Eucharistic Justice Liturgy
A beautiful liturgy of justice and welcome which can be found in The Eucharist: Bodies, Bread, & Resurrection by Andrea Bieler. Sunshine sent this in around Christmas last year and I (hellaD) am just getting around to sharing it with you all now. The ritual of speaking from the elements is very powerful and the call to a table set and waiting resonates deeply in all of us. The community and communion of breaking bread together is very important to all of humanity. Even if you are not a Christian, or even religious, this liturgy will demonstrate the power of a long awaited meal, shared together with deep respect for the bread and the mystery of soil and elements which come together to provide the bread in the first place.
“Witness God’s Welcome”: A Communion Celebration by Colette Jackson
(The sound of perhaps a single heartbeat of a drum is heard out of the silence. The four voices are placed in different corners of the room. They speak in turn. The voices may be more than one person each. The speakers hold the elements.)
The church is on fire. Let it burn till we are free.
The table set two thousand years ago waits for us.
A tornado has hit my house. Let it whirl until the betrayal of my family has been witness.
The table set two thousand years ago holds a place with my name on it.
The earth quakes beneath the courthouse. Let it rock until the laws protect my people. At the table set two thousand years ago there is a plate filled with food for all.
There are floods in the city of God. When we come together and the flood joins the river of justice, then we will eat.
The table is set. It is time now.
Two thousand years ago there was a table set to witness our welcome.
The meal speaks truth:
That all are welcome, all are loved.
We know that there is no force that can stop this witness of welcome
We know as Jesus knew that this is the meal to which all are invited
We know that no church law can take this meal away from any who come
We know that not even torture of our minds can take this meal away from us
We know that not even death can take this table away fro us and we know why this bread was broken for all
And we know in the breaking of this bread we are the Body of Christ
It is our bodies.
It is the body of the poor,
It is generations of Han,
Of legacies carried in the bodies of African Americans,
Of Native Americans,
It is the children’s bodies breaking in fields of labor across the nation;
It is the bodies of women killed across the planet in domestic violence;
It is the bodies of all peoples who have suffered at the hands of a crucifying culture
It is God’s body breaking with us.
(Breaking the bread at each station and the words of institution)
We witness today that God has put us in the center of this justice movement;
We witness today as so many have done before that we will not turn back from this table of righteousness;
We recognize that when we witness the welcome of gays, lesbians and transexuals,
When we put ourselves at the center of this communion,
We witness the welcome of all marginalized people,
We will witness to every denomination the river of justice that is God’s plan
(Raising the cups at each station and at the words of institution.)
So as we drink from this cup we are aligned in the great cosmic moment of crying out for love in the same way that Jesus raised the cup two thousand years ago to witness to the world that all people are welcome here and not even death will change that truth.
We must know that we are not only welcome at this meal; we are this meal. In these times of gay bashing and gay youth suicide and our own history of homosexual torture, God speaks through us.
We are not to allow ourselves to wait on the edge, linger on edges waiting for acceptance.
God has put us at the center of this movement for a reason.
God works through those who have been the most marginalized, the most oppressed. And we are the new voice of justice.
Will you pray with me:
We pray to you, O God, great spinning earth spirit.
Break this bread grown from your great dark soil.
Fill it with your spirit, God, so that we will fill also with the strength of the earth
For this journey we now take on
God, great Mother/Father God,
Move through the elements prepared today with the mighty force of your wind.
Break this bread in our hearts
Great Spirit, move as the flames of justice as we take these elements.
Let us know the flames that surge inside us.
Let us spit fire into the fears of old closets and burn shame to ash
So that we speak and act from this time forward inside your burning bush of truth.
As we drink, move like the great river of justice through our souls,
Joining our spirits with the spirits of all marginalized and oppressed people throughout the world.
Give us the breath and blood of a people who can witness the welcome of all beings,
And let us know in this great thanksgiving that we are cherished and loved forever and ever.
So be It, Amen.
We are the voice of God today.
We now sit in the seat of civil rights
And this is the meal that will sustain us;
This is the meal that will fill our souls
With the righteous indignation of Jesus.
This is the meal that will let us walk through the valley of the shadows of death and hatred.
This is the meal that God has given us.
So no one can tell you you are not welcome at this table.
No one can tell you you cannot serve at this table.
This is the table of God
And we are God’s messengers today.
Everyone is welcome.