I have always loved the words of the URCNA form for communion for those churches who celebrate the Lord’s Supper frequently. One of my parishioners has often told me that he really loves these words as well. So I thought it would be good to share these beautiful words which explain in a nutshell the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper and how we should approach it with reverence, joy and thanksgiving.
Form for the Frequent Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
Approved for provisional use 2/15/07; revised 12/07/09
To all of you who have confessed your sins and affirmed your faith in Christ, the promise of Jesus is sure: “Whoever eats my body and drinks my blood has eternal life and will not come into condemnation.” For on the night in which our Lord was betrayed, he took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.” After the same manner also he took the cup, saying, “this cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” While remaining bread and wine, these sacred elements nevertheless become so united to the reality they signify that we do not doubt but joyfully believe that we receive in this meal nothing less than the crucified body and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For all who live in rebellion against God and unbelief, this holy food and drink will bring you only further condemnation. If you do not yet confess Jesus Christ and seek to live under his gracious reign, we admonish you to abstain. But all who repent and believe are invited to this sacred meal not because you are worthy in yourself, but because you are clothed in Christ’s perfect righteousness. Do not allow the weakness of your faith or your failures in the Christian life to keep you from this table. For it is given to us because of our weakness and because of our failures, in order to increase our faith by feeding us with the body and blood of Jesus Christ. As the Word has promised us God’s favor, so also our Heavenly Father has added this confirmation of his unchangeable promise. So come, believing sinners, for the table is ready. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Let us pray:
Almighty and everlasting God, who by the blood of your only begotten Son has secured for us a new and living way into the Holy of Holies, cleanse our minds and hearts by your Word and Spirit that we, your redeemed people, drawing close to you through this holy sacrament, may enjoy fellowship with the Holy Trinity through the body and blood of Christ our Savior. We know that our Ascended Savior does not live in temples made by hands, but is in heaven where he continues to intercede on our behalf. Through this sacrament, by Your own Word and Spirit, may these common elements be now set apart from ordinary use consecrated by You, so that just as truly as we eat and drink these elements by which our life is sustained, so truly we receive into our souls, for our spiritual life, the true body and true blood of Christ. We receive these by faith, which is the hand and mouth of our souls.
Apostles’ Creed (optional):
Let us now go to our Heavenly Table and receive the gift of God for our souls. By the promise of God this bread and wine are for us the body and blood of Christ.
(Minister) Lift up your hearts!
(People) We lift them up to the Lord.
(The elements are distributed, and the minister may use the formula)
The bread which we break is a communion of the body of Christ. Take, eat, remember, and believe that the body of our Lord Jesus Christ was broken for a complete remission of all our sins.
The cup of blessing which we bless is a communion of the blood of Christ. Take, drink all of it, remember, and believe that the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ was shed for a complete remission of all our sins.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for the blessing of this holy feast. Although we are unworthy to share this meal with you, it is by your invitation and dressed in Christ’s righteousness that we have come boldly into the Holy of Holies. Instead of wrath, we have received your pardon; in the place of fear we have been given hope. Our High Priest and Mediator of the New Covenant has reconciled us to you and even now intercedes for us at your right hand. Please strengthen us by these gifts so that, relying only on your promise to save sinners who call on Jesus’ name, we may, by your Spirit, honor you with our souls and bodies, to the honor