This past year I have served on the “Ordo Planning Team,” a group of students who plan monthly liturgies that experiment with “out of the box” ideas for worship. One option we had was to write a new Eucharistic prayer for one-time, local, non-Sunday use. Today’s Gospel was part of John chapter 6, in which Jesus says, “I AM the Bread of Life.” I wrote within one of the forms provided in the Book of Common Prayer, and explored the image of bread. (We also had fresh-baked bread at the Table today.) It was fun to experiment with the challenging and rewarding form of anaphora poetry, the poetry of Eucharistic prayers.
Following the pre-Sanctus material and the Sanctus, the Presider continues:
Blessed are you, O God, Sovereign of the universe. You created the heavens and the earth, and fed our parents, Adam and Eve, with fruit from the garden. You open wide your hand and give food to every living creature. You restored the bounty of the earth after the flood; you gave your servants Abraham and Sarah food for their guests; you nourished Jacob and his family in a time of famine; you led your people into freedom and fed them with manna in the wilderness.
You fill the widow’s larder with oil;
you gather an abundant harvest of righteousness;
you give us bread to eat, and so we live.
Your Spirit overshadowed your servant Mary, who gave birth to Jesus your Son, the Bread of Life. He fed the multitudes with barley loaves, the bread of the poor; he offered his own body as food for the life of the world. He reconciled his friends to himself at breakfast by the sea.
On the night he was handed over to suffering and death,
our Lord Jesus Christ took bread;
and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it,
and gave it to his disciples, and said,
“Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.”
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks,
he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you:
This is my Blood of the new Covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
We proclaim the mystery of faith:
Dying, you destroyed our death.
Rising, you restore our life.
Lord Jesus, come in glory.
O God, you are Wheat of Abundance: nourish us with your life.
O God, you are Oil of Gladness: pour over us the joy of reconciliation.
O God, you are Salt of the Earth: send us into your field of mission.
O God, you are Milk and Honey: return all people to their home in you.
Accept, O Lord, our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, this memorial of our redemption. Send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts. Let them be for us the Body and Blood of your Son, and grant that we who eat this bread and drink this cup may be filled with your life and goodness.
Leaven this gathered community with your Holy Spirit, that we with your whole creation might be renewed, and find a place at your abundant table where Lazarus is poor no longer.
All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ, by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.
Bonus: I also wrote out a dismissal that I made up a few years ago at a deacon retreat:
Alleluia, alleluia. Did not our hearts burn within us while he opened to us the scriptures? And did we not recognize him in the breaking of the bread? Let us get up, and go, and tell the others what we have seen. Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.