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[After each segment of this prayer is a scripture reading, followed by silence. The contents of the scripture readings, in brackets, may be included or omitted from the congregation’s printed materials.]
God be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the Holy One our God.
It is good and beautiful to give God thanks and praise.
Loving God, for your abundant creation that sustains us
and fed multitudes in the wilderness,
for your re-creating us in each breath, we give you thanks.
For your presence with us in this meal,
and your giving of yourself in your very flesh, we give you thanks.
[“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty.”]
Holy, whole and infinite One, womb of all that is:
all Creation is glorious with your presence.
We turn to you alone for life.
Blessed is the one who comes in your love.
[I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. .]
To your welcoming grace, accepting the sinner and the broken,
and your universal forgiveness and generous healing, we open our hearts.
To your grace that reconciles us with you and with each other,
and unites us even with our enemies as siblings at your table,
we open our hearts.
[“This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” ]
For your invitation to your table,
and the gift of gathering here, we give you thanks.
We pray for all who are not yet free,
who know oppression, servitude, poverty or discrimination,
who are trafficked, abused or imprisoned,
that we may ever be mindful of your yearning for their freedom.
[“I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land.”]
For your mercy upon us in our sin, we give you thanks.
For your mercy upon us whose greed and complacency
contribute to the suffering of others, we humbly thank you.
[If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.]
For your covenant in which you claim us as your beloved people,
and for your faithful mercy, we give you thanks.
For your grace in redeeming us in our poverty and slavery,
for saving us from the fear of death and the weight of our sin,
we give you thanks.
[The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. ]
To the mystery of your call to die and be raised with Christ;
and to your self-giving, in which we receive eternal life, we open our hearts.
To your grace by which we enter into new lives,
and to the love in which we lay down our lives for one another,
we open our hearts.
[I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.]
[The Blessing and Covenant]
Feasting on the food of eternal life, we proclaim the mystery of our faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Remembering Jesus and his love, we offer ourselves with him
to you, for the healing of the world.
[Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.]
For the sake of the true spirit of this meal in solidarity with all who are oppressed,
for the sake of good news for the poor and freedom for those in prison,
pour out your Spirit on us.
For compassion for those who suffer, and strength for the journey ahead,
for courage in the struggle for justice, pour out your Spirit on us.
[Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? ]
For the sake of your Realm of mercy and justice which is to come;
for the sake of the Resurrection Life which you promise,
pour out your Spirit on us. Amen.
[The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom God will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.]