Communion for an outside setting — Maren Tirabassi, USA

Outdoor communion photo, Maren Tirabassi

Reading:  one of the 7 biblical accounts of the ‘feeding of the multitude’ from either Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.


Christ’s invitation is simple —
sit down where you are.
You don’t need to run off somewhere else —
not a nearby village market or a familiar sanctuary,
communion is where you are — sit down.
The disciples complained —
it is a deserted place and the hour is late.
Jesus said, “They need not go away.”
No one needs to go away.
No one is deserted and no one is late —
not you who feel alone,
because something
has made your life a wilderness.
Jesus has compassion on every crowd,
healing and feeding the hungers,
always one by one by one.
Here is green grass,
someone to help you sit down,
someone to help you stand up again.
someone to make Communion,
enough for whatever you need.
Sit down where you are.

Prayer of Consecration

Leader: In the story about feeding a multitude, Jesus asks that people bring to him what they have where they are. We gather here where it is warm or chilly, wet with rains or dry as sagebrush, bringing what we have where we are.

Unison: God of compassion, you bless and break everything we are and everything we bring to you. We pray your Spirit of life and love, of tenderness and power, rest upon Bread and Cup, that they may feed the inmost needs of each child of God and pour forth a grace that can change the world. Risen Christ, live in us, that we may live in you. Amen.

Words of Remembering


We remember the Creator:
fed the aurora borealis and ocean depths,
pterodactyls and diatoms,
all we see now that grows and breathes,
all that swims, swarms, slithers,
all that runs, flies, leaps and loves.

We remember Jesus:
played vintner at a wedding feast,
rubbed elbows with Zacchaeus’ friends,
taught the disciples they should not substitute
anything like stone or snake
for really important menus
like reduced lunch, 68 hours, soup kitchen
food pantry or meals on wheels,
and, even in grief for a cousin’s death,
expanded the disciples’ understanding
of the hope recipe in
bread crust and fish scraps.

We always remember a Passover in Jerusalem
when Jesus borrowed an upper room,
soaked and scrubbed the tired feet of others,
and explained that there is
a God-shaped hole in everyone’s belly
and Jesus would fill it with love.


Remembering is beautiful,
but there is not much taste in it.
Let us stop running to any nearby villages
with our hunger and thirst,
and sit down here and now in this setting
into which we have chosen to come away,
to eat and drink, be blessed and broken.

Sharing of the Elements


The bread we pass is blessed and broken
like the picnic of grace.


Sharing love, we will never be hungry.


The cup of grace is blessed and shared
like the overflowing of tears and joy


Drinking deeply, we will never thirst.

Prayer of Thanksgiving


Still in this special place to which we have come, for a meal that heals yesterday and unexpected grace that empowers tomorrow, we pray for the wisdom to give away baskets of our thoughts, prayers and community left-over from our time together.


God, now that we are fed, we confess that many of us long for ‘away grace,’ and ‘outdoor blessing,’ something unlike the familiar. We desire a taste of tomorrow and a sip of courage for it.


For this we pray in the words Jesus taught followers, who taught it to their followers, all the way to someone who teaches how real it is to us today …

Prayer of our Savior: using whatever opening name for God is familiar to the group, or inviting those present to use the name for God with which they feel most familiar.

This service has been slightly adapted for Worship Words.

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