This form contains the essential elements for celebrating the sacrament as prescribed by the CRC, as well as some options and alternative prayers for seasonal or topical use. Rubrics, alternatives, and options are presented in italics.

The Invitation

Welcome to the feast of the Lord. All who are baptized and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are invited to join in this meal. Or other words that bring forward the theme of the sermon of the day.

Since many congregations may benefit from learning more about the Lord’s Supper, people may find it helpful if the minister uses various brief additional words of invitation that accent different aspects of the meaning of the sacrament. The following are suggestions.

  1. Christ invites all his baptized people who trust in Christ as their Savior to dine at his table, where he will feed them with himself by the Holy Spirit. Come to receive all the benefits and blessings of his atoning death, his life-giving resurrection, and his ascended lordship.
  2. We come to the table not just as individuals but as a community. By sharing the loaf and the cup, Christ makes us one with him and with each other.
  3. Just as we are nourished by the food we eat, Christ nourishes us spiritually at this table with the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation.
  4. This is the joyful feast of the Lord, for the elements we receive symbolize not just the flesh and blood of the crucified Lord but the life-giving flesh and blood of the risen and ascended Lord.
  5. As we come to the table as repentant sinners, Christ wants to assure us of his forgiveness. As we come with our struggles, Christ wants to assure us of his living presence. As we come with our doubts, Christ wants to touch us with the flesh and blood reality of his life.
  6. At the Lord’s Supper we look back, remembering the whole story of our salvation; we look around, seeing that we are together members of the body of Christ; we look forward to the great banquet in God’s coming kingdom; and we look up to our ascended Lord, who promises to feed us with his body and blood by the Holy Spirit.
  7. Congregation of Jesus Christ, the Lord has prepared his table for all who love him and trust in him alone for their salvation. All who are truly sorry for their sins, who sincerely believe in the Lord Jesus as their Savior, and who desire to live in obedience to him as Lord, are now invited to come with gladness to the table of the Lord.

The Thanksgiving

[The people stand.]

Minister: Lift up your hearts.

People: We lift them up to the Lord.

Minister: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.

People: It is right for us to give thanks and praise.

Minister:
With joy we praise you, gracious Father,
      for you have created heaven and earth,
      made us in your image, and kept covenant with us—
      even when we fell into sin.
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord,
      who by his life, death, and resurrection
      opened to us the way of everlasting life.
Therefore we join our voices
      with all the saints and angels and the whole creation
      to proclaim the glory of your name.

[The minister may offer in his or her own words a prayer of thanksgiving for the saving work of God in Jesus Christ.]

[This may be spoken or sung using one of the many “Holy, Holy, Holy” hymns.]

People: 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.

Alternative Prayers of Thanksgiving

[Or, the minister may offer one of these seasonal prayers ending with the Hymn of Praise.]

[for Advent or Christ’s return]
With joy we praise you, gracious Father,
      for you have created heaven and earth,
      made us in your image, and kept covenant with us—
      even when we fell into sin.
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord,
      whose coming opened to us the way of salvation
      and whose triumphant return we eagerly await.
Therefore . . .

[for Christmas or incarnation]
With joy we praise you, gracious Father,
      for you have created heaven and earth,
      made us in your image, and kept covenant with us—
      even when we fell into sin.
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord,
      who came among us as the Word made flesh
      to show us your glory, full of grace and truth.
Therefore . . .

[for (or after) Epiphany or missions]
With joy we praise you, gracious Father,
      for you have created heaven and earth,
      made us in your image, and kept covenant with us—
      even when we fell into sin.
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord,
      who came as the light of the world
      to show us your way of truth in parables and miracles.
Therefore . . .

[for Lent or repentance]
With joy we praise you, gracious Father,
      for you have created heaven and earth,
      made us in your image, and kept covenant with us—
      even when we fell into sin.
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord,
      by whose grace we may triumph over temptation,
      be more fervent in prayer, and be more generous in love.
Therefore . . .

[for Holy Week and Lamb of God]
With joy we praise you, gracious Father,
      for you have created heaven and earth,
      made us in your image, and kept covenant with us—
      even when we fell into sin.
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord,
      who became the true Paschal Lamb
      that was sacrificed for our salvation.
Therefore . . .

[for Easter or new life]
With joy we praise you, gracious Father,
      for you have created heaven and earth,
      made us in your image, and kept covenant with us—
      even when we fell into sin.
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord,
      who by his glorious resurrection
      overcame the power of sin and gave us new life.
Therefore . . .

[for Ascension, the celebration of Christ’s reign]
With joy we praise you, gracious Father,
      for you have created heaven and earth,
      made us in your image, and kept covenant with us—
      even when we fell into sin.
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord,
      who was exalted as King of the universe,
      that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.
Therefore . . .

[for Pentecost and the celebration of the Holy Spirit]
With joy we praise you, gracious Father,
      for you have created heaven and earth,
      made us in your image, and kept covenant with us—
      even when we fell into sin.
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord,
      and for the pouring forth of your Holy Spirit,
      who equips us for service and leads us into your truth.
Therefore . . .

[Adapted from the Contemporary Testimony]
Minister: We thank you, our Lord, for the hope this meal gives us, that Jesus will return as triumphant King, that the dead will be raised, and that all people will stand before his judgment. We face that day without fear, for you, our Judge, are our Savior. May our daily lives of service aim for the moment when the Son will present his people to the Father and God will be shown to be true, holy, and gracious.

People (optional): With the whole creation we wait for the purifying fire of judgment. For then we will see you face to face. You will heal our hurts, end our wars, and make the crooked straight. Then we will join in the new song to the Lamb without blemish, who made us a kingdom and priests. You, our God, will be all in all, righteousness and peace will flourish, everything will be made new, and every eye will see at last that our world belongs to God! Hallelujah! Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

The Words of Institution

Minister: We give thanks to God the Father that our Savior, Jesus Christ, before he suffered, gave us this memorial of his sacrifice, until he comes again. At his last supper, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it [here the minister breaks the bread] and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup after supper [here the minister pours the wine] and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this in remembrance of me.” For whenever we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

[The following may be added:]
Therefore we proclaim our faith as signed and sealed in this sacrament:
People: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

The Prayer of Consecration
Minister: Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. May we and all your saints be united with Christ and remain faithful in hope and love. Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of your kingdom.

[The following may be added:]
We pray inthe name of Jesus, who taught us to pray,
All: “Our Father in heaven . . . Amen.”

The Communion

[During the distribution, communion hymns may be sung, or the minister may read an appropriate passage of Scripture.]

Minister: Take, eat, remember, and believe that the body of our Lord Jesus Christ was given for the complete forgiveness of all our sins.
Take, drink, remember, and believe that the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ was given for the complete forgiveness of all our sins.

Or
Take, eat! Remember and believe that the body of Christ is the bread of heaven for us.
Take, drink! Remember and believe that the blood of Christ is the cup of our salvation.

Or
The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, shed for you.

Or
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink” (John 6:54-55).

Thanksgiving

[The sacrament may conclude with a song of thanksgiving or another appropriate expression of thanksgiving. Psalm 103 is widely used here in the Reformed tradition.]

And/Or

Prayer after Communion

All:
Eternal God, heavenly Father,
     you have graciously accepted us as living members
     of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ,
     and you have fed us with spiritual food
     in the sacrament of his body and blood.
Send us now into the world in peace,
     and grant us strength and courage
     to love and serve you
     with gladness and singleness of heart.
Through Christ, our Lord, Amen.