Communion Liturgy Resources

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Many of the Eucharistic liturgies presented on this website either come from, or are adaptations of, the official Communion rituals of The United Methodist Church. These rituals are rooted in Anglican and Roman Catholic Sacramental traditions and reflect the influence of the liturgical renewal movement as found in the "Lima Text" of the World Council of Church's Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry Document (Faith and Order Paper 111). As exemplars of practical theology, they express our devotional and doctrinal understanding of the real presence of Jesus in the sacrament. Far from just symbolic or metaphorical, the language of the liturgies demonstrates our faith in the justifying and sanctifying real presence of our Lord, made real to us in and through Holy Communion. The Eucharist is the principle means of grace which communicates to believers the body and blood -- the uniting, transforming, and forgiving presence -- of Christ. We affirm Christ's real presence while, at the same time, professing that he is present in a mysterious, mystical way which goes far beyond our human comprehension. It is a "spiritual" presence in as much as the "spiritual" is far more "real" than the merely mundane of everyday existence; it is "physical" presence in as much as the tangible elements of which we partake provide us with instrumental foci for our faith, foci which stand in direct relation to the scriptural, traditional, experiential, and rational quadrants of our lives as Christians.
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Because the Eucharist is such a fundamental means of grace, while there may well be significant variations from the standard wording of the Great Thanksgiving, the Words of Institution (i.e. the "Anamnesis,"), the Prayer of Consecration (the "Epiclesis"), and the Breaking of the Bread should remain fairly consistent from liturgy to liturgy. This is the case in the various forms of the Great Thanksgiving presented here. In some cases the variations are only in matters of liturgical arrangement; in other instances the wording varies from a minimal to a significant amount. Sometimes I have drawn extensively from Methodist, Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic sacramental traditions in the writing of these Great Thanksgivings, while in other cases I have drafted the liturgies largely on my own. In all cases, however, I have attempted to either adapt or write elements of the liturgy in such a way as to be complimentary to both our doctrinal and experiential faith.

The Liturgies listed bellow are available for use in the planning of eucharistic worship services. Over time, and as they are written, more liturgies will be added (including an updated version of Word and Table IV). These are in PDF format, and should display well in most modern web browsers. Feel free to download them for your own use.
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The Liturgies

United Methodist Great Thanksgivings
Word and Table I is the official communion liturgy of The United Methodist Church. Word and Table II is the form of the liturgy left open for adaption to the various days and themes of the Church year. Word and Table III is the most open form of the liturgy, providing for great variation.
Multi-Voice Variants of the Word and Table liturgy are designed to be used by more than one person in joint-celebrations of the sacrament. In some cases there is room for a dozen or more voices from the congregation, each speaking discrete portions of the liturgy; in other cases, the number of voices is limited to just a few celebrants.