A Pentecost Great Thanksgiving

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The following prayer for use during the celebration of Communion contains echoes and borrowings from hymns in Singing the Faith and elsewhere.

As well as referring to the Pentecost story told in Acts 2: 1-21, the prayer draws upon a number of hymns by contemporary writers. Some of these might be sung at other points during the service, helping to link the Communion liturgy with the rest of worship:

At the table of the world (Brian Wren, Bring Many Names © Hope Publishing 1989)
Crashing waters at creation (Sylvia Dunstan, StF 376)
Like the murmur of the dove’s song (Carl Daw, StF 389)
She sits like a bird, brooding on the waters (John Bell / Graham Maule, StF 393)
Spirit of the living God (Michael Baughen, CH4 620)

The prayer incorporates Prayers of Intercession.
Words in bold typeface to be spoken by all present.

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God’s Spirit is approaching
Through time, across continents, soaring over creation
God’s Spirit is speaking
Whispering and comforting, roaring and challenging
God’s Spirit surrounds us
Beyond touch, warmly embracing
God’s Spirit transforms us
Making our horizons wider
our faith stronger
our hopes possible

 
 

Here, now, God’s Spirit is working.
Through bread and wine,
through our hands and our lips,
all things are made new.

Creator God,*
like a bird you hovered over the chaos of the world’s first day,
drawing life from crashing waves
and making a world of possibility.
You hovered still over parting waters,
liberating an enslaved people,
guiding them forward with cloud and fire,
nurturing your followers and sharing your love.

Like a still, small voice
you made your presence felt to
prophets and healers,
to a people in exile,
and young mothers-to-be.
In the life of Jesus
your healing touch was felt
and all were made welcome.

Like flickering embers dancing into flame,
you revived those who looked for you,
inspiring their speech and startling onlookers.
Undeterred by death, you delivered
creative power,
transforming determination
and your eternal, supporting presence.

And she nurtures us still,
around this table made for sharing,
offering bread and wine
to celebrate, to be ourselves,
to meet God and listen to the world around us.

So, as we listen and as we eat and drink,
we pray for ourselves and for others.

———————————————————–

God of new beginnings,
because you come among us to make us whole,
we approach your table with delight and trepidation:
glad to be comforted,
ready to be challenged;
knowing your personal touch
and your generous love for all.

We come
with those who have nothing and need more,
with those who have all they require and look for nothing,
with those trapped and suffering in the gap dividing rich and poor.
May what we receive be shared with all,
food for bodies and nourishment for souls.
May your sharing and our sharing
show what is good for your world –
a way of being for nations and leaders, communities and individuals.

“At the table of the world,
some have plenty, some have none.
At the table of the our God,
all are plentifully fed.”

We come to your table
as individuals who know what it is to be vulnerable,
with worries that grow big in the night time,
and fears that diminish our confidence
but we are welcomed by you
with all who are vulnerable and scorned,
whose value is dismissed,
who are made to feel less than they are.

May the gifts we recognise in each other
draw us closer into community.
May we be changed by our neighbour
and see you active in all we meet.
Amen.

———————————————————–

Creative God, revealed to us in many ways,
we celebrate your transforming love
shared for all
as Jesus, on the night before he died,
shared bread and wine
with those who understood him and those who didn’t,
with those who would deny and betray him,
with the deserving and the undeserving.
He took bread.
He blessed it, broke it and gave it to them saying,
“Take this and divide it among yourselves. This is my body
which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way
he took the cup.
He blessed it and gave it to the disciples saying,
“Take this and divide it among yourselves. This cup which is
poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

Spirit of the living God
move among us all,
for you transform us into the people you invite us to be,
for you transform the world into the place you dream it to be.
Make us one in love,
humble, caring,
selfless, sharing.

Blow among us, Spirit of God,
fill us with your courage and care.
Hurricane and Breath,
take us on a journey of love!

_______________________________

Additional suggestions: As bread is shared, the congregation (seated) sings quietly Spirit of the living God (StF 395):

Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me,
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me
Break me, melt me,
mould me, fill me.
Spirit of the living God,
fall afresh on me.

*Section beginning “Creator God…”. This section of the prayer records the work of the Holy Spirit through history. Following John Bell and Graham Maule’s hymn “She sits like a bird, brooding on the waters” (StF 393), you may wish to re-phrase this section as a story, using the feminine reference to the Spirit. E.g.

Let us hear the story of the Spirit.

Like a bird she hovered over the chaos of the world’s first day,
drawing life from crashing waves…

Like a still, small voice
she made God’s presence felt… etc.

Categories: Pentecost, Worship Resources.

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