Unfailing Light, An Evening Setting of Holy Communion: Assembly Edition
Availability: In stock.
Publisher: GIA Publications
Season/Occasion: Communion; Evening
Release Date: Thursday, June 24, 2004
Written for communities worshipping at the close of the day, this setting draws upon scripture that evokes eventide, especially in the gathering and sending — our transitions from one kind of time to another. The Spirit calls us out of time marked by daylight and darkness, measured by clocks and calendars, and gathers us into time welling up from the past, widening toward the future, and welcoming eternity.
In the opening dialogue we sing from Psalm 113, one of the Hallel or Hallelujah psalms traditionally sung at sundown before the Passover meal. The hymn of praise begins with an image of the dawn of time from Genesis I — God setting lights in the "dome of the sky" to illumine earth by night and day. It ends with a vision from Revelation 22 of the fullness of time — Christ making all things new and the faithful worshiping by the unfailing light of God's glory.
The story of the two disciples walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus as the sun sets on the day of Christ's resurrection flows through this setting (Luke 24:13-55). Verses from this story annotate the movement of our prayer — gathering, word, meal, sending — the pattern of the church's worship since the earliest Christians gathered on the first day of the week to devote themselves "to the apostles" teaching and fellowship, to the breakihng of the bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42).
As in every time and place, when the Spirit gathers us around the word and sacrament, the means of grace, Christ Jesus, crucified and risen, comes among us as he promised. Our hearts burn as he reveals himself in scripture, our eyes are opened to recognize him in the breaking of the bread, and by faith we receive him. He gives us forgiveness, life and salvation, and sends us, nourished, strengthened and refreshed, to become what we have received: his body, blest, broken and given for the sake of the life of the world.
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