World Communion Sunday Helps

September 28th, 2012

World Communion Sunday falls on the first Sunday of October, as churches around the world celebrate their oneness in Christ by gathering at the Communion table. For this service, it is appropriate to have persons bring breads from their countries of origin or countries where the church supports mission. Taking Communion with a different kind of bread may represent solidarity with another culture or remind us that church around the world is all one body of Christ. See the special Prayer of Confession in the Resources section that follows the Great Thanksgivings for World Communion Sunday.

Include a note in the bulletin or take the children's sermon time to explain the various breads and their origins. Some options to consider: rye bread, scones, cornbread, pita bread, tortillas, rice cakes, foccaccia, injera (from Ethiopia). Day-old bread can remind us of those in our own country for whom fresh bread is a luxury. (Check out our “Breads of the World” Pinterest board for recipes.)

Display the breads on the altar table as the service begins. Prepare plates of bite-sized portions—all types of bread on each plate—beforehand.

Great Thanksgiving for World Communion Sunday, Option One

This prayer is based on Ephesians 4:4-6.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
God of all nations, you created every person in your image and called us by your Holy Spirit to become one in Christ Jesus, through Baptism and through faith.
In Jesus Christ, you showed us the way to live with unique gifts and particularities, yet in harmony with you and with each other.
You, O God, are indeed above all and through all and in all.
So, today we join with voices throughout the earth and in heaven, saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!
Holy are you and blessed is your child, Jesus Christ.
Jesus lived among us to show us your love: caring enough to feed hungry persons, stopping to touch persons in need of healing, reaching out to those not like himself:
a Samaritan woman at a well,
lepers from another country,
those tortured by demons,
a father pleading for his daughter,
a woman from Syro-Phoenicia,
Zacchaeus, a tax collector,
a rich young ruler, and humble fishermen.
When people gathered to hear his teachings, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them to eat, so that they might be fed.
When Jesus ate with his disciples for his final meal on earth, they remembered his blessing on the multitude, and listened as he told them:
“Take, eat, this is my body given for you.”
They watched as Jesus took the cup, blessed it and said,
“Take, drink, this is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for the whole world for the forgiveness of sins.”
After his death and resurrection, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the disciples told others through this meal, that Jesus was the Messiah, sent by God, for all humankind.
Remembering now, we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ, by your cross and resurrection
you have set us free.
You are the Savior of the world.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on the table
spread this day around this globe,
and here spread with breads from around the world.
May all who partake, wherever they live,
know the reconciling love of Jesus Christ.
May your church go forth from Communion with you
to be one in Christ and one in witness to the world.
In your Holy Name we pray. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving with Sung Response

The congregational response may be sung using: “Amen, We Praise Your Name, O God (Amen Siakudumisa)” from South Africa; “Halle, Halle, Halle” from the Caribbean; or an “Alleluia” familiar to the congregation.

Almighty and merciful God,
we thank you for your presence in our midst
as we gather in praise and thanksgiving to you.
(Congregational Response)
Creator God, you made humankind in your image,
with varied hues of skin, hair, and eyes,
of varied heights and widths,
with differing talents and gifts.
Yet all of us are beautiful in your sight.
We give you thanks for calling us to be your children.
(Congregational Response)
We thank you for sending Jesus Christ to live among us.
In his time on earth, Jesus reached out to all persons,
poor and rich,
children, women and men,
sick and marginalized.
He taught us to do the same.
And he gave us this meal to remember him:
taking a loaf of bread, giving thanks,
he broke it and said,
“This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, he took the cup after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ and for this meal.
(Congregational Response)
We ask your Holy Spirit to come to the table
spread around the world today:
Bless each person and bless our partaking
that we may grow into your body,
united in your love,
to bring your reconciling peace to the whole world.
For these hopes and for all your promises given and kept,
we give you thanks, Holy Trinity, now and forever.
(Congregational Response)

Prayer of Confession for World Communion Sunday

God of mercy,
we confess that we have not loved you with all our being.
We have done things which we ought not to have done,
and we have left undone things which we ought to have done.
We have built walls between neighbors and between countries, and we have ignored the cries of those in need.
Forgive us and set us free, that we may live into the hope of your calling, that your reign may come on earth as it is in heaven.
Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Thanks be to God: Jesus died for our sins.
We are forgiven!
We are forgiven. Thanks be to God.

Table dismissals

• Go to be God's peace in the world.

• Go to share God's love with all of God's children everywhere.

• Be at one with your brothers and sisters throughout creation.

• Go in the power of the Holy Spirit to shine God's love abroad.

• Go forth to meet the world that God loves.

• Go forth to be the presence of God in the world.

• Go into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.


Excerpted from Just In Time: Communion Services by Robin Knowles Wallace, part of the Just in Time series included with a subscription to Ministry Matters.

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