For the curious among you ‘who stole my stole1/2’ refer to Chaplain’s Musings of 12.10.20 and 18.01.21.

For those among you who like to make connections then also check website ‘seasonal worship’ and/or Anglicanism:  and/or

I might have to give out prizes for those who spot the connection(s) between the items of this series WHO STOLE MY STOLE ?

Now unless you were able to attend our OutdoorChurch ‘Service on the Mount’ last July, or one of the two Christmas Eucharists we were able to offer. You may well not have had Communion since February or March 2020. Even the sprinkling of Return2Church attendees ‘get’ Communion very rarely and then ‘only’ bread. And so it will be for some while yet I fear.

I’m working from the basis that when we are denied something precious to us we have two choices – to complain is certainly one but in my experience this doesn’t effect very much so therefore a bit pointless ? The second is that the being denied or deprived might invite us to reflect not only why something is so meaningful or important to us but also about the What.

When we celebrate the Eucharist weekly it can become so familiar that maybe we loose some of the Wow that would greet someone who encounters it for the first time.  The drama, the beauty of the language, the colours and shapes, the rituals and symbols. …. While I come from the school of ‘liturgy is at its most powerful when least meddled with’ I also am by nature a creative person and so have the capacity at least to understand that some people need change in order to keep things fresh.

So in the ongoing absence of Eucharist for most of us let me give you a version of the Offertory Prayer – it sits between ‘the Liturgy of the Word’ (readings and sermon and intercessions) and ‘the Liturgy of the Sacrament’ (Eucharistic Prayer and receiving and sharing communion). It sits in that place along with the Peace and the Preparation of the Altar. They together therefore have a transitional / hinge role – moving us from the first part of the service to the second and thus need to bear some theological weight. Here it is: the Priest would lead in the bold lines and the congregation respond with the lines in italics –

What do you bring to Christ’s table ?

We bring bread
made by many people’s work
from an unjust world
where some have plenty
and too many go hungry.

At this table all are fed
and no one is turned away.

Thanks be to God.

What do you bring to Christ’s table ?

We bring wine
made by many people’s work
from an unjust world
where some have leisure
and too many struggle to survive.

At this table all share the cup of pain and of celebration
and no one is denied.

Thanks be to God.

These gifts shall be for us the body and blood of Christ.

Our witness against hunger
Our cry against injustice
And our hope for a world
Where God is fully known
And every child is fed.

Thanks be to God.

We might want or need to read that through a couple of times.

What I see here is the presence of Hope (the type we focus on during Advent) and I see Prayer and Faith. I see Gratitude for a God who provides enough. I also see ‘taking a stand’ both FOR something (justice and a better world) and AGAINST something (injustice inequalities suffering).

I would love to hear what you see here in this Offertory Prayer.

And for those of you who don’t live alone, may it also yield some interesting conversations about the many and varied roles of the liturgies we love and trust.

Tomorrow 27.01. being Holocaust Memorial Day – we pray for all victims of Anti-semitism and other Race – related discrimination and violence, and for those who work for peace.

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