HolyCommunion - Christmas Eve

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au
Web site: www.rexaehuntprogressive.com

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY: SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

Offerings  Offerings/gifts to be presented
Our offerings to the Christmas Bowl, and
our gifts of bread and wine, shall now be received.

The presentation  (Remain seated)
We rejoice in the new world being created around us and with us.
May our gifts proclaim the way of Jesus
and strengthen all people.

Invitation
Friends, on this special summer's night,
we are sharing in a sacred story,
and celebrating community with gifts of bread a wine.

We remember summer's past... the colour, the sunshine, the blue skies.
When mornings come earlier and twilight lingers long.
And the times with family and friends and neighbours
we have shared beaches, pools and BBQs.

Yet in the midst of all this light and outdoor activity
we often find our lives empty and lacking purpose.
And our days over-busy and stressed.

May we discover some small, still space...
May we sense the presentness of the Sacred...
(Pause)

Discernment
When our lives appear as dry as an asphalt road in Summer,
and our spirits like ash after a camp fire
All May we be drenched with a downpour of encouragement!

When we take things for granted and gratitude goes to sleep
All May we be alerted to the excitement and sound
of surf rolling in on sandy shores.

When life's abrasive pressures fray us
and the busyness of Christmas has stressed us out
All May we be touched by a friendly word from a stranger,
or an embrace of a lover or friend.

Silence

Creating Source of Life...
All Creating Source of Life,
you know what we need without our words.
Hear our prayers and hear also our silence.
Give us strength.
Grant us those things we cannot or dare not voice.

Let us pray in the spirit of how we understand Jesus and some early Jesus Movements,
may have prayed in various times, places and phrases:
All Father, may your name be holy.
May your rule take place.
Give us each day our daily bread.

Pardon our debts, for we ourselves pardon everyone in debt to us.
And do not bring us to trial into a trying situation. (B Mack/Q)
Amen.

The peace
God makes peace within us. Let us claim it.
God makes peace between us. Let us share it.
Let us greet another as a sign of God's peace.

The peace of God is here... to stay.
All Thanks be to God.
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Thanksgiving
On this night God's presentness was seen as one of us:
a baby needy and naked,
wrapped in a woman's blood,
born into poverty and exile,
to proclaim the good news to the poor,
and to let the broken victims go free.

Therefore, with the woman who gave Jesus birth,
the woman who befriended him and fed him,
who argued with him and reached out to touch him;
the woman who anointed him for death,
the woman who met him in the garden, (Janet Morley/cw-adapted)
and with all women and men throughout the ages, we praise God, saying:
All Holy, holy, holy, vulnerable God,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
All
Hosanna in the highest.

Breaking of bread/Pouring of wine
Again, on this night, we remember what our tradition teaches:
at the end of a journey, among friends, gathered round a table...

Jesus took bread, said a blessing, broke it and said,
'This is the bread of life, given
to sustain the people of the world'.
Bread broken

All Let us share this bread and be strengthened
to bring peace and justice to the world.

Later he poured a cup of wine said a blessing and said,
'This is the cup of life, given
to sustain the people of the world'.  (P Lawson)
Wine poured out

All Let us share this cup in solidarity
with all the peoples of the world, so that
peace and justice may prevail everywhere.

Ever Present God, embrace us with your comfortable power.
Brood over these bodily things
and make us one body in community.
All As Mary's body was broken for him, and her blood shed,
so may we show forth his brokenness,
for the life of the world.  Amen.

Communion
Bread and wine served in small circles around the Table

After communion
Let us give thanks for this sharing in community.
May it sustains us in our desire to be followers of Jesus
in our own time and place.

Let us acknowledge that partaking of the bread and wine
joins us to a great company of people throughout history
and around the present world.

And let us renew our sense of belonging to this fellowship
as we seek to bring the words and ways of Jesus
into relevant connection with life
as we live and understand it today.
All May true knowledge increase in our minds.
May compassion increase in our hearts.
May there be energy and strength for good actions that serve a suffering world.

And may peace be our portion
and the portion of all who live on this small planet
which is our human home.  (R V Jones)


Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy:
Jones, Robert V. 2005.  Liturgy: The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. In private circulation from the author.
Lawson, P. R.  2003. Jesus circles. Xlibris Corporation.
Lee, B. J. (ed). 1987. Alternative futures for worship. Vol 3. The eucharist. MN: Collegeville. The Liturgical press.
Mack, B. L. 1993. The lost gospel. The book of Q and christian origins. NY: New York. HarperSanFrancisco.
Mitchell, R. C.; G. A. Ricciuti. 1992. Birthings and blessings. Liberating worship services for the inclusive church. NY: New York. Crossroads.
Morwood, M. 2003. Praying a new story. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications.
Prewer, B. D. 1983. Australian prayers. SA: Adelaide. OpenBook Publishers.
Seaburg, C. (ed). 1983. Celebrating christmas. An anthology. MA: Boston. UUMA.
The St Hilda Community. 1996. The new women included. A book of services and prayers. GtB: London.  SPCK.
Ward, H.; J. Wild, J Morley. (ed). 1995. Celebrating women. New edition. GtB: London. SPCK.

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