Eucharistic Prayers

Adapted From John Knox’s “Manner of the Administration of the Lord’s Supper” of 1560:

O Father of Mercy, and God of all consolation, since all creatures acknowledge and confess you as Governor and Lord: It becomes us, whom you have made with your own hands, at all times to honor and magnify your divine majesty. First, because you have created us in your own image and likeness: But above all because you have freed us from that everlasting death and damnation, into which the power of evil drew the human race through sin, from bondage to which neither man nor angel was able to make us free. We praise you, O Lord, that you, who are rich in mercy, and infinite in goodness, have provided our redemption in your only and well-beloved Son, who in your true love you gave to be made a man like us in all things, sin excepted, to receive in his body the punishment of our transgression, by his death to make satisfaction to your justice, and through his resurrection to destroy the power of death; and so to bring life to the world again. O Lord, we acknowledge that no creature is able to comprehend the length and breadth, the depth and height of your most excellent love, which moved you to show mercy where none was deserved, to promise and give life where death had been victorious, to receive us in your grace when we could do nothing but rebel against your justice.

O Lord, the blind dullness of our nature will not allow us sufficiently to weigh your ample benefits; yet, nevertheless, at the commandment of Jesus Christ our Lord, we present ourselves at this his table, which he has left to be used in remembrance of his death, until his coming again: to declare and witness before the world, that by him alone we have received liberty and life; that by him alone acknowledge us to be your children and heirs; that by him alone we may come near to the throne of your grace; that by him alone we are may in your spiritual kingdom eat and drink at his table, with whom we will eat one day in heaven, and by whom our bodies shall be raised up again from the dust, and shall be placed with him in that endless joy, which you, O Father of mercy, have prepared for your chosen ones before the foundation of the world was laid. And these most immeasurable  benefits we acknowledge and confess to have received from your free mercy and grace, by your only beloved Son Jesus Christ: for which, therefore, we your congregation, moved by your Holy Sprit, give you all thanks, praise, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Adapted by M.D. Bush, with this note: “Real eucharistic prayers fell out of fashion in Reformed worship soon after the Reformation. Calvin used them, and this one adapted from Knox is dependent at several points on Calvin’s. Old’s Leading in Prayer has a number of excellent eucharistic prayers of Dr. Old’s own composition . I recommend those prayers, that book, and everything Old writes.” 


Adapted From Martin Bucer’s Strasbourg Liturgy of 1539

The Minister stands behind the Table and speaks to the people: 

     The Lord be with you. Let us pray. 

     Almighty God, merciful God and Father, you have promised us through your Son, that you will grant us whatever we ask of you in his name; and you have also commanded us through your Spirit to pray for those in authority and for all people. We heartily pray, through your beloved Son our Savior Jesus Christ, that you will enlighten with the knowledge of your Gospel [national and local civic leaders by either office or name] that they and all those in power may acknowledge you as their true and sovereign Lord, serve you with fear and trembling, and rule over us, who are your handiwork and the sheep of your pasture, according to your will and good pleasure. 

     Bring all people everywhere to the knowledge of the truth. In particular, send upon this congregation, now assembled in your name, your Holy Spirit, the Master and Teacher, that he may write your law upon our hearts, take away our blindness, and lead us to acknowledge our sin, which otherwise is death, and whose baseness and shame is hidden from us. Make it clear to us, O Lord, and enlighten our eyes, that we may see the truth and recognize that there is indeed nothing in us except sin, death, hell, and your deserved wrath. Grant that we may hunger and thirst after the rich springs of your goodness and grace, and gratefully receive of them what you have given to us through your only-begotten Son, who, having become human like us poor sinners, suffered, died, and rose from the dead, that he might save us from sin, death, and hell, and bring us to the resurrection and our inheritance of the kingdom of God. 

Grant us, Lord and Father, that we may celebrate with true faith this Supper of your dear Son, our Lord Jesus, as he has commanded, so that we truly receive and enjoy the true communion of his body and blood, of our Savior himself, the truly heavenly bread of salvation. In this holy sacrament, he wills to offer and give himself so that he may live in us, and we in him, as members of his body, serving you fruitfully in every way for the building up of your Church, set free from every passion of our evil and corrupt flesh, from all anger, vexation, envy, hatred, selfishness, lewdness, unchastity, and any other wicked works of the flesh. So that we may, as your obedient children, always and in every way lift our hearts and souls to you with real childlike trust, and call upon you, saying as our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Master and Savior, has taught us: Our Father…

From  Jasper, Ronald Claud Dudley., and G. J. Cuming, eds. Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992. I have lightly modernized the text. 

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