Equipment: 2 Voices, 1 Priest, Bread & Wine
Cel: God is here. Make yourselves at home.
1: Come and stay awhile, take a moment from your busy, hectic, facebook-filled, MSN-clogged lives and pause.
2: Wait for a moment and take the chance to sense he in whose presence we find ourselves.
Cel: Life is a like a journey, a long and sometimes lonely journey. This journey takes us from our comfortable and sometimes drab lives and into unfamiliar territory. It might be challenging, it might be hard. For any journey, we must be fed, prepared, sorted.
In the name of the +Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
1: Our preparation for this journey means sorting out our kit, getting it in order, and getting on the right track. There are many paths, and many of those paths might look attractive or easy, but they are not necessarily the right path.
2: There are many paths with twists and turns, ups and downs, dead ends and frustrations, but only one true way.
1: O Lord, for the many times that we have sought to take the easy path… Lord have mercy. Lord have Mercy
Cel: O Lord, for the distractions that have drawn us away from you, Christ have mercy Christ have mercy
2: O Lord, for our lack of faith in you, and the direction you draw us to, Lord have Mercy, Lord have mercy
Cel: Almighty God, who loves you, walks with you, guides you and supports you through all the ups and downs of your life, and has given authority to his Church to absolve sins, free you from your burdens and + reconcile you to his heart. In the name of the man who was sent to save us. Amen
Be fed, just as his first followers were fed in preparation for the journey ahead of them, a journey which would take a whole lifetime…
1: St Paul said:
Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Mass and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Man himself and passed them on to you. On the night of his betrayal, he took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said,
This is my body, broken for you.
Do this to remember me.
After supper, he did the same thing with the cup:
This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you.
Each time you drink this cup, remember me.
What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you re-enact in your words and actions the death of the Man. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until he returns.
(1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
2: St John remembered:
The Man said: “I am the bread of life; The living bread that comes down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
“Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”
Cel: When his disciples, gathered in an upper room to eat a simple meal heard this, they had no idea what he meant: bread and wine become body and blood? How outrageous! It sounded a little like cannibalism – the Man who had guided them through so much, taught them so much, given them a glimpse of heaven on earth in wonderous signs and marvellous healings, was inviting them to eat of him.
And two thousand years later, he still sits amongst us, and invites us to his table. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, or what you’ve done, or how badly you think you have been in the past: The Man reaches out and offers you a place at this table, this place of encounter, this point of transformation.
The Lord be with you
And also with you
1: For he is with us, now. Supporting, guiding, counselling and comforting. Stirring up the complacent and crying out for justice, transforming lives and making whole.
Lift up your hearts
We lift them up to the Lord
2: The best way, the only way we can respond is in worship and in this sacred space drawing closer to God to the point where we can touch him, taste him and feel the difference.
Cel: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is right to give thanks and praise
In ways in which we do not understand, or could ever hope to understand, Christ is present in our midst. The many thousands, millions of words of theologians, the prayers of saints, the witness of the apostles: none of them have ever got their heads around what happens here.
1: We can’t see the wind, but we know what happens to the trees.
2: Look not for the wind, but for the effect of the wind.
1: We can’t see any outward change in bread and wine, but we know that something is different
2: Look not for God hiding under an ordinary piece of bread, as St Francis once said, but look for the effect on those who share in the Body and Blood of Christ.
Cel: Bread: Simple. Wholesome. Good. The staple of life and proof in our hands of God’s bountiful goodness to us all.
Wine: Source of joy and gladness, an example of God’s love in a glistening drop of rich, dark sweetness.
Our prayers echo the song of the angels, saints, prophets and patriarchs and whole company of heaven as they say:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your Glory, Hosanna in the highest.
Blesséd is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Lord, you are holy indeed, the fountain of all holiness.
Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy,
so that they may become for us
the +body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted,
he took bread and gave you thanks.
He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:
Take this, all of you, and eat it:
this is my body which will be given up for you.
When supper was ended, he took the cup.
Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said:
Take this, all of you, and drink from it:
this is the cup of my blood,
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.
It will be shed for you and for all
so that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in memory of me.
Together, Let us remind ourselves of the mystery of faith:
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
And through it we are changed.
You won’t find the Man
Wedged between the crumbs,
But he is there,
He gives himself to us
In this way, so we can get our heads around the enormous idea of God stepping down into our world.
He gives himself to us, so that we may become a part of him.
You eat food. It becomes a part of you.
You eat of this, and you become a part of him. A Holy Communion, at one with God.
The only thing we can do is respond in love and joy, awe and wonder.
May all of us who taste this foretaste of heaven be brought together as your Church on this earth, empowered with the power of God.
May we remember all those not with us, and bring us all into your heavenly presence, through the powerful and mighty, saving work of our Saviour
Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.
1: He taught us to pray, so looking forward to when we can share this party again, let us pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be 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,
for ever and ever.
Come. Share. Eat at God’s Table.
1: No one is turned away.
2: No one is unworthy.
Cel: All are welcome.
1: Take, Break, Share, and Pass on.
2: Be thankful. Be changed. Be aware that God is in our midst.
<distribution of communion passing it from one to another>
1: By this meal, we have been changed. By bread and wine transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, you have been healed, restored, reinvigorated and renewed.
2: You have been fed for a life’s journey with something more than a snack. You have been fed with the stuff of life.
Cel: The food of this earth just makes you hungry again. The food of this meal will last for ever. This bread and this wine is for all time.
May your festival be filled with laughter, joy and friendship
May your journey of life be guided by the Man
May your lives be transformed by this salvation story
And may the Blessing of God Almighty, +Father, Son and Holy Spirit be upon you, and remain with you, this long night and always.
The mass has ended. Go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.