A FRANCISCAN AGAPE FEAST

Because of the sad divisions that exist in the One Body of Christ, sharing in a common Eucharistic celebration is not possible at this time.  This liturgy is specifically developed for use by Franciscans from different Orders and different communions who wish to share a “common table.”  St. Francis himself used to bless and break bread, and share it with his brothers.  This practice is ancient, going back to the hospitality our Father Abraham showed to his visitors.  While not the full celebration of the Eucharist, there is a relationship, in much the same way that blessing with Holy Water is a reminder of our Baptism.

 

The Agape Feast can be used as a stand-alone liturgy or it can be used at the beginning or end of a shared meal, or interspersed with an order of worship.  The liturgy is adapted from the Iona Abbey Worship Book).

 

WELCOME

As Franciscans, we come from different traditions to follow the journey of Francis and Clare.  We come as different people to serve One God, who calls us to unity as the family of God.

CALL TO THE FEAST

Leaders:  Out of darkness came light

All:         And the power of God was revealed

Men:      in the running wave and the flowing air,

Women: in the quiet earth and the shining stars.

Leaders:  Out of the dust came life;

All:         And the image of God was revealed

Men:       in the human face and the gentle heart,

Women:  in the warmth of flesh and the depth of soul

Leaders:     Out of justice came freedom;

All:           And the wisdom of God was revealed

Men:         in the need to grow and the will to love,

Women:    in the chance to know and the power to choose.

Leaders:      And God looked at the creation,

All:            And Behold, it was very good.

SCRIPTURE:  PS 34:1

PRAYER OF ADORATION

Reader:   I will keep on thanking God

                With constant words of prayer.

                 I will glory in the living God:

     The humble will hear and be glad.

Leader:    Let us pray.

      Living God, our loving parent;  you cherish your creation and We praise you.

     With earth, air, water, fire:  in our element as your children, We praise you..

     With our lips, with our lives, in all our diversity, each one made in your image, We praise you.

     Because, in Jesus, you came to share our human lives, our sorrow and joy, We praise you.

     Because your Spirit is at work today: encouraging, enabling, surprising us, We praise you.

     Poor as we are, you give us hope:

     Salt of the earth, you give us meaning and purpose and We praise you.

All:      Amen.

SCRIPTURE:  MARK 9:50

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Reader:  Salt is good, but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it?

Leader:  Giving God, you blessed us with saltiness,

All:          But we became bland.

Leader:  You trusted us with your Word,

All:           but we did not keep it.

Leader:  You lit a flame in our midst,

All:          but we hid it under formality,

                Smothered it with our fears.

Leader:   God, in your mercy:

All:           Forgive us.

(silence)

Leader:    Forgiving God, we believe that you have called us

All:           to be salt and light;

Leader:    that you offer us time and space and strength

All:            to begin again.

(silence)

Leader:    Giving and forgiving God,

All.           We thank you.

Reader:     Have salt in yourself, and be at peace with one another. 

PASSING THE PEACE

 “Peace and All Good to you” or “Pace e Bene.”

GIVING THANKS FOR THE WEEK

People are invited to call our single words or brief phrases of thanks for something that happened during the week.  A simple response may be used such as “Generous God, we thank you.”

(Or a short chant may be used instead such as:

      Glory and gratitude and praise

      Now let earth to heaven raise.

      Glory and gratitude and praise

      These we offer to God.

SCRIPTURE:  PSALM 34:8

INTRODUCTION TO SHARING THE FEAST

Reader:  We are all invited to the common table to share in an Agape Feast.  At this table we come as brothers and sisters in the Holy Family of God. Taste and see that God is good.

The feast can be a loaf of bread (or oatcakes, or a sweet bread) and a chalice of wine (or cider, or grape juice).  The bread and the wine are passed to one another.  Each person serving the individual next to him or her.

PRAYER

(at the conclusion of each one drinking and eating)

Leader:  As we share this bread, as we pour out this water, we thank you, God, for our daily bread for the food which delights and nourishes us and for the companionship that sustains us as Franciscans.

We thank you, too, for wine (or “drink”) to quench our thirst and for the Living Water with which you surprise and enrich and transform our lives.

We give thanks for this feast at which all Franciscans can share, a foretaste of the Holy Realm.

 Amen.

(May be followed by the Lord’s Prayer, in each one’s different languages and traditions)

BLESSING

Leader:  God bless each of us as we travel on.

               In our times of need

               may we find a table spread in the wilderness

               and companions on the road.

All:         Amen.

Or:

Leader:   Giving God,

                bless all who have gathered round this table.

                May we know the fullness of your presence

                at every meal and in all our sharing.

All:          Amen.        

CLOSING CHANT