New Years Eve – Communion Liturgy
You are invited to find a quiet space and bring some bread and wine (or similar) to your table.
Later in the service, we will light a candle for the New Year so you might want to have that nearby.
In this service we join with all our friends, separated by time and space, yet one in the love of God.
Call to Worship
May the God of new beginnings be with you.
And also with you.
People of God, lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the One who makes all things, including us, new.
Children of God, sing praises to the One who gives us new life.
We praise the One who continues to surprise us with hope and grace.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
God of wisdom and truth, at the end of this unusual year,
we look back and we look forward.
In the year that has passed we experienced joy and we experienced sorrow;
we felt blessed and we felt challenged.
Some things went by much too fast, and some things lingered for far too long.
We are reminded that you are present through it all.
We are reminded that we are never alone.
We are reminded that nothing can separate us from your love.
So on the cusp of a new year, we pause to reflect on the year passed.
We remember the things from this past year for which we are most thankful.
We recall the moments we were the happiest.
We consider the times we felt most alive.
We recognize the times we gave and received the most love.
We are grateful, God, that you were present in those times.
We also remember the things from this past year for which we are least thankful.
We recall the moments we were anxious or overwhelmed.
We consider the times we felt life draining from us.
We recognize the times we gave and received the least love.
We are grateful, God, that you were present in those times too.
Gracious God, at the beginning of a new year, we also look forward to the year to come.
We are confident that you will be with us still, when we are thankful and when we are not;
when we are happy and when we are sad; when we feel alive and when we feel drained;
when we give and receive love and when we do not.
God, the world we live in is messy and challenging.
Yet, God, you are with us always – and the light of your love can never be extinguished.
So give us grace and give us courage to live faithfully in this imperfect world.
Remind us always of the promise of your kingdom, emerging around us and through us.
May we be troubled by injustice and be moved to act.
May we be led by compassion and be moved to serve.
May we be a living example of your gracious love,
not only in word but in deed. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Call to Reconciliation
Perhaps this year be a time of new life, new ways for us;
or perhaps we will fall back into some of our old, unhealthy patterns.
Let us spend a moment in stillness as we reflect on the changes we need to make;
offer to God our past failures; seek forgiveness; and welcome God’s strength for a change of ways.
Time of silence
Assurance of Pardon
2020 is almost done. Our words, our thoughts, our deeds are in the past.
Today, we begin anew. Today, and every day, God offers us new life and hope.
Here, now, forever – we are forgiven and healed.
This coming year, let us live as such people.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
I wonder what burdens from the past year you want to lay down.
I wonder what fears, and hopes, you have for the new year.
I wonder if you have any resolutions, commitments or plans to live more
faithfully or fully this coming year – to let your light shine bright.
I wonder what you want to say to God of the year to come.
I wonder what God might want to say to you.
Psalm 104 (Redux – Carla Grosch-Miller) and lighting of the candle.
All our laughter, all our sadness; held in the light of God’s love.
All our anger, all our gladness; held in the light of God’s love.
All our memories, all our hopes; held in the light of God’s love.
Those we remember, those we love; held in the light of God’s love.
The Lord’s Prayer
At the dawning of a new year, we again recall how Jesus gathered around tables just like ours.
When he poured wine and broke bread; when everyone could eat – the outcast and the beloved;
the arrogant and the gracious; the wrong-doer and the wrongly done by –
the table became a foretaste of love made real and a hurting world made whole.
Tonight, as the old year flows into the new, we welcome Christ around our home tables.
So if you have burdens you need to lay down, welcome to the table.
If you need to hear words of forgiveness, welcome to the table.
If you need the strength to hope, to believe, to grieve, to love, or simply to carry on,
welcome to the table where Christ is guest and host. Let us pray…
Before there was time, Hope of Eternity,
You took a moment to bring creation out of chaos.
You took time to create mountains, and carve deep canyons;
You made the time to fill the ocean and to plant food for all creatures;
You found the time to water a Garden, and to shape us in Your image.
But we did not always have time for You,
preferring to spend our days chasing our own egos.
Yet you still always made time for us, speaking of Your hopes through the
prophets, sharing Your dreams through the angels.
Then, one day You decided to do a new thing, becoming one of us
as Jesus was born to Mary, bringing life and light to all.
This evening, we gather around our tables with you, risen Jesus,
mindful of how you laid your life down,
so that we and creation could be born anew.
Mindful of how you took your life up again,
so that we and creation could be filled with the life abundant.
Mindful that we cannot earn or purchase this privilege,
but that it is your grace which beckons and blesses us.
May the Divine Spirit move in these fruits of the earth,
so that they may become for us a sharing in Christ’s body and blood.
May the Divine Spirit move in us,
so that we may be transformed into Christ’s body,v
embodying his life, his care, his hope for all creation.
At that last supper with his friends, Jesus took the leftover bread, broke it and shared it with his friends saying,
“Take and eat, this is my body broken for you. Do this and remember me.” (Break the bread)
We remember how, after the meal, He took the cup of wine, gave thanks for it and then passed it around with these words:
“This is my blood shed for you. Drink this and remember Me”.
And now, every time we eat bread like this, and every time we drink wine like this, we remember Jesus,
and His everlasting love. (Share the bread and wine followed by a time of quiet)
God beyond time, thank you for your presence in our lives, today and each day.
Thank you for renewing us through this meal, and strengthening us each step we take into this new year.
Blessing and hymn:
One more step along the world I go!