Liturgy Lesson: Holy Communion and the Church Year

Liturgy Lesson: Holy Communion and the Church Year

When we worship in our Holy Communion service, we actually model the cycle of a healthy spiritual life—and the liturgical Calendar as well. In each mass, we will find a little bit of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and even Trinity! If Advent is all about the Lord’s coming (and His Second Coming), just consider the first prayer, the Collect for Purity—we are asking the Holy Ghost to look into and prepare our hearts—much like St. John Baptist saying, “Prepare ye the Way of the Lord,”—and praying for the Second Coming in the Our Father: “…thy Kingdom come (Maranatha!). Aside from the proper preface for Christmas that celebrates the Lord’s birth,we proclaim it in the ancient words of the Nicene Creed and declare it with the words of God’s angels on that night in Bethlehem, when we sing the High Gloria—Gloria in Excelsis. Epiphany is in the inclusivity for all mankind in the prayers for Christ’s Church, the confession and absolution and when we commemorate the Body and Blood shed for all in the Consecration. There is ample Lent—the Collect for Purity (first one in the service), the Kyrie Eleison (Lord Have Mercy), and the Prayer of Humble Access—making us a people of open and contrite hearts when approaching the awesome and powerful Sacrament of Holy Communion. Of course, there is Easter—in the prayers for the faithful departed (Prayers for Christ Church), the confession and absolution, and the Consecration (All Glory be to Thee…), all of which come to us by the Resurrection. We invoke the Holy Ghost in the Epiclesis (Greek: “Calling near”) following the Consecration (And we most humbly beseech…) and in the preface for Whitsunday. Finally, we have Trinity—growth time—when we ask the Lord to fill us with His Nature in the Sacraments and continue to grow us in His Grace and blessing in the Consecration and Blessing. Lord, use this service to show us your cycle of grace and growth in our lives—more of you, less of us, as we look forward to your Return in Glory!

Collect for the 18th Sunday After Trinity

LORD, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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