather camp ended early and we did not have the final worship on Monday morning as originally planned, so this was a good change given the circumstances.

I used the following resources as a guide:

I went more “high church” for several reasons:

  1. To fit with the co-exist theme of the weekend. There is a great deal of diversity within Christiandom, and I felt it was appropiate to show that here.
  2. I have always been critical of our denomination’s weak Eucharistic Liturgy. The one found in our ecumenical order of worship is more rich and full, and I wanted to expose the campers and counselors to it. For those who may not be aware, a Disciples’ Eucharistic liturgy often consists of only the Words of Institution.
  3. Admittedly my personal preference leads me to desire a full Liturgy of the Word with a Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Paul was very talented and composed original arrangements for many of the Eucharistic songs.

There were a few technical/communication problems which may be due to the lack of familiarity with the liturgy. If I were to do something similar in the future I would insists on a quick run through with the musician and minister. I do admit that it can be somewhat complex. On the other hand, again due to the lack of familiarity, no one noticed that anything was out of order.