Order A

An overseas example of contemporary Reformed liturgy, the first order in the PCUSA's Book of Common Worship.

In the following services, the congregation's words are in bold type. (If no responses are used, the minister or elder should say them).

This first order is drawn from the Book of Common Prayer of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1993). It is used with permission, and has been adapted slightly.



Standing at the table, the presiding minister or elder invites the people to the Sacrament.

A. (to be used if the words of institution are included in the Great Thanksgiving prayer)

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God!
They will come from east and west,
and from north and south,
and sit at table in the kingdom of God.
According to Luke,
when our risen Lord was at table with his disciples,
he took the bread, and blessed and broke it,
and gave it to them.
Then their eyes were opened
and they recognised him.

This is the Lord's table.
Our Saviour invites those who trust him
to share the feast which he has prepared.

B. (to be used if the words of the institution are not included in the Great Thanksgiving prayer)

Hear the words of the institution
of the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ:

The Lord Jesus, on the night of his arrest, took bread,
and after giving thanks to God,
he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take, eat.
This is my body, given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way he took the cup, saying:
This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood,
shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.
Whenever you drink it,
do this in remembrance of me.

Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup,
you proclaim the saving death of the risen Lord,
until he comes.

With thanksgiving,
let us offer God our grateful praise.

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving

Preface - Alternatives:

In your wisdom, you made all things
and sustain them by your power.
You formed us in your image,
Setting us in this world to love and serve you,
and to live in peace with your whole creation.
When we rebelled against you
refusing to trust and obey you,
you did not reject us,
but still claimed us as your own.
You sent prophets to call us back to your way.

Then in the fullness of time,
out of your great love for the world,
you sent your only Son to be one of us,
to redeem us and heal our brokenness.

You formed the universe in your wisdom
and created all things by your power.
You set us in families on the earth
to live with you in faith.
We praise you for good gifts of bread and wine,
and for the table you spread in the world
as a sign of your love for all people in Christ.

Through the words of the prophets
you promised your people the Redeemer,
and gave hope for the day
when justice shall roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
We rejoice that in Jesus Christ the Redeemer has come
and that he will come again to make all things new.

We praise you
because you sent Jesus Christ, your only Son,
to be born for us of Mary,
that we might be delivered from sin,
and receive power to become your children.

We praise you, for in Jesus Christ,
the mystery of the Word made flesh,
you sent a light to shine upon the world,
that we might be brought out of darkness
into your marvellous light.

We praise you for Jesus Christ
who was tempted in every way we are, yet without sin,
and who, having overcome temptation,
is able to help us in our times of trial,
and to give us strength to take up the cross and follow him.

By your power you raised Jesus from death to life.
By his death he destroyed death,
and by his rising brought us eternal life.
We praise you that as we break bread in faith,
we shall know the risen Christ among us.

We praise you
that according to the promise of Jesus Christ
the Holy Spirit came upon the whole church.
We thank you for sending your Spirit to us today
to kindle faith and lead us into all truth,
working in the church to make us faithful disciples,
and empowering us to proclaim the living Christ to every nation.

Introduction to sanctus

Therefore we praise you
joining our voices with choirs of angels,
and with all the faithful of every time and place,
who forever sing to the glory of your name:


Holy, holy, holy God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.


You are holy, O God of majesty,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
In Jesus, born of Mary, your Word became flesh
and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.
He lived as one of us, knowing joy and sorrow.
He healed the sick,
fed the hungry,
opened blind eyes,
and broke bread with outcasts and sinners.
Dying on the cross,
he gave himself for the life of the world.
Raised from the grave,
he won for us victory over death.
We praise you that Christ now reigns with you
and will come again to make all things new.

Narrative to be used if the words have not already been said.

We give you thanks that the Lord Jesus
on the night before he died,
took bread,
and after giving thanks to you,
he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat.
This is my body, given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way he took the cup, saying:
This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood,
shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.
Whenever you drink it,
do this in remembrance of me.


Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ,
we take this bread and wine
from the gifts you have given us,
and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising,
as we await the day of his coming.
With thanksgiving, we offer our very selves to you
to be a living and holy sacrifice,
dedicated to your service.


Great is the mystery of faith:

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

Praise to you, Lord Jesus:

Dying you destroyed our death,
Rising you restored our life.
Lord Jesus, come in glory.

According to his commandment:

We remember his death,
We proclaim his resurrection,
We await his coming in glory.

Christ is the bread of life:

When we eat this bread and drink this cup,
We proclaim your death, Lord Jesus,
Until you come in glory.


Gracious God,
pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon these your gifts of bread and wine,
that the bread we break
and the cup we bless
may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.
By your Spirit make us one with all who share this feast,
united in ministry in every place.
As this bread is Christ's body for us,
send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.


Give us strength to serve you faithfully
until we feast with you and all your people
in the fullness of your joy.


Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour are yours, eternal God,
now and forever.


The Lord's prayer

Breaking of the bread


Holding out both the bread and the cup to the people, the minister says one of the following:

The gifts of God for the people of God.

Creator of all,
just as this broken bread
was first scattered upon the hills,
then was gathered and became one,

so may your church be gathered
from the ends of the earth into the kingdom.

3 John 6:35
Jesus said: I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.


There are different ways of serving the elements. Leaders of worship need to pay attention to local custom.

The minister or presiding elder and those assisting may receive Communion first, or may receive it after the people.

The people may gather around the table to receive the bread and cup. Or the people may go to persons serving the elements. Or the bread and cup may be served to the people where they are.

One of the following may be used:

In giving the bread:
The body of Christ, given for you. Amen.

In giving the cup:
The blood of Christ, shed for you. Amen.

In giving the bread:
The body of Christ, the bread of heaven. Amen.

In giving the cup:
The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation. Amen.

During Communion, psalms, hymns, anthems, or spiritual songs may be sung.

Prayer after Communion

After all have been served, the minister (or elder) and people may sing or say Psalm 103:1,2 (A), or one of the following prayers (B), or a similar prayer may be prayed by the minister, or by all together.

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
and all that is within me, bless God's holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all God's benefits.

Loving God,
we thank you that you have fed us in this Sacrament,
united us with Christ,
and given us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet
in your eternal kingdom.

Send us out in the power of your Spirit
to live and work to your praise and glory,
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

We thank you, O God,
that through Word and Sacrament
you have given us your Son
who is the true bread from heaven
and food of eternal life.

So strengthen us in your service
that our daily living may show our thanks;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Gracious God,
you have made us one with all your people in heaven and on earth.
You have fed us with the bread of life
and renewed us for your service.
Help us who have shared Christ's body and received his cup,
to be his faithful disciples
so that our daily living
may be part of the life of your kingdom,
and our love be your love
reaching out into the life of the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Eternal God,
you have graciously accepted us
as living members of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and you have fed us with spiritual food
in the Sacrament of his body and blood.
Send us now into the world in peace,
and grant us strength and courage
to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart;
through Christ our Lord.