BREAKING BREAD can easily be adapted to fit your local area needs. Feel free to use any of our suggestions, contact us for more information, and use the form below to let us know how you are Breaking Bread together in your community!

Breaking Bread at a brewery in West Des Moines

Breaking Bread at a brewery in West Des Moines


The only rules for space are that the location is accessible for everyone and is out in the world. We’ve found the best places to be parks or restaurants/bars with a side room that is open to the rest of the restaurant but secluded enough to hear one another.

Sitting in a circle is very important. Everyone should be able to see everyone else. For the word we often sit around a table or a bunch of tables pushed together. We’ve put down big pieces of paper and scattered markers for people to doodle and write down prayers or draw pictures. We usually order food as soon as we arrive, chat and introduce ourselves and then start the service either right when the food comes or they bring the food during it. So we’re usually eating during the service.

We print every word of the service in a bulletin. Sometimes it’s hard to hear and people want to be able to know what’s being said. It’s also a matter of hospitality to never assume anyone knows what the responses are to prayers or even The Lord’s Prayer.

We usually welcome people, give a little background about what Breaking Bread is, and then let people know they can participate in as much or as little as they are comfortable. There’s no wrong answer or wrong way to do Breaking Bread.

We move around a table for the Eucharist and stand in a circle all the way around the table. We just use whatever table might be available and lay down a tapestry or table cloth. Any cup and plate will do and cloth napkins work for the linens. It's always great to use real bread.

Liturgy Outline

  • Opening Acclamation - seasonal, saint/feast, or from Iona Abbey Worship Book
  • The Gathering - from Eggs and Ashes. Eds. Ruth Burgess and Chris Polhill. WildGoosePublications, 2004. p.226
  • Ministry of the Word - Reading #1 Might be a psalm, poem, bible scripture, meditation, etc. Reading #2 Gospel Reading
  • Reflection - Here we ask a powerful question. Not yes or no, but open ended. Always personal, “I” focused. Questions such as “Where have you in your life last experienced God’s presence or absence?” or “What was your earliest passion?” or “When do you feel the most authentically you?” or “Where do you go to find God?”
    We sit in a circle, one person speaks at a time, no one interrupts or asks questions. Everyone has an opportunity to either speak or pass. We take as much time as the circle needs, remembering silence is a gift too.
  • Prayer - Prayer can be done using any form of prayer, or simply asking people what they would like to pray for, or through art or communal doodling. In Dundee, Scotland at Café Church, we saw an altar with a permanent marker on it for people to write their prayers on the altar cloth. 
  • Peace 
  • Invitation to the Table - from Iona Abbey Worship Book
  • Eucharistic Prayer - we have adapted our Eucharistic Prayer from the Iona Abbey Worship Book for non-binary gender inclusivity. The Lord's Prayer is said in whatever form is comfortable for the group. We’ve used a variety. Just be sure to print the words, as we don’t want to assume anyone has this memorized.
  • Post Communion Prayer - (standing in a circle holding hands we answer the following…) I give thanks today… I ask God today…
  • Blessing - Leader: This world is too beautiful and too dangerous for anything but love. May God’s love fall upon you and may God’s peace surround you and the blessing of God, Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of life, remain with you now and forever. Amen.

    Music can be added in many places in the service and can be any style or source of music. It’s fun to add secular songs that have meaning for group members. 

Breaking Bread in Dubuque

Breaking Bread in Dubuque

Let us know how you are Breaking Bread together in your community

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