About this Holy Communion Liturgy

The Communion liturgy used here is based on that devised by Thomas Cranmer in the 16th Century for the Church of England. An edited version of the Cranmer liturgy is the traditional Methodist service of Holy Communion. Although the full Cranmer Communion liturgy includes more than the Invitation, Prayer of Humble Access, and Prayer of Consecration, these are the core components of the liturgy along with a prayer of confession.

The Cranmer liturgy was the Communion liturgy used by the Church of England in the 18th Century. In the instructions he gave for the establishment of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States (the parent church of the United Methodist Church) Wesley closely followed the Cranmer liturgy for Holy Communion. Similarly, when the Protestant Episcopal Church (now, the Episcopal Church) was organized after the American Revolution, it too followed the Cranmer liturgy. Today both denominations provide the Cranmer liturgy as one of the liturgies available for Holy Communnion.

The prayers fundamental to Communion have been located at an appropriate point in the service. The prayers and their order follow current United Methodist use. It is not surprising that there should be somewhat parallel liturgical practices in the United Methodist and Episcopal Churches since they both had their origin in the 18th Century Church of England. 

This traditional liturgy has been used here because there is more interaction between the Celebrant and the Communicant than is true of some more modern liturgies.