Recognizing International Women’s Day

Women's Day PhotoMarch 8 is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is Be Bold for Change.

One way to celebrate this important date is to remember bold decisions of the past that have greatly affected women’s lives today. In our tradition, the ordination of women was one of those bold decisions.

Use the following communion liturgy written by a group of women clergy in honour of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving in Six Voices


V1: Are you looking for grace?

V2: For hope? For salvation?

V3: For forgiveness? For company?

V4: Come, eat and drink! Here you will find

V1: Grace beyond measure.

V2: Hope that sustains.

V3: A promise of life

V4: Divine companions who will embrace you –
Women and men who will give of themselves.

V1: Come to this table,
Where Jesus embodied love, and eat until you are satisfied.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

V5: God beyond imagining yet known in flesh and tears,
God whose fire lit the stars,
Whose voice awoke the uncreated,
We come to this table looking for life.
We seek you with our bodies and minds and hearts.

V6: We remember the history of the world
That displays over and over again
Your willingness to be found,
Your intentional reaching out toward your people.

V5: We remember the spirit that breathed into Deborah,
The song that flowed from Miriam,
The gospel that was voiced by Mary
before she knew what it meant.
We remember your acts of love and mercy,
Your acts, which overturned the status quo
And released your people from the captivities of culture.

V6: We praise you for Jesus Christ –
Incarnate, formed and nurtured by a woman,
Taught and raised by a community of faithful people,
Jesus Christ, whose hands tore bread and touched the dead,
Whose presence here at this table creates a space of grace
That feeds our souls and bodies.
Born. Dead. Alive. Present here in bread and wine.

V5: We praise you for your Holy Spirit –
The spirit that will not leave us alone,
Will not let us be.
Will not let us cling to patterns of power and relationship
That are harmful instead of life giving.
Your spirit, which has fallen on women who
Tear bread and lift the cup just as Jesus taught.

V6: Your spirit which has fallen on men,
Who hold babies over fonts
until they are soaked with a sense of belonging.
Your spirit, present now, quiet and electrifying.
Liberating and sustaining us.

V5: Spirit of the living God,
Fall on this bread and this wine.
Set these simple gifts apart,
So that as we eat and drink we not only satisfied,
But inspired and moved beyond ourselves.

Breaking of Bread

V1: On the night when Jesus gathered together with his friends
In the shadow of death,

V2: He took bread,
Blessed it.
Broke it.
Gave it.
And said: This is for you. Remember me.

V3: He took wine,
Poured it
Blessed it
Shared it
And said: This is for you. Remember me.

V4: Let us do what Jesus taught us to do.
Let us eat and drink and enjoy what God is giving.

Prayer after Communion

V1: God of past and future.

V2: Know that we are grateful

V3: For the power of your spirit

V4: For your call and invitation to serve,

V5: For the differences among us

V6: For the promise of life that transcends fear.

V1: For the cloud of witnesses that inspire us

V2: For the companionship of friends on the way.

All: We give you thanks. Amen.

Image of arrow pointing downInternational Women’s Day Communion Liturgy

Learn More

Visit The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives online exhibition Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women 1966-2016

2017-03-07T11:21:16+00:00 March 8th, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , |Comments Off on Recognizing International Women’s Day