Monday, March 28, 2016

The Holy Communion: Second Order - A Service of Holy Communion in Modern English for Today's Congregations

The Holy Communion, Second Order is now on the A Prayer Book for North America website. The following comes from the introduction to the service.

"The Holy Communion, Second Order is designed for use in a variety of worship settings—both traditional and non-traditional. It may be tailored to the circumstances of the congregation using it.

"The Sentence of Scripture, the Collect for Purity, and the Gloria in Excelsis may be omitted at the beginning of the service and the minister may greet the people immediately before the Collect of the Day, permitting the restoration of the simplicity of the original entrance rite in the Western tradition.

"Three Bible readings may read. The sermon may be preached before or after the creed. The Apostles’ Creed may be used in place of the Nicene Creed and the creed may be omitted on weekdays.

"The Prayers of the People may conclude with the Lord’s Prayer.

"The Prayer of Thanksgiving and Consecration has two epicleses—a brief petition before the Words of Institution in which the minister prays that those eating and drinking the bread and wine may share in Christ’s body and blood and a petition after the anamnesis in which the minister prays that by the power of the Holy Spirit God will make the communicants increase and overflow with love for each other and “all the peoples of the Earth and strengthen their hearts so that they will be pure and blameless in God’s presence at Christ’s second coming. The phrase “share in his most precious body and blood” in the first epiclesis is taken from Holy Communion, First Form, in the Prayer Book of the Church of England in South Africa (1990) and is an allusion to 1 Corinthians 10:16. The second epiclesis is adapted from 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13.

"The exordium that begins the Post-Sanctus is a “recognition and joyful exclamation of God’s blessedness,” acknowledging that God is “the fullness and source of all blessing.’” Blessing God is not only a part of the Jewish synagogue services but also Jewish table prayers. Jesus, when he gave thanks to God over the bread and the cup at the Last Supper, would have blessed God for the bread and the wine.

"The people’s parts in the prayer are the responses in the Sursum Corda, the Sanctus, the Memorial Acclamation, and the concluding Doxology.

"Consistent with Reformed theology the prayer contains no invocation of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the bread and wine nor oblation of any kind.

"Communion immediately follows the consecration of the bread and wine. The bread may be broken during the Words of Institution or immediately before the Communion. During the Communion hymns, songs, and anthems may be sung.

"After the Communion a period of silent reflection may be observed. If the Lord’s Prayer has not been said at the conclusion of the Prayers of the People, it is said after the Communion. The congregation joins the minister in saying one of two prayers of dedication and thanksgiving. If the Gloria in Excelsis has not been sung earlier in the service, it may be sung after this prayer. Or a suitable hymn or song may be sung. The service concludes with a parting Blessing and an optional Dismissal."

Follow this link to  A Prayer Book for North America.

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