Common Liturgy


For use by the Member Churches in the Communion of Churches in India Prepared by the Commission on Worship and Mission of the Communion of Churches in India in 2002, examined by the Liturgical Commissions of the respective member churches, endorsed by the Sub-Committee on Combined Liturgy of the Communion of Churches in India at their meeting held on 21st February 2011 and finally approved by the Executive Committee of the Communion of Churches in India at their meeting held on 22nd February 2011 at Santigiri Ashram, Aluva for use in all congregations of the member churches of the Communion of Churches in India..


(Celebrant’s own preparation will precede the Liturgy of Eucharist. For this following prayers may be used)

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love, according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Create in me a clean heart, and put a new and right spirit within me. Amen.
Most gracious God, mercifully hear my prayers and have mercy on me a sinner. Enlighten and cleanse my heart by the grace of your Holy Spirit. Grant that I, along with your faithful people may worthily celebrate your holy mysteries, and love you with an everlasting love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Make us worthy O merciful and benevolent Lord, with knowledge and awe and spiritual discipline to stand before you in purity and holiness, and serve you as the Lord and Creator to whom worship is due from all; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.
Almighty and most Holy God, we your unworthy servants humbly entreat your Majesty so to prepare us for this sacred service, that entering into your sanctuary with a pure heart, we may offer to you this Holy Eucharist for your honor and glory; in thankful remembrance of your manifold mercies granted to us in our Savior Jesus Christ; for the well-being of your whole Church; and to the remission of all our sins. Grant this most merciful God through the merits of Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.


(One of these verses or any other verses from the Bible may be used by the Leader or the Presiding Minister) O Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand AMEN(Ps 95: 6 -7)

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the Lord is good, his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations (Ps 100: 4 -5)

O give thanks to the Lord, call on His Name , make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him , Sing praises to him ; tell of all his wonderful works. Glory in His Holy Name ; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice (Ps 105: 1-3).



L. Let us pray Holy and Gracious God, you are the source of all life. Your eyes watch over us. You know the secrets of our hearts. Draw us into your presence, move us into obedience, and summon us upon your feet that we may worship you with gratefulness and humility through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All Amen
L. O God of peace, we come before you, not alone, but in the company of one another. We share our happiness with each other.

C. It becomes greater.

L. We share our troubles with one another.

C. They become similar.

L. We share one another’s grief and burden.

C. Their weight becomes possible to bear.

L. We share our work and witness to each other

C. We are inspired and challenged.

L. We share our failures and disappointments.

C. We are comforted and strengthened.

ALL For in sharing we learn to live in peace; in sharing we learn to love; in sharing we encounter the meaning of life, the mystery of our existence and discover you.


(According to the local custom and tradition)

PM: Grace, Mercy and Peace from God, the Father, and the Son, and the Hol;y Spirit be with us.

C: Thanks be to God, Hallelujah.


Here a lamp or a candle may be lit and a Bible may be carried to the altar and incense may be used to symbolize God’s holy presence amongst us. An appropriate Bhajan may be sung.


One of the following forms of adoration of the Trinity may be used repeating three times. Any other form of adoration of the Trinity may also be used.

L. Holy are you, O God.

C. Holy are you, Almighty God.

L. Holy are you, Immortal God

C. O Lord, the Messiah, who was crucified for us, have mercy on us.


L. Holy God,

C. Holy and mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us.


Silence may be kept for a few minutes. Then the Leader may give an exhortation for confession. One of the following forms or any other form of confession/litany or a penitential Psalm may be used as a prayer of Confession.

L. Let us humbly confess our sins to Almighty God.

C. Almighty, eternal and compassionate God, you are the light to those in darkness, strength to those in weakness and the only refuge to those who fall into sin. We come to you, unworthy as we are. We call upon your mercy, confident that you will accept those who truly confess their sins. Help us to offer our praise and thanksgiving with assurance of the forgiveness of our sins. We pray in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. AMEN.


L. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean, Remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes, Cease to do evil, learn to do good (Isa: 1: 16-17) Creator God, You called us through your Son Jesus Christ to be peacemakers so that we may be called the children of God. You called us to live in peace and to make peace. SILENCE

C. We confess that your call is often buried within many other voices and powers that call us and rule in our daily lives. We confess that we have disturbed peace rather than making peace. Lord forgive.

L. Redeemer Christ, you called us to be the voice of liberation, justice and peace in the world groping in pain, disorder, chaos, hunger, oppression and fear where the oppressive powers are dividing and ruling the weak, the marginalized and the poor.


C. We confess that we failed to remain committed to your call; we do not stand as the voice of the weak, the marginalized and the poor and even at times opt to be with the oppressors. We have not shared with people the JEEVA AHARA (Bread of Life), JEEVA DHARA (Water of Life) and the JEEVA JYOTHI (Light of Life)

L. Sustaining Spirit, you enable your people to be a creative force for reconciliation within Churches, communities and countries.


C.We confess that as a people called by you, we have failed to heed the creative and guiding thrust of the Spirit, division, fragmentation and parochialism have been visible marks of our Churches, communities and the nation. ALL. Have mercy on us O God. Fill us that our worship and lives may be a hallowed offering. Renew us that the old order would pass away and everything would become new.


One of the following or some other biblical verses in the form of ABSOLUTION may be used by the Presiding Minister.

PM: May the Almighty God, Father Son and Holy Spirit have mercy on us / you, forgive us / you our/your sins, and bring us/you to everlasting life.



PM: The Lord enrich you with His grace; and nourish you with His blessing; the Lord defend you in trouble and keep you from all evil; the Lord accept your prayers, and absolve you from your sins, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior.



PM: Hear the good news! Anyone who is in Christ is a new Creation. The old life has gone; a new life has begun. Know that you are forgiven and be at peace.


9. Hymn / Bhajan:

A Hymn or Bhajan of praise and thanksgiving may be sung.


After each reading from the Bible a chant or Hymn or a Psalm may be used.


Old Testament
New Testament



The Nicene Creed is said or sung, at least on Sundays and greater Festivals. Or, in place of the Nicene Creed, the Apostle Creed may be said or sung.


We believe in one God,
The Father, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God,
Eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
True God from True God,
Begotten, not made,
one in Being with the Father.
Through Him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
He came down from heaven;
By the power of the Holy Spirit
He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered, died and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
In fulfillment of the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
To judge the living and the dead,
And his Kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.



I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
And born of the virgin Mary
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.


Announcements, if any, may be made here, or at some other suitable place in the Liturgy. Notices of marriages or special observance, as well as special biddings for intercessory prayers may also be given here.


The following or any other litany or an extempore intercessory prayer may be offered.

L. Look with mercy, O Lord, on your Church throughout the World, especially on all Bishops whom you have appointed to lead and guide her, the Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church, the Moderator of the Church of North India and the Church of South India, and all other Bishops, Ministers, Priests, deacons and evangelists, and all those who confess the name of Christ. Bestow on them the gift of your Holy Spirit that they may diligently work in your vineyard.

C: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

L. Lord, we pray for our country and all who exercise authority in it, especially the President of the Republic of India, the Prime Minister and the Council of Union Ministers. We also pray for the Governor, the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers of our State. We pray for the Judges, members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies, Panchayat. Help them to put their trust in you and seek wisdom and spiritual strength. Implant in them the will to do good and guide them in all their deliberations and decisions.

C. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

L. Lord, we pray for peace and reconciliation, for unity in the Church and harmony among all peoples and communities, for peace in our families and grace in our hearts that we may be strengthened in faith and in devotion to you.

C. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

L. O Lord, we pray for all who are living in poverty, due to the unjust systems of our socio-economic structures. We also pray for the victims of violence, war, casteism and diseases. Lord, help us to respond to their needs.

C. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

L. Lord, we remember all the ecumenical councils and all the teachers and defenders of our faith down the centuries throughout the world. Lord, grant us grace that we may obey and follow their true teachings and examples.

C. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

L. Lord, we thank you for all those who are responsible for our Christian nurture, especially for our parents and ancestors who accepted Christ and by whose faith and example we are nurtured. Grant that following their good example of faith we may be strengthened to be your true witnesses in our age.

C. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

L. Lord, we thankfully remember the faithful departed, and pray that you raise and gather all the faithful and grant that we with them may be counted worthy of entering your presence and be gathered into your heavenly kingdom.

C. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.


L. Hear the words of Jesus Christ calling us to care for one another: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” – (John 15:12)


L. Jesus said: “Before you offer your gift, go and be reconciled. As brothers and sisters in God’s family, we come together to ask God for forgiveness.”


L. My brothers and sisters, as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in Word and Sacrament, let us call to mind and confess our sins.


L. In Christ we have come to know the true love and the bond of peace that God wills for all people, but we have often failed to work this out in our lives and have brought division and discord instead.

C. Lord, forgive us.

L. We remain divided from one another not only in matter of faith, order and tradition, but also by pride based on community, caste, class, sex, gender and language.

C. Lord, forgive us.

L. We have often been tempted to identify our inherited tradition and practice with your will and purpose, without realizing that we need each other to know and proclaim the wholeness of the gospel.

C. Lord, forgive us.

L. While we have been called to proclaim the gospel prophetically in the world, we have often been enamored by the world, fearful of it, or conformed to it. We have failed in preaching the good news with challenging relevance.

C. Lord, forgive us.

L. We have covenanted together as churches to be united together; and yet our congregations have not manifested that oneness.

C. Lord, forgive us.

L. We have at times made the unity of churches an end in itself and thereby have failed to realize that our unity is a foretaste of and instrument for the unity of all people.

C. Lord, forgive us.


ALL: We confess that we have sinned against you, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in thought, word and deed. We are sorry with all our hearts for all our sins. We believe in your promise that you will receive those who truly repent. O Lord, who are merciful and full of grace, accept us as you accepted the publican, the woman who was a sinner, and the thief on the cross and comfort us by the consolation of your word. O Lord, grant that your holy body and holy blood in which we now partake may not bring us to judgment and condemnation but to life and wholeness.AMEN.


One of the following may be used.

PM: May God of all mercies cleanse you / us from your / our sins and restore you / us in his image to the praise and glory of His Name, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.



PM: May the God of all healing and forgiveness draw you / us to Himself and cleanse you / us from all your / our sins that you / we may behold the glory of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.



PM: May the God of love and power forgive you / us and free you / us from your / our sins, heal and strengthen you / us by His Spirit, and raise you / us to new life in Christ our Lord.



L. Having been forgiven and made whole through Christ, our peace, let us live together in peace. Let us say SHALOM to each other and give each other a sign of reconciliation and peace.


C. And also be with you.


L. Let there be peace
A Peace among nations
Peace among people
Peace among neighbors
Peace among friends
The peace of Christ above all

Here, peace may be exchanged by hand-clasp or according to the custom of the particular cultural tradition by saying “PEACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST / SHANTI / SHALOM be with you.


A Hymn may be sung during the collection of offering.

Thank Offering:

Here the Celebrant may remember those who have celebrated special days in their lives or thank for the special grace received by the congregation members. Special thank-offerings may be received in the sanctuary.


A man and a woman and a child may carry the Eucharistic elements and the offerings to the altar. The following prayer be offered by all.


ALL: O God you have given us through Jesus Christ our Lord a new and living way to offer ourselves to you. We come to you with the fruits of the earth and the labor of our hands. Accept and use us and these our gifts however best it pleases you. All that is created is yours. And everything that we can offer already belongs to you. AMEN.

PM: Brothers and Sisters, with reverence and purity of heart with love and true faith and devotion, let us participate in this Holy Eucharist/ Qurbana/ Communion, which is now being offered. To God be the glory, honor and praise forever and ever.



L. Peace of God be with you.

A. And also with you.


PM: Lift up your hearts.

C: We lift them unto the Lord.

PM: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.

C: It is right to give thanks and praise.

PM: Truly it is right and good to glorify you at all times and in all places, by offering you our thanksgiving O Lord Holy Father. You spoke and the light shattered darkness, order arose from chaos. You breathed into the dust of the earth and we were formed in your image. Through your Son, our Lord Jesus you met us while we wandered. He called us by name to leave aside what is comfortable to be his disciples, friends and partners. With his outstretched arms on the cross, and through his death he bore our sins and through his resurrection we are saved. And through your Holy Spirit you brood over us, mothering us and shaping a new creation. You enlighten everyone coming into the world. You inspired the prophets and apostles. You liberate, equip and commission your people for the continuance of your mission. Therefore, with angels and archangels and with all company of heaven we proclaim and sing your glory.

A: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord,
God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory,
Hosanna in the highest.


PM: When the sinless One, of His own will, chose to suffer death for us sinners.(he took bread in his hand)

C: Bless O Lord.

PM: He gave thanks (blessed + sanctified) and broke it and gave it to his disciples saying: Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.


PM: In the same way He took the cup

C: Bless, O Lord.

PM: He gave thanks (blessed +sanctified) and gave it to his disciples saying: Drink this all of you. This is the blood of the New Covenant which is shed for you and for many (for the forgiveness of sins). Do this in remembrance of me.


PM: As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s presence with us, you commemorate his death, you celebrate his glorious resurrection, you await his coming. May God’s blessing be upon us all.

C: Christ has died
Christ is risen
Christ will come again . HALLELUJAH.


PM: Our heavenly Father, have mercy upon us. Send your Holy Spirit to sanctify us, and this offering of bread and wine.

C: Lord, have mercy (Three times)

PM: May the Holy Spirit sanctify this bread that it may be the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.


PM: May the Holy Spirit sanctify the wine in the chalice and the cups that it may be the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.


All: Accept this, our offering of praise and thanksgiving; make us one body in Jesus Christ our Lord. By whom and with whom in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory be to you Almighty Father, world without end. AMEN
HALLELUJAH (Three times)


Our Father in heaven
Hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us
Do not bring us to the time of trial,
But deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
Now and forever.


The celebrant breaks the consecrated bread, saying.

PM: We break this bread that we may share in the body of Christ.

C: We are one body, for we share in the one bread.

The celebrant may take the cup into his /her hands in the sight of the people and say –

PM: The cup which we bless is a sharing of the blood of Christ.

C: His life is in us and we live in Him.

The celebrant will invite people to receive the holy sacrament by saying:

sacrament by saying:

PM: The things of God for the people of God. Come to the Lord’s table.


Any such other suitable words of invitation may be used. During the time of sharing Agnus Dei “Lamb of God” or any other suitable hymn may be sung:

A: O Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
O Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
O Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us your peace.
The ministers and the congregation receive the holy sacrament. The following words of administration may be used:
The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bread of life.
The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the true vine.


(One or both of the following prayers may be offered)


PM: Let us rejoice and be thankful in what we have received

A: Merciful God, God of all creations, we join your whole creation in exultant praise of your bountiful goodness. You have now touched us with new life and filled us with new hope that your reign will come, that the hungry will be fed, that the oppressed will be set free from evil, that your reconciling work will be done, that love and faithfulness meet together, that justice and peace will kiss each other and the whole creation will be filled with your glory. AMEN

Blessing and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour and power, and might be unto God, forever and ever. AMEN.


A: Almighty God, we thank you for feeding us with the body and blood of your Son, Jesus Christ. Through Him, we offer you ourselves, our souls and bodies to be a living sacrifice. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.


PM: Dear beloved brothers and sisters, Go into the world, do whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, and the God of peace will be with you. The blessing of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be amongst you and remain with you always.



PM: Unto God’s gracious mercy and protection we commit you. The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.



PM: The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be amongst you and remain with you always.


About Us

The Communion of Churches in India (CCI) has been constituted as the visible organ for common expression of the life and witness by the founding Churches, the Church of North India (CNI), the Church of South India (CSI) and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church (MTC) which recognise themselves as belonging to the one Church of Jesus Christ in India, even while remaining as autonomous churches, each having its own identity of traditions and organizational structures.

“The Communion” invites other Churches in India to enter into full communion with the member churches separately and join“The Communion”.

The genesis of the story goes back to the invitation by the CNI to form three commissions of representatives of the three churches: the Church of North India, Church of South India and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar (here-in-after referred to as CNI.CSI and MTC) to explore the ways and means of further cooperation and witness in India.

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