An Instructed Eucharist: Rite II, Part 2 – The Liturgy of the Table

Epiphany, Laurens, SC, facade

The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany

Laurens, South Carolina

The mission of Church of the Epiphany is to celebrate the light of Jesus Christ, proclaim the Gospel, deepen our faith, nurture and encourage all people

The 20th Sunday after Pentecost, October 22, 2017

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Introduction

This morning’s Instructed Eucharist, covering the second part of the service, the Liturgy of the Table, is intended to give us a greater understanding of the Holy Eucharist, “the principle act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day.”[1]

The word eucharist means thanksgiving. The essence of Christian worship is giving thanks to God for creation and especially for the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.

The early Church established the Eucharist based on Jesus’ actions on the eve of Passover; the annual Jewish celebration commemorating the liberation of the Hebrew people from Egyptian bondage. Moses, at God’s command, told the Hebrews to place the blood of a sacrificial lamb on their doorposts as a sign to God’s avenging angel to pass over their households. Death was visited on the Egyptians and the Hebrew people were freed.[2]

Jesus’ last supper with his disciples before his crucifixion coincided with Passover. The Church proclaims that Jesus is our Passover Lamb, whose death liberates us from bondage to sin. So the Apostle Paul declares: “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast.”[3]

At that Passover meal, Jesus took, blessed, and offered to his friends bread and wine; symbols of his coming sacrifice of his body and blood on the cross. Thus, we call the Holy Eucharist[4] a sacrament; the bread and wine being “outward and visible signs of the inward and spiritual grace”[5] of communion with God in Christ. Although a bishop or a priest presides at the Eucharist, Jesus is the chief presider and all the people are celebrants.

The Liturgy of the Word

Processional Hymn 544 – Jesus shall reign where’er the sun

Opening Acclamation, Book of Common Prayer, page 355

Collect for Purity

Gloria in excelsis – Glory to God in the highest                      Hymnal 1982, S – 280

Collect of the Day – Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading – Exodus 33.12-23

The Psalm – 99

Second Reading – 1 Thessalonians 1.1-10

Sequence Hymn 493 – O for a thousand tongues to sing

The Gospel – Matthew 22.15-22

Sermon – Of Loyalty & Love

The Nicene Creed, BCP, 358

Prayers of the People, BCP, 392

Confession, BCP, 393

Absolution, BCP, 360

The Peace

Announcements

The Holy Communion or the Liturgy of the Table

Narrator: The Offertory Sentence calls us to bring our gifts to the altar. God provides grain and grapes. We produce bread and wine, which we now offer to God that through the Holy Spirit they may become spiritual food and drink. We offer our money as a gift of our life’s labors to support the mission of God’s church.

Presider: Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name; bring offerings and come into his courts.

Narrator: The choir sings an anthem. In the words of the hymn, “When in our music God is glorified and adoration leaves no room for pride, it is as though the whole creation cried, ‘Alleluia!’”[6] music is another offering of our praise to God.

The Offertory Anthem – Amazing Grace/Pachelbel’s Canon

Narrator: The altar is prepared. Water is added to the wine, reflecting Jewish tradition meant to promote temperance. Water also is a symbol of baptism.

In the Great Thanksgiving, we pray that Jesus feed us with the spiritual food of his body and blood to strengthen us for the ministry of service in the world. In the Sursum Corda, Latin for “lift up your hearts”, we give voice to this joyful expectation.

Presider:  The Lord be with you.

People:    And also with you.

Presider:  Lift up your hearts.

People:    We lift them to the Lord.

Presider:  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People:    It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Narrator: The Proper Preface expresses the theme for the season or the day.

Presider: For you are the source of light and life, you made us in your image, and called us to new life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

Narrator: Thankful for God’s blessings, we sing the Sanctus, Latin for “holy”, joining our voices with the heavenly hosts, who ceaselessly sing God’s praise,[7] followed by the Benedictus, Latin for “blessed.” The crowds in Jerusalem greeted Jesus with these words during his triumphal entry; an event we commemorate on Palm Sunday.[8] So we now, in our anticipation of his coming to us in this sacred supper, sing these words.

All: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

All may kneel or remain standing.

Narrator: The priest recites the Christian story of God’s love in creation, our disobedience and consequent bondage to sin, and God’s persistent love in offering Jesus to live among us and to die for us to redeem us.

Presider: Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself; and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all.

Narrator: The priest affirms that Jesus fulfilled the purpose for which he was sent.

Presider: He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.

Narrator: The Words of Institution or Consecration are found in the gospel accounts of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples[9] and in the historically earlier writing of Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.[10]

Presider: On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” After supper, he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”

Narrator: Our redemption by God through Jesus Christ is a mystery; not fully knowable by reason, but believable by faith. In worship, we also recognize that we enter another dimension; stepping out of secular time[11] into God’s time or holy time.[12] In the Memorial Acclamation, we recall the past, claim the present, and hope for the future.

Presider: Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith.

All:         Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Narrator: The Anamnesis, a Greek word meaning remembrance, connotes something more than recalling a past event, but the calling of the past into the present. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we enter the life of God’s kingdom; not yet fully, but no less truly.

Presider: We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O God, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

Narrator: Remembering Jesus’ redemptive work, in the Oblation we offer the bread and wine to God.

Presider: Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.

Narrator: In the Invocation we ask God to send the Holy Spirit upon the bread and wine that Christ may be present. We also pray that the Spirit strengthen us for continued service, now and unto eternity.

Presider: Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.

Narrator: The Great Thanksgiving concludes with a Doxology, a prayer of praise. The priest elevates the bread and wine symbolizing the completed act of consecration. We respond with the Great Amen; the only “amen” in the Book of Common Prayer that is printed in capital letters. Having participated in the retelling of God’s act of salvation in Jesus Christ, the appropriate response is the assent of a loud “AMEN.”

Presider: All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ. By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever.

All:  AMEN.

Narrator: The Lord’s Prayer expresses the essence of our being open to God.

Presider: And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

All: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by 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.

Narrator: The Fraction or the Breaking of the Bread is a visual symbol of Christ’s sacrifice in his body broken on the cross and, in the breaking of the bread to be shared with us, that we are members of his body.

Presider: Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

All:          Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

Narrator: The Invitation welcomes all to receive – and expresses the intent of receiving –  Communion.

Presider: The Gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.

Communion is administered.

Communion Hymn 325 – Let us break bread together

Narrator: In the Post-Communion Prayer we again thank God and recall that we have been strengthened for service.

All: Eternal God, you have graciously accepted us as living members of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Narrator: The priest pronounces the Blessing, making a sign of the cross; a final reminder of Christ’s sacrifice.

Presider: The blessing of Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be upon you now and always.

All:         Amen.

Recessional Hymn 522 – Glorious things of thee are spoken

Narrator: The Dismissal declares that the liturgy is complete. We are to go into the world offering our lives in love and service to God and to others.

Presider: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All:          Thanks be to God.

 

Footnotes:

[1] The Book of Common Prayer, page 13

[2] See Exodus 12.

[3] 1 Corinthians 5.7-8

[4] The Holy Eucharist is known by a variety of titles, each focusing on an aspect of its meaning or arising out of its historical development. The Lord’s Supper affirms that the meal belongs to no Christian assembly, but to Jesus, who offers it to us. The Holy Communion affirms that through this meal we are brought into union with Jesus and one another. The Mass is derived from the Latin dismissal in the Roman Catholic Eucharistic liturgy, “Ite, missa est”, “Go, the mass is ended.” The Divine Liturgy emphasizes that Eucharist is a communal act of God’s people responding to God’s love in Jesus by offering themselves in worship.

[5] The Book of Common Prayer, The Catechism, The Sacraments, page 857

[6] The Hymnal 1982, #420, verse 1; words by F. Pratt Green

[7] Revelation 4.8

[8] Matthew 21.9, Mark 11.9, Luke 19.38, John 12.13

[9] Matthew 26.26-28, Mark 14.22-24, Luke 22.19-20

[10] 1 Corinthians 11.23-25

[11] Chronos

[12] Kairos

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An Instructed Eucharist: Rite II, Part 1 – The Liturgy of the Word

epiphany-laurens-sc-facade

The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany

Laurens, South Carolina

The mission of Church of the Epiphany is to celebrate the light of Jesus Christ, proclaim the Gospel, deepen our faith, nurture and encourage all people

The 19th Sunday after Pentecost, October 15, 2017

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Introduction

This morning’s Instructed Eucharist, covering the first part of the service, the Liturgy of the Word, is intended to give us a greater understanding of the Holy Eucharist, “the principle act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day.”[1] Today, we will explore in depth the first part of the Holy Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Word. Next Sunday, we will continue with an in depth consideration of the second part of the Holy Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Table.

The word eucharist means thanksgiving. The essence of Christian worship is giving thanks to God for creation and especially for the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.

The early Church established the Eucharist based on Jesus’ actions on the eve of Passover; the annual Jewish celebration commemorating the liberation of the Hebrew people from Egyptian bondage. Moses, at God’s command, told the Hebrews to place the blood of a sacrificial lamb on their doorposts as a sign to God’s avenging angel to pass over their households. Death was visited on the Egyptians and the Hebrew people were freed.[2]

Jesus’ last supper with his disciples before his crucifixion coincided with Passover. The Church proclaims that Jesus is our Passover Lamb, whose death liberates us from bondage to sin. So the Apostle Paul declares: “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast.”[3]

At that Passover meal, Jesus took, blessed, and offered to his friends bread and wine; symbols of his coming sacrifice of his body and blood on the cross. Thus, we call the Holy Eucharist[4] a sacrament; the bread and wine being “outward and visible signs of the inward and spiritual grace”[5] of communion with God in Christ. Although a bishop or a priest presides at the Eucharist, Jesus is the chief presider and all the people are celebrants.

The Liturgy of the Word

Processional Hymn 383 – Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature

Narrator: The Opening Acclamation and Response is an invitation to holy conversation between God and us. It also declares why we have gathered.

Presider          Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

People             And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

Narrator: Entering God’s presence and remembering Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,”[6] in the Collect for Purity we pray that God cleanses our hearts.

Presider          Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord.

All                   Amen.

Narrator: Thankful that God, who loves us, has cleansed us, we sing Gloria in excelsis, “Glory to God in the highest.”

All       Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High,

Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Narrator: The Salutation acknowledges our interdependence as priest and people in our offering of worship. We also express our unity in our customary response to prayer. When we say, “Amen”, meaning “so be it”, we affirm our agreement with what has been said.

Presider          The Lord be with you.

People             And also with you.

Presider          Let us pray.

All kneel.

Narrator: The Collect of the Day gathers together or collects the themes of the day as expressed in the Bible passages to be read.

Presider          Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we   may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

All                   Amen.

All sit.

Narrator: The Liturgy of the Word focuses on the Bible. The order of the readings was established in the 7th and 8th centuries.

Old Testament reading – Exodus 32.1-14

After the reading, the Reader says, The Word of the Lord.

All                   Thanks be to God.

All stand to chant the psalmPsalm 106.1-6, 19-23

New Testament epistle reading – Philippians 4.1-9

After the reading, the Reader says, The Word of the Lord.

All                   Thanks be to God.

Sequence Hymn 645 – The King of love my shepherd is

Narrator: The Gospel, taken from one of the biblical accounts of the life of Jesus, precedes the sermon. Hence, it is read from the pulpit.[7] The Gospel is read by an ordained minister signifying the historic continuity of the Church from ancient times to the present day. We stand and face the reader to indicate the importance of this reading.

Presider          The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (22.1-14)

All                   Glory to you, Lord Christ.

After the reading, the Presider says, The Gospel of the Lord.

All                   Praise to you, Lord Christ.

All sit.

Narrator: Having heard biblical readings that originally were directed to a particular group of people, at a particular time and place, and for a particular purpose, the Sermon seeks to interpret these texts for the current day.

The Sermon – Party Hardy!

Narrator: The Sermon concludes with the Nicene Creed. The Creed, from the Latin, credo, meaning, “I believe”, is a summary statement of Christian belief.

All stand.

All       We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Narrator: The Prayers of the People largely are intercessory in nature. We pray for the Church, its life and mission, the nations and all in authority, the welfare of the world, the concerns of the local community, the needs of those who are afflicted, and the departed.

All kneel.

Reader  In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.

Silence

Reader   For all people in their daily life and work;

People    For our families, friends, and neighbors, and for those who are alone.

Reader   For this community, the nation, and the world;

People    For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.

Reader   For the just and proper use of your creation;

People    For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

Reader    For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;

People     For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy.

Reader    For the peace and unity of the Church of God;

People     For all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the Truth.

Reader  For Michael, our Presiding Bishop, Andrew, our Bishop, Paul, our Priest, and for all bishops and other ministers;

People   For all who serve God in his Church.

Reader  For the special needs and concerns of this congregation.  Hear us, Lord;

People   For your mercy is great.

Reader  We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life. We will exalt you, O God our King;

People   And praise your Name for ever and ever.

Reader  We pray for all who have died, that they may have a place in your eternal kingdom. Lord, let your loving-kindness be upon them;

People  Who put their trust in you.

Narrator: Having opened ourselves to God’s presence through scripture, sermon, and prayer, we offer ourselves once more in the Confession. We acknowledge the ways in which we sin or “miss the mark” of authentic and faithful living.

Reader  We pray to you also for the forgiveness of our sins.

Silence

All           Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Narrator: In response to our confession and our intention to reform, the priest, in the Absolution, does not absolve sins, but rather declares God’s forgiveness made available to us through Jesus’ sacrificial death.

Presider  Almighty God, have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our      Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life.

All                   Amen.

Narrator: The restoration of our relationship with God is reaffirmed in the pronouncement of the Peace. In our renewed peace with God, we share it with others.

Presider          The peace of the Lord be always with you.

All                   And also with you.

All exchange the Peace.

The Holy Communion or the Liturgy of the Table

Offertory

Doxology

Praise God, from whom all blessing flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below:

Alleluia, Alleluia!

Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The Great Thanksgiving

Presider          The Lord be with you.

People             And also with you.

Presider          Lift up your hearts.

People             We lift them to the Lord.

Presider          Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People             It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Presider          For you are the source of light and life, you made us in your image, and called us to new life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:

Sanctus – Holy, holy, holy

The Breaking of the Bread

Communion Hymn 325 – Let us break bread together

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Blessing

Recessional Hymn 625 – Ye holy angels bright, who wait at God’s right hand

Dismissal

 

Footnotes:

[1] The Book of Common Prayer, page 13

[2] See Exodus 12

[3] 1 Corinthians 5.7-8

[4] The Holy Eucharist is known by a variety of titles, each focusing on an aspect of its meaning or arising out of its historical development. The Lord’s Supper affirms that the meal belongs to no Christian assembly, but to Jesus, who offers it to us. The Holy Communion affirms that through this meal we are brought into union with Jesus and one another. The Mass is derived from the Latin dismissal in the Roman Catholic Eucharistic liturgy, “Ite, missa est”, “Go, the mass is ended.” The Divine Liturgy emphasizes that Eucharist is a communal act of God’s people responding to God’s love in Jesus by offering themselves in worship.

[5] The Book of Common Prayer, The Catechism, The Sacraments, page 857

[6] Matthew 5.8

[7] In many places, the Gospel is read in the midst of the congregation following a procession, symbolizing the carrying of the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ to the world. When the Gospel is announced, we may make a sign of the cross on our foreheads, lips, and breasts indicating our intention to keep Jesus’ words in our thoughts, speech, and hearts.