The Great Thanksgiving (Communion)

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United Methodist General Conference 2016

The Great Thanksgiving – Communion





Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Leader: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Leader: We praise You and we give you thanks for Your diverse creation, filled with purposeful interdependence.
Thank you for creating in us an innate desire to live in community with a need for the gifts of others.
Thank you for the freedom to be who we truly are:
Imperfect in body and mind, dependent, fallible, always needing help, and always needed to help those around us.
You, whole and holy, live in the eternal community of Triune Love, and call us, limited and dependent as we are, into community with you.
You give and ask of us ever-flowing mercy, not unblemished sacrifice.
This is why the whole universe worships You.
This is why we join with all heaven and earth to praise You in an endless chorus of praise:
Holy, Holy, holy Lord, God of power and might.
People: Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Leader: Holy are you, and blessed is your son Jesus Christ,who teaches us the way of mercy, not sacrifice.
We bless you, O God, because in mercy, not sacrifice,
Jesus taught his disciples not to depend on the money or gifts they could offer, but on the hospitality and gifts of others.
We give you thanks, O God, because in mercy, not sacrifice,
Jesus taught his disciples not to depend on their own power to obtain approval, but to depend upon the power and mercy of others.
We praise your name, O God, because, in mercy, not sacrifice,
Jesus taught his disciples not to seek respectability, but to connect with all people, including sinners and outcasts,
often told they could not look to heaven for help.
We glorify you, O God, because, in mercy, not sacrifice,
Jesus taught his disciples not to seek intellectual, political or physical superiority,
but to be the servant of all, of every ability, even washing their feet.
For it was in mercy, not sacrifice, that Jesus took bread unable to rise and blessed you for it, broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
People: “Take. Eat. This is my brokenness shared with you. Eat it, and remember me.”
Leader: In mercy, not sacrifice, he took a cup of wine from the hastily prepared table, gave thanks, and then gave it to his disciples, saying,
People: “Drink from this all of you, This is my blood proclaiming the Divine promise of forgiveness for your failings and those of the world.
Drink it, and remember me.”
Leader: So we, subjects of God’s mercy in Christ, and no longer objects of sacrifice despite the world’s labelling, give you ourselves,
our differently abled souls and bodies,
a fragrant offering of praise and thanksgiving,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:
People:  Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Fount of Courage, Breeze of Hope, Breath of Mercy,
Stir into these imperfect gifts of bread and wine the merciful presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ to bless our lives.
Fount of Courage, Breeze of Hope, Breath of Mercy,
Stir the imperfect gift of our lives into the merciful presence of the church, the body and bride of Christ to bless the world.

Fount of Courage, Breeze of Hope, Breath of Mercy,
Slake the thirsty, the over-looked and the ignored,
Refresh the wearied, the abused and the shunned,
Breathe life into the dying, the silenced and those left for dead, so that here and now, as in the age to come,
All flesh in all conditions may confess your redeeming love.

We pray in the name of the Trinity,
Love of Father, of Spirit, of Son,
Love of Father for Son and Spirit,
Love of Son for Spirit and Father,
Love of Spirit for Father and Son,
Love of Three in One for all,
and Mercy over all,
ever abounding.

Adapted from Inviting, Confessing, Great Thanksgiving, and Sending by Bishop Peggy Johnson, adapted by Taylor Burton-Edwards, © 2015 The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. Used by permission. The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts.