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Communion Service: Psalm 103

Abounding in Steadfast Love, Psalm 103, was part of the Calvin Symposium on Worship 2012. This service was a celebration of word and sacrament with Thomas G. Long, Martha Moore-Keish, and Stanley Mast.

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Organ Prelude – Lobe den Herren (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty)
Jacques Berthier

Choral Call to Praise – Come, Ye That Love the Lord
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Call to Worship (selected from Psalm 136)

O give thanks to the Lord, who is good,
For the mercy of God endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
For the mercy of God endures forever.
Who only does great wonders,
For the mercy of God endures forever;
Who remembered us in our low estate,
For the mercy of God endures forever;
And delivered us from our enemies,
For the mercy of God endures forever;
Who gives food to all creatures,
For the mercy of God endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven,
For the mercy of God endures forever.


Song of Praise – Praise to the Lord, the Almighty     
Words: Joachim Neander, 1680, tr. Catherine Winkworth 1863
Music (LOBE DEN HERREN): Ernewerten Gesangbuch, Stralsund, 1665

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession – Psalm 51
Psalms for All Seasons 51E

Declaration of Forgiveness


Prayer for Illumination – Prepare our Hearts, O God
Words and Music: Carlos Colon, 2011 

Exodus 14
Sung refrain – The Lord Is Rich in Kindness
Psalms for All Seasons 103G 

Luke 9:12-17
Sung refrain – The Lord Is Rich in Kindness

Psalm 103
Sung refrain – The Lord Is Rich in Kindness



Response – Bless the Lord, My Soul                                                     
Psalms for All Seasons 103C

Prayers of the People




The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


And also with you.


This is the table of the Lord. 
He invites all who love him and trust in him alone for their salvation to sitwith him and share in this joyful feast.


Why do we come to this table?


 We come to this table because of Jesus’ command and invitation. In remembrance of him, Jesus tells us to eat this broken bread and to drink this cup in true faith and to keep doing so until he comes again.


How is this meal different from all others?


In this supper God tells us that our sins have been completely forgiven through the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross where his body was given and his blood was shed. God also tells us that the Holy Spirit makes us one with Christ, and in Christ one with all other Christians.


What faith do we proclaim at this table?


 With Christians of all times and all places,
we proclaim our faith:


                         I believe in God, the Father almighty,
                        creator of heaven and earth. 

                        I believe in Jesus Christ,
                        his only Son, our Lord,
                        who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
                        and born of the virgin Mary.
                        He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
                        was crucified, died, and was buried;
                        he descended to hell.
                        The third day he rose again from the dead.
                         He ascended to heaven
                         and is seated at the right hand of God
                        the Father almighty.
                         From there he will come to judge
                        the living and the dead.

                        I believe in the Holy Spirit,
                        the holy catholic church,
                        the communion of saints,
                        the forgiveness of sins,
                        the resurrection of the body,
                        and the life everlasting. Amen.
                        (The Apostles’ Creed) 


Come, then, people of God,
to the joyful feast of our Lord!

Prayer of Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you,
and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, strong and faithful God.
All your works, the height and the depth,
echo the silent music of your praise.
Therefore we join our voices with choirs of angels,
with prophets, apostles, martyrs,
and with all the faithful of every time and place,
who forever sing to the glory of your name:

Pastor and people sing

All holy God,
How wonderful is the work of your hands!
When sin had scarred the world,
You entered into covenant to renew the whole creation.
As a mother tenderly gathers her children,
As a father joyfully welcomes his own,
You embraced a people as your own
And filled them with longing
For a peace that would last
And for a justice that would never fail.
Through countless generations
Your people hungered for the bread of freedom.
From them you raised up Jesus your Son,
The living bread, in whom ancient hungers are satisfied.
He healed the sick,
Though he himself would suffer,
He offered life to sinners,
Though death would hunt him down.
But with a love stronger than death,
He opened wide his arms
And surrendered his spirit.

Gracious God,
As we offer you our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,
We commemorate Jesus, your Son.
Death could not bind him,
For you raised him up in the Spirit of holiness
And exalted him as Lord of creation.

Great is the mystery of faith:

Pastor and people sing

Eternal God,
let your Holy Spirit move in power over us
and over these earthly gifts of bread and wine,
that they may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ,
and that we may become one in him.
May his coming in glory find us
ever watchful in prayer,
strong in truth and love,
and faithful in the breaking of bread.

Then, at last, all peoples will be free,
all divisions healed,
and we will sing your praise
as we feast with all your saints in the joy of your eternal realm.

Come, for all is ready. The gifts of God for the people of God.

The following songs will be sung during the distribution:

Taste and See
Psalms for All Seasons 34B 

I Will Sing of My Redeemer
Words: Philip P. Bliss, 1876, Public Domain
Music (HYFRYDOL Rowland H. Prichard, 1830, Public Domain 

Soneto a Cristo crucificado (Sonnet to Christ Crucified)
Anonymous Spanish text from the 19th century; Eng. tr. also anonymous. 

I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord                                                 
Psalms for All Seasons 89A

Prayer after Communion

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all the benefits of the Lord. (Psalm 103:1-2)


Psalm 103 – O Come, My Soul
Psalms for All Seasons 103B

Blessing (in different languages)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,            
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:13)

Postlude – Koraalfantasie Psalm 98 (Sing, Sing a New Song to the Lord God)    
Wim Magré

Program Notes

Thomas G. Long, preacher
Martha Moore-Keish, liturgist and celebrant
Stanley Mast, celebrant
Conference Choir, directed by Alice Parker and Carlos Colon
Larry Visser, organist
Julia Start Fletcher, dancer
Brass members
Friends of the Groom, directed by Tom Long, with Jocelyn Sluka and Susan Jung
Pastors and members of La Grave Avenue Christian Reformed Church

  • Prayer of Thanksgiving: The musical portions of the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving is from the Misa Juan Diego by Rufino Zaragoza © 1993 Rufino Zaragoza, OFM.  Published by OCP Publications, 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland, OR 97213.
  • “O Come, My Soul,” a concertato on Psalm 103 by Larry Visser, was commissioned by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship for this service; Visser dedicated his composition to Stanley Mast, retiring this year as pastor of LaGrave Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. The text also celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 1912 Psalter, the most used metrical psalter throughout North America in the 20th century. The concertato will be published by the Calvin Institute of Worship Music Series with GIA Publications, Inc.