i seem to be on a liturgy theme this week. so in that vein one of the most natural things to do when crafting prayers, liturgy, a service is to play with the words to make them fit well with the context and with the moment. with technologies of cut and paste this is of course so easy to do. so i was delighted when martin wroe who is a wonderful poet and writer and crafter of words sent me a rework of the communion prayer jesus and the powers that i wrote in july - st luke's holloway have used it in their worship.
if you want or need a practical theology frame of reference or two for this doug gay in his book remixing the church has a brilliant schema of audit | retrieval | unbundling | sampling | remixing and pete ward in introduction to practical theology talks about the processes of remembering | absorbing | noticing | selecting/editing | expressing.
that's not to say everything needs to be messed with - some things are beautifully made and crafted and are artful in their own right. but in the tradition i am in there is not enough play - there is an assumption that there are the 'right words' to use which often ends up being one more area of defendedness rather than open source gift of a tradition that is alive. the reality i suspect is that everyone gets on and remixes anyway - i hope so. most weeks i listen to craig charles funk and soul show on bbc 6 music which is an interesting comparison. the tradition, the old classics get played again and again but they also forever being played with, remixed, reworked, resurfaced. the tradition is a living thing.
martin's email ended by saying
I’ll probably remix it more as time passes… probably you’ll remix it too
exactly! anyway all that to say here is martin's latest remix of the eucharist prayer i wrote back in july. see what you think and by all means download, edit, remix, sample and upload/share...
The Prayer of Thanks
The Lord be with you.
All And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
All We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All It is right to give God thanks and praise
We give thanks for your life, on this earth, walking by our side.
How you announced a new heaven and a new earth, found at the margins of this world,
an offensive against the strongholds of oppression, the dawn of liberation.
With signs of healing and deliverance
You proclaimed news of another commonwealth,
you chose a life of nonviolent confrontation with the powers of the age.
You restored wholeness to the sick
and those called impure.
You tore down the boundaries of tribe, gender and sexuality
of black and brown and white,
All the walls we build to exclude those whose difference makes us uncomfortable.
You overturned the dynamics of status and honour,
insider and outsider.
With you there is no longer male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentile.
Patriarchy, slavery and racism have no place in your new world.
All are made in the divine image,
Everyone included in the revolution
where the last are first.
The powers that be opposed you
We still do.
You chose love over fear.
You were put to death,
lynched and hung on a tree.
In the great reversal of all history,
on the cross you overcame the powers of this world and broke the power of death.
You sang a song of a new heaven and a new earth.
And with angels and saints and all who walk your way.
Still, we join with you, in that song...
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
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.
When we forget this song, remind us of the tune.
When we lose sight of your way, guide us.
When we despair and are overwhelmed,
send your Spirit to comfort us.
You call us to a conversion of heart,
to turn away from the seductions of empire,
To turn towards a new heaven and earth,
a community of resistance and healing,
gathering at a table where you promise to meet us.
God of all life,
lighten our path to your new commonwealth,
when there is bread and wine, shelter and security,
for all people in all places
when the good earth breathes easy again
and violence and greed are made history.
May our homes be open, our tables welcome,
May this table today be such a place.
May we live from love and not fear.
Gracious God, present with us now in every place and time,
bless this bread and wine with the presence of Jesus.
Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.
Among friends, gathered round a table,
Jesus took bread; and when he had blessed it, he broke it and said,
‘Take this and eat it. It is my body. It is given for you.
...Do this to remember me.’
Then later, during the meal,
he took a cup of wine, and when he had given thanks, he said,
‘In this cup is the new relationship with God made possible because of my death.
...Take this, all of you, to remember me.’
We break this bread
To share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many, we are one body because we all share in one bread.
So come to this table,
you who have much faith
and you who would like to have more;
you who have been here often
and you who have not been for a long time; you who have tried to follow Jesus
and you who feel you have failed;
It is Christ who invites us to meet him here.