I posted the text of John Wesley’s Covenant Renewal Prayer on New Year’s Day. Within Methodism, the prayer has come to be used primarily in “Watch Night” worship services held on New Year’s Eve or in other services held around the first of January.
For catholic Christians, however, every Sunday is Covenant Renewal Sunday. The sacrament of Holy Communion is a weekly renewal of the new covenant in Jesus’ blood (Luke 22:20).
Holy Communion, no less than Christian baptism, is an act of death to self. In baptism, we are united to Christ’s death (Romans 6:3-8), a fact which has consequences for how we must live. In communion, we participate in the living memory of the death (Luke 22:19) to which we are united in baptism. Paul calls the Eucharist a “participation” (koinonia) in the blood and body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16). For Paul, Christ’s death and resurrection set the pattern for the Christian’s life.
I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation (koinonia) in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, Philippians 3:10
Those who pray the words of Wesley’s Covenant Renewal Prayer, lay their lives on the line. In the words of the old hymn, they surrender all. Make no mistake about it – to come to the table of the Lord is to do the same thing.