Meal From Below: Eucharist Liturgy
“It is with desire I have desired to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer.”*
(Servant): Peace be with you.
(All): And also with you.
(All): Lord, we are hungry and thirsty for life.
(S): God of all life everywhere, you have been the stranger among us, preparing this meal since the foundations of the world. You have declared this meal your eternal joy. It is the meal that reconciles all of creation. It is the never-ending meal, ever-extending to a hungry and hurting world. Here, at this meal, you have declared that there is enough for all and there is always room for all. It is the sign of your peace into which we now enter.
(A): Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; grant us peace.
(S): You said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
(A): Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
(Women): Jesus, we come to the table having tasted the reality of your goodness and the mystery of your abundant love. We also come having tasted the bitterness of our own sin and the sin of others. We are part of a love-starved world that craves that which cannot satisfy. You’ve happily let go of all our sin long, long ago, and yet we drag it to the table with us, unsure of how to live without it. We come to the table tempted to stuff ourselves in fear or starve ourselves in shame. Lord, help us.
(Men): Forgive us for all the ways we diminish the meal you have provided; for all the ways we are ruled by the myth of scarcity; for all the ways we grumble at the table; for all the ways we guard against your mercy and withhold it from others; for all of our misplaced and displaced desires that have caused so much harm.
(A): Heal us, O Lord.
Words of Institution
(S): On the night that Jesus was betrayed , he took bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body, broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper, he took the cup, blessed it, and gave it for all to drink, and said, ‘This cup is the blood of the new covenant, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this in remembrance of me.’ The Apostle Paul adds, ‘For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.’
(S): Let us proclaim together the mystery of our faith.
(A): Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
(S): As the body of Christ in the world, we not only partake of the meal, we also become part of the meal of which we partake. The Eucharist inducts us into Reality and reveals its hidden pattern at work in our lives.
(M): Taken. We are taken into the loving hands of God. Let us now feast on God’s love as the foundation of all life and transformation. All of creation is taken into the love from which it comes.
(W): Blessed. In the loving hands of God, we are blessed. Let us now drink deeply of the Incarnation and creation in Christ as the blessing of God’s presence in the world.
(M): Broken. We are broken in and through the love of God. Let us now taste God’s own experience of suffering on the cross, and how that experience radically transforms death into life.
(W): Given. As broken ones, we are given to a broken world. Let us now savor life inside of the resurrection and its gift to the world.
(A): Spoken. All of life is spoken into existence through this meal. Let us now digest the living Word that speaks all of life into existence.
Receiving the Elements
Our Lord’s Prayer
(S): Let us pray together as Jesus taught us.
(A): Our Father who is in heaven, holy is your name. May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
(S): “When Jesus was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.”
(A): Jesus, like the disciples who were blind to your presence until they dined with you in the resurrection, we too are blind to your presence until you dine with us. You are the stranger among us, revealed as the loving Host of the meal of our salvation. Open our eyes, Lord, to the stranger among us. We want to see and celebrate you at work in the world, creating, sustaining, and uniting all of creation in the meal of our salvation.
We pray all of this in the name of the Father who is for us, the Son who is with us, and the Spirit who unites us all in the never-ending dance of Love. Amen.
(S): Go in peace.
* Note: The wording, “With desire I have desired” is a literal rendering of the original Greek text of Luke 22:15. The double intensive emphasizes the depth of Jesus’ desire for communion with his friends at the meal. Other scripture sources: Greeting (John 20:21), Assurance (John 1:29, 14:27), Confession (Isa. 55:1-2; Matt. 8:8), Words of Institution (1 Cor. 11:23-26), Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), Benediction (Luke 24:30-31)
Stories that remind us what is possible when leaders undergo the Incarnational Movements.