Eucharistic Prayer for All Ages

I wrote this Eucharistic prayer for the inter-generational service at St. Stephen’s, which happens once a month. My goals were to write a shorter prayer than is in the BCP, but which still contains all the necessary elements; to make it more participatory; and to use language that doesn’t need another layer of translation. We consciously made the choice to involve the congregation in the words of institution, saying them along with the celebrant, in order to help our younger members feel more connected to the action happening at the altar. (Note that the celebrant’s part is in normal text, and the congregation’s part is in bold.) *

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

With great joy we give you thanks, O God,
for creating everything that is:
the planets and the stars;
the sunshine and the rain;
the ocean and the trees;
our cats and dogs;
our families and friends;
and each of us,
a member of your great family.
With every member of that family
who has gone before us into the fullness of your presence,
we raise our voices to you as we sing.

Holy, holy, holy…

God of love, you made us for yourself,
but rather than doing what you asked of us,
we ignored your teachings and followed the wrong paths.
We separated ourselves from each other and from you.
But in your love you sent your Son Jesus Christ
to be the way to follow,
the truth to find,
and the life given to show us how to live our lives.
He stretched out his arms on the cross
so that everyone might come within the reach of his saving embrace.
He died there and rose again to new life to show us that nothing,
not even death, is as strong as God’s love.

On the night before he died,
Jesus was having dinner with his friends when he took bread,
gave thanks to you,
and broke it into pieces for them to share saying:
Take, eat, this is my body, which I’m giving for you;
whenever you do this, I’ll be present with you.” **

After the meal, Jesus took a cup of wine in his hands,
gave thanks to you, and passed the cup to his friends, saying:
Drink this, all of you.
This is my blood, which I’m shedding for you and for all,
as a promise that your sins are forgiven.
Whenever you do this, I’ll be here.” **

Celebrating Jesus Christ’s presence in this moment
and each moment of our lives, we proclaim:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

And we offer our thanks and praise to you, O God,
with these gifts of bread and wine.
Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people
the Body and Blood of your Son,
that we may know Christ is a part of us and we are a part of him.
With the broken bread, make us whole.
With the flowing wine, pour your grace into our hearts.
With your abundant blessing, unite us together as one family in your love.
All this we ask through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord;
in his name and in the power of the Holy Spirit,
we give you all honor and glory,
most holy God, now and forever. AMEN.


* There are two or three lines in this prayer that I’m sure I borrowed from other Eucharistic Prayers I’ve heard, but I just can’t remember where. If I can dig up where those few lines are from, I will cite them here. If you know, please let me know! Also,  please understand that any plagiarism is unintended and is a result of another’s prayer becoming such a part of me that I think it is my own. (Note that these borrowed lines also include the Sursum Corda, Memorial Acclamation, and Epiclesis, which are standard lines from the BCP).
** These two pieces of bold dialogue are said by the celebrant and congregation together.

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