The minister says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.
The minister greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture: For our sake Christ became obedient, accepting even death, death on a cross. Therefore God raised him on high and gave him the name above all other names. Blessed be God for ever.
In the following or similar words, the minister prepares those present for the blessing: Throughout Lent we have been preparing for the resurrection of the Lord by prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. Our lenten fasting is a reminder of our hunger and thirst for holiness which is satisfied only by Christ who feeds and nourishes us by his word and sacraments. When we gather at our first meal of Easter may this food be a sign for us of that heavenly banquet to which the Lord calls us.
READING OF THE WORD OF GOD:
One of those present, or the minister, then reads a text of sacred Scripture: Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the book of Deuteronomy: 16:1-8, The passover of the Lord. Observe the month of Abib by keeping the Passover of the LORD, your God, since it was in the month of Abib that he brought you by night out of Egypt. You shall offer the Passover sacrifice from your flock or your herd to the LORD, your God, in the place which he chooses as the dwelling place of his name. You shall not eat leavened bread with it. For seven days you shall eat with it only unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, that you may remember as long as you live the day of your departure from the land of Egypt; for in frightened haste you left the land of Egypt. Nothing leavened may be found in all your territory for seven days, and none of the meat which you sacrificed on the evening of the first day shall be kept overnight for the next day. You may not sacrifice the Passover in any of the communities which the LORD, your God, gives you; only at the place which he chooses as the dwelling place of his name, and in the evening at sunset, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt, shall you sacrifice the Passover. You shall cook and eat it at the place the LORD, your God, chooses; then in the morning you may return to your tents. For six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh there shall be a solemn meeting in honor of the LORD, your God; on that day you shall not do any sort of work.
The minister says: The Son of God who invites us to the Paschal feast stands ready to help. Let us call upon him in our need. R. Lord, prepare us for the feast of life.
Assisting minister: That Easter may find us cleansed of sin and ready to live anew our Christian faith, we pray to the Lord. R. Lord, prepare us for the feast of life.
Assisting minister: That the bread we share may be a reminder of the bread of life we share in the eucharist, we pray to the Lord. R. Lord, prepare us for the feast of life.
Assisting minister: That we may be ready to give from our table to those who hunger and thirst, we pray to the Lord. R. Lord, prepare us for the feast of life.
Assisting minister: That we may one day enjoy the banquet of the Lord in the heavenly kingdom, we pray to the Lord. R. Lord, prepare us for the feast of life.
After the intercessions the minister, in the following or similar words, invites all present to sing or say the Lord's Prayer: Christ taught us to pray for our daily bread and so we dare to say:
All: Our Father . . .
PRAYER OF BLESSING
A lay minister says the prayer with hands joined: God of glory, the eyes of all turn to you as we celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death. Bless us and this food of our first Easter meal. May we who gather at the Lord's table continue to celebrate the joy of his resurrection and be admitted finally to his heavenly banquet. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
A lay minister concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May Christ nourish us and strengthen us in faith and love now and for ever.