In Christian communities around the world, a common Eucharistic prayer is used to celebrate and consecrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. On a day where we are to give thanks, let us reflect on the ultimate prayer of Thanksgiving to God which (in form) has stemmed across centuries and millennia.
The Great Thanksgiving (UMC Word & Table I)
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
always and everywhere to give thanks to you,
Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life.
When we turned away, and our love failed, your love remained steadfast.
You delivered us from captivity, made covenant to be our sovereign God,
and spoke to us through your prophets.
And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven,
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
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.
Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.
Your Spirit anointed him to preach good news to the poor,
to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
and to announce that the time had come
when you would save your people.
He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and ate with sinners.
By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection
you gave birth to your Church,
delivered us from slavery to sin and death,
and made with us a new covenant by water and the spirit.
When the Lord Jesus ascended he promised to be with us always,
in the power of your Word and Holy Spirit.
On the night in which he gave himself up for us,
Our Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread
gave it to his disciples, and said:
“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
Likewise, when the supper was over, he took the cup,
gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:
“Drink from this, all of you,
this is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice,
in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,
that we may be for the world the body of Christ,
redeemed by his blood.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ,
one with each other,
and one in ministry to all the world,
until Christ comes in final victory
and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
Through your Son Jesus Christ,
with your Holy Spirit in your Holy Church,
all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father,
now and forever.
And now, as our savior Christ has taught us, let us pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,