UCO: The Lord's Day Ceremony

  • This ceremony is performed before and after Saturday dinner. The head of the household leads the ceremony. The assistant lights the candle and reads the meditation prayer, with the group responding. It is appropriate to sing and pray freely during the ceremony (possible times: before or after the candle lighting ceremony, in the middle of the blessing of the meal).

Lighting of the Candle

  • The assistant prays: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    Group: All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that has been made.

    Assistant: In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

    Group: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    Assistant: Heavenly Father, in honor of your Son, light of the world and author of life, I am about to kindle the light for the Lord's Day. On this day you raised your Son Jesus from the dead and began the new creation. May our celebration of his resurrection this day be filled with your peace and heavenly blessing. Be gracious to us and cause your Holy Spirit to dwell more richly among us.

    Father of mercy, continue your loving kindness toward us. Make us worthy to walk in the way of your Son, loyal to your teaching and unwavering in love and service. Keep far from us all anxiety, darkness and gloom, and grant that peace, light, and joy ever abide among us; for in you is the fountain of life, in your light do we see light.

    Group: Amen.

    The assistant lights the candle and prays with hands raised over it: Blessed are you, Lord our God, who created light on the first day, and raised your Son, the light of the world, to begin the new creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, who have taught us to kindle the light for the Lord's Day.

The Blessing of the Meal

  • The leader prays: "Brothers and sisters, this is the Lord's Day:

    Group: let us welcome it in joy and in peace.

    Leader: Today we set aside the concerns of the week that we may honor the Lord and celebrate his resurrection. Today we cease from our work in order to worship God and remember the eternal life to which he has called us.

    Group: The Lord himself is with us to refresh and strengthen us.

    Leader: Let us welcome God among us and give him glory.

    Group: Let us love one another in Christ.

    Leader: May the Holy Spirit be with us, to deepen our devotion to the Lord and to increase our zeal for the way of life he has given us.

    The leader pours wine (or grape juice) into a cup, raises the cup, and prays: Let us praise God with this symbol of joy, and thank him for the blessings of the past week -- for health, strength, and wisdom; for the discipline of our trials and temptations; for the happiness that has come to us out of our work. Let us thank him this day especially for the great blessings he has bestowed on us in Christ. From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. We who were dead through sin have been brought to life together with Christ and raised with him and made to sit in heavenly places with him.

    Lord our God, you have brought us into the rest of Christ. Now we live with him through the Holy Spirit, and we look for the day when we will dwell with him in your everlasting kingdom.

    Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who have created the fruit of the vine.

  • The leader drinks and lets each in turn drink form the cup. Then he breaks the bread and prays: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who bring forth bread from the earth.

    He passes the bread around for all to take a piece. This concludes the opening ceremony.

Blessing after the Meal

  • Leader: Let us bless the Lord.

    Group: Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forever.

    Leader: Let us bless our God of whose bounty we have shared and through whose goodness we live.

Concluding blessing, prayed by the leader:

  • Leader: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace. Amen.

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