Liturgy for a Meal of Longing and Remembrance

Liturgy for a Meal of Longing and Remembrance

In the earliest days of the Church, the Lord's Supper was celebrated in homes in the context of a communal meal. Over time, the meal was set aside, and the sole focus of the gathering became Word and Sacrament. In many traditions, a vestige of the earliest pattern remains in what is often called an Agape Meal. The Agape Meal is commonly received after Eucharist.

During this season of imposed isolation, families can pray these prayers around a meal to be reminded of Jesus' presence with them. Obviously, these prayers do not constitute the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. They remind us of Jesus' presence in "ordinary" moments, even in these extraordinary days.

The prayers below are adapted from The Book of Occasional Services.

After Gathering for the Meal

Lord Jesus, we recognize that during this season of imposed isolation we are unable to participate in the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. We long for the day when we will be restored to fellowship with our brothers and sisters and able to worship you with them.

We also recognize that, as Holy Eucharist points towards the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, so does every meal. So, with special intention we offer you this meal in remembrance of your promise to be with us always, even to the end of the age.

Over Wine*

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You create the fruit of the vine; and we long for you once again to refresh us with the cup of salvation in the Blood of your Son Jesus Christ. Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen.

Over Bread

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You bring forth bread from the earth; and we long for you once again to give us the bread of life in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ. As grain scattered upon the earth is gathered into one loaf, so gather your Church in every place into the kingdom of your Son. To you be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Over the Other Foods

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You have blessed the earth to bring forth food to satisfy our hunger. Let this food strengthen us, that following our Savior in the way of the cross, we may come to the joy of his resurrection. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, now and forever. Amen.

*Grape juice may be substituted for children and others who do not wish to partake in wine.