Bread for the World

picture of a loaf of bread in a basket

This liturgy has been used in a variety of settings. It can be used for justice and peace issues, in response to news of famine and suffering - or possibly as the core of a penitential service focusing on ourselves as bread for the world - but refusing to allow God to "break" us and share us for the good of that world.


Use the largest map of the world you can find. Have bread or matzos ready - perhaps in baskets. If you can use breads from the various parts of the world so much the better.

As the reader says: "We break the bread of... " another person breaks the bread over the named part of the world.

Allow pauses between each reading.

A number of readers is indicated - to encourage participation by as many people who would wish to be involved. Alternatively, have two distinctive voices reading the first and second part of each section.

Scripture Readings - a few suggestions

     Exodus 16: 4-7
     Isaiah 58: 6-8
     Matthew 15:32-38
     Luke 22: 14-20
     John 6: 51 - 58


     Bread for the world (Bernadette Farrell)
     Plenty of bread at the feast of life
     Christ be our light
     The Lord hears the cry of the poor
     Make me a channel of your peace
     Lord, make me a means of your peace

Symbol/ Ritual

On a larger scale, it might be better to have images projected or on overhead projector acetates – of negative and then of positive images from the various places as they are mentioned. For the local concerns, perhaps choose things relevant to your own area

We have found however large or small that a simple ritual/ symbolic action is helpful in giving people a sense of focus...

There could be one large loaf placed prominently – say on a map of the world. This could be broken and then passed among the assembly – each person breaking a piece off to give to their neighbour.

Another possibility is lighting a tee-light and placing it on a map of the world in a place someone feels drawn to pray for – there is a risk that they will all end up in one place but when we have done this it has been remarkable how widespread they are ... you could prompt G8 – places of poverty – places of conflict – places where power is – where important decisions are made... etc..

lso, this year, given the “white band” theme – each person could have a piece of white ribbon which at a given point they tie to that of their neighbour – who ties it to theirs – and eventually one very large white band is tied together to enfold the map or, perhaps a G8 logo projected onto the floor.


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