One of the more popular songs from our continuing compilation series has been an original piece written by Luke Morton for our Songs for the Supper compilation. The Lamb has Overcome is a meditation on the risen victorious Lamb, a festal triumph for the future wedding feast – an ode for the Easter season.
Here are a list of communion songs we are singing this year during advent and christmas. This may be helpful to some of you celebrating communion on xmas eve! Spend some time reading through these texts and meditating on how our sunday worship, especially during the time of advent/xmas, draws such a short and sweet line between the incarnation, the last supper, and our longing for the Lamb’s feast!
Many churches only celebrate communion as a seasonal celebration (once/twice a month, once a quarter, etc). And Easter is often reserved as one of those special Sunday’s where the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated as the ultimate picture of the victory of the cross and our union with Christ!
Last weekend at Christ the King we heard Reggie Kidd unfold for us the Emmaus Road scene in Luke 24. In this passage the resurrected, but veiled Savior opens the entire scriptures for the disciples and taught on all that the Christ had to accomplish…but that it was only AFTER he broke bread that the disciples fully realize who he is!
This scene, among others, establishes the worship of the new testament church around Word and Table as the full proclamation of the Gospel. Here are a few songs that help connect word and table for Easter Sunday. Our prayer being that as we lead our people to the table their eyes would be fully opened to the wonder of our King who continues to lead us, feed us, and intercess for us from the throne in heaven.
Many of our churches celebrate the Lord’s Supper weekly and we are always trying to find new music that we can use that strikes a balance between meditative reflection and expectant celebration. We hope these songs can help to deepen and expand our congregation’s participation in the feasting.
Please visit the artists at their links below and support them by buying their music, joining their facebook pages and sharing their music with friends. These artists are giving sacrificially to enrich the width and breadth of song in our worship.
Thanks to these artists for donating their talents to this project.
I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never read a page of Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology until recently. This is pretty shocking considering He gave the commencement speech at my seminary graduation and I worked for His son Elliot at Christ the King. I have quite a few friends who discovered Reformed theology through reading it and I’ve had the opportunity to talk about worship with Wayne on a few occasions. I’ve realized that I need to make up for this oversight in my own theological education so I’m going to post a few helpful worship guides to make the most of this great resource.
Recently while I was researching hymns on the Lord’s Supper by Horatius Bonar I stumbled upon a quote from Dr. Grudem in his chapter on the Lord’s Supper. He provides a hymn after each chapter in an attempt to relate the life of Worship with the complexities of systematic theology. Brilliant!
Here is the hymn that Dr. Grudem choose to cap his chapter on the Lord’s Supper. He says that this hymn is “one of the greatest hymns ever written regarding this doctrine.” (pg. 1001) wow. I didn’t know the tune he provided so I wrote my own. Hope you enjoy.
Our congregation celebrates the Lord’s Supper every Sunday and we always have non-Christians present. We print these prayers in our bulletin to give those who are investigating faith a place to direct both their anxieties and their searching hearts.
Prayer for Those Searching for the Truth
Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.
Prayer of Belief
Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen.
Prayer of Commitment
Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.
I’ve been blessed to lead worship at a number of church’s that observe the Lord’s Supper every week, and in most of them music has been a part of the celebration. Here is a collection of congregational songs that both pastors and congregations have found helpful for meditating on the specific themes of the Lord’s Supper as well as balancing both heartfelt celebration (Rev 19:1-10) and biblical introspection (1 Cor 11:17-33). Most of these are on the more traditional spectrum, but I would love to hear what your congregation sings.
Hymns on the Lord’s Supper – Charles Wesley
Dr. Mike Farley, who is now teaching some classes on Worship at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis pointed out these excellent hymn texts on the Lord’s Supper by Charles Wesley that have been largely neglected.
Gathered round Your table on this holy eve,
Viewing Bethlehem's stable we rejoice and grieve.
Joy to see You lying in Your manger bed,
Weep to see You dying in our sinful stead.
Prince of Glory gracing heaven ere time began,
Now for us embracing death as Son of Man.
By Your birth so lowly, by Your love so true,
By Your cross, most holy Lord, we worship You.
Bethlehem's Incarnation, Calvary's bitter cross,
Wrought for us salvation, by Your pain and loss.
Now we fall before You by this holy place,
Prostrate, we adore You for Your gift of grace.
With profoundest wonder we Your body take.
Laid in manger yonder, broken for our sake.
Hushed in adoration, we approach the cup,
Bethlehem's pure oblation freely offered up.
Christmas babe so tender, Lamb who bore our blame.
How shall sinners render praises due Your name?
Do Your own good pleasure in the lives we bring.
In Your ransomed treasure reign forever King!
John Hunter was a preacher at Trinity Church, Glasgow and later at the venerable King’s Weigh House Chapel in London during the late 18th, early 19th century. He is most well known for his publication of “Devotional Services for Public Worship” which was the most popular service book of its day in non-conformist circles (non-anglicans). He was widely regarded for his language of prayer and sentiment in worship.
Here is one of his prayers addressing the congregation before taking the Lord’s Supper.
“Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins and are in love and charity with your neighbors, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in His holy ways; draw near with reverence, faith, and thanksgiving, and take the Supper of the Lord to your comfort.
Come to this sacred Table, not because you must, but because you may: come to testify not that you are righteous, but that you sincerely love our Lord Jesus Christ, and desire to be His true disciples: come, not because you are strong, but because you are weak; not because you have any claim on Heaven’s rewards, but because in your frailty and sin you stand in constant need of Heaven’s mercy and help: come, not to express an opinion, but to seek a Presence and pray for a Spirit.
And now that the Supper of the Lord is spread before you, lift up your minds and hearts above all selfish fears and cares; let this bread and this wine be to you the witnesses and signs of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit. Before the Throne of the Heavenly Father and the Cross of the Redeemer make your humble confession of sin, consecrate your lives to the Christian obedience and service, and pray for strength to do and to bear the holy and blessed will of God.”