About the Eucharist, from the Didache

Now about the Eucharist, this is how to give thanks: First in connection with the cup:

We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David, your servant, which you have revealed through Jesus, your Son. To you be glory forever.

Then in connection with the piece broken off the loaf:

We thank you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you have revealed through Jesus, your Son. To you be glory forever.

As this piece of bread was scattered over the hills  and then was brought together and made one, so let your Church be brought together from the ends of the earth into your Kingdom. For yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever.

You must not let anyone eat or drink of your Eucharist except those baptized in the Lord’s name. For in reference to this the Lord said, “Do not give what is sacred to dogs.”

After you have finished your meal, say grace in this way:

We thank you, holy Father, for your sacred name which you have lodged in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which you have revealed through Jesus, your Son. To you be glory forever.

Almighty Master, you have created everything for the sake of your name, and have given people food and drink to enjoy that they may thank you. But to us you have given spiritual food and drink and eternal life through Jesus, your Son.

Above all, we thank you that you are mighty. To you be glory forever.

Remember, Lord, your Church, to save it from all evil and to make it perfect by your love. Make it holy, and gather it together from the four winds into your Kingdom which you have made ready for it. For yours is the power and the glory forever.

Let grace come and let this world pass away.
Hosanna to the God of David!
If anyone is holy, let him come.
If not, let him repent.
Our Lord, come!
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Didache, ed. Cyril Richardson, 1953. CCEL. The Didache also known as The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, is a brief anonymous early Christian treatise, dated by most modern scholars to the first century. Some elements of The Didache are similar to the Gospel of Matthew, some seem to be apocryphal additions.

“As this piece of bread…” is similar in thought to 1 Corinthians 10:17.

“Do not give what is sacred to dogs” is from Matthew 7:6.

“But you have given spiritual food… is similar to 1 Corinthians 10:3.

“Remember, Lord, your Church, to save it from all evil…” is similar to
Matthew 6:13.

“Make it holy, and gather it together from the four winds…” is similar to
Matthew 24:31

“To you be glory forever” and “For yours is the power and the glory forever” is similar to Romans 11:36, Revelation 1:6, and many doxological phrases in the New Testament.

 

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A Prayer for Love

O blessed Lord, you have commanded us to love one another. Just as we have received your undeserved blessings, may we love everyone in you and for you.

We ask your kindness for all, but especially for the friends whom your love has given to us. Love them, O fountain of love, and move them to love you with all their heart, that they may will, and speak, and do only those things which are pleasing to you.

Our prayer is cold, because our love is so feeble, but you are rich in mercy. Do not measure your goodness to them by the dullness of our devotion, but as your kindness surpasses all human affection, so let your hearing transcend our prayer. Do what is best for them, according to your will, that being ruled and protected by you always and everywhere, they may receive eternal life in the end; to you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and praise for ever and ever. Amen.

Source: St. Anselm, eleventh century Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

Variant:

O blessed Lord, who hast commanded us to love one another, grant us grace that having received thine undeserved bounty, we may love everyone in thee and for thee. We implore thy clemency for all; but especially for the friends whom thy love has given to us. Love thou them, O thou fountain of love, and make them to love thee with all their heart, that they may will, and speak, and do those things only which are pleasing to thee.

 

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For Love

Coptic[1]

O God of love,
giver of concord,
through your only Son
you have given us a new commandment
that we should love one another
even as you have loved us,
the unworthy and the wandering,
and gave your beloved Son for our life and salvation.
Lord, in our time of life on earth
give us a mind forgetful of past ill-will,
a pure conscience and sincere thoughts,
and hearts to love one another;
for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Coptic Liturgy of St. Cyril

Source of this version: Freely modified from  Prayers of the Early Church,  ed.  J. Manning Potts,  The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee, © 1953 (Public domain in the U.S.)

“love one another as you have loved us” is a reference to John 15:12

“and you gave your beloved Son” is a reference to John 3:16 and Matthew 3:17

 

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The Glory of Servanthood

jesus-washing-peters-feet-ford-madox-brown

O Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of man,
you did not come to be served, but to serve.
Give us grace to lay aside all our vanity,
clothe us with your power,
and crown us with your humility,
that finally, in the glory of serving,
we may stand beside your throne,
where with the Father and the Holy Spirit
you reign, one God,
now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Modified from A Book of Collects in Two Parts, John Wallace Suter and John Wallace Suter, Jr., Milwaukee: Morehouse Publishing, 1919.

This prayer references Matthew 20:28, John 13:4 and Matthew 10:40-42

Painting by Ford Madox Brown, public domain

A Communion Prayer

veit-dietrich

O Lord God, heavenly Father,
we praise and thank you for your grace
that through your Son Jesus Christ
you established this supper
in which we eat his body and drink his blood.
By your Holy Spirit, help us
to use this gift worthily,
to confess and forsake our sins,
to confidently believe that we are forgiven through Christ,
and to grow in faith and love day by day
until we come at last to the joy of eternal salvation,
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Veit Dietrich, 1506-1549

Source of this version: Freely paraphrased from http://olcc.us/liturgical-resources/collects-veit-dietrich/

Also found here: A Lutheran Prayer Book, ed. Doberstein, © 1960 Muehlenberg Press, Philadelphia

 

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A Prayer for Cleansing

jesus-washing-peters-feet-ford-madox-brown

O Jesus, my feet are dirty.
Come even as a slave to me,
pour water into your bowl,
come and wash my feet.
In asking such a thing I know I am overbold
but I dread what was threatened when you said to me,
“If I do not wash your feet I have no fellowship with you.”
Wash my feet then, because I long for your companionship.
And yet, what am I asking?
It was well for Peter to ask you to wash his feet,
for him that was all that was needed for him to be clean in every part.
With me it is different:
though you wash me now I shall still stand in need of that other washing,
the cleansing you promised when you said,
“there is a baptism I must needs be baptized with.”

Source: Origen (c. 185–254)

Source of this version: http://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/02/footwashing-prayer-origen.html

Part also found here: https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/article/prayers-of-earliest-christians/

Closing Prayer for Holy (Maundy) Thursday

This prayer may be used in place of the prayers “We give thanks, almighty God,…” “O God the Father, source of all goodness…” in the Common Service or “Hear the prayers of your people…” in the Service of Word and Sacrament in Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal.

CLOSING PRAYER

M: Lord Jesus Christ, on the night before you suffered, you showed your disciples the extent of your love, you gave them this sacrament of forgiveness and remembrance, and you promised them that you would drink it again with them in your Father’s kingdom. As we have partaken of this sacrament, show us your love in your words of invitation, restore our joy in the forgiveness you have won by your death and resurrection, and give us hope in the promise you have given of a feast to come. In this sacrament, live and rule in us, even as you live and rule with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C:  Amen.

Formatted as poetry:

Lord Jesus Christ,
on the night before you suffered,
you showed your disciples the extent of your love,
you gave them this sacrament of forgiveness and remembrance,
and you promised them that you would drink it again with them
in your Father’s kingdom.
As we have partaken of this sacrament,
show us your love in your words of invitation,
restore our joy in the forgiveness you have won by your death
and resurrection,
and give us hope in the promise you have given of a feast to
come.
In this sacrament,
live and rule in us,
even as you live and rule with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

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Closing Prayer for Holy (Maundy) Thursday by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.