News and Views

Heritage Sunday Litany and Communion Liturgy

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his  Call to Worship, Opening Prayer and  Communion  Litany are offered for churches as they observe Heritage Sunday and Aldersgate Day on May 24 or day of their choosing.  They were written by the Rev. Bonnie J.  McCubbin. 

 Call to Worship 

One: We’ve come to worship and celebrate God and the 283 years of ministry since the Aldersgate Experience!
Many: Thanks be to God for our witness to the community!
One: We’ve come to give thanks for the gift of Christ and the Spirit in our lives.
Many: We’ve come to praise God for the people who had the faith and vision to establish this congregation.
One: We give thanks and praise for all the members, past and present, who have given their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness to this congregation!
Many: We give praise and thanks for all those who have led worship, preached and taught us!
One: We are all disciples who are part of this witnessing body! Let us worship God together.
Many: Let us worship God together! Thanks be to God! Amen!

Opening Prayer for Aldersgate Sunday 

Almighty and Most Blessed Creator, we give thanks and praise to you for the many years of ministry here in our community! We are grateful for the opportunity to share your message with our neighbors. But sometimes, Lord, we have failed to live as your disciples. We have neglected opportunities to share the Good News with others; we have gossiped; we have maintained racist structures and attitudes; we have disobeyed your commandments. We ask for your forgiveness, and pray that you will help us to live as your disciples as we continue in mission and ministry near and far. Amen.

Communion Litany for Heritage Sunday

Come, all who are sinners.
Come, all who are weary.
Come, all who desire a deeper relationship.
Come, just as you are.
You are welcome here at God’s Table;
            no matter what you’ve done or left undone;
           what you’ve said or left unsaid;
            you are welcome to receive God’s love and grace.

 Today, we are practicing what is called an “open table” which means that all who earnestly repent of their sins and seek to grow in love and fellowship are welcome to come and receive the gift of the bread and fruit of the vine.

 [We will be practicing Communion by intinction, which means that you will take the piece of bread that is offered to you, lightly dip it in the cup, and then receive both elements together. You are invited you to come forward as you feel led.]

 [The pastor stands behind the Lord’s Table.]

 The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. The pastor may lift hands and keep them raised.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
always and everywhere to give thanks to you,

Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth,
God of Abraham and Sarah,
God of Miriam and Moses,
God of Joshua and Deborah,
God of Ruth and David,
God of the priests and the prophets,
God of Mary and Joseph,
God of the apostles and martyrs,
God of our mothers and fathers,
God of John, Charles, and Susanna Wesley,
God of Philip William Otterbein, Jacob Albright, Richard Allen, Harry Hoosier, and Absalom Jones,
God of John and Elizabeth Strawbridge, Francis Asbury, John Evans, Thomas Coke, and Thomas Vassey,
God of Mary Evans Thorne, Barbara Heck, Sarah Mallet, and Sojourner Truth,
God of Amanda Hanby Billhelimer, Helinor Davisson, Anna Howard Shaw, Anna Oliver,
God of Fanny Crosby and Rosa Parks,
God of Marjorie Matthews and Leotine Kelly,
God of our children to all generations:

From the dust of the earth,
you formed us into your image—male, female, and non-binary; black, brown, and white; and breathed into us the breath of life.
You delivered us from captivity, made covenant to be our sovereign God,
and spoke to us through your prophets, who looked for that day
 when justice shall roll down like waters
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,
when nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.
From the dust of a new nation you raised up a people with a passion for justice, mercy, and piety.

 And so, with your people on earth, and all the company of heaven
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

[The pastor may lower hands.]

 Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

[The pastor may raise hands.]

 Creator God, holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.
By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection
you gave birth to your Church universal,
delivered us from slavery to sin and death,
and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

[The pastor may hold hands, palms down, over the bread, or touch the bread, or lift the bread.]

 On that fateful Thursday night, Jesus was gathered with 12 of his closest companion around a table.
They were sharing a meal like they had done so many times before.
During the course of the meal, Jesus took the everyday, common loaf of bread,
lifted it, gave thanks to God, and blessed it.
He broke the bread, offered it to the disciples, saying:
“Take and eat. This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

[The pastor may hold hands, palms down, over the cup, or touch the cup, or lift the cup.]

 And after the meal was over, Jesus took the cup,
gave thanks to God, blessed it, and offered it to the disciples, saying:
“Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,
Poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

 [The pastor may raise hands.]

 And so, in remembrance of God’s mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

 [The pastor may hold hands, palms down, over the bread and cup.]

 Almighty God, pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and the fruit of the vine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ.
That we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.

 [The pastor may raise hands.]

 Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
Strengthen us to run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ,
one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world,
until Christ comes again in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet.

 Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church,
all honor and glory is yours, Almighty God, now and forever.


 [Breaking of the bread.]

The body of Christ, broken for you. Though we are broken people, through Christ we may be made whole.

 [Lifting of the Cup.]

 The Cup of Salvation which is poured out for you.

 The Table is set. Won’t you come and receive God’s love?