Prayers for the Lord’s Supper Ritual - full responses
Crafted from scholarly accounts of the Chaburah, the Jewish discipleship meal, and the Sabbath meal’s ritual - by Brother Thomas P Draney, CFC
(To initiate the gathering and introduce a time for scripture and sharing playing “Everyday God,” “The Invitation.” or some other work which emphasizes the closeness of God could be helpful. It would also signify that this is a ritual, as well as a meal. This part of the ritual is held in a living room, with the group moving to the table at its conclusion).
Presider: (host, hostess, or person chosen by group; indicated by bold type)
We come together as a community of believers to recall and to re-member and be nourished by the Body of Christ. In the breaking of bread, we are living signs of Christ’s presence to and in his disciples, today as it was at Emmaus
Let us recall and renew our faith:-
All: in God our loving Father/Mother
Creator of the heavens, our earth, and the whole universe
in the Word of God, Jesus the Christ
Who lived the life of God for us,
in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth
Who guides us to the fullness of God’s promise
in this community of believers, our Catholic Church,
Now the Body of Christ on earth for us
Let us remember now all the wonders God has done-
in creating from no thing, but yet out of love which had to be shared
A universe too great for us to imagine, let alone comprehend
A beautiful, fertile world for us to inhabit and tend
in choosing a people to whom God would, over ages, reveal God’s self
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel
Who has come to set God’s people free
in keeping their nation intact through wars, captivity, and human frailty
You have shown the strength of the Your arm
And have scattered the proud in their conceit
in sending a savior, the Messiah, to fulfill the law and the prophets
You have raised up for us a mighty savior
Born of the house of Your servant, David.
In sharing our humanity, being born of a woman
And the Word was made flesh
And dwelt among us.
In giving God’s life to us by being raised up on the cross
In the tender compassion of our God
The dawn from on high shall break upon us
To shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death
And to guide our feet into the way of peace.
And having risen, in sending forth disciples to proclaim the kingdom of God
My own eyes have seen the salvation
Which you have prepared in the sight of every people
As disciples, Lord Jesus, as pilgrims on the way, we ask your blessing now
on our community of believers
We know and acknowledge how imperfect we are, but we know also that your great love which began all creation, embraces us now - as we are, who we are.
There are powerful persons and forces that would crush us, Lord, as we try to follow you on the way.
We place our trust in you, in God our Father and the Holy Spirit, for always
You have cast down the mighty from their thrones
And have lifted up the lowly.
Be with us, Jesus, as you were with the disciples on the way at Emmaus.
We believe in your word that when two or three are gathered in your name, you will be there with them.
(Readings and sharing of faith take place, after which all move to the table. A loaf of bread and “goblet” with a little wine have been prepared for the ritual.)
Prayer for the Breaking of the Bread, the Beginning of the Supper
Presider: (breaking the bread) : May this breaking of bread help us to break open our lives to one another and to share what it means for each of us to be a disciple of Jesus, the Christ.
Let us ask a blessing on us gathered here and on this meal as we recall the words of St. Paul: "For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said:...:
(presider holding a bread fragment, arms extended as if embracing
all gathered at the table. All the guests extend their
hands towards the presider and the bread, and say
This is My Body, that is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me...
( Fragments are passed to each person, who wait for all to receive them)
Presider: You said, "This is my body." We recognize this body as your Risen Presence among us
All: Amen. We believe it, Lord And help us, this community of disciples, to be your body here on earth.
The fragments are consumed by all at the table, and after a moment of silence...
Presider: Let us feed our body with food and our soul with conversation.
…………………..The meal and conversations takes place now………………..
The Cup of Blessing:
(at end of meal, after coffee and dessert if served)
(This closing ritual was part of many formal meals of the Jewish people. Its purpose was to signal re-commitment to the way of the Law and Prophets originally, and later in the early church, to “the way” which was the ideals and community preached by Jesus. The first part of the following prayer follows closely the actual prayer that Jesus would have said.)
Presider: ( holding up the goblet with a small amount of wine)
Bless, Lord God, the fruit of the vine and the love we bear to each other.
Let us drink of the cup of life, for Jesus said
(Here guests extend hands towards the cup and presider)
All: "This is my blood given for you, the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as drink it, in remembrance of me."
Presider: In drinking of this cup, we commit ourselves to the kingdom of God, the way of life founded on his teaching and his presence among us yet.
(The presider drinks of the cup, passes it to another disciple who does likewise)
Presider:(During the passing of the cup) Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Compassionate One, who feeds the whole world with your goodness, with grace, with loving kindness and with tender mercy We thank you for feeding our souls as well as our bodies. We remember your loving care for the people of Israel, for the Law you gave them, and for the Messiah you sent to renew the covenant, the Lord Jesus Christ. We thank you for the enduring care for your community of believers as we have struggled and still struggle to build a kingdom here on earth of justice, charity and peace. Your mercy has abounded in forgiving our mistakes, our wanderings from the path of righteousness.
All We praise and thank you for the saints you have sent to your people, for the prophets among us who call out your name in the darkness and show us the way back. We have been deeply touched by many of the people gathered here now who have and are still striving to renew your Church, to make it more faithful to the gospel.
Presider. Send your Spirit down, Lord, on this community of disciples to enlighten us, keep us focused on your gospel message, and to be of good cheer on the way.
(After all have had the opportunity of partaking of the cup, the community prays:)
All. “Do this in memory of me” shall always mean for us to come together as your first disciples did and to break open and share our lives as we have broken the bread here. We drink again from the cup of blessing to show that we will be your blood outpoured for the good of the world. We pledge ourselves to You and to the way and the work of the gospel.
Presider: Like the disciples at Emmaus, we have been refreshed by your presence among us, Lord Jesus. May you bless us always and bring us to life everlasting.
All. Amen (A hymn can be played/sung as the table is cleared)