I’ve been thinking about the offertory sentence(s) we hear on Sunday mornings in church.
The celebrant on any Sunday will choose one of ten offertory sentences. You can find these on page 376 of The Book of Common Prayer (BCP).
The Rubrics state: The Celebrant may begin the Offertory with one of the sentences…”. The ushers then come forward to receive the offering plates, which are them passed to the congregation.
After the collection, the offerings of bread and wine, and money or other gifts are given to the celebrant. The celebrant may or may not place the plate on the altar. If they do, it remains in parishioners sight until almost the end of the service.
As parishioners come forward to receive the bread and wine, the visible offering plates are a reminder of those gifts received from and given to God.
The offertory sentences are a good way to teach about stewardship in a parish. Consider a bible study, or a reflection, on each sentence.
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and make your vows to the to the Most High. Psalm 50:14
Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name; bring offeringsand come into his courts. Psalm 96:8
Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2
I appeal to you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and the come and offer your gift: Matthew 5:23,24
Through Christ let us continually offer to God the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his Name. But do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews: 13:15,16
Or Lord our God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and powers; because you have created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being. Revelation 4:11
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. For everyti9ng in heaven and on earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom, and you are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11
Let us with gladness present the offerings and oblations of our life and labor to the Lord.
I invite you to visit page 376 of the BCP and read through the sentences.
Which sentence do you hear most often in your parish?
When you hear your rector or deacon speak these words, how are you moved?
Which sentence do YOU hear when you think about giving?
What is God calling us to give? God is calling us to give Our Whole Lives.