A. The First Order

The traditional Prayer Book Communion Service has two main divisions, with several sub-divisions:

1. The Ministry of the Word and Prayer

a. Preparation to hear God's word, involving prayers and a meditation on the Ten Commandments;

b. Listening to the Bible being read and taught, followed by a confession of faith;

c. Collection and extensive intercessory prayer.

2. The Ministry of the Sacrament

a. Preparation, involving exhortations, a confession of sin, and assurances of forgiveness;

b. Thanksgiving and prayer in preparation for Communion;

c. Communion, followed by prayer and thanksgiving, including the Hymn of Praise 'Glory to God in the highest'.

These various elements provide the opportunity to reflect again on what it means to be disciples of Christ and members of his church. The more contemporary version of the same structure can be found in 'The Lord's Supper' (Forms 1 and 2B), in Sunday Services.

 

B. The Second Order

Modern versions of the Communion Service, such as the Second Order in An Australian Prayer Book (1978), or 'The Lord's Supper' (Form 2A) in Sunday Services, provide some of the same elements in a different pattern, as well as providing new resources.

1. The Ministry of the Word and Prayer

a. Preparation to hear God's word, involving prayers and a meditation on the Ten Commandments or Two Great Commandments, with the option of a general confession and absolution, and the Hymn of Praise 'Glory to God in the highest';

b. Listening to the Bible being read and taught, with a confession of faith before or after the sermon;

c. Collection, and then intercessory prayer broken up by responses, with guidelines for spontaneous prayer on listed topics, concluding with the Lord's Prayer or another option.

2. The Ministry of the Sacrament

a. Preparation, involving sentences, an exhortation, prayer in preparation for Communion, a confession of sin, and assurance of forgiveness (if not used earlier), and the optional Greeting of Peace;

b. Extended thanksgiving, with congregational response throughout, and the option of the Lord's Prayer (if not used earlier);

c. Communion, followed by prayer and thanksgiving, including the Lord's Prayer (if not used earlier).

In addition to the resources listed under Services of the Word, the following elements are specifically relevant to the celebration of the Lord's Supper. They are under these headings.

  1. Exhortations to prepare for Communion
  2. Scriptures to encourage repentance and faith
  3. Prayers of Preparation
  4. The Greeting of Peace
  5. Prayers of Thanksgiving and Consecration
  6. The breaking of the bread
  7. Forms of thanksgiving and dedication after Communion

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