Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Great Thanksgiving


The Lord be with you
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.

In the beginning,
In a time before memory,
In a time before creation,
You were here.
You opened your heart
And spoke the world into being.
You opened your imagination,
And created us in your own image.
Even when we rebelled against your love,
You have never abandoned us,
Never forgotten us,
And have always loved us.
Even though we deserve to be lost,
You have held us close,
And lifted us up,
Protecting us with your grace.

And so,
With 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.
Because of your infinite love for us
You sent the Son of God to become the Son of Man.
So that he could bear the sins of the world.
He was born into the world
Vulnerable to our sins.
He showed us how to live, in obedience to you.
He showed us how to love, in response to your love.
He showed us how to die,
And gave us the hope of resurrection.

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.

Just as you spoke us into being,
You have breathed the spirit of life into us,
Giving us the gift of your abiding presence.
Your spirit, living in us, shines the light of your love among us.
Through your spirit, we are adopted as your children,
Freed from fear and slavery.
You have made us joint heirs with Christ.
Through your spirit, we receive
The gifts of your guidance,
The knowledge of your presence,
And a peace we cannot even understand.
Through your spirit and your grace
We are drawn to this meal,
To this communion with the Living God.

One night, long ago, Jesus stood with his friends,
As we now stand with our friends.
He shared a meal with them
And spoke to them of his coming death.
He spoke to them of a great mystery,
And invited them, as he invites us,
To become a steward of the mystery,
A steward of the good news.

He took bread, gave thanks to you for it, and broke it,
As he would be broken.
He gave it to his friends, 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 for it, and shared it with his friends, saying,
“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 of 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,
And the Holy Spirit in your holy church,
All honor and glory is yours, almighty Father,
Now and for ever.


Note: The Great Thanksgiving is written using the "bones" of the Service of Word and Table II in the United Methodist Hymnal. It is the conclusion of the Communion Liturgy I posted yesterday and was written for the Covenant Council Worship service of the West Virginia Annual Conference.

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