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Category: Resources

When I Survey | Metanoia #GoodFriday

This is something Ruth and I recorded a couple of years ago to use in online worship. We used it as part of our Stations of the Cross service on YouTube this afternoon. The Jesus Film footage is very kindly being allowed for use in online worship. I made contact with them and filled in the necessary forms. This crisis is really showing the best in people. The number of resources people are giving away free is amazing.

“Taste and See That the Lord is Good”. An Easy Prayer Station.

This is an easy idea for a prayer station based around some French sweets.

Ruth and I have spent a lot of time in France. Every time we are there we come back with a few bags of these sweets. I decided to make a prayer station out of them this year for the Estates Evangelism Task Group gathering a couple of weeks ago. I intended to leave it on the table in the bar for anyone to engage with.

I found it unopened in my bag when I got home. There was so much to do I completely forgot about it. Perhaps I’ll take it to church this Sunday. This weekend marks 1 year since General Synod made it’s commitment to our estate parishes. What better way to mark it than with the song Mary sang whilst Jesus was within her womb?

Magnificat sweets from a French supermarket.
Magnificat. Riche en beurre au cœur tendre.

The Magnificat

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; 
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed; 
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.

He has mercy on those who fear him, 
from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm 
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

Casting down the mighty from their thrones 
and lifting up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things 
and sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,

The promise made to our ancestors, 
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Luke 1.46-55

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Equipment.

Magnificat bonbons.
Laminator.
Small Basket.
Candle.

The Communion Meal

The communion meal is a service we have held at Holy Nativity for the last three years.  It is a communion service in reverse.  It is a place for all ages to gather together around God’s table, to share bread and wine together, to eat together, to explore the bible together and to pray together.  It is a place to participate in a family meal with the body of Christ.

The main thing to get right with the communion meal is the setting and the ambiance.  The table is set for dinner with a table cloth, placemats and cutlery.  We often have bible readings printed and put into plastic menu holders.  We begin with the Eucharistic prayer and pass the consecrated bread and wine around the table from one to another.  Then food is served.  We talk about our lives and our journeys as Christians.  A bible reading is shared.  There is no teaching as such, more a guided conversation where people explore the scriptures in relation to the modern world, their experiences and lives.

This is the most fascinating part.  Young children and pensioners and everyone in between discussing faith together.  Eight year old’s asking profound questions of adults and stretching them to think.  Adults learning from children and children learning from adults.  The dinner table puts everyone on an even footing.

Sometimes there are other activities to do during the meal.  Perhaps something that relates to the prayers.  Confession and prayer often come from the discussion.  Sometimes led by me, the priest.  Sometimes led by others around the table.  It is an environment that allows people to explore spirituality.

We’ve been holding monthly services like this for over three months.  Various people who come cook food.  We have had as many as forty (and the food stretched that far) but a core group of about 15.  The month that we had forty we had 15 asylum seekers come along unexpectedly.  The conversations across culture were fantastic as people learned from each other’s lives.  A medical doctor fleeing from Iran sharing with us how he couldn’t use his medical skills in the UK and was living on next to nothing.

For three years, I’ve had people ask for the resources we use.  I keep meaning to put them up here but run out of time.  There is a placemat which we have laminated.  It has all of the essential bits of the liturgy for people around the table.  I also have a word document of the key pieces of the liturgy for the priest.  I run it off a tablet but you could easily print it off.

A big thanks to Revd Jonnie Parkin who helped me think through some of the issues the Communion Meal raises.  I visited the Luminous Community in Lincoln where we both started holding services like this at the same time.  His wisdom enabled our community to develop a wonderful sense of community and I value his shared good practice.

PDF Placemats No Logo

Document Communion Meal Placemats Wording

Communion Meal Liturgy Priest