Hedge’s Communion Service

From Fredrick Henry Hedge’s 1853 Christian Liturgy: For the Use of the Church.


[Note. — This service may begin and proceed with singing, address, reading, or prayer, at the discretion of the minister. The Liturgy embraces only the concluding or cenatory act. In a service so liable to excess of formality, it was judged best to leave a wide margin for such voluntary exercises or such spontaneous expressions of thought and devotion as the Minister or Church may be moved to connect with it.]


Min. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.
Comm. And with thy spirit.
Min. Lift up your hearts.
Comm. We lift them up unto the Lord.
Min. Let us praise the Lord.
Comm. It is meet and just.
Min. Yea, it is meet and just and seemly and profitable, day and night, with lips never silent, and heart never dumb, to praise and to bless and to give thanks unto thee, O Lord, who madest heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is; who madest man in thine own image, and when he had transgressed didst not overlook him nor forsake him, but didst recall him by thy Law and school him by thy Prophets, and didst fashion and renew him by the awful and heavenly mysteries of religion; who madest all things by thy Wisdom, the true Light, thine only begotten Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, through whom we render unto thee the reasonable service which is rendered, O Lord, by all thy people from north to south, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same; through whom every rational creature worshippeth and sendeth up unto thee the eternal song of praise.

Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Authorities, and Powers; Cherubim and Seraphim call one to another with ceaseless voice, and repeat the triumphal hymn, singing and shouting, and saying:

Comm. Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory.
Min. Wherefore, together with the heavenly host, we also cry aloud and say, Holy indeed art thou, all-holy, and without measure is the majesty of thy holiness. Holy also is thine only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and holy the Spirit that searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Thou didst send thy Son into the world that he might renew and reanimate thine image. Who, born of woman, and having his conversation with men, did order all things pertaining to the salvation of our race. And being about to undergo the voluntary and life-giving death upon the cross,—the sinless for us sinners,—on the night in which he was betrayed,—let us rather say, in which he delivered up himself for the life and salvation of the world:

Taking bread in his holy and innocent and immortal hands, he blessed it and brake, and gave to his disciples, saying: Take, eat, this is my body, which is broken and given for you for the remission of sins.

Comm. Amen.
Min. Also taking the cup after he had supped, and blessing it and giving thanks, filled with the Holy Ghost, he gave it to his disciples, saying: Drink ye all of it; this is the blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for you and for many, and given for the remission of sins.
Comm. Amen.
Min. This do in remembrance of me. For as oft as ye eat of this bread and drink of this cup, ye show forth the death of the Son of Man, and declare his resurrection, until he come.
Comm. Thy death, O Lord, we show forth, and declare thy resurrection.
Min. We, therefore, mindful of his life-giving doctrines, his saving cross and death, his burial and resurrection, his ascension and seat at the right hand of God,—we set apart and devote to the memory of Christ this bread and this cup. And we beseech thee, O Lord, to sanctify these elements, and to sanctify us with thy holy presence. And may this bread be unto us as the sacred body of thy Christ.
Comm. Amen.

Min. And may this cup be unto us as the honored blood of thy Christ.
Comm. Amen.
Min. That so this rite may be profitable to all who partake of it, for the remission of sins, for eternal life, for the sanctification of body and soul, for fruitfulness in good works, for the stablishing of thy holy Church which thou hast founded on the rock of faith, that the gates of hell may not prevail against it. May we who thus eat of one bread and drink of one cup be made one with each other in the fellowship of the same Holy Spirit, and one with thee in Christ.

And in this our communion we remember, and beseech thee to remember and to bless, the multitudes of every name who are joined with us in one household of faith,—our brethren and sisters in Christ throughout the world.

We remember those who have fallen asleep in Christ, and in the joyful hope of resurrection unto life eternal. O Lord, refresh their spirits with the light of thy countenance.

We remember the fathers from the beginning of the world; the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and all who have wrought righteousness, from righteous Abel even to the present day. Refresh thou their spirits, and give them abundant entrance into the joy of our Lord. And grant unto us, O God, that we may have our part and lot with all thy saints.

We remember all such as journey or are about to journey, and them that sojourn in strange lands. May they have thee for their fellow-voyager and fellow-traveller. May it please thee to abide with them wheresoever they abide, and whether they travel by land or by water, to bring them in safety to their destined goal. Abide with those whom they leave behind, and grant that, in health remaining, they may welcome their own in health returning, and rejoice with them in safety and in peace.

We remember all who are sick and in distress, all who suffer in body or in mind, all who are in prison and in bonds. As bound with them, and as sufferers with them, we bear them in our hearts and pray for their relief.

We remember our enemies, if there be any who have injured us, or any who look upon us with evil eye, and cherish hatred against us. We beseech thee to turn their hearts, and that we may live peaceably with all men. May we freely forgive all who have wronged us; and if there be any whom we have wronged, may we make amends and seek forgiveness.

We remember the whole family of man, beseeching thee that the spirits of all flesh may taste of thy grace, and that the ends of the earth may see the salvation of God.

And unto us, O Lord, vouchsafe such guidance, that as Christians, and blameless, we may spend the remainder of our life. Gather us, O Lord, when thou wilt, and as thou wilt, but be it without shame and without reproach, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who alone was found sinless on earth.

Comm. Put away from us, O Lord, our sins, whether wilful or against our wills, in deed and in word, in knowledge and in ignorance, in mind and disposition, forgive them all according to thy mercy;

Min. In Jesus Christ thy Son, in whom and through whom we bless thee now and ever.
Comm. Amen.
Min. O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, may it please thee to accept us in these our supplications. May our offerings find favor in thy sight, and be as the odor of spiritual incense. Accept them, O Lord, as thou didst accept the offerings of holy men of old, and bless them as thou didst bless the centurion’s alms and the widow’s mite. Sanctify us with the grace of thy Christ, and with the frequency of thy Holy Spirit. Sanctify soul and body and spirit, and make us worthy to call upon thee, the Father in heaven, and to say:
Comm. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Min. Yea, Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thy mercy knoweth that we, through much weakness, are not able of ourselves to overcome. But do thou, together with the trial, provide also a way of escape. For thou givest thy servants power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and on all the power of the enemy. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.
Comm. Amen.

Min. Peace be with you.
Comm. And with thy spirit.

Then the Minister, taking in his hands the bread and the cup, shall say : —

To the Father of lights, from whom cometh down every good and every perfect gift, rendering unto God the things which are God’s, we consecrate these gifts of his love, these memorials of our Lord, the holy to the Holy.

Comm. One is holy, and one is our Master, even Christ, to the glory of God the Father.

Then the Minister shall break the bread and shall say:—

Beloved in the Lord, I deliver unto you that which I have received of the Lord Jesus, the bread and the cup of Christian Communion.

Then, delivering the bread, having first himself partaken thereof, he shall say:—

Take and eat this in remembrance of Christ.

Then, delivering the cup, having first himself partaken thereof he shall say:—

Drink this in remembrance of Christ

And after the Communicants have received the elements, the Minster shall say this prayer :—

O God, who with great and unspeakable love hast condescended to our weakness, and hast vouch-safed unto us to partake of this heavenly board, enter not into judgment with us, thy servants, but guard us in the sanctity of thy Holy Spirit, that being holy we may find part and inheritance with all the holy who in all time have well pleased thee, in the light of thy countenance; through the grace of thine only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Comm. Amen.

If there be any special petition to he offered, or event to he commemorated, it shall he done here.

Concluding PRAYER.

Min. O Thou great and adorable God, look down upon thy servants who now bow before thee; stretch forth thine hand full of power and of blessing, and bless thy people. Guard thine inheritance, that ever and everywhere we may glorify thee, the only living and true God, and thy Son and thy Holy Spirit, world without end.
Comm. Amen.

Then may follow a hymn, or remarks, at the discretion of the Minister; and after that, or without them, the


  1. After the old Greek Liturgies, with especial use of that of Antioch, called the Liturgy of St. James.