We’re celebrating Mothering Sunday this year by exploring the story of Jonah, in the context of an All-Age Communion service. Here’s the Eucharistic Prayer we’ll be using, based on Chapter 2 of the Book of Jonah (with a reference also to Matthew 12:38-41):
Lift up your hearts:
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God:
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Blessed are you, Lord our loving God:
you answer every call of distress,
and hear every cry from the belly of the deep.
When trouble seems like a surrounding flood,
when we feel exiled, lost and far from you,
as if we’re adrift in the heart of the sea and sinking fast,
still your hand reaches us
and raises us up from the depths of despair.
So we remember your love, stronger even than death’s power,
and in this hallowed place our prayer comes to you:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
We had run away from your call, preferring exile to obedience,
and had been dragged down by strong currents of sinful pride.
But you didn’t give up on us: you sent your Son,
and in Jesus Christ you revealed to us the fullness of your love.
Proclaiming your Kingdom in word and deed,
he has called us to turn away from every vain idol
and to return to you, Lord of our true loyalty.
And as an expectant mother endures and absorbs
the kicks of her child, the searing pain of childbirth,
so in his body he carried our sin and bore our wrong,
laying down even his life to deliver us.
Yet in him the sign of Jonah was fulfilled:
for just as that prophet spent three days in the belly of the sea creature,
so after three days Christ Jesus was raised from the tomb.
And in his name and in the strength of your Spirit,
still the message of your Kingdom is proclaimed.
Therefore we affirm what has been revealed to us, the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
With this bread and this wine
we remember his broken body and the blood he shed.
Send your Holy Spirit, Lord, upon our sharing in these gifts;
that we may truly be fed and nurtured by the body and blood of Christ.
And by this holy communion, with one another and with you,
strengthen us in love, in courage, and in faithfulness.
Receive this sacrifice of praise
which we offer with the voice of our thanksgiving,
and give us grace to fulfil what we have pledged.
This we pray, loving Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
through Jesus Christ your Son.
Deliverance belongs to the Lord! Amen.