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Contemplative Communion

Kenneth L. Cuthbertson

Kenneth L. Cuthbertson is a retired minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbytery of Santa Fe (NM), a former faculty member for the Ecumenical Institute for Ministry, a spiritual director, and the spouse of Doug.

In this very simple form, the prayer can be more silent than spoken. This works well in conjunction with other forms of contemplative worship, such as lectio divina.

Invitation to the Table
We come at Christ’s invitation to the table of grace.

(A brief preparatory chant may be sung.)

Blessed are you, Holy One, God, Creator of the universe. You bring forth bread from the earth, and create the fruit of the vine, to sustain our lives and gladden our hearts. They shall be for us today the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation, offered in grateful remembrance of Christ. (silence)

Let us give thanks to God the Creator, our Father and Mother, the Holy One whom we worship and serve. (silence)

We remember and give thanks, O God, for your beloved child, Jesus our Savior, our teacher and guide, our healer, our friend and brother, who loved us and gave himself for us. (silence)

O God, give your Holy Spirit in the breaking of the bread, that in this sharing of the bread and cup we may be united with you, with Christ, and with one another. (silence)

The Prayer of Jesus
(Alternative versions work well in this format, such as the following.)
Holy One, Father and Mother of all,
you are the one who holds and guides the cosmos.

May your Name be sanctified in our words and lives.
May your realm of peace and well-being come among us.
May your intentions and desires come to pass on earth as in the highest heavens.
May there be bread sufficient for all this day.
Free us from the debt of our misdeeds and failings
even as we respond in forgiveness and compassion to one another.

Do not bring us into the time of trial, but deliver us from the power of evil.
For you reign in the power and glory of life, light, and love, now and forever. Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread and the Pouring of the Cup
(Brief words of institution are followed by actions in silence.)

The Elements Are Shared
(After all are served, invite the people to look at one another and to behold the body of Christ in one another. A piece of bread may also be offered for the earth.)

A Brief Prayer and/or Chant of Thanksgiving
(The service can conclude with the benediction and the sharing of the peace.)