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A SERVICE OF WORD AND TABLE V WITH PERSONS WHO ARE SICK OR HOMEBOUND

Since the earliest Christian times, communion has been brought as an extension of the congregation's worship to sick or homebound persons unable to attend congregational worship.

The following service is very flexible, depending upon the circumstances of the pastoral visit. "The people" may be simply the pastor and one other person. The service may be very informal and conversational. There should be every possible sensitivity to the particular needs of the person(s) receiving communion.

The pastor, or laypersons at the direction of the pastor, may distribute the consecrated bread and cup to sick or homebound persons as soon as feasible following a service of Word and Table as an extension of that service. When this service is used as a distribution of the consecrated bread and cup, the Great Thanksgiving is omitted, but thanks should be given after the bread and cup are received.

There should be whatever participation is feasible by those receiving communion. Sometimes this may simply be gestures and expression. Familiar acts of worship persons may know by memory— the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' Creed, or the Twenty-third Psalm, for instance— may be used. Sometimes it is possible to sing one or more hymns.

Those distributing communion should also be sensitive to the power of acts such as calling the person by name, touching the person, encouraging the remembrance of significant experiences, and allowing sick or homebound persons to minister to the visitors.

ENTRANCE
The people come together and exchange greetings in the Lord's name.

THE WORD OF GOD
Scriptures are read and interpreted, and prayer and praise are offered.

INVITATION

Christ our Lord invites to his table
all who love him and seek to grow into his likeness.
Let us draw near with faith, make our humble confession,
and prepare to receive this Holy Sacrament.

CONFESSION AND PARDON

We do not presume to come to this your table, merciful Lord,
trusting in our own goodness, but in your unfailing mercies.
We are not worthy that you should receive us,
but give your word and we shall be healed,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hear the good news:
Christ died for us while we were yet sinners;
that is proof of God's love toward us.
In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!

THE PEACE
Signs and words of God's peace are exchanged.

TAKING THE BREAD AND CUP
The bread and wine are prepared for the meal.

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
The pastor prays as follows if the bread and cup are to be consecrated. If they have already been consecrated, this prayer is omitted.

If a layperson is distributing the consecrated bread and cup, this prayer is omitted.

Lift up your heart(s) and give thanks to the Lord our God.

Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth,
you made us in your image, to love and to be loved.
When we turned away, and our love failed, your love remained steadfast.
By the suffering, death, and resurrection of your only Son Jesus Christ
you delivered us from slavery to sin and death
and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

On the night in which Jesus 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, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ's offering for us.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us, and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,
that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.

By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other,
and one in ministry to all the world,
until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet.

Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church,
all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and for ever. Amen.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

BREAKING THE BREAD

In silence or with appropriate words.

GIVING THE BREAD AND CUP

With these or other words being exchanged:

Name, the body of Christ, given for you. Amen.

Name, the blood of Christ, given for you. Amen.

When all have received, the Lord's table is put in order.

Thanks may be given after communion. A hymn, song, or chorus may be sung. If the consecrated bread and cup from a regular service of Holy Communion have been given and there has been no Great Thanksgiving, the following prayer is suggested after Communion:

Most bountiful God, we give you thanks for the world you have created,
for the gift of life, and for giving yourself to us in Jesus Christ,
whose holy life, suffering and death, and glorious resurrection
have delivered us from slavery to sin and death.
We thank you that in the power of your Holy Spirit
you have fed us in this Sacrament, united us with Christ,
and given us a foretaste of your heavenly banquet.
We are your children, and yours is the glory, now and for ever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

BLESSING

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit
be with you [all]. Amen.

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Copyright: “A Service of Word and Table V with Persons who are Sick or Homebound, Copyright © 1976, 1980 by Abingdon; Copyright © 1985, 1987, 1992 by UMPH. Used by permission.”

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