This liturgy was originally written for use at the 2019 National Capital Pride Coalition witness at the Washington, D.C. Pride Parade. Participants were queer-identified clergy from across the Baltimore-Washington Conference, alongside Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling.
A Communion Liturgy for the Celebration of Pride 2019
Invitation to the Table
Voice One: We are a people who’ve come from many places embodying many differences.
Voice 2: Different ages and races!
Voice 3: Different sexualities and identities!
Voice 4: Differing politics and theologies!
Voice 5: All one people—at one meal—to discover and remember this truth of God’s love: That our differences need not be something we simply tolerate but blessings which we celebrate.
Voice 1: The more difference we embody, the more fully we experience the presence of God in our midst.
Voice 2: So come, children of God, just as you are. Wherever you’ve been and whatever wounds you bear today, you are welcome here—in this place, among these people, at this meal—to encounter the love of God which is our sustenance and strength.
Voice 3: Friends, God is ever present with you.
Voice 4: And let the people say, “And also with you!”
All: And also with you.
Voice 5: Turn to the people around you and tell them this Good News: “The peace of Christ is always with you!”
All: The peace of Christ is always with you!”
Voice 1: Listen! (pause) The body breathes in…and out. As close as breath, the Holy is present with us. (pause) So we lift up our hearts. And the family says, “We lift them up to God!”
All: We lift them up to God.
Voice 2: The strength of our resistance comes from the regularity of our remembrance. And so, that we might resist, we remember that we—lesbian, gay, queer and questioning, bi-sexual, trans, intersex and asexual—that WE are created in YOUR image and that OUR breath is the same breath that hovered over the waters at creation’s birth.
Voice 3: We remember that even as we abandoned you, you still remembered us. Resisting closets of our own creation—self-hatred, selfish ambition, and pride—you continued to seek us out, even when we forgot who we are.
Voice 4: We remember your son, Jesus, who put on flesh like us and taught us what it meant to be fully who you’d created us to be. He touched the untouchable, healed the incurable, and welcomed those who had given up hope of ever finding their place or tribe.
Voice 5: Through him we see a path not just toward our freedom, but toward the liberation of the whole world. Jesus taught us that it’s not in the brutality of violence or in rulings of law or in special General Conferences that the world will be saved.
Voice 1: Rather, it will be in showing kindness to our neighbor, in standing up against evil and injustice, in returning hate with love, in transforming the world one heart at a time. It will be in the simple and holy task of dining together and in learning to see one another as beloved, just as you have seen us.
Voice 2: We know this, because on a night of both celebration and betrayal (lift loaf here), Jesus took bread leftover on the table, blessed and broke it, and commanded those who love him to eat and to remember—every time they broke bread after—that it is in the breaking we become whole, that in losing our lives we find them, in serving we are served.
Voice 3: And likewise, after they’d broken bread, Jesus took a cup (lift cup here), lifted and blessed it, and commanded them to drink and to remember his life-blood, poured out as living grace for them and for all who would receive it. And every time they drank after to remember that grace was poured out for all, ALL, who would receive it.
Voice 4: And so we pray, with boldness and in our need, that you would come upon us Holy Spirit, and on these gifts of bread and cup. Make of them the body of Christ, brought to life in our sharing, and blood of Christ to nourish us in the works of witness and justice to which we’ve been called.
Voice 5: In our fellowship here may our eyes be opened, that we may recognize the strength in the communion between us. That from our memory of your faithfulness we might find renewed hope for the journey to which we’ve been called. That we may recognize, as pilgrims together in this journey toward justice, we might see each other and all whom we meet as those whom you’ve named and claimed as your Beloved. All this we ask in your name.
Voice 1: (lifts bread and breaks it) As the grain scattered becomes one loaf, when we eat this bread, we become one with one another. A sharing in this bread is a sharing in the Body of Christ
Voice 2: As the grapes finds life in the vine, when we drink this cup we become at one with the source of life itself.