This is a prayer for Holy Communion to be used during the Advent season.  It includes a sung refrain for the congregation, and assumes that participants know the first verse of “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” by heart. It also uses alternative (but still biblical) words of institution.  We’ve used this in the Eden chapel several times over the past few years, and it has gone well.

 

Cantor: As we join together in Holy Communion,
we invite you to join in the communion prayer by singing.
When you hear a low tone, we invite you to sing,
“O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.”
When you hear a high tone, we invite you to sing,
“Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel, shall come to you, O Israel.”

Leader 1: Lift up your hearts if they are downcast.

Leader 2: Open wide your hearts if they are pinched and tight.

Leader 3: It is right and good, and a joyful thing
always and everywhere to give thanks to God.  Amen?

Leader 1: Let us pray together.

Cantor: (low chime tone, leading congregation)
O come, O come, Immanuel
and ransom captive Israel!

Leader 1: (raise hands) Come, Strong Creating One,
show forth still more clearly in creation.
We give you thanks
that the world you have birthed still shines with your glory,
even as it groans with so much suffering.
Show us that all of this struggle and pain
are but the beginning of the birth pangs.

Cantor: (low chime tone, leading congregation)
O come, O come, Immanuel
and ransom captive Israel!

 

Leader 2: (raise hands) Come, Gracious Liberator,
deliver all your children from brokenness and self-deception.
We return thanks to you
because again and again you have made a way out of no way,
a passage to freedom,
a road home from exile.
Lead us through the oceans of tears,
through the crystal waters of the river of life,
and the sacred waters of new birth.

Cantor:(low chime tone, leading congregation)
O come, O come, Immanuel
and ransom captive Israel!

 

Leader 3: (raise hands) Come, God with us,
let this be the fullness of time.
We are grateful that in Jesus you have nestled close to our hearts,
and that your great love has set our hearts to burning within us.
Come, take root and grow in us,
that we may help to give birth to your Realm.

Cantor: (high chime tone, leading congregation)
Rejoice, rejoice Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

 

Leader 1: We remember, Blessed One,
that on the night in which he was betrayed,
Jesus looked squarely at his own death,
and spoke already of new life.

Leader 2: Gathered in an upper room
with his closest disciples, he said,
‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;
for I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kin-dom of God.’

Leader 3: Then he took a cup,
and after giving thanks he said,
‘Take this and divide it among yourselves;
for I tell you that from now on
I will not drink of the fruit of the vine
until the kin-dom of God comes.’

Cantor: (low chime tone, leading congregation)
O come, O come Immanuel
and ransom captive Israel

 

Leader 1: Come, Holy Spirit, Come.
Bless all of those here,
and these gifts of your creation,
that we may taste and see
that you are good.

Leader 2: Come and strengthen your church,
that it may rise up renewed
to resist the powers of evil
with courage and compassion.

Leader 3: Come and nourish all those who cry out to you
from hospital beds, and the beds of their despair.
Come and lift up all of us who are exploited for the comfort of others,
who are left behind in prison cells, in crumbling schools,
in war zones, and in the streets.

Leader 1: Come and wake up all of us who slumber in comfort and privilege,
who die the slow death of isolation and fear.

Cantor: (low chime tone, leading congregation)
O come, O come Immanuel
and ransom captive Israel

 

Leader 1: Maranatha!

Leader 2: Eternal One, come quickly!

Leader 3: So that your blessed Realm may break forth in our midst.

Cantor: (high chime tone, leading congregation)
Rejoice, rejoice Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

 

Leader 1: Amen, and let all the people say…

All:   Amen!

 

 

(After the elements have been prepared and all of the servers are in place, ready to serve:)

Leader 1: The gifts of God for the people of God.

Leader 2: Come, for all things are ready.

 

(Music plays while elements are distributed.)

 

Leader 3: (after everyone has eaten) As a sign of Christ’s peace,
and a sign of his promise to be among us when we gather here,
let us pass the peace of Christ to one another
with a handshake, a hug, or a bow.

(Music plays while the congregation shares the peace.)

 

 

 

 

Written by Christopher Grundy

 

Photo via Good Free Photos

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