Modern Anglican liturgies essentially provide two patterns of thanksgiving and consecration. First, there is the Prayer Book model (5.1), which essentially involves a prayer for right reception (containing a proclamation or remembrance of Jesus' unique sacrifice and its effect) and a recital of the words of institution uttered by Jesus at the Last Supper. Instructions are given for the celebrant to copy the actions of Jesus, taking and breaking the bread and then taking the cup while repeating the words of Jesus. The version that appears in both Australian Prayer Books begins with a brief expression of praise ('All glory to you our heavenly Father'). Another modern version of this prayer is provided at 5.2.

The second model reflects more ancient eucharistic prayers in structure and, in varying degrees, content. Structurally, the prayers begin with the Preface ('Lift up your hearts' etc.) and continue with extended thanksgiving, until the congregation is invited to join in saying 'Holy, holy holy Lord' etc. The Prayer of Humble Access is moved to an earlier point in the service, so that it does not interrupt the flow of praise and thanksgiving. Then there is a prayer for right reception, leading to a recital of the words of institution and a further congregational response (such as 'Christ has died' etc.). The third part of the structure is often a remembrance or celebration of the sacrifice of Christ and its achievement for us, leading to a prayer for the unity and dedication of the church, as it anticipates the return of Jesus and the fulfilment of God's purpose for us in his eternal kingdom. The conclusion to this third section is again some form of congregational praise (such as 'Blessing and honour and glory and power' etc.). In terms of content, there is usually a Trinitarian focus, with the work of the Father and the Holy Spirit being acknowledged along with the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus. Praise and thanksgiving predominate throughout, involving the congregation at key points. There is more of a focus on proclaiming the Lord's death 'until he comes' (1 Cor. 11:26), and an emphasis on the people of Christ as the beneficiaries of his work. There is no requirement for the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper to be repeated when the words of institution are recalled, since the whole sequence of praise and prayer by the people and celebrant together is regarded as a 'consecration through thanksgiving (cf. 1 Tim. 4:4-5). After 'saying grace' in this way, the meal is initiated by the breaking of the bread, associated with words such as 'We who are many are one body in Christ, for we all share in the one bread.'

Some recent eucharistic prayers create difficulties for Evangelicals because they are too long and complicated: the simplicity and power of the first form (5.1) is easily lost. They can also obscure the central importance of the redemptive work of Christ by adding words or phrases implying eucharistic sacrifice or transformation of the bread and wine in some way. However, some express biblical teaching quite succinctly, as the examples below illustrate.

 

5.1 All glory to you our heavenly Father, for in your tender mercy you gave your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death on the cross for our redemption; who made there, by his one oblation of himself once offered, a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world; and who instituted and in his holy gospel commanded us to continue, a perpetual memory of his precious death until his coming again.

Hear us, merciful Father, and grant that we who receive these gifts of your creation, this bread and this wine, according to your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed body and blood; who on the night he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given you thanks,, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' Likewise after supper he took the cup, and when he had given you thanks, he gave it to them saying, 'Drink from this, all of you; for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.' Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book

5.2 We thank you our heavenly Father that in your love and mercy
you gave your only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to save us.
By this offering of himself once and for all time,
Jesus made the perfect, complete sacrifice for the sins of the whole world,
satisfying your just demands in full.
Jesus commanded us to remember his death until his coming again.
Hear us, merciful Father, and grant that we who eat and drink this bread and wine
may remember his death and share in his body and blood.
On the night he was betrayed, Jesus took the bread in his hands.
He gave you thanks and broke it. Then he gave it to his disciples, saying,
'Take and eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'
In the same way after the meal, Jesus took the cup in his hands.
He gave you thanks. Then he gave it to them, saying,
'Drink from this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant,
which is poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.' Amen.

Sunday Services

5.3 Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

All glory and honour, thanks and praise,
is yours now and always,
Lord, holy Father, mighty Creator, everliving God.

We give thanks and praise for your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who by his death on the cross and rising to new life
offered the one true sacrifice for sin
and obtained an eternal deliverance for his people.

Therefore, with the whole company of heaven
we proclaim your great and glorious name,
for ever praising you and saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

And now, Father, we pray
that we who receive these your gifts of bread and wine
according to our Saviour's word
may be partakers of his body and blood.
For on the night he was betrayed he took bread;
and when he had given thanks to you, his almighty Father,
he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying,
'Take, eat. This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.'

After supper he took the cup
and again giving you thanks
he gave it to his disciples, saying,
'Drink from this, all of you.
This is my blood of the new covenant
which is shed for you and for many
for the remission of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'

With this bread and this cup
we show forth Christ's death
until he comes in glory.

Or

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.

We offer our prayer and praise, Father,
in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
through Jesus Christ our Lord:

Blessing and honour and glory and power
are yours for ever. Amen.

An Australian Prayer Book

5.4 Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
making us in your own image.
We praise you for your Son,
our saviour Jesus Christ,
who by his death on the cross
and rising to new life
offered the one true sacrifice for sin
and obtained an eternal deliverance for his people.

Therefore, we lift our voices to praise you, saying,
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

And now, gracious God, we thank you
for these gifts of bread and wine,
and pray that we who receive them,
in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
according to our Saviour's word,
in remembrance of his suffering and death,
may share his body and blood.

On the night before he died, Jesus took bread,
and when he had given you thanks
he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying,
'Take and eat. This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.'

We who are many are one body in Christ,
for we all share in the one bread.

After supper, he took the cup,
and again giving you thanks
he gave it to his disciples, saying,
'Drink from this, all of you.
This is my blood of the new covenant
which is shed for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'

We eat this bread and drink this cup
to proclaim the death of the Lord.

We do this until he returns.
Come, Lord Jesus!

Father, as we recall his saving death and glorious resurrection,
may we who share these gifts
be renewed by your Holy Spirit
and united in the body of your Son.
Bring us with all your people
into the joy of your eternal kingdom,
there to feast at your table and
join in your eternal praise:

Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive praise and honour
and glory and power
for ever and ever. Amen.

A Prayer Book for Australia

5.5 Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Yes! He is worthy of our praise.

You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things
and by your will they existed and were created.
Therefore, we lift our voices to praise you, saying,
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.

We praise you especially for your Son,
our saviour Jesus Christ,
who by his death on the cross
offered once and for all time
the one true sacrifice for sin,
reconciling us to you
and satisfying your just demands.
By rising to new life,
Jesus has secured eternal deliverance for his people.
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive praise and honour
and glory and power
for ever and ever!

We thank you Father,
that on the night before he died, Jesus took bread,
and when he had given you thanks, he broke it,
and gave it to his disciples, saying,
'Take, and eat. This is my body given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.'
After the meal, he took the cup,
and again giving you thanks,
he gave it to his disciples, saying,
'Drink from this, all of you.
This is my blood of the new covenant
which is shed for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'
Therefore Father,
we thank you for these gifts of bread and wine,
and pray that we who eat and drink them,
believing our Saviour's word,
may share his body and blood. Amen.

We eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord
to proclaim our fellowship in his death.
We do this until he returns.
Come Lord Jesus, come!

Sunday Services

 

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