Liturgy

A Service of Holy Communion for Labor Day

This service may be used on Labor Day or other occasions when the church gathers to celebrate the blessing and sacrifice of human labor. It may also be used on the Sunday before Labor Day. If this service is used on the Sunday before Labor Day, the Revised Common Lectionary readings may be used in place of those listed below.

For additional or alternative resources, see The United Methodist Book of Worship no. 443 (The United Methodist Publishing House, 1992). In addition see nos. 423 (Litany), 432, 460, 465, 512, 538, 539, 540, 541, and 590. In The United Methodist Hymnal, see hymns under "Work" on p. 954.

For other resources suitable for this service, see the "People at Work" section of The Wideness of God's Mercy: Litanies to Enlarge Our Prayer, an ecumenical collection compiled and adapted by Jeffrey W. Rowthorn.

Abbreviations key:
UMH = The United Methodist Hymnal
BOW = The United Methodist Book of Worship


ENTRANCE


GREETING

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands;
yes, establish the work of our hands.

(Psalm 90:17)

Or


Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.

It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for God gives sleep to his beloved.

(Psalm 127: 1-2)


HYMN OF PRAISE


PRAYER
See BOW 443 or one of the other prayers listed above.



PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE


FIRST LESSON
Amos 5:11-15


PSALM RESPONSE / ACT OF PRAISE
Psalm 2 (UMH 739)


SECOND LESSON
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13


HYMN


GOSPEL LESSON
John 6:5-14, 26,-27


SERMON


RESPONSE TO THE WORD
A hymn, song, or one of the following may be used as response to the Word:


CONCERNS AND PRAYERS


OFFERING

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION


TAKING THE BREAD AND CUP

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
Choose one of two Great Thanksgiving Prayers provided here.

Great Thanksgiving I
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.
It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
always and everywhere to give thanks to you,
Father Almighty (Almighty God), creator of heaven and earth.


We praise you for all who labor for the common good
and for those whose service is unappreciated.
We thank you for children whose play is the work of learning
to live in the world.
We thank you for disciples who are obedient
to the promptings of your Spirit in all their relationships.
We thank you for your yearning mercy
that waits for us to make all our hours and days participation
in your healing and blessing of the earth and all peoples.

You made us in your image
and set us in a lush garden as caretakers.
When we chose to have it all to ourselves,
you turned our freedom to the toil for survival.
When we cried out in our misery,
you delivered us from captivity
and made covenant to be our sovereign God.
By the prophets you called us to return to you
and delight in good food without price.
You confronted us with the waste of laboring apart from you,
and you asked us,
"Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy? ...
Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live."

(Isaiah 55:2-3)

And so,
with your people on earth
and all the company of heaven
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

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.

Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.
Anointed with your Spirit,
his food was to do your will and to complete it.
He took the common things of daily life,
blessed them, and broke and shared them
so that all were satisfied.
He told those who followed him,
"Do not work for the food that perishes,
but for the food that endures for eternal life."
He confronted the powers of greed and evil
at the cost of his life,
but you triumphed over death
and placed him at your right hand
to intercede for his disciples until the feast of eternal life.
By water and the Spirit he calls us to continue his work
until we and all peoples feast at his heavenly banquet.

And so,
in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves to live daily
as a holy and living sacrifice,
in union with Christ's offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

(Here the presider continues the Great Thanksgiving with "Service or Word and Table I" as found on pages 10-11 in UMH or page 38 of BOW.)

The Great Thanksgiving Prayer I
posted here is used with permission
from Worship in Daily Life: A Resource for Worship Planners,
copyright © 1999 Discipleship Resources, Nashville TN.


Great Thanksgiving II
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.

It is a good and fruitful work to give thanks to you,
Almighty God, in all places and at all times
and in all our tasks.
In our cars, our homes, our offices, our fields, and our kitchens;
at our tables, our desks, our telephones, and computers;
when we are resting or waiting, laboring or supervising,
following or leading.
All these we do with all your people now on earth and all the
multitude of heaven, praising your name
and joining in their unending hymn:

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.

Holy are you and holy is your work among us in Jesus Christ,
who came to be born in the home of a carpenter,
a trade he learned and practiced,
a laborer in our midst.
He called out fishermen and activists.
He healed the servant of a soldier.
He received the support of resourceful women.
He delegated his ministry to his disciples,
empowered all his followers
to do his divine work in this world.
By his suffering, death, and resurrection,
you gave birth to your church,
delivered us from the bondage of sin
and the power of death
and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

On the night in which he gave himself up for us,
he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread,
gave it to his disciples, and said:
"Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."

When the supper was over, he took the cup,
gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:
"Drink from this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me."

And so as a baptized and commissioned people,
remembering your mighty work in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves, our daily lives,
and our unique locations
for ministry in the world-
homes and hospitals, parks and stores,
prisons and concert halls-
as a living and holy sacrifice
in union with Christ's offering for us
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

(Here the presider continues the Great Thanksgiving with "Service or Word and Table I" as found on pages 10-11 in UMH or page 38 of BOW.)

The Great Thanksgiving Prayer II
posted here is used with permission
from Worship in Daily Life: A Resource for Worship Planners,
copyright © 1999 Discipleship Resources, Nashville TN.


LORD'S PRAYER

BREAKING THE BREAD

GIVING THE BREAD AND CUP

SENDING FORTH

HYMN OR SONG

DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING

GOING FORTH

Categories: Worship, Worship Planning, Civil Observances, Labor Day, Great Thanksgiving, Occasional Rites, Other