a communion prayer for Christmas Eve

submitted by Rev. Andy James, pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York

(This communion prayer immediately follows the singing of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and so alludes to some of its phrases.)

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Lord, we greet you this happy night,
for you have been at work in our world throughout all time.

You made all things and called them good.

You claimed your people Israel,
freed them from the bondage of Egypt,
and journeyed with them through the wilderness to the promised land.

You sent prophets to call your people back to you.

Then in the fullness of time you sent your Son Jesus,
Immanuel, born the King of Angels,
your Word in flesh appearing.

He was one of us and lived with us,
giving up all his glory for our sake to make us whole.

And yet you raised him up again
to overcome the power of death and live a new life.

Still we wait for the day when we too will share the fullness of life in him and with him.

And so with the faithful of all the ages, we sing the praise and glory of your name:

(all sing “He Came Down,” Cameroon/WGRG The Iona Community)

And so, O God, come among us tonight.

Show us your presence in this bread and this cup,
and make this bread we break and this cup we bless the body and blood of Christ.

By the power of your Holy Spirit,
unite us with Christ and all who share this feast,
just as you send us out to be his presence in and for your world.

Give us courage to be your people,
to show your justice, grace, mercy, peace, and love,
and to be a part of your transformation of our world
until the day when the baby whose birth we celebrate tonight
comes again in peace
and we sing your praise and glory forever.



Opening & invitation for advent communion

from Rev. Christopher Harrison, Pastor of Glendale Presbyterian Church, Glendale, CA.


A voice cries out in the wilderness,

Prepare the way of the Lord,

Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

All who are waiting, Hear!

All who hope, Listen!

The promise has been breathed into the fabric of history and

Its fulfillment is at hand:

The lonely will be comforted,

The orphan will be championed,

A light will shine in the darkness,

The lost will be searched for and will be found.

The path of salvation will be restored.

See, O people,

See the face of our Savior.

“The Lord’s glory will appear,

and all humanity will see it together;

the Lord’s mouth

has commanded it.”


If in the depths of your spirit you are crying out, “Come thou long expected Jesus;”

This table has been laid out for you.

For those who sing, “born to set your people free,” and desire to be set free;

The table of the Lord has a place for you.

If your heart aches to be released from fear and sin,

Receive the bread of Heaven and the cup of Salvation.

Those who find their rest in Jesus Christ,

are welcome here,

The feast of communion is prepared for you.

Come, taste and see that the Lord is good.

Easter 7A Communion Prayer

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, Ruler of the Universe,
for you have kept your promises.
In the beginning, you called for yourself a people and you promised them a home.
Though it took many generations,
and though they were separated from their home by water and a desert,
you brought your people to a good land.
When your people turned away from you,
you promised us you would come among us.
In your Son Jesus we see you and your love,
living and real and for us.
He showed us how to follow you,
eating with sinners, touching the outcast,
loving all.
After his resurrection,
he told us to wait for your calling and your power.
He promised us that you would go with us as we proclaim the good news
that you have triumphed over death,
that love has the last word.
And now we wait to feel again the movement of your Holy Spirit,
giving gifts and expecting us to use them.
We give you thanks for your unending love for us,
and for this table,
where you have prepared a feast.
As we come to this meal, may we be made one with each other and with you.
Pour out your Spirit again on us and on these gifts of bread and wine,
show us a glimpse of your heavenly banquet.
Make this table the meeting place of earth and heaven,
that together we might be strengthened to go out
to be your witnesses in this place and even to the ends of the earth.
We pray in the name of our Risen Lord Christ, who taught us to pray together…

Sing a new song–Sanctus et Benedictus

Here are several sung Sanctus/Benedictus texts, set to familiar tunes. Submitted by Carl Wilton.

Aberystwyth (“Jesus, Lover of My Soul”)…

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and God of might:
heav’n and earth are full, this day,
of your glory come our way.
Blessed is the one who comes
in your name to lead us home
to the place where we may sing
glad hosannas to our king!

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and God of might:
heav’n and earth are full, this night,
of your glory, beaming bright.
Blessed is the one who comes
in your name to lead us home
to the place where we may sing
glad hosannas to our king!

Love Unknown (#76 “My Song Is Love Unknown”)

Holy, holy, holy, Lord, great God of pow’r and might:
The heavens and the earth are filled with glory bright.
Hosanna is our grateful song
To him who in the Lord’s name comes!

St. Kevin (#115 “Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain”)

Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of pow’r and might,
Heav’n and earth are full this day of your glory bright
Glad hosannas now we raise, raise them in the highest
To the one who in God’s name comes to dwell beside us.

confession: Isaiah 55

A prayer of confession for (World) Communion Sunday, based on Isaiah 55.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

One: God, you call us to come share a rich feast
All: but we often choose to spend ourselves
for things that do not satisfy.
One: You call us to listen carefully and to delight in you,
All: but we often choose to look our own way
and impose our own will.
One: You call us to open our doors and our tables
to stranger as well as friend,
All: but we often choose to close
our doors and hearts to those unlike us.
One: You call us to seek you, to call on you, to find you near us,
All: but we often choose to ignore your cries
for justice and your plea for boundary-less love.
One: Your thoughts are higher than ours, O God,
and your ways are higher than our ways.
All: Forgive us,
Invite us again to your feast,
fill us with your word and your Spirit,
that we might go out in joy and come back in peace.

Maundy Thursday Communion Liturgy

submitted by Andy James, First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Queens, New York

This liturgy was written for an informal service of communion following a potluck meal.

Invitation to the Table

The night may have been much like tonight;
the room, much like this one;
the people, much like us, too.

Matthew tells it like this:

On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, 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. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Remembering this last and first meal,
we move from this incredible feast to another glorious meal.
So let us sing as we make our way to this feast.

(sing a hymn, perhaps “An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare”)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of all time and all creation,
we thank you for your work in our world,
for good food and good friends,
for the time to share a bountiful meal
and the space to worship you.
All that we have and all that we are comes from you.

Most of all, this night we thank you for Jesus Christ,
for the faithful and righteous life that he lived,
for the journey he made during this week that we celebrate from exalted king to crucified lord,
and for the meal that he shared with his disciples before he was killed,
where he revealed and shared his full self with those who cared for him.

Be present with us now, by the power of your Spirit,
that once again this meal might be a chance for us to share in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May this bread be for us the body of Christ,
this cup be the blood of our Lord,
and the sharing of this feast our participation in that meal of so long ago.

Strengthen us by this meal for the journey ahead,
that we might continue to walk with Christ along the road of his passion and death
as we await his rising on Easter and to the fullness of new life.
Through Christ, who shares this table with us even now, we pray. Amen.

Sharing the Meal

Among friends, gathered around a table, as they shared a meal as we have done,
Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, and gave it to his disciples,
promising that as they ate they would share in his life and death and resurrection.
As we share it now, we join in the feast of all creation, now and always.

And he also shared a cup of wine, offering them a taste of the new covenant of life sealed in his life.
As we share it now, we join in the feast of all creation, now and always.

So come on this holy night.
Share this holy meal.
Remember our Lord Jesus Christ.
Keep the feast now and always.

CTW: the table is set

A call to worship for communion Sunday.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

One:            God calls us to a feast!
All:            The table is set,
and we will come from east and west,
from north and south to sit at Christ’s table.

One:            Compassion, love, and grace are poured out like fine wine.
All:            We come to share our stories and Your story,
to share our hope and our pain,
to share our wisdom and our laughter.

One:            The table is set, so come let us worship God together!


adaptation for a day reflecting on the Prodigal story from the perspective of the older brother, combined with 2 Corinthians 5.17:

One:            God calls us to a feast!
All:            The table is set,
and we will come from east and west,
from north and south to sit at Christ’s table.

One:            Compassion, love, and grace are poured out like fine wine.
All:             There’s music and dancing and joy,
for better is one day in God’s house
than thousands elsewhere.
One:           Will we come in?
All:             We will worship God together,
and God will draw us together as the body of Christ.