Being a Home Church
The early church began as a home gathering to which family, friends and seekers were invited to hear the good news about Jesus and experience Christian community and God's love and healing power. In this challenging time of pandemic many people can not gather in their regular church or may not have a regular church. This is a time for each family group to gather daily or weekly for the spiritual comfort of experiencing God's love, grace, forgiveness and healing. There is a great wealth of resources available to home churches, even churches of one:
- Most churches share their weekly services and midweek teachings on Zoom and Youtube
- Lucille and I do a weekly "participatory home communion" on Sundays at 10.00 on Youtube where we intentionally include people in the prayers, intercessions, confession and absolution and in receiving the sacrament spiritually in their hearts by intention
- The resources below include the simple liturgy we use and links to the Common Lectionary of Sunday readings
- Two teachings on Baptism preparation
- The blog itself is searchable by keyword and the name of the Sunday
- More will be added
Resources For Home Churches:
- Holy Communion liturgy
- Baptism Questions, Promises and Covenant
- Baptism / Confirmation Course
(Anglican Book of Alternative Services)
Gathering Music, Greeting:
(Presider): The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Response: And also with you.
Prayer of Preparation
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect / Prayer for the Day (Response: Amen)
Ministry of the Word (Readings, Psalm, Hymn, Homily)
(Gospel Responses): Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ / Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Prayers of the People (Response: “Hear our prayer”)
(Add names, short prayer requests as appropriate in pauses)
Confession / Healing our Separation from God & Others
Let us in a moment of silence examine our consciences and recall the things we have done which have separated us from God and from each other .......(long silence for self examination).........
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.
Priest gives Absolution (Response “Amen”)
The peace of the Lord be with you!
(Response) And also with you. (Greet those around you)
(Hymn or Music while offerings are received)
Prayer over the offerings (Response: “Amen”)
Eucharistic Prayer # 3
Priest: The Lord be with you. / R And also with you.
Priest: Lift up your hearts. / R: We lift them to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Response: It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Preface of Season (Priest)
(All) 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.
(Priest We give thanks to you, Lord our God, for the goodness and love you have made known to us in creation; in calling Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in your Word made flesh, Jesus your Son. For in these last days you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you. In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.
On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, a death he freely accepted, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: this is my body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”
Therefore, Father, according to his command,
(All) we remember his death, we proclaim his resurrection, we await his coming in glory;
(Priest) and we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, Lord of all; presenting to you from your creation, this bread and this wine.
- (Priest) We pray you, gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts, that they may be the sacrament of the body of Christ and his blood of the new covenant. Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we, made acceptable in him, may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time, reconcile all things in Christ, and make them new, and bring us to that city of light where you dwell with all your sons and daughters; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the head of the Church, and the author of our salvation; by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory are yours, almighty Father, now and forever. People: Amen.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from the evil one. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.
Breaking of Bread
We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
We being many, are one body, for we all share in the one bread.
The Communion (Anyone baptized may receive, others come for a blessing / healing prayer with hands down.
Prayer after Communion. Response: Amen.
Glory to God , whose power working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen
Blessing, Announcements, Dismissal
1. Baptism Questions, Promises and Covenant
Rev. John Gishler, 2015, 2020
1. The Examination Questions: Adults and older children
4. The Baptismal Covenant
A. What God Does – Inward & Invisible
- · God covenants to Includes us in the Church – the spiritual body of Christ
- · Connects us spiritually to the sacrificial death and Resurrection of Jesus
- · Enables forgiveness of past and future sins when we specifically repent and ask in faith
- · Covers us with spiritual protection
- · We can renew and strengthen this Covenant weekly in the Eucharist
- · God gives us eternal spiritual life (Raised to new life after death.)
- · Holy Spirit comes and lives in us
- · God gives us the gifts of the Holy Spirit as we ask
- · Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Healing, Wisdom
- · Knowledge, Faith, Prophecy, Tongues & Interpretation
B. What the priest does
- · Hears the promises of the Baptismal Covenant
- · Washes in water to symbolize the washing away of past sin and guilt
- · Blesses and Signs with a Cross to seal the identity of the person as belonging to God in Christ
- · Anoints with Holy Oil to symbolize the coming of the Holy Spirit into the persons’ life