Great Thanksgivings: Choices in Table Prayer for United Methodists

A pastor asked, "Is there a Communion prayer for Labor Day?" The question represents a significant shift in expectations! For those who remember the ritual of the Methodist Church in The Methodist Hymnal (Book of Hymns), there were basically two table prayers. Both were in Cranmerian English: one embedded in the full text of the ritual for the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; and the other, the "brief form."

With the recovery of the historic and ecumenical shape of the "Great Thanksgiving" (Eucharistic prayer) in "Services of Word and Table," United Methodists have a growing number of Holy Communion prayers available to them. As we anticipate more frequent celebrations of the Lord's Supper, there is a growing sense of the need for Eucharistic prayers that are tailored to the occasion while keeping the basic shape of the Great Thanksgiving. For a brief description of this essential shape, see The United Methodist Book of Worship, page 28, or pages 20-22 of This Holy Mystery . The compilation below lists available texts as an annotated index of prayers. More will be added as they become available.


Great Thanksgivings in Official United Methodist Resources

  • UMH (United Methodist Hymnal)For general use.
    • Full text in "A Service of Word and Table I," pages 9-11 (Also in UMBOW, 36-38)
    • Flexible text in "A Service of Word and Table II," pages 13-14 (designed so that the presider can insert words suited to the particular day, season, or occasion)
    • Full text (with seasonal prefaces) in "A Service of Word and Table IV," pages 27-31. This represents the former Methodist-Evangelical United Brethren traditions. (Also found in UMBOW, pages 46-49.)
  • UMBOW (United Methodist Book of Worship) General, seasonal, special days, or occasions.
    • For Persons Who Are Sick or Homebound ("A Service of Word and Table V"), pages 52-53
    • Advent, pages 54-55
    • Christmas Eve, Day, or Season, pages 56-57
    • For New Year, Epiphany, Baptism of the Lord, or Covenant Reaffirmation, pages 58-59
    • Early Lent (Ash Wednesday, Sundays in Lent prior to Passion/Palm Sunday), pages 60-61
    • For Later Lent (Passion/Palm Sunday and the early days of Holy Week), pages 62-63
    • For Holy Thursday Evening, pages 64-65
    • For Easter Day or Season, pages 66-67
    • For the Day of Pentecost, pages 68-69
    • For the Season after Pentecost (Ordinary Time or Kingdomtide), pages 70-71
    • For World Communion Sunday, pages 72-73
    • For All Saints and Memorial Occasions, pages 74-75
    • For Thanksgiving Day or for the Gift of Food, pages 76-77
    • An Alternative for General Use, pages 78-79 (more strongly couched in inclusive language)
    • A Brief Great Thanksgiving for General Use, page 80 (no congregational responses included)
    • For Christian Marriage (A Service of Christian Marriage), pages 124-126
    • For Christian Burial (A Service of Death and Resurrection), pages 152-153
    • For Healing Services, pages 618-619
    • For Ordination, pages 679-681
    • For Consecration of Bishops, pages 706-708
  • Mil Voces Para Celebrar (MVPC)
    • Culto con el sacramento de la Santa Comunion I, page 6
    • El sacramento de la Santa Comunion, page 14
  • Come, Let Us Worship (CLUW)
    • A full text in "A Service of Word and Table I" - in Korean, pages 12-14; in English, pages 20-22
    • A flexible text in "A Service of Word and Table II" - in Korean, pages 24-25; in English, pages 26-27

Ecumenical Eucharistic Prayers

(Note: both of the following have different congregational responses from those in the United Methodist prayers, so printing or projecting them will be necessary.)

Eucharistic Prayers From Other Churches

Seasonal and Special Day Eucharistic Prayers


Categories: Worship, Worship Planning, Lectionary Calendar, Sacraments, Great Thanksgiving, Holy Communion, Holy Communion - Articles and Papers