The author describes this as a “liturgical form known as a
‘bibliodramatic sermon,’ a technique… developed out of my study of psychodrama…it is a great way to actively involve the entire congregation in the creation/experience of a sermon, and neatly takes the limelight off the leader…”
[Congregants bring forward the entire Table setting, repeating the following words as they set the Table.]
The Table Linen
“This linen cloth symbolizes the shroud in which Jesus was wrapped at his burial, and reminds us of his sacrifice on our behalf, that our hearts might be broken open to Love.”
“These candles symbolize the light of the Spirit that God sent to illuminate our souls.”
“This cup of wine symbolizes the cup of blessing that Jesus shared with those, his disciples, who dared to follow him in re-creating God among us.”
“This bread symbolizes the spiritual food that God gives to us and all people.”
Holy One, as we gather together at your table, let this meal be a celebration of our thankfulness for your mercies and tender care, embodied in your son, Jesus Christ who walked among us, and touched us, and healed us. By partaking in this communal meal we remember your providence when you fed our ancestors with manna as they wandered in the desert. Likewise, we remember the lilies of the field, holding onto the hope that even as you care for these that neither toil nor spin, so will you also provide amply for us.
Let these symbols of bread and wine remind us of the sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth on the cross, who poured himself out that we might be brought to an awareness of true life. Let his example of love be powerful enough to awaken a responsive love in our own hearts, drawing us once again to you.
Receive us O God. Bless this meal and make yourself present in it. Open our hearts, feed our spirits, and enable us to receive you. Let the spiritual nourishment we are about to receive strengthen us to overcome adversity and put aside evil, such that we may do your will and walk your way, creating your blessed community among us.
On the night before he was to give up his life on the cross he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to his friends, and said, “Take, eat: This bread symbolizes the spiritual nourishment given freely to you by God, even as I have been given to you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
After supper, he took the cup of wine, gave thanks, and said, “Drink this all of you: This is the Cup of Blessing, which, like the blood of the martyrs, is poured out for you and for many, that you may embrace God’s constant forgiveness, and be merciful as God is merciful. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.
Holy One, open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only, and not for strength, for pardon only, and not for renewal. Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in his name.
Jesus Christ, be known to us in the breaking of the bread.
And now, as Jesus taught us we pray:
Holy One, hallowed be your name. Let your Way be known, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those that sin against us. Save us in the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the Way, the power, and the glory are yours forever and ever. Amen.
Alleluia. We have been invited to God’s holy Passover.
Therefore let us keep the feast.
The gifts of God for the People of God. Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and be thankful.
[Congregation communicates each other.]
Let us pray:
Almighty and ever living God,
We thank you for feeding us with spiritual food
and for assuring us in these holy mysteries
that we are living members of your blessed and eternal community.
And now, Holy One, send us out to do the work that you have given us to do,
to love and to serve you as faithful witness of Jesus Christ.
To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.