Shotley peninsula: An introduction to Spiritual Communion

By Derek Davis

31st Oct 2021 | Opinion

During the coronavirus pandemic the Church of England has had to put public worship on hold. This means that many people who would have received Holy Communion each Sunday, are not able to receive the comfort and benefits of the sacrament.

It is not the first time that the Church has been in such a position though. Throughout Christian history some Christian people have found themselves isolated from the sacramental life of the Church for all sorts of reasons, and particularly in times of plague, famine and warfare.

At such times the Church has encouraged people to make what is called a spiritual communion. It is a way of uniting yourself with Jesus and entering into communion with him even though you are not able to receive the sacrament itself.

In the Act of Spiritual Reception, you will notice a short prayer which draws on the story of the woman who comes to Jesus but only touches the hem of his garment. She still receives healing and blessing (Mark 5. 25-34). In a way, spiritual communion is like this.

Whilst the sacrament was not available to anyone else, I have chosen not to have celebrations of Holy Communion recorded or celebrated at home and streamed, out of solidarity with the people in the benefice.

Now restrictions are gradually being lifted and we can have limited celebrations of holy communion in church, a spiritual communion service is celebrated at home as the second service on Sunday morning, welcoming those who cannot or prefer not to join the congregation gathered in our church building.

You are warmly invited to share in this special act of worship.

A Said Spiritual Communion Service for Ordinary Time

THE GATHERING

Welcome and notices.

We meet in the name of God:

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Greeting

The president greets the people

The Lord be with you

and also with you.

Prayers of Penitence.B]

We come to God as one from whom no secrets are hidden, to ask for his forgiveness and peace.

You asked for our hands that they be used for your purpose.

Gracious God, forgive us when ours are idle.

You asked for our mouths to speak your word.

Gracious God, forgive us when we only speak in whispers.

You asked for our eyes

that we might respond to others' pain. Gracious God, forgive us for closing them when we preferred not to see.

You asked for our lives that you might work through us.

Gracious God, forgive us when we ignore your call.

May the God of love

bring you back to himself, forgive you your sins,

and assure you of his eternal love in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

The Collect

This Collect or the collect for the day is said

Creator God, you made us all in your image: may we discern you in all that we see, and serve you in all that we do; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

THE LITURGY OF THE WORD

A reading from Scripture may precede the Gospel reading. At the end the reader says

In this is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Reading

When the Gospel is announced the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.

Glory to you, O Lord.

At the end

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Some music may follow the sermon.

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father, from whom every family

in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,

who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit, who strengthens us

with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

The response

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

At the end

Merciful Lord

Accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

LITURGY OF THE SACRAMENT

The peace is shared saying

Praise God who loves us.

Praise God who cares.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

Act of Spiritual Reception

O loving God,

Act of Spiritual Reception

Blessing

In union with Christian people throughout the world and across the centuries,

gathered to make Eucharist, hearing your holy Word and receiving the precious Body and Blood of your dear Son, we offer you praise and thanksgiving.

Even though we are exiled from tasting the Bread of Heaven and drinking the Cup of Life,

we pray that you will unite us with all the baptised and with your Son, who gave his life for us.

Come Lord Jesus, dwell in us and send your Holy Spirit that we may be filled with your presence.

Jesus, as the hem of your garment, touched in faith, healed the woman who could not touch your body, so may the souls of your servants be healed.

For though we cannot receive you in the sacrament we can, through this offering of our prayer, receive you in our heart.

Grant this for your Name's sake.

Amen.

Father of lights,

from you comes every good and perfect gift: keep us in the light of Christ

to shine in your world,

that all may believe in you,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

THE DISMISSAL

The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.

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