United Church of Christ

Trinity Sunday Communion - June 7

Created by Community for Community
A Service of Holy Communion for Trinity Sunday
Online
June 7, 2020

Since Congregations are returning to “in-person” services at different paces, Worship Ways for Summer 2020 will be edited for online use.  “Rubrics” for virtual services will be noted in red;  take and adapt as you need!

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.

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, its 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]

Gathering Ritual This was written for in-person worship. You may want to invite a family, or others who reside at a single dwelling, to perform this ritual for the congregation during your online worship.

Invite the congregation to join in creating a piece of art.  Provide three clear glass vases.  In this art piece, each vase represents a person of the Trinity, they are each unique but the piece is incomplete without all three.  Into each of the vases, place some small river rock stones to symbolize our common baptism.  Then have baskets with glass “marbles” for flower decorating available in your local craft store, a different color marble in each basket.  Invite the congregation to come forward and grab a handful of marbles, in a color of their choice, and place them in a vase of their choice.  When you are done you will have an art piece reflecting the Trinity and your congregation.

As people are coming forward to place their stones in the vases you could sing a repetitive chant such as the Trisagion (TNCH  747 in public domain) or you may want to consider a series of chants or praise choruses (perhaps one each focused upon Creator, Christ and Spirit).

Call to Worship

Leader will speak the words of the people, as well as the leader’s part

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

                    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Many:         Out loud but muted
                    In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God
                    and the Word was God. 

                     In the beginning the Spirit of God swept over the face of the waters.
Many:          Out loud but muted
                     In the beginning God said, “Let us make humankind in our image.”

                     And so we came into being, created by God who exists in community.
Many:          Out loud but muted
                     We are here as God’s community to worship the Source of our being.

Opening Prayer

Holy Mother you have birthed us into life,
Holy Father you have nurtured us along our way,
In you we have live and move and have our being.
To you we bring our offering of praise and thanksgiving.
We open ourselves to your presence in this time of worship.
Fill us with resolve and purpose, to be your community
and to expand our boundaries until all of creation is renewed
and all people are welcomed and blessed.
This we ask through the risen and ascended Christ
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Reading Scripture 

The Genesis text, (1:1-2:4a) is rather long at roughly 35 verses.  Consider a choral reading of the text.  The week prior, on Pentecost Sunday, why not invite members of your congregation to sign-up to memorize one verse each.  (If you have less than 35 in worship divide the verses accordingly or if memorization makes some nervous, you can let individuals read their verse(s).) Pre-readers can be taught their verse and those in the congregation who speak through American Sign Language should be heard as well.  If you are blessed to have people who speak other languages, let them be heard. Then, when the time comes in the service to recite the scripture on Trinity Sunday, have each person stand and recite their verse in turn.  The speakers can stand where they are, line up at a microphone or circle the congregation.   It would be up to each person to decide how their voice will sound as they recite their verse.  Listen, as they do so, to the unity and diversity of the community God is creating in your midst and when the text is recited celebrate the goodness of God’s handiwork.  

Prayer of Confession  

Holy God, we were created in your image,
an image of mutuality and respect for one another;
an image of a dance ever moving, ever in tune one with others;
an image of community with shared blessing and mission.
You have given us dominion over the work of your hands.
You have charged us to be fruitful and multiply,
to make disciples of all nations.

Many:             Out loud but muted
                        Forgive us God; we have denied our purpose.
 

                        We have abused the earth’s resources for our own selfish gain
                        and the consequences wreak havoc upon the fish of the sea,
                        the birds of the air and every living thing that moves upon the earth.
Many:             Out loud but muted

                        Forgive us God; we have defiled your image. 

                         We have regarded some of your children as “other”
                         and therefore, beyond the reach of your love and care
                         because their professed faith in you, or lack thereof,
                         is different from our own.
Many:             Out loud but muted
                         Forgive us God; for we have sinned.

                    Silence for personal reflection and confession

Words of Absolution

God desires to see broken relationships restored
and has heard our prayer.
In the name of Jesus the Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit,
we are forgiven.

Many:              Out loud but muted
                         Thanks be to God.

Scripture, Sermon, Prayers of the People

Notes for the worship planners in 2020:

  • Consider a simple message or even an interactive Bible Study that engages people with the Scriptures for today.  Here are some themes you may choose to consider:

Creator – If you chose to do the Genesis memorization exercise, you may want to engage the congregation with their experience of memorization, what they learned about the text as they prepared, and what choices they made in the process. The Psalm is an opportunity to marvel at the beauty of God’s creation.

Christ – It might be fruitful to have a conversation around the question, “What does it mean to ‘make disciples?’”

Holy Spirit – Where do you sense the Spirit of God hovering over us, bringing order out of our current chaos? (Genesis 1:1)– Where do you sense the Holy Spirit binding us together, even as we are apart? (2 Corinthians 13:13)
Matthew 28: What does it mean to “make disciples?”

  • For the Prayers of the People, you might use a bidding prayer (“God, we pray today for those who are sick, including ….”) and encourage folk to type in their prayers using Zoom chat or Facebook Live; allow for more time in silence for those prayers to be typed and read. Consider a collective response at the end of each bidding prayer.
  • A caution regarding prayers of the People online: 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

 

Offertory Invitation

God has abundantly bestowed upon us the gift of life. 
Our best response is to offer our whole lives
as agents for God’s mission in the world.  
Give as you are able to build the community of God
in our homes, our congregation and around the world.

Offertory Dedication

Receive these gifts,
even our very lives for your service.
Multiply them and our effort to meet the need. 
We are yours God, use us we pray, Amen.

 

Holy Communion

As grain that was scattered on the hillside
was gathered together and made into one loaf,
so too, we, scattered at tables in our own homes,
are bound together around Christ’s table
and become one.

As grapes grown in the field
are gathered together and pressed into wine,
so too are we drawn together
and pressed by our times
to share a common lot
and are transformed into Christ’s self-giving love for all.

God be with you.

Many: Out loud but muted
           And with your spirit.
           Lift up your hearts

Many: Out loud but muted
           We them up to God.
           Give thanks to God, Blessed Trinity

Many: Out loud but muted  
           It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Praise to you Divine Creator. 

Thank you for the gift of life,
the beauty of nature,
the structure the law
and your steadfast loving kindness.

Praise to you Divine Redeemer.
Thank you for sharing our human existence,
from birth through death to everlasting life
you have shown us a way worth emulating,
bringing healing and hope to those most in need.

Praise to you Divine Sustainer.
Thank you for the vision to see beyond the immediate,
a calm in the midst of storm,
the strength to build an ever expanding community
and the courage to bring about any change necessary within our lives.

The Words of Institution/Remembrance (see BOW p. 47)

Prayer of Consecration

Holy God, descend your Spirit upon these gifts of grain and grape
that they might be for us the presence of the living Christ
and pour out your Spirit upon us
so that we might taken, blessed, broken and distributed
so that others might know the blessings
of living in communion with you and one another. 
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.

Breaking and Pouring        

The Prayer of Our Savior

The Distribution

The Blessing

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

Thanksgiving

          Let us pray.

Many:          Out loud but muted

For the beauty of creation,
the gift of life and your presence with each of us,
even though we are physically distanced,
we give you thanks. 
Work through us
so that we might be channels of your mission in the world,
to build your community on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Sending

God calls us from this time of worship
to share the hope of abundant life in the presence of hardship,
relationship that transcends the barriers of isolation,
and to do what we can, where we are,
to be the body of Christ.

Many:          Out loud but muted

This is what we were created for.

+ The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,<br/ and the communion of the Holy Spirit<br/ will go with you and before you, today 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 Justice and 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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