In recent years I have been struck by how feminine communion is
At the Last Supper Jesus says, “This is my body broken for you” & “This is my blood shed for you” and all of it is to bring about new life. How similar to what a mother can say to the baby she just birthed. For a mother’s body is also broken and her blood is also shed to make way for new life.
Did these words first find their origin on the lips of Jesus’ mother, as she cradled her newborn baby, telling him of all she went through to bring him new life?
Did they find their way back to her lips as she shouted in anguish, holding the nail-pierced & broken body of her son at the foot of the cross?
In many church traditions women are not allowed to preside over the communion table, or to help serve communion to the congregation. There are a few different reasons given, but I believe the story of Mary shows us that God had a different plan in mind.
After all, it was Mary who first presided over the body & blood of Jesus as she carried him in her womb for 9 months.
And it was Mary who delivered his body & blood into the world, for the benefit of all creation.
Yes, in recent years I have been struck by how feminine communion is. And every time I get to receive communion from a woman at church, I am reminded that my God isn’t afraid of being perceived as having feminine characteristics and doesn’t stray away from showing sacrificial, motherly love.
On Mother’s Day we want to honor all the women in our midst
Those who are birth mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, stepmothers, and those who might not have children in the traditional sense, but who are spiritual mothers, nurturing and growing others in the faith. Motherhood takes on many different forms, but all of them sacrifice to bring about new life.As such, we present a Mother’s Day Communion Liturgy inspired by and adapted from the work of Samuel Wells & Abigail Kocher’s beautiful book, Eucharistic Prayers. (Kate will be using this at her church as she presides over communion this Sunday.) We pray it brightens your Mother’s Day!
A Mother’s Day Communion Liturgy
As today is Mother’s Day, we’re going to be doing communion a little differently – drawing on the feminine imagery of the communion table. Jesus says, “This is my body broken for you” & “This is my blood shed for you” and all of it is to bring about new life. How similar to what a mother can say to the baby she just birthed. For a mother’s body, too, is broken; and her blood, too, is shed to make way for new life.
As we ponder this, let us remember the sacrifice Jesus made, and make our humble confession before God.
Unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Now hear these words of absolution…
God is our loving parent, who extends forgiveness to those who ask for it, and like a mother hen gathering her chicks, draws the weary and the lost to the abundant table of life.
Thanks be to God.
On the night Jesus was betrayed he took the bread, and after giving thanks broke it and gave it to his disciples saying, “This is my body broken for you. Take and eat and as often as you do, do so in remembrance of me.
Likewise, Jesus took the cup and blessed it and said, “This is my blood of the new covenant shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Take and drink. As often as you do, do so in remembrance of me.”
Prayer Over Elements
Like a mother, you brought all things into being. Through trial and truth-telling, touch, and tenderness, you nurture your people and lead us in the ways of justice and peace. Send your Holy Spirit upon this bread and this cup, that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ, so that we may be the body of Christ incarnate in this world, redeemed by Christ’s blood. Amen.
Happy Mother’s Day!