Book of Worship for U.S. Forces

AN ORDER OF WORSHIP, PROTESTANT

LONGER FORM

An Order of Worship for the Proclamation of the Word of God and the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper

THE PREPARATION

The Greeting

Stand

MINISTER: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

PEOPLE: Amen.

MINISTER: The Lord be with you.

PEOPLE: And also with you.

MINISTER: Let us pray.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden. Cleanse and inform our hearts and minds by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may truly love and worthily praise your holy name, through Christ our Lord.

PEOPLE: Amen.

An Act of Praise

A hymn or a psalm of praise may be sung, or the following ancient canticle of the church:

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, and give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

An Act of Penitence

The Bidding

God is the light and in him is no darkness at all.

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Let us humbly confess our sins to God, our heavenly Father.

The Confession

Most holy and merciful Father, we confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and earth, that we have sinned against you by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength, We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves, We have not had in us the mind of Christ, We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

You alone know how often we have sinned and grieved you, by wasting your gifts, by wandering from your ways, by forgetting your love.

Forgive us, we pray you, most merciful Father, and free us from our sin.

Renew in us again the grace and strength of your Holy Spirit, for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son our Savior. Amen.

A Declaration of Pardon

MINISTER: The almighty and merciful Lord grant you true repentance, forgiveness of all your sins, time for amendment and newness of life, and the grace and consolation of his Holy Spirit.

PEOPLE: Amen.

A doxology or a response of praise may be sung or said.

THE PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD OF GOD

Sit

Persons appointed may read:

An Old Testament Lesson

A New Testament Lesson

After each lesson, a hymn, a psalm, an anthem, or a responsive reading may be sung or said.

Stand

MINISTER:

The Gospel

Sit

The Sermon

At the conclusion of the sermon, there may follow: A Hymn, The Apostolic Creed (page 604 or No. 728) or the Nicene Creed, or some other authorized

Affirmation of Faith

Stand

The Nicene Creed

MINISTER: Let us profess before God and one another our common faith.

MINISTER AND PEOPLE: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Peace

Minister and people shall exchange the greeting of peace:

MINISTER: The peace of the Lord be always with you.

PEOPLE: And also with you.

The Prayers

The minister or some person appointed shall lead the people in the following petitions and intercessions:

Stand (or kneel)

In peace, in the peace of God from above, let us pray to the Lord:

For the peace of the whole world; and for the peace, unity, and faithful service of the churches of God in this and every land.

Hear us, O Lord.

For all Christian people, their ministers and teachers, that by word and example they may bring many to faith and obedience in Christ.

Hear us, O Lord.

For those in authority among the nations (and especially for the President, the Congress, and the Supreme Court of the United States), that they may govern with justice and promote peace and unity among all men.

Hear us, O Lord.

For all on whose labor we depend, especially those whose duty brings them into danger, that they may have courage and strength to serve the common good.

Hear us, O Lord.

For those who seek out knowledge, and guide our thought; for those who help us laugh and play, that truth and beauty may give joy to daily life.

Hear us, O Lord.

For all who suffer: the poor and lonely, the sick and afflicted, the tempted and the bereaved; for prisoners, and those who are oppressed, or persecuted, that they may be strengthened and delivered.

Hear us, O Lord.

For those who are enemies of the gospel of Christ, and who wrong their fellowmen, that they may be reconciled.

Hear us, O Lord.

For the dying, that they may rise to eternal life; and for the departed, that they may rest in peace.

Hear us, O Lord.

Here may be given the opportunity for members of the congregation to ask the prayers of the people for any special needs.

The minister may proceed:

Let us commit ourselves, one with another, to our God.

Lord, have mercy.

Let us ask of the Lord brotherly love by the help of his Holy Spirit, and for each one of us the grace of a holy life.

Lord, have mercy.

Let us remember before God all who are near and dear to us, those present and those absent, that we may love and serve one another in the bond of Christ.

Lord, have mercy.

Let us pray for our community (and nation), that in all things we may be honest and just, and free from prejudice, bitterness, strife, and fear.

Lord, have mercy.

Let us recall in thanksgiving those who have died in the faith. May God give them the crown of life in the day of resurrection, and judge them worthy with the righteous to enter into the joy of their Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

Let us give thanks for all his servants and witnesses of times past:

Abraham, the father of believers, Moses, Samuel, Isaiah and all the prophets, John the Baptist, the forerunner, Mary, the mother of our Lord, Peter and Paul and all the apostles, Stephen the first martyr and all the martyrs and saints, in every age and in every land.

Lord, have mercy.

May the Lord God in his mercy give us with them hope in his salvation, and in the promise of eternal life in his kingdom.

Lord, have mercy.

The minister may conclude:

Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear what we ask in the name of your Son. We pray you, accept and fulfill our petitions, not as we ask in our ignorance and unworthiness, nor as w deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

PEOPLE: Amen.

If the service of the Word is used separately, without the observance of the Supper, it is appropriate to conclude it, after the Prayers, with the Lord’s Prayer, an Offering, an Act of Thanksgiving, and a Dismissal or Benediction.

THE LORD’S SUPPER

The Offertory

Stand

MINISTER: Beloved in Christ, the Gospels tell us that on the first day of the week, the same day on which our Lord rose from the dead h appeared to his disciples in the place where they were gathered and was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

Come then to the joyful feast of the Lord. Let us prepare his table with offerings of our life and labor.

Sit

During the Offertory, a hymn, a psalm, or an anthem may be sung. Or the minister or some person appointed may read appropriate sentences from the Scriptures.

Representatives of the congregation will receive and bring to the table the gifts of bread and wine, and other offerings of the people.

At the presentation, a doxology may be sung, or the following:

Stand

MINISTER: You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power,

PEOPLE: For you have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.

The Thanksgiving

The following Thanksgiving, or the Thanksgiving beginning on page 586, may be used:

MINISTER: The Lord be with you.

PEOPLE: And also with you.

MINISTER: Lift up your hearts.

PEOPLE: We lift them up to the Lord.

MINISTER: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

PEOPLE: It is truly right so to do.

MINISTER: We give you thanks, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, always and everywhere, through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, by whom you made the world and all things living and beautiful.

We bless you for your continual love and care for every creature. We praise you for forming us in your image, and calling us to be your people. Though we rebelled against your love, you did not abandon us in our sin, but sent to us prophets and teachers to lead us into the way of salvation.

Above all, we give you thanks for the gift of Jesus your only Son, who is the way, the truth, and the life. In the fullness of time he took upon himself our nature; and by the obedience of his life, his suffering upon the cross, and his resurrection from the dead, he has delivered us from the way of sin and death.

We praise you that he now reigns with you in glory and ever lives to pray for us. We thank you for the Holy Spirit who leads us into truth, defends us in adversity, and unites us out of every people in one holy church.

Therefore with the whole company of saints in heaven and on earth, we worship and glorify you, God most holy, and we sing with joy:

MINISTER AND PEOPLE:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.

Kneel (or stand).

MINISTER: Holy Father, most glorious and gracious God, we give you thanks that our Savior Jesus Christ, before he suffered, gave us this memorial of his sacrifice, until his coming again:

For in the night when he was betrayed, he 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 in remembrance of me.”

In the same way also after supper, he took the cup. And when he had given you thanks, he gave it to them and said:

“Drink this, all of you: This is my blood of the new covenant which is poured out for you and many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

MINISTER AND PEOPLE: His death, O God, we proclaim. His resurrection we declare. His coming we await. Glory be to you, O Lord.

MINISTER: Heavenly Father, show forth among us the presence of your life-giving Word and Holy Spirit, to sanctify us and your whole church through these holy mysteries. Grant that all who share the communion of the body and blood of our Savior Jesus Christ may be one in him, and remain faithful in love and hope until that perfect feast with him in joy in his eternal kingdom.

MINISTER AND PEOPLE: Gracious Father, accept with favor this our sacrifice of praise, which we now present with these holy gifts. We offer to you ourselves, giving you thanks for calling us to your service, as your own people, through the perfect offering of your Son Jesus our Lord;

By whom and with whom and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory be to you, Father Almighty, now and forever.

Amen.

MINISTER: As our Savior Christ has taught us, we dare to say:

MINISTER AND PEOPLE: Our Father in heaven, holy 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. Do not bring us to the test but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever.

The Breaking of Bread

After a period of silence, the ministers shall break the bread and pour the wine in preparation for the Communion, during which time the following may be said or sung:

MINISTER: The bread which we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?

PEOPLE: Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

MINISTER: The wine which we drink, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ?

PEOPLE: The cup which we bless is the communion in the blood of Christ.

The Communion

Before the minister and the people receive the elements, the following may be said or sung:

Stand (or kneel)

MINISTER: Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

PEOPLE: Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.

MINISTER: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

PEOPLE: Hosanna in the highest.

MINISTER: The gifts of God for the people of God.

Sit (or kneel)

Then shall be said, either to the whole congregation or to each individual communicant, by the minister who gives the bread:

The body of Christ, the bread of heaven.

And by the minister who gives the wine:

The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.

During the Communion time, silence may be kept, or hymns, psalms, and anthems may be sung.

An Act of Praise

Stand

A hymn or a psalm of doxology may be sung, or this canticle:

Nunc dimittis

Now, Master, you have kept your word: you let your servant go in peace. With my own eyes I have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.

With my own eyes I have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.

And the minister and the people may say this prayer of thanksgiving:

Almighty and everliving God, we give you thanks for receiving our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and for feeding us with the spiritual food of the body and blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. Strengthen us ever with your Holy Spirit, that we may serve you in faith and love, by word and deed, until we come to the joy of your eternal kingdom; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the same Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

The Dismissal

Then shall the people be sent forth to their life and witness in the world, as follows:

MINISTER: The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord:

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always.

PEOPLE: Amen.

MINISTER: Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.

PEOPLE: Thanks be to God.

[When all have received the Communion, the minister shall consume or otherwise reverently dispose of all that remains of the elements which have been blessed,either after the Communion or at the conclusion of the service.

The minister may also reserve such bread and wine as may be needed for the Communion of the sick and of others who are necessarily hindered from being present with the people.] 


Alternate Form of the Thanksgiving

MINISTER: The Lord be with you.

PEOPLE: And also with you.

MINISTER: Lift up your hearts.

PEOPLE: We lift them up to the Lord.

MINISTER: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

PEOPLE: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

MINISTER: It is our duty and delight at all times and in all places to give thanks to you, O Lord, holy Father, through Christ our Lord, who on this day overcame death and the grave, and by his glorious resurrection opened to us the way of everlasting life.

And so, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn: *

[* Seasonal prefaces may be substituted]

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.

MINISTER: Holy God, mighty Lord, gracious Father: endless is your mercy and eternal your reign. You have filled all creation with light and life: everything everywhere is full of your glory.

You made man in your image, the crown of creation. Through Abraham you promised to bless all mankind. You rescued Israel, your chosen, the people of your promise; you sent them prophets with words of judgment and of hope. And. when the time had come, you sent your Son, born of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. In words and wonders he proclaimed your kingdom and was obedient to your will, even to giving his life.

At supper the night he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took some bread in his hands;

He takes the bread in his hands.

and then, when he had given thanks to you, he broke it and he gave it to his friends. And he said, “Take this, and eat it: This is my body; it is given for you: Do this to remember me.” After supper he took a cup of wine

He takes the cup in his hands.

and after giving thanks, he gave it to them. And he said. “Drink from this, all of you: This cup is God’s new covenant in my blood which is poured out for all mankind for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink from it from now on, do this to remember me.”

Gracious Father, we therefore celebrate the sacrifice of our Lord by means of this holy bread and cup: rejoicing to receive all that he accomplished for us in his life and death, his resurrection and ascension: and awaiting his coming again to share with us the heavenly feast.

PEOPLE: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

MINISTER: Send the power of your Holy Spirit upon us

He extends his hands over the bread and wine.

and upon this bread and wine, that we who receive the body and blood of Christ may be his body in the world, living according to his example, to bring peace and healing to all mankind. Join our prayers with those of your servants of every time and every place, and unite them in the ceaseless petitions of our great High Priest until he comes in power and great glory as victorious Lord of all.

ALL: Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and forever. Amen.

Our Father in heaven, holy 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. Do not bring us to the test but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever.

As he breaks the bread:

MINISTER: When we eat this bread we share the body of Christ.

As he lifts the cup:

When we drink this cup we share the blood of Christ.

PEOPLE: Reveal yourself to us, O Lord, in the breaking of bread, as you once revealed yourself to the disciples.

Sit (or kneel)

Then shall be said, either to the whole congregation or to each individual communicant, by the minister who gives the bread:

The body of Christ, the bread of heaven.

And by the minister who gives the wine:

The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.

During the Communion time, silence may be kept, or hymns, psalms, and anthems may be sung.

An Act of Praise

Stand

A hymn or a psalm of doxology may be sung, or this canticle:

Nunc dimittis

Now, Master, you have kept your word: you let your servant go in peace. With my own eyes I have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.

And the minister and the people may say this prayer of thanksgiving:

Almighty and everliving God, we give you thanks for receiving our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and for feeding us with the spiritual food of the body and blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. Strengthen us ever with your Holy Spirit, that we may serve you in faith and love, by word and deed, until we come to the joy of your eternal kingdom; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the same Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Then shall the people be sent forth to their life and witness in the world, as follows:

MINISTER: The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord:

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always.

PEOPLE: Amen.

MINISTER: Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.

PEOPLE: Thanks be to God.


From The Book of Worship for United States Forces, published in 1974 under the supervision of the Armed Forces Chaplain Board, and printed by the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. Number 614, found on pages 576-590. The original formatting is not retained.

The book’s acknowledgements on page 749 identifies the following sources:

The primary text is from the Consultation on Church Union, Princeton, NJ, published in 1968 as An Order for Worship for the Proclamation of the Word of God and the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

The alternate form of the thanksgiving was originally published in Contemporary Worship – 2 in 1970 by the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship, Philadelphia, PA.

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