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"Tables for Two"

Gathering Prayer

Leader:

We gather this evening to stand apart - together.  We gather this evening to share and strengthen the love that we choose to give one another, the love that challenges us to be all that we can be, the love that nurtures and sustains us.

We gather to break bread, to rediscover one another as we celebrate the past, present, and future of our lives together.

We celebrate the unity of Christ that calls us to oneness as we light the paschal candle to remind us of Christ's everlasting presence in our lives.

Response to the following blessings:  Bless us with your goodness, Lord.

Blessing and first candlelighting:

We light a candle in memory of those who have handed us the gift of life itself.  We honour those who gave us birth and nurtured us, those who endowed us with heritage and raised us, those who offered us love and cherished us.  Bless our parents, grandparents, and all who have given us life.  For this we pray...

Blessing and second candlelighting:

We light a candle in memory of those who have been linked with us in the ongoing chain of family life.  We honour those who have shared our heredity and who have experienced our common bonds.  Bless our sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, and all our relatives.  For this we pray...

Blessing and third candlelighting:

We light a candle in memory of those to whom we ourselves have passed on the precious gift of life.  We hold dear to our hearts those we have held dear in our arms and in our dreams.  Bless our children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, and all children.  For this we pray...

Blessing and fourth candlelighting:

We light a candle in memory of those we have discovered through the eyes of love in our journey through life.  We hold sacred the remembrances of those who brightened our days with affection and who lit up our lives with devotion.  Bless our wives, husbands, and close friends.  For this we pray...

Blessing and fifth candlelighting:

We light a candle in memory of those who have walked beside us in so many ways.  We remember ones who worked with us and played with us, ones who have made out times on earth more enjoyable and our experiences more memorable.  Bless our friends and associates, our neighbours, our peers.  For this we pray...

Blessing and sixth candlelighting:

We light a candle in meory of the difficult moments in our lives that call us out of aloneness into the suffering yet hopefilled body of Christ.  Bless us, Lord, with courage and perseverance to live life to the full.  For this we pray...

Blessing and seventh candlelighting:

We light a candle in memory of those special moments in our relationships where we clearly saw the joyfilled face of Christ.  Bless us, Lord, with joy in the simplest of events.  For this we pray...

Blessing and eighth candlelighting:

We light a candle in thanksgiving for the gift of one another, for the gift of a committed companion on the journey.  Bless us, Lord, with faithfulness.  For this we pray...

Blessing and ninth candlelighting:

We light a candle to help us remember our call and challenge to be witnesses of Christ's love in the world.  Bless us with love that shines of Christ's love.  For this we pray...

Blessing and tenth candlelighting:

We light a candle to remember those who have no one to love and encourage them.  Bless us with kindness for all people.  For this we pray...

Let us pray:

May the warmth of fire and light
That radiates from these candles
reflect its glow on all who sit at table,
May the light of the risen Lord
bless the food, the conversation,
and our love for one another.