The Communion (Shorter Form)

THE COMMUNION SHORTER FORM

For use when the Communion follows immediately after the Order of Morning Worship.

The Invitation, to be read when the service is announced.

A. The Communion Service will follow immediately after this service. It is a service of commemoration, consecration and fellowship, open to all who desire to take part in it. Those who do not wish to remain may withdraw at the conclusion of the hymn following the sermon.

If there is to be no distribution of the elements,

The bread and wine will not be passed, the communion being wholly symbolic.

or B. A Communion Service will be held in this Church at (stating the time). It is a service of commemoration, consecration and fellowship, open to all who desire to take part in it.

The Minister standing at the communion table, may read one or more of the following sentences.


SENTENCES

Send out thy light and thy truth, let them lead me:
Let them bring me unto thy holy hill.
Then will I go unto the altar of God,
Unto God my exceeding joy. Psalm XLIII: 3, 4.

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good:
For his mercy endureth forever. Psalm CVII: 1.

Offer unto God thanksgiving,
And pay thy vows to the Most High. Psalm L: 14.

I will take the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving
In the courts of the Lord’s house;
Yea, in the presence of all his people. Psalm CXVI: 13, 17 19.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew XI: 28-30.

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. I John IV: 7.

A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John XIII: 34, 35.

By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. And we being many are one bread and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. I Cor. XII: 13; X: 17.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John XV: 13-15.

Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. Matthew XX: 27, 28.

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Luke IX: 23, 24.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John V1: 63.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation III: 20.

The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation XXII: 17.

The Minister shall then read the Exhortation.

EXHORTATION

Dearly beloved, we have received it that Jesus, on the night before he died, as he supped with his disciples in an upper chamber, took bread and broke it, likening it unto his crucified body, and poured out wine as a visible parable of the shedding of his blood. As we repeat this act in remembrance of him, may the spirit which kept him steadfast, even unto death, be quickened in us. We remember also that the bread and wine have been to Christians in all ages a sign of their fellowship with him and with one another; a source of strength; a witness to the power of sacrificial love. Conscious of the weakness of our own hearts and of the needs of our fellow-men, let us here renew our communion with him and with all faithful servants of God who have found strength and joy in doing the will of God upon earth.

Then shall follow the Invocation and the Prayer of Confession, the Minister first saying:

Let us pray.

INVOCATION

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name. Amen.

CONFESSION, the people joining.

We come not into thy presence, most holy Lord God, trusting in our own righteousness but in thy manifold and abiding mercies. Remembering this day the great heart and passion of a son of man of long ago, we are ashamed of our selfish and imperfect lives. We would here be turned to the way of his brave and tender spirit, and find that wholeness of life which shall be at once a divine blessing for us and a divine ministry from us. Forgive our failures and shortcomings, and by thy grace strengthen our weak desires for goodness, that we may henceforth serve thee without fear and without shame, all the days of our lives. Amen.

The Beatitudes may then be read responsively, as arranged below, the people standing, or may be read by the Minister alone, the people seated, the Minister first saying,

Let us hear the words of Jesus which speak of the way of blessedness.
Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn; for they. shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs’ is the kingdom of heaven.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, namely this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

OFFERTORY

The Minister may then remove the napkin which covers the bread, saying:
Let the bread here set apart from the bounty of the earth be to us a token of all the good we receive and cannot ourselves effect. And let us with quiet hearts wait for that highest good of all, the presence and spirit of God.

He may then pour the wine from the flagon into the cup saying:
Let the wine here outpoured be to us a token of the self-forgetting good which men must needs do for others if they are to share the fulness of the divine blessing. And let us offer ourselves not to be ministered unto but to minister.

Let us pray.

Infinite and All-holy One, we would present ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy and living sacrifice unto thee; and we pray that as the grain once scattered upon the mountains is here gathered into one bread, so thy separated children of every nation, kindred and tongue may, by thy grace, be united in one living spirit of righteousness and peace; and as this wine came forth from the fruit of the vine, so may thy people, continually abiding as branches of the true vine, bring forth the fruit of good living to thy glory. Amen.

COMMUNION PRAYER

O God, who art the Father of all, grant thy blessing upon us who are gathered here, and upon the multitudes of every name who are joined with us in one household of faith throughout the world.

We remember the fathers from the beginning of the world, and all who have wrought righteousness, even down to the present day. Be their names remembered or forgotten of men, their lives are hid with thee. Grant unto us, O God, that we may have our part and lot with all thy saints.

We remember all whom we love and who love us, both those who have fallen asleep and those whose presence still blesses us. Thanks be to thee for their benediction upon our lives. Establish thou the work of their hands and keep us in one spirit with them.

We remember those who journey and who sojourn in far countries. May it please thee to abide with them wheresoever they may abide, and to bring them in safety to their desired haven.

We remember those in distress, who suffer in body, mind, or estate; those who are in prison and in bonds: as bound with them, and as sufferers with them, we bear them in our hearts and pray for their relief.

We remember our enemies, if there be any who have injured us or cherish hatred against us. We pray thee to turn their hearts, and ours, that we may live peaceably with all men. If there be any whom we have wronged, move us to make amends and to seek forgiveness at their hands, and may we freely forgive all who have wronged us.

We remember the whole family of man, and pray thee that the spirits of all flesh may taste of thy grace, and that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God. Amen.

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Then shall follow the Words of Institution, the Minister saying:
The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread; and, when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said: This is my body which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of me.

After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

The elements may then be distributed to the communicants in the manner customary in the church in which the service is held, the Minister saying, as he gives the bread,
Take and eat this in remembrance of Christ.

and, as he gives the wine,
Drink this in remembrance of Christ.

or, if the elements are not to be distributed, the Minister may say:
Let us partake in spirit with those who, remembering him, have shared the bread of life and the wine of sacrifice.

The Minister lifts first the plate with the bread, and then the cup, tasting a little of the bread and wine, as he says:
We take and eat this in remembrance of Christ.
We drink this in remembrance of Christ.

The Minister may then say:
Let us join in silent prayer that the spirit which was in Jesus may be in us also, enabling us to know the truth, to do the will of God, and to abide in his peace.

After a time of silent prayer the Minister and people shall repeat together the Lord’s Prayer, if it has not been said in the preceding service, after which the Minister may read one or more of the following prayers, or may after prayer in his own words.

PRAYERS

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. Amen.

Thanks be to thee, O Lord God, Father Almighty, for the way of grace and truth which thou has made known unto us in the life and death of our elder brother, Jesus of Nazareth. Make us to be of one spirit with him and with thy whole church, as members of a mighty fellowship. Unite us in the bond ofy peace with one another. Unite us with the great host of the living and the dead who have sought to know and to do thy holy will. And send us forth to our appointed tasks in the world with thanksgiving upon our lips for all thy mercies; with peace in our hearts because we have found rest in thee. Amen.

O Thou Guiding Spirit of the souls of men, whom all worship under many names and diverse forms, we pray for thy blessing upon the great company of those who fain would know thy law and do thy will. Grant unto thy Church Universal, wheresoever it may be found, an increasing knowledge of the truth, a deeper understanding of human need, a more generous spirit of sacrificial love. Where it is weak in the presence of evil, strengthen and upbuild it in the hearts of men; where it is in error, re-establish it in the right way; where it is corrupt, purify it, though it be by fire; where it is divided by misunderstanding, jealousy or suspicion, bring it into one spirit of good will. Draw together in one accord the spirits of all thy children until each shall labor in his appointed way for thy kingdom of righteousness and love; until the discords of earthly strife and clamor shall be lost in one great hymn of praise. So may thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Grant unto us, Almighty God, that we, communing with one another and with thee, may feel our hearts burn within us, until all pure and just and holy things are lovely to us, and we find nothing to fear but that which is hateful in thine eyes. Let thy peace possess our souls, while we look to thy loving kindness and tender mercy to lift us above that which is low and mean; and, at last, give to the spirit within us a perfect victory and bring us safe through death unto life everlasting. Amen.

O God, thou Fountain of Love, thy Spirit is in us as a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Let every thought and motive be cleansed by its life-giving stream. Let each high resolve and holy desire be quickened into larger growth, that the hearts of thy children may bear the fruits of joyful service and grateful adoration. Amen.

HYMN

BENEDICTION

Now may the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, that peace which the world can neither give nor take away, abide in our hearts to bless us, this day and forevermore. Amen.

or this,

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of his holy Spirit, be with you all evermore. Amen.

or this,

Now unto the God of grace, for the might of his spirit and the love of Christ, be glory in the church throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

If desired, the Nunc Dimittis, ‘Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,’ may be chanted before the people disperse.