A Service for the Communion of the Lord’s Supper (1928)

¶ The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or the Communion, is to be observed at stated times in connection with the regular Morning Worship, and also in connection with the Evening Worship, in cases where it is not possible in the morning. Reception of Members and Consecration of Child may appropriately be held in connection with the Communion Service. It is proper that public notice should be given to the congregation, at least two weeks before the administration of the ordinance, and either then or on some week day, or evening of the week, the people be instructed in its nature and responsibilities, so all may come in a suitable manner, prepared in mind and heart for this sacred service.

¶ When the Communion is to be administered, the service may proceed according to the regular service on the Lord’s Day until the end of the sermon. The hymns and sermon should be of such a character as to stimulate the proper kind of devotion for the Communion Service that is to follow.

¶ At the close of the sermon, one of the following hymns may be sung softly by the congregation, while the minister uncovers the elements, prepared to bless and distribute the same:

“Just as I am, without one plea.”
“Break thou the bread of life.”
“Bread of the world in mercy broken.”
“Jesus, thou joy of loving hearts.”

THE COMMUNION PRAYER.

¶ The minister may use his own words or one of the following:

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 Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

or this

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we give thanks to Thee that Thou of Thine infinite mercy, didst give Thine only Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Redeemer of all who put their trust in Him. We thank Thee that He endured the cross, despising the shame, that by His sacrifice for the sins of the world, He might become the world’s Saviour. We beseech Thee now as we are about to observe this Holy Supper instituted by Him as a Holy Memorial to be cherished by His church, of His holy passion and precious death, His mighty resurrection and glorious ascension. By the effectual working of Thy Holy Spirit in our hearts, wilt Thou sanctify and bless to us these elements, symbols of the body that was broken, and the blood that was shed for us, assurance of His eternal love. May we receive by faith Christ crucified for us, and so feed upon Him that He may be one with us, and we with Him. May we so partake of this bread and this cup that our hearts and lives may be yielded to the sway of His Spirit.

And, we humbly beseech Thee, most merciful Father, that as with penitent hearts we strive to follow Him, we may have the assurance that our sins are forgiven. Here we offer and present to Thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls, and our bodies to be a reasonable, holy and living sacrifice unto Thee, praying that we may be filled with Thy grace and heavenly benediction; that we may be led in the way of truth and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE INVITATION.

Come to this sacred table of the Lord, all ye who love Him in sincerity and in truth; who are able to discern the holy purpose of this ordinance, and who desire to consecrate themselves anew to His service. Take the supper of the Lord to your comfort in faith and thanksgiving.

Come not because you must, but because you may; come to testify not that you are righteous, but that you sincerely desire to be His true disciples; come not because you are strong but because you are weak; come not because you are worthy of heaven’s rewards, but because you stand in need of His mercy and pardon.

Now that this Supper is spread before you, lift up your minds and hearts above all selfish fears and cares. Let these emblems be to you the witness and signs of the grace of our Lord Jesus, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit. Before the throne of the heavenly Father and the cross of the Redeemer, make your humble confession of sin, consecrating your lives to Christian obedience and service, and pray for strength to do and bear the holy and blessed will of God.

THE INSTITUTION.

¶ Then the minister shall repeat the words of Institution as follows:

Our Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it and said: Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me.

In like manner he also took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as oft as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.

THE DISTRIBUTION.

¶ The minister shall then take the bread, and say as he makes the distribution:

Ministering in His name, I give this bread unto you. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on Him in your hearts by faith and thanksgiving.

¶ After the people have been served, the minister shall take the cup and say:

I give this cup unto you. Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you, and be thankful.

¶ After the people have been served, the minister may offer a

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND CONSECRATION.

Almighty and most merciful God, who hast called us to sit together in heavenly places at this feast of love, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great goodness vouchsafed to us in this sacred Communion. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may so partake of the very life of Christ, that He may live again in us. May we be changed into His likeness, that at last He may present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Amen

¶ During the distribution of the elements, the organ may be played softly, and the minister may read appropriate scripture sentences. Then may follow:

THE COMMUNION HYMN.

¶ One of the following may be used:

“Beneath the Cross of Jesus.”
“Rock of ages, cleft for me.”
“More love to thee, O Christ.”
“My faith looks up to thee.”
“A parting hymn we sing.”

¶ The people will maintain a reverent attitude while the minister offers

THE BENEDICTION.

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 amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.

¶ After the Benediction the communicants may remain in silent prayer for a moment.

THE ORGAN POSTLUDE.

—The Committee of Ministers of the General Conference of the Schwenkfelder Church, Book of Worship for Church and Home with Orders of Service, Prayers, and Other Aids to Devotion (Pennsburg, 1928).

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Filed under Book of Common Prayer, Genealogy, Liturgy, Pennsylvania German, Personal

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