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Songs for Communion


Having been posting a bit lately on the Lord's Supper, my thoughts have been wandering to the dearth of worship songs for the Breaking of Bread. There are plenty of hymns for the sacrament (Ian Macpherson, probably the most celebrated preacher in the history of the Apostolic Church, even compiled an entire hymn book just for the Breaking of Bread, Hymns at the Holy Table), but not so many contemporary songs. But I have managed to find a few. So here is my (very short) list of contemporary(ish) worship songs for Communion.

We do not presume (Andy Piercy) - Cranmer's Prayer of Humble Access from the Communion liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer, slightly adapted and set to music. The Prayer of Humble Access is one of the jewels of Cranmer's liturgy with great emphases on Reformation theology.

Come to the table (Claire Cloninger & Martin J. Nystrom) - song for the invitation to the Table. Simple but good.

Remember Me (Gerrit Gustafson & Martin J. Nystrom) - a form of the Words of Institution with thanksgiving. Personally though I wouldn't let it replace the actual Words of Institution at the Lord's Supper.

Remembrance (Matt Redman and Matt Maher) - okay, this one is actually contemporary contemporary. I like the song, yet I also have a few reservations; it's simply that the words are a bit ambiguous, and so open to interpretations with which I wouldn't be comfortable, at points. 'Now the simple made divine' (emphasis mine) combined with knowing that one of the writers is a Roman Catholic worries me in the direction of transubstantiation, but could be given a looser meaning. 'Our worship leads to communion' also worries me slightly. It could suggest that it is through the 'experience' of (sung) 'worship' that we achieve communion with God, but, again could be interpreted in various ways. On the other hand I really like the way the Memorial Acclamation ('Dying you destroyed our death...') has been used and also the invitation aspect. At the end of the day, I would use the song, but carefully.

Okay, so four was the best I could do.