United Church of Christ

Pentecost 11 - August 16

Feast of Reconciliation
A Service of Holy Communion for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
August 16, 2020

Lectionary Texts

Genesis 45:1-15, Psalm 133, Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32 and Matthew 15:(10-20), 21-28

Rubrics” for virtual services will be noted in red.  

Music using this liturgy online you will want to use only music in the public domain, or with the permission of the composer, unless you have a streaming license, with a provider like OneLicense.net.

If you are conducting worship on Zoom or a similar interactive meeting platform, it will work better if only the speaker is heard and everyone else is muted as there is a delay and potential feedback issues.

If you include Holy Communion you may want to encourage your congregation to forage for Communion elements at home. Here is an adaptation of such an invitation: Please prepare some bread, a slice or a small loaf of any kind of bread or cracker. In some parts of the world tortilla, rice cake, or cassava are used as this element which is defined not as a wheat product but as the most common food of the people. Let it be something you alone or you with others in your house may break and share. Prepare a cup or cups of juice — perhaps grape or cranberry — or wine, with or without alcohol. Remember, in John's gospel, Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine. If all you have is a glass of water, it's enough.

Set these elements in the living room or kitchen wherever you experience worship electronically with our faith community. Perhaps you want to put them on a lovely cloth or fabric that reminds you of a special time or a person deeply connected with you in the communion of saints. Perhaps you will light a candle or place beside the bread and the cup, a flower, plant or the photograph of someone you wish to bring with you into the circle of faith.[i]

If you incorporate Prayers of the People online, a caution: Folks gathered in-person often recount a lot of detail in their prayers concerning other members or family (“Elderly Name, living alone, experiencing isolation…”  In  a private, in-person gathering, this information may be safe, but online, it can expose vulnerable people to harm, since we can’t control who will join the gathering or access it later online.  Invite people to be prudent in offering prayers:  “For First name only, in need of healing”; “For First name only, comfort in grief”  etc. 

Encourage people to contact the pastor directly with news of those needed extra pastoral care.

Solemn Declaration

Leader should speak the lines of the people, along with the Leader’s lines

 

One:             +In the name of the Creator, the Christ and the Holy Spirit.
All:             Out loud but muted
                   
Amen.

Opening Sentences
                  
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
         All:    Out loud but muted
                   It is like a summer rain which restores the parched earth.
                   It is like a cool breeze at the shore of a lake, at the top of a mountain or through a crowded city street.
         All:    Out loud but muted
                   God meets us here.
                   We have gathered to worship the Maker of Our Days, the Restorer of Our Souls and the Breath of Our Lives.

Opening Prayer
                   Maker of Our Days,
                   you created each of us unique beings with differing strengths and weaknesses. 
                   Help us not only to use our strengths to assist others but also to allow others to use their strengths to meet our weaknesses.
          All:    Out loud but muted
                    Restorer of Our Souls,
                                you have seen the parched places we have made in our lives,
                                along with the devastation thrust upon us by the action or inaction of others. 
                                Meet us in the places of our deepest pain so that our facades of self-sufficiency might fall away,
                                and we might be drawn into right relationship with you and one another.
                    Breath of Our Lives, without you we are but a mound of clay. 
                               Fill us with your presence, invigorate our worship,
                               set us on fire so that others might be drawn into your light and nurtured by the warmth of your loving care.

Confession of Sin

When we try to go it on our own lacking faith in divine providence,
All:    Out loud but muted
Lord have mercy.

Time for personal reflection and confession.
When we have not recognized God at work in the faith of others,
All:    Out loud but muted
Christ have mercy.

Time for personal reflection and confession.

In all that we have done and all that we have left undone,
All:    Out loud but muted
Lord have mercy.

Time for personal reflection and confession.

Assurance of Pardon

God calls each of us by name and cries out with tears of joy as we recognize God in our admission of need.
All:    Out loud but muted
Praise be to God who welcomes us as we are,
challenges us to let go of our guilt
and provides a way for us to walk on together.

Offertory Invitation

In times of plenty and want, God provides for our deepest needs.
Give generously out of the abundance of God’s blessing
so that in these challenging times God’s work might continue.

Offertory Dedication

All:    Out loud but muted
Holy God, you are our provider. 
We dedicate to your service our lives and these offerings
from your blessing and our labor. 
Work in us and through us to extend your love and care,
here and around the world. Amen.

Communion Prayer

God be with you.
All:    Out loud but muted
And with your spirit.

Lift up your
All:    Out loud but muted
We them up to God.

Give thanks to the God of Reconciliation.
All:    Out loud but muted
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

When the first humans found themselves naked and ashamed, you provided clothing so that the dust of their being might not be scattered upon the earth.
All:    Out loud but muted
* How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

When there was enmity between Jacob and his brother Esau, you wrestled with Jacob so that they might be reconciled.
All:    Out loud but muted
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
After Joseph was cast out by his brothers, you worked through him to welcome the children of Israel out of famine into a feast of reconciliation.

All:    Out loud but muted
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
When Jesus had been crucified, dead and buried, you lifted Christ from the grave to reconcile the world to yourself.

All:    Out loud but muted
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
When time shall be no more, and all your children, from every tribe and nation, every kindred and tongue, shall be gathered in peace, your eternal praise shall ring out.

All:    Out loud but muted
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
And so, even now with all people and all creation you have reconciled, in every time and place, we remember the unending hymn of praise.

*This prayer may also be prayed without continued use of the refrain: “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

Musical Sanctus by Mark Miller

Still Speaking “Sanctus” by Mark A Miller
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k9fza-ZTEgSVWub7h9A4hf_Bm-DnoSOW/view?usp=sharing
© 2020Mark A Miller, all publishing rights reserved. Permission given congregations to play recording during worship or education programs, and to stream online.

Words of Institution/Remembrance
                    See Book of Worship p. 47.

Prayer of Consecration

God of Hope and Renewal,
pour out your Spirit upon these gifts of grain and grape
that they might be for us the presence of the living Christ
and upon us so that we might be empowered
by and for your ministry of reconciliation.
Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours Almighty God, now and forever. 
Amen.

The Blessing

May the presence of Christ, Body and Spirit,
keep and preserve you to everlasting life.

Thanksgiving

Let us pray.
All:    Out loud but muted
Holy God,
thank you for your love which unites us,
your presence which fills us
and your life which empowers us to be your people.  Amen.

Sending

You have been reconciled with Christ.
Do the work of Christ in the world:
          extend support to those in need,
          speak up for those cast aside,
          build bridges of reconciliation,
          strengthen bonds of community,
          knowing that
          + the Maker of Our Days,
          the Restorer of Our Souls
          and the Breath of Our Lives
          will be with you this day and ever more.
Amen.

+ You may make a sign of the cross in remembrance of baptism

Written by the Rev. Dr. Bob Gross, OCC, Senior Pastor at Evangelical and Reformed United Church of Christ, Waukesha, WI.  Rev. Gross is a member of the Order of Corpus Christi, (OCC), which is an ecumenical covenantal community that seeks to be a contemporary expression of the Mercersburg Tradition.

Copyright 2020 Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 

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