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PrintPrint Friendly        Nazarene Israel Assembly, Vero Beach Yahad, Sebastian, Ft. Pierce, Melbourne, Florida

Member Nazarene Yisrael Alliance


About the Service of Communion

and

The Siddur Todah Rabbah  =  The Service of Great Thanksgiving

Go to the Service of Communion below

 

Communion is Like the Kiddush

If you are attentive, you may relive the entire Passion through this Communion service – from Yahshua’s entry into Jerusalem to his Resurrection. If you are from a Messianic Jewish background, you may perceive the similarity of the Communion to the kiddush at the end of the synagogue service. 

 

Communion Defamed or Discarded; Eucharist Misunderstood or Relegated to the Occult

The Communion also follows the pattern of worship in Nehemiah 8.  From ancient times, this pattern has been used in remembrance of Yahshua the Anointed through the uncomplicated services of the New Testament and the Didaché to the complicated and overtly paganistic pomps of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, devised throughout their sordid histories.  However, we dare not destroy the precious pearl along with the paste and tarnished alloys that have come to surround it.  But we must conserve that which is not only good, but what is commanded (John 6:51-55). Many among the Sacred Name and Messianic fellowships have discarded Communion, relegating it to a few words during and annual Passover or dropping it altogether on account of the excesses and false teachings of others.  Some have even told me that they cannot offer Communion because the term “‘Eucharist’ sounds like a ‘new age’ thing.”  

(The Greek word eucharistos / eucaristoV – or some close variation – appears with great frequency throughout all the Scriptures, and means “thanksgiving” or “giving thanks.” Certainly, it is every bit as Scriptural – if not moreso – than the Aramaic words left untranslated in the New Testament, like “Maranatha,” Abba,” and “Halleluyah.”  In some traditions, including mine, the Communion is generally known as The Great Thanksgiving.)

 

The Communion has been Hijacked; All Believers Must Reclaim It

The Communion is not the property of movements that would use it to ‘sacrifice Christ’ daily on behalf of the people; i.e. their priests, through the breaking of the ‘host,’ murder the Master afresh so that he may again rise again for those who are in fellowship with the denomination. This entire sacrificial theology has its roots in several ancient pagan mysteries; its great mass of branches furnished by the bold, unrighteous embellishments of past and present Roman apostates.

As for peeling the pearl; let us consider the simplicity and theology of the following Communion service (and the several others I have gleaned from the earliest successors to the original Nazorean movement in Palestine). I have left the original terms for the parts of the Communion in Latin language, since Latin was already becoming the world language (as English is today) by the beginning of the Common Era. (Historians like Josephus translated their Aramaic accounts into Latin for greater readership.  Jerome translated the earliest Greek and Hebrew version into Latin in order for a greater readership of Scripture.)

 

Communion is Not a Sacrifice; It is a Sacrament

A simple definition of the word “Sacrament” might be “an action in three dimensional reality that creates consequences in the higher dimensions”; or “an action in the physical sphere that creates consequences in the spiritual sphere.”  It is not difficult to find examples of general sacraments in the Scripture: Herod is in a furious rage; Joseph has dreams about it; Peter and John command a lame man to walk and pull him to his feet at which time he is healed of his affliction; an mother prays for her wayward adult son over and over until the day comes in which he is delivered from his criminal intent. 

As there are general sacraments, there are special sacraments – that is, Sacraments with a capital ‘S.’ (Again, the technical term ‘Sacrament’ often triggers a negative reaction due to its technical nature and the known pagan excesses of the churches previously mentioned.)  The difference between sacrament and Sacrament is that the Sacramental action is succinctly described in Scripture and its doing is absolutely required.  Then upon the action’s completion, special favor is bestowed on the individual from the spiritual realm by YHWH as Ruach haQodesh.   

Baptism is one such sacrament.  A person is commanded to be properly baptized, and when the act is committed, gifts and favors are bestowed immediately from the realm of the Spirit, then on throughout the life of the consecrated.  (There are so many examples of Sacrament in both Testaments that I hardly need to point out an example.)

 

The Sacrament Must Not Be Abandoned

Communion is also a Sacrament.  The earliest assemblies built their entire service liturgies around the Supper.  That which is to be received immediately is life in timelessness.  Frequent Communions not only help keep the talmidim pure and spiritual (there is a very deep well of spirituality in it), but the favor bestowed is extendable to others outside the Communion.  Since coming to understand a little of Sacramental Theology, I have personally seen and experienced wonderful ‘reactions’ that served to heal families, drive out unclean spirits, and open the spiritually dead to outpourings of praise and eucharist

The fact is, I am writing this essay and sharing this service on account of the needs of my family – that though we may leave the church and religious establishment, we must not leave the table of the Master.  (Frequent communing leads to a hunger for the body and blood of our Savior as well as a strong desire to ever be close to He who loved us enough to share his body with us.)

 

The Ancient, Traditional Divisions of the Service

Each section is very short and to the point, as the complete service below demonstrates. 

Invocation (Shimah, "Calling on")

Confession & Absolution (Vadim, Psalms 32:5.)

Sursum Corda ("Lifting the Heart," Soo Sharim Levichem Psalms 9:9; 28:7.) 

Tersanctus (Three-fold sanctity, Qadosh: Isaiah 6:6.)

Anamnesis (Greek for remembering / reliving; Hebrew, tzecher)

Mysterion (Raza, The mystery of our belief: 1 Timothy 3:9.)

Epiclesis (Vetered, The “calling down,” the consecration: Psalms 144:5; Isaiah 31:4.)

Sovereign’s Prayer (Tefillah l’Adonecha, "Teach us to pray.")

Fraction (Breaking matzah into pieces.)

Distribution (chalek, Passing the pieces.)

Prayer (Tefilah)

Benediction (Amidah, The Blessing: Luke 1:46.)

 

 The Service of Communion  :  

Siddur Todah Rabbah  =  The Great Thanksgiving

Invocation (Shimah, "Calling on")

Psalms 61. Hear us cry (Shimah) , O Elohim; attend to our prayer. From the end of the earth will we cry out to you, when our hearts are overwhelmed: lead us to the rock that is higher than us.  For you have been a shelter for us, and a strong tower from the enemy. We will stay in your tent forever: We will trust in the cover of your wings. For you, O Elohim, have heard our vows: you have given us the same heritage as those that revere your name. So will we sing praise to your name forever, that we may daily perform our vows.
 

Confession (Vadim)  (Daniel 9:4, 1 Corinthians 11:27-29)

YAHAD: Sovereign Yahweh Elohim,

We confess that we have sinned against you in our thoughts, words, and acts.

We are worried about the future, even though we have proclaimed you as our Source and Sovereign.

We have failed to love our neighbors enough, and we have disobeyed your commandments.

Have mercy upon us, Mar Yahshua.

Forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness

So we may walk in your ways and serve you in your favor and love.

            {pause for silent prayer}

This our plea for forgiveness we ask in your famous Name, O Yahweh. Amein.

 

Absolution (HaSlicha) (1 John 1:9)

LEADER: Yahshua our Savior is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness; and as he promised, you are forgiven!

ALL: And you too are forgiven!  You are cleansed of all unrighteousness, and worthy to participate in this set-apart meal.

 

Sursum Corda (Lifting the Heart) (Soo Sharim Levichem) (Ruth 2:4, KJV; 1 Samuel 17:37)

LEADER: May Yahweh be with you!
YAHAD:  and also with you.

LEADER: Lift up your hearts! (Lamentations 3:41)
YAHAD:  We lift up our hearts to our Sovereign!

LEADER: Let us give thanks to Yahweh our Elohim!
YAHAD:  Giving him our thanks and praise is a righteous activity!

LEADER: Yes, to give you thanks always and in all places is a righteous, good, proper, and happy activity.

Sovereign Elohim! We join our voices with the cherubim, the seraphim, and all the kol tzeva ha shamayim who through the ages sing:

 

Tersanctus (Shloshet Kadoshim)

YAHAD: Holy, holy, holy Sovereign Yahweh, (Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh, Yahweh Tze’va·ot)
Heaven and earth are full of your esteem (me·lo chol-ha·a·retz ke·vo·do)  (Isaiah 6:3)
Highest Hosanna, O Yahweh, (Ana Yahweh ho·shi·ah ha·ga·dol)

Send us prosperity (hatz·li·cha na) (Psalms 118:25)

Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yahweh (Ba·roo·ch ha·ba be·shem Yahweh)

We have blessed you from the house of Yahweh. (Ba·rach·noo·chem mi·beit Yahweh) (Psalms 118:26)
Hosanna in the highest! (Ho·shi·an·a ha·ga·dol) (Matthew 21:9)

 

Anamnesis (Tzeker)

LEADER: In the beginning, you created us for yourself. But even though we have fallen to sin and death through our own disobedience, you in your infinite mercy, favor, and love sent your only begotten Son our Savior Yahshua the Anointed One, born of a virgin to live among us as a man. He suffered every hardship and adversity, every trial, trouble, tribulation, and temptation that we face—except without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Finally, He stretched out His arms toward the stake in perfect obedience to your will and offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2).

On the night on which our Master was given over to suffering and death through the betrayal of a friend, He took bread, and after He had blessed it and given thanks to you, Father, He gave it to His disciples and said, “Take, eat, this is my Body that is given for you.” After the supper, he took the cup, and after He had blessed it and given thanks to you for it, Father, He said, “Drink of this, all of you. This is my Blood of the new covenant that is shed for the remission of your sins and the sins of the entire world” (1 Corinthians 11:26-25, 1 John 2:2).

So as often as we eat this bread and drink from this cup, we eat the Body and Blood of our Master Yahshua Messiah. We proclaim His death until He comes again (John 6:53-59). Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith:

 

Mysterion (Raza)

ALL: Moshiach has died.
Moshiach is risen.
Moshiach is coming again!

 

Epiclesis (Vetered)

LEADER: Ruach haKodesh, you are the giver of life in whom we live and move and have our being; consecrate this bread and wine to be, for us, the Body and Blood of our Master Yahshua Messiah (Acts 17:28, John 6:53-59) and consecrate us, Father, to partake of this set-apart food. (More if so inspired.)

All this we ask, O Ruach haKodesh, in the name of Yahshua Messiah, who lives and reigns with you, in the esteem of His Father, Amein. Therefore we pray the prayer our Sovereign taught us, saying:

 

Sovereign’s Prayer (Tefillah l’Adonecha)

ALL: {The Master’s Prayer}

 

Fraction (Matzah)

LEADER: As Sha’ul said to the Corinthians, I say to you: The Anointed One, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast! (1 Corinthians 5:7-8a)

ALL: HalleluYah!

May the Body and Blood of our Sovereign King keep you unto health and enduring life.

 

The Distribution (Chalek)

 “The body of Messiah, the bread of heaven,” or other words to that effect.

 “The blood of Messiah, the cup of salvation,” or other words to that effect.

 “May the body and blood of our Sovereign Yahshua Messiah keep you unto enduring life.

 

Prayer (Tefillah)

LEADER: We thank you, Yahweh our Sovereign, that you have fed us with the mysteries of the Body and Blood of your Son our Savior Yahshua Messiah. By eating His Body, we become members of His Body (John 6:56), and thus His agents in this world. Help us to be the distributors of your blessings, the agents of your providence, the instruments of your favor, and the ambassadors of your love to all the people we meet in our everyday lives. By drinking His Blood, we have taken on His life (Genesis 9:4, John 6:53), which was not finally pierced by the stake nor smothered in the tomb, but lasts for l’olam. We thank you for this, the medicine of life; the antidote to death. All this we pray in the most kadosh and chozeq name of Yahshua-Yahweh, because He is alive, and He reigns with you in the Echad of the Elohim.

ALL: Shema, Israel: Yahweh Eloheinu Yahweh Echad.  You are one Elohim, now and forever, Amein.

 

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