Home A SERVICE OF WORD AND TABLE IV

A SERVICE OF WORD AND TABLE IV

This service, beginning with the Invitation, is found in UMH 26-31 and may be followed by the congregation. It is a traditional text from the rituals of the former Methodist and former Evangelical United Brethren churches.

The complete service text may be used as printed below; or the service text beginning with the Invitation may be used, preceded by the following:

The people gather in the Lord's name.
They offer prayer and praise, which may include Canticle of God's Glory (UMH 82).
Responses of praise, faith, and prayer are offered.

When this service is used for the giving of communion to the sick, to those committed to their homes, or to others in circumstances where the full service is impracticable, it should include the Invitation, Confession, Prayer for Pardon, Words of Assurance, Great Thanksgiving, Prayer of HumblAccess, words with Giving the Bread and Cup, and Dismissal with Blessing.

ENTRANCE

GATHERING

GREETING

One or more of the following or other suitable scripture sentences:

Jesus said: "Listen, I am standing at the door, knocking;
if you hear my voice and open the door,
I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me."
(REVELATION 3:20)

Jesus said: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
Whoever eats of this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
(JOHN 6:51)

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God;
everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
God's love was revealed among us in this way:
God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.
(1 JOHN 4:7, 9)


HYMN OF PRAISE*

OPENING PRAYER*

The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

Almighty God,
unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love thee,
and worthily magnify thy holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE LORD'S PRAYER*

All pray the Lord's Prayer, using one of the forms in UMH 270–71, 894–96, either here or following the Great Thanksgiving.

ACT OF PRAISE

Sung from UMH 82 or spoken:

Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will to all.
We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee,
we give thanks to thee for thy great glory:
O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord, the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ;
O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.
Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord;
thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost,
art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

SCRIPTURE LESSON

[PSALM]*

[SCRIPTURE LESSON]

HYMN OR ANTHEM*

GOSPEL LESSON*

SERMON

RESPONSE TO THE WORD

CONCERNS AND PRAYERS

A pastoral prayer, or one of the following, may be prayed:

Almighty and everlasting God,
who hast built thy Church
upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone,
endue the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord.
Grant that all who confess thy holy name may abide in the truth
and live in unity and godly love.
Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Christian pastors,
that they may, both by their lives and by their doctrine,
set forth thy true and living Word.
Give thy heavenly grace to all thy people,
and especially to this congregation here present,
that with meek heart and due reverence
they may hear and receive thy Holy Word
and serve thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their lives.
Of thy goodness, O Lord, comfort all who are in trouble,
sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.
We bless thy name for all thy servants
departed this life in thy faith and fear,
>beseeching thee to give us grace so to follow their good examples,
that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church.

Most merciful Father, we humbly beseech thee
to receive these our prayers for the universal Church,
that thou wilt confirm it in the truth of thy holy faith,
inspire it with unity and concord,
and extend and prosper it throughout the world.
We beseech thee also,
so to guide and strengthen the witness of the Church
to those in authority in all nations,
that they may maintain the justice and welfare of all peoples.

Hear us, we beseech thee, O Lord.

Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all pastors of thy Church,
that both in their lives and in their doctrine
they may set forth thy true and lively Word,
and faithfully administer thy Holy Sacraments.
And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace,
that with willing heart and due reverence,
they may hear and receive thy Holy Word,
truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness
all the days of their lives.

Hear us, we beseech thee, O Lord.

And we most humbly beseech thee, of thy goodness, O Lord,
to support and strengthen all those who, in this transitory life,
are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.

Hear us, we beseech thee, O Lord.

We remember with thanksgiving
those who have loved and served thee in thy Church on earth,
who now rest from their labors
[especially those most dear to us,
whom we name in our hearts before thee].

Silence may be kept for the remembrance of names.

Keep us in fellowship with all thy saints,
and bring us at length to the joy of thy heavenly kingdom.

Grant this, O Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ,
our only mediator and advocate. Amen.


INVITATION

Pastor stands behind the Lord's table.

Ye that do truly and earnestly repent of your sins,
and are in love and charity with your neighbors,
and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God,
and walking from henceforth in his holy ways:
Draw near with faith, and take this Holy Sacrament to your comfort,
and make your humble confession to almighty God.

CONFESSION

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
maker of all things, judge of all people:
We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness,
which we from time to time most grievously have committed,
by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine majesty.
We do earnestly repent,
and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings;
the remembrance of them is grievous unto us.
Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father.
For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake,
forgive us all that is past;
and grant that we may ever hereafter
serve and please thee in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of thy name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

PRAYER FOR PARDON

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
who of thy great mercy hast promised forgiveness of sins
to all them that with hearty repentance and true faith turn to thee:
Have mercy upon us;
pardon and deliver us from all our sins;
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness;
and bring us to everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Hear what comfortable words the Scriptures say
to all that truly turn to the Lord:

The leader says one or more of the following sentences:

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest. (MATTHEW 11:28)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
that everyone who believes in him
may not perish but may have eternal life. (JOHN 3:16)

The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. (1 TIMOTHY 1:15)

If we confess our sins,
God who is faithful and just
will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 JOHN 1:9, alt.)

If any one sins,
we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous;
and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins,
and not for ours only
but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 JOHN 2:1–2, alt.)

[THE PEACE]*

Signs and words of God's peace may be exchanged at this point.

OFFERING

If an offering was not received earlier, it may be received at this time.

A hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung as the offering is received.

The bread and wine are brought by representatives of the people to the Lord's table, or uncovered if already in place.

A hymn, doxology, or other response may be sung as the gifts are brought to the Lord's table.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

TAKING THE BREAD AND CUP

The pastor, standing if possible behind the Lord's table facing the people from this time, through Breaking the Bread, takes the bread and cup; and the bread and wine are prepared for the meal.

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING* See 28.

The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.
Lift up your hearts. The pastor may lift hands and keep them raised.
We lift them up unto the Lord.
Let us give thanks unto the Lord.
It is meet and right so to do.

It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks unto thee, O Lord,
Holy Father, almighty, everlasting God.

One of the following prefaces may be added in the day or season indicated:

Advent

Because thou didst send thy beloved Son
to redeem us from sin and death,
and to make us heirs in him of everlasting life;
that when he shall come again in power and great triumph
to judge the world,
we may without shame or fear rejoice to behold his appearing.

Christmas

Because thou didst give Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
to be born as at this time for us;
who, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, was made human,
and that without spot of sin, to make us clean from all sin.

Epiphany or Sundays After the Epiphany

Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who, in the substance of our mortal flesh, manifested forth his glory,
that he might bring us out of darkness into his own glorious light.

Lent

Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who was in every way tempted as we are, yet did not sin;
by whose grace we are able to triumph over every evil,
and to live no longer unto ourselves,
but unto him who died for us and rose again.

Easter

But chiefly are we bound to praise thee
for the glorious resurrection of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who by his death hath destroyed death,
and by his rising to life again hath restored to us everlasting life.

The Day of Pentecost

Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
according to whose most true promise,
the Holy Spirit came down as at this time from heaven,
lighting upon the disciples,
to teach them, and to lead them into all truth,
whereby we have been brought out of darkness
into the clear light and true knowledge of thee,
of thy Son Jesus Christ.

The pastor continues:

Therefore with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we laud and magnify thy glorious name,
evermore praising thee and saying (singing ):

The pastor may lower hands. The people sing (UMH 28) or say:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts:
Heaven and earth are full of thy glory!
Glory be to thee, O Lord most high!
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!|
Hosanna in the highest!

The pastor may raise hands.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
who of thy tender mercy
didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ
to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption;
who made there, by the one offering of himself,
a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice
for the sins of the whole world;
and didst institute,
and in his holy Gospel command us to continue,
a perpetual memory of his precious death until his coming again:

The pastor may hold hands, palms down, over the bread and cup.

Hear us, O merciful Father,
we most humbly beseech thee;
and bless and sanctify with thy Word and Holy Spirit
these thy gifts of bread and wine,
that we, receiving them
according to thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ's holy institution,
in remembrance of his passion, death, and resurrection,
may be partakers of the divine nature through him:

The pastor may hold hands, palms down, over the bread, or touch the bread, or lift the bread.

Who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread;
and when he had given thanks,
he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying,
"Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me."

The pastor may hold hands, palms down, over the cup, or touch the cup, or lift the cup.

Likewise after supper he took the cup;
and when he had given thanks,
he gave it to them, saying,
"Drink ye all of this;
for this is my blood of the New Covenant,
which is shed for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins;
do this as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me."

The pastor may raise hands, as the people join in praying:

O Lord, our heavenly Father,
we, thy humble servants,
desire thy fatherly goodness mercifully to accept
this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving;
most humbly beseeching thee to grant that,
by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ,
and through faith in his blood,
we and thy whole Church may obtain forgiveness of our sins,
and all other benefits of his passion.

And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord,
ourselves, our souls and bodies,
to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee;
humbly beseeching thee
that all we who are partakers of this Holy Communion
may be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction.
And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins,
to offer unto thee any sacrifice,
yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service,
not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offenses;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
by whom, and with whom,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honor and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty,
world without end. Amen.

If the Lord's Prayer has not been prayed earlier in the service, it is prayed at this time.

BREAKING THE BREAD

The pastor, still standing behind the Lord's table facing the people, breaks the bread and then lifts the cup, in silence or with appropriate words.

The following prayer may then be prayed:

PRAYER OF HUMBLE ACCESS

We do not presume to come to this thy table,
O merciful Lord,
trusting in our own righteousness,
but in thy manifold and great mercies.
We are not worthy
so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table.
But thou art the same Lord,
whose property is always to have mercy.
Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord,
so to partake of this Sacrament of thy Son Jesus Christ,
that we may walk in newness of life,
may grow into his likeness,
and may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

Here may be sung (UMH 30-31) or spoken:

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
grant us thy peace.

GIVING THE BREAD AND CUP

When the bread is given, one or both of the following sentences are said:

The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee,
preserve thy soul and body unto everlasting life.

Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee,
and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.

When the cup is given, one or both of the following sentences are said:

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee,
preserve thy soul and body unto everlasting life.
Drink this in remembrance that Christ's blood was shed for thee,
and be thankful.

The congregation sings hymns while the bread and cup are given. Many hymns, songs, and choruses in UMH in addition to 612–41 and others listed under Holy Communion (943) are effective in expressing the people's loving communion with God and one another. The day or season of the Christian year and the people's knowledge and love of particular hymns are important considerations in the selection of appropriate hymns. It is particularly effective if the people can sing from memory.

When all have received, the Lord's table is put in order, and a prayer of thanksgiving after communion may be spoken or sung. See the hymns following Communion listed in UMH 952.

HYMN OR SONG OF THANKSGIVING*

DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING*

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

GOING FORTH*

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Copyright: “A Service of Word and Table IV” Copyright © 1957 Board of Publication, Evangelical United Brethren Church; Copyright © 1964, 1965, 1966 by Board of Publication of The Methodist Church, Inc.; alt. and Copyright © 1980, 1985, 1989, 1992 UMPH.

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