Lockdown Liturgy for Communion — Cara Heafey, UK

photo by Jim Burklo

Participating in communion in my home, along with fellow Christians in their home, has proven, for me, a powerful expression of the living Body of Christ and the Priesthood of all Believers.

Cara provides a complete communion liturgy to use on-line in either a live stream, podcast or Zoom-type platform.

Ready-to-print copies:

PDF Lockdown Liturgy for communion – Cara Heafey, UK

WORD Lockdown Liturgy for communion – Cara Heafey, UK

Invitation

Jesus shared meals in all kinds of homes:
The home of Zacchaeus
a collaborator and a crook.

The home of Simon, a Pharisee
where he defended the woman
who caused a scene at the dinner party

The home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus,
his friends,
a house where he could laugh and relax.

We’re used to sharing this meal
in grander buildings,
spaces set-apart as sacred.

But this is where is all began:
in ordinary houses,
in upstairs rooms and wayside inns
and around kitchen tables.

In the spaces where people live,
surrounded by the ordinary clutter of living.

Come, living Jesus, be our guest
here in our homes.
Come, living Jesus, be our host
here at your table. Amen.

Sharing the peace

When the risen Jesus appeared in the house
where some of his disciples were holed up
grieving and afraid,
he said to them “Peace be with you.”

Let’s use sign-language to share, through our screens,
this greeting of peace.
Peace be with you [demonstrated and shared using BSL]

Click here to watch a demonstration of BSL and ASL expressing ‘Peace be with you’. 

Thanksgiving

Lift up your hearts!
We lift them to God!
Let’s give thanks to the source of life!
We bring our thankful praise!

We praise and thank you, Eternal One,
Love that will not be contained.
For you created the earth:
it’s grandeur, its detail, its delicate balance.
And you created us, women and men,
to tend and protect and delight in it.

And when we forgot our beginnings,
neglected our purpose and lost our way,
you sent prophets to call us back
and laws to illumine our path
and finally came yourself
to show us how to live
and to demonstrate the magnitude
of your love for us.

Love that will not be contained.
Love that will not give up on us.
Love that will journey into the darkest places,
even the grave,
to find us.

And so, we lift our voices
to join with nature’s song
and the great chorus of witnesses
on earth and in heaven:

Holy, holy, holy,
Love that will not be contained,
heaven and earth are filled with your glory,
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the one who is risen from the dead

Hosanna in the highest!

The story of the Lord’s Supper

Let’s hear, again, the story of Jesus’ supper with his disciples on the night before he died, as it’s been recorded by the writer of the Gospel of Matthew:

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, [take bread]
and after blessing it he broke it, [break bread]
gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’
Then he took a cup, [take cup]
and after giving thanks he gave it to them, [lift cup]
saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you;
for this is my blood of the covenant,
which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Blessing and sharing the bread and wine [‘Fruit of the vine’ or ‘juice’ may replace ‘wine’]

And so we pray…
Come, Holy Spirit
pour out your blessing on our bread and wine
and on us, your gathered people.

We don’t need an altar,
a silver chalice or starched table linen.
It’s your presence
that makes these ordinary things holy.
Amen.

Here is bread:
broken, as the body of Christ was broken
broken, as the heart of God was broken
broken, as the seal of the tomb was broken
broken to make us whole.

The body of Christ, broken for us. [we eat the bread]

Here is wine:
a cup that brings us together, even in our social distancing
a cup of forgiveness and blessing.

The blood of Christ, poured out for us. [we drink the wine]

Prayer after communion

Please pray with me…
Thank you for the grace that makes space for us at your table.
Thank you for the familiar and beloved faces on our screens.
Thank you for the closeness we experience through technology, and through sharing this meal together.

May we continue our lives
having been nourished and strengthened,
filled with your uncontainable love
that spills over to bless the world.
Amen.