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Pastoral care of our seniors and shut-ins by visiting
them regularly is a valued ministry of our churches and congregations. There is often an effort to specifically visit around Easter and Christmas, and to ensure that all those that wish to commune are able to. This can create added stress to an already busy schedule. But instead of going and visiting each person individually, what about bringing as many of the people together for a service of Holy Communion? This has been tried at All Saints Lutheran Church in Guelph three times now and already has become a valued ministry.
The idea is simple – invite all of your seniors and shut-ins to a worship service that is held around lunch time. After the service, serve a light lunch, where they can continue their fellowship with each other.
The order for worship is simple and encourages participation of everyone. Use hymns that are familiar and even those who have difficulty holding a book or reading the words will be able to sing or hum along. Some people may want to participate by singing a special song, playing the organ for a hymn, reading a lesson or leading a prayer. At our most recent communion and lunch, one gentleman sang a beautiful rendition of “The Holy City” a cappella. Inviting everyone to pray the Prayer of the Day and the Post Communion Prayer together makes all feel included. Here is the order of service that was used – adapt this to your own local context:
Prayer of the Day (said by all)
Hymn of the Day
Words of Institution
Distribution of Holy Communion
Prayer after Communion (said by all)
After the Sending Song, the Table Grace was said, before the people moved to their lunch. Here are a few more practical considerations to think about:continue reading