communion sunday

well, hopefully you’ve been enlightened about ‘the brighter side of computing life’, called the Mac. but by the overwhelming response (wink, wink) of comments i can tell that it’s time to move on to other topics.

i’d like to get your feedback on methods of taking the eucharist, communion, mass, the crackers and juice/wine, whatever you call it. i was sitting in church last month during our ‘normal’ time to take communion and trying to imagine what it would be like for a new person.

by the instructions we gave:
would they know what to do? why we’re doing it? when to actually eat/drink it?

i’ve been to various churches before and each church does it slightly different, and some vastly different. so describe to me what your church does? how about churches you’ve visited? did you like it when you tried something new?

our current church serves communion every 1st sunday of the month. it has ‘the elements’ – some crackers and little cups of juice in some “communion” holders – up at a table in front of the sanctuary. when it’s time for communion, the pastor calls for the board members (although sometimes when they aren’t all there, other ‘well respected’ members are asked to help serve as well) to come up to serve the communion. they then go down the isles passing the trays up and down the pews where the people may take a cup and cracker. i don’t think i’ve ever heard it stated but it’s our custom to ‘hold’ the elements until everyone has been served. this is after the board members are done serving and then go back up to the front and wait for the other board members to be done and come up. at this time the pastor then takes a tray of the crackers and juice and personally serves each of the board members (or others that served). they then go sit down, and our pastor gives a brief devotional about the importance of communion in general or of each component, at which time we all partake of the elements together. (always the cracker first) then another short word about the 2nd element and then we down the juice. it’s also interesting to note that although i’ve never heard it stated, our church also believes that communion is for all believers no matter what age. the key word is believers. according to scripture you could actually bring harm to yourself if you are not worthy. that’s not to say that you have to recite certain prayers, be a certain age, or go through a membership class. you simply have to be a genuine believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. anyways, we are then expected to put the little empty cups in the cup holders in front of us and not play with them for the rest of the service.

(this is very similar to what i did in the church i grew up in, and being the good little boy that i was i took it upon myself to clean up after the service was over, by collecting all those empty cups and disposing of them. actually i really just liked making the biggest tower of little cups every month. at least bigger than my sister’s since we were both racing up and down the pews to collect as many as we could.)

so that’s what we do at my church. what happens at yours? is it meaningful, or simply a ritual? do you fully understand why it’s done? what have you experienced before that was meaningful, or just plain weird to you??

okay, enough questions . . . (oh and “Get a Mac”) 🙂

// today i’m thankful for:
1. the weekend a day away
2. a surprise date night for deb on friday (unless she reads this then it won’t be a surprise)
3. i’ve been reducing weight with the prism diet
4. a clean house
5. paydays!
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9 Comments

  1. I’m so glad you brought this up. As you may know we started going to a different church 10 months ago… one of the things we noticed right away was how different they do communion. We actually questioned what they were doing… they do communion EVERY Sunday… AND communion is open to EVERYONE!! (WEIRD!) you know…to Tim and I who grew up in the church. we were all… “oh no’s you didn’t.”

    Anyway… we sat down and talked with our pastor about it…asked him to explain why they do it this way. (our biggest concern being that they serve it to children as well…and hello? they -our 4 & 3 yr old – have no idea… it’s just a snack to them.)

    So, this is what he told is – and I don’t have the scriptures he used on the top of my head…I’d look them up but I have to get going – (sorry)
    He said that the Bible tells us that
    1. Do this (communion) every time you think of me. – that is why it is every Sunday. – you would think it would become “one of those things” you do every Sunday. but it doesn’t some how.

    2. they serve communion to everyone, even children because the Bible tells us that it represents LIFE… and WHY would the church deny LIFE to ANYONE??? He believes 1 Corinthians 11:27 is talking to believers who know better.
    He was telling us that he knows people who were saved because when they partook in communion they experienced LIFE.

    We also take it all together.

    And they use homemade bread chunks instead of crackers… (yum. no wonder they don’t want to deny anyone any)
    oh and the pastor explains communion EVERY Sunday…even why it is open to all…(he started doing that after we questioned him)

    So…that’s it… I’m sorry I don’t have the scripture handy. Maybe later I’ll have time to look those up.

  2. my favorite communion, so far, was at a catholic church. I think it was st. pauls in new orleans. (before the hurricane)

    it was obviously not protestant and so catholic. Everyone would go up to the front to the priest to get a ‘chunk’ of bread, and some wine, and return to their seat. Then, they would get down on their knees, altogether, take communion.

    I can’t really remember now, but the different postures had different meanings. Pretty much what you would expect (ex> on your needs being more submissieve, etc.)

    also, i think we all recited something while we were on our knees, before taking communion.

    It was fun to look around, too. Some people seemed to be just going through the motions (as expected), yet some people were very focused and reverent (as expected).

    I felt the spirit there. hahaha… in the middle of st pauls, where divination is/was right outside the church. and bourbon street some 8 streets down.

    I think my favorite part of it was how much time it took. I have deceided I like slower paces, maybe. i really liked slowing down and focusing as a congregation during that communion.

    I have been to lutheran churches that do that too.

    On another note, one of my churches did tithing/offerings this way:

    There would be buckets up front, at the alter, and people could go up and give during worship. It made it really fun. It encouraged more worship when tithing.

    That church was VERY charasmatic, too, so the music was very conventional leaning towards ‘holy-roller’ type.

  3. what! i had a lot to say on this topic, and it never showed up. maybe i never clicked publish. hmm.

  4. aaahhh, another tragic victim. it’s happened to me to often. i write a long comment, stick in that funny word and click publish. nothing.

    so i’ve conditioned myself to always ‘select all’ and ‘copy’ to the clipboard, before clicking publish. that way if anything goes wrong on blogger’s end i can start a new comment and simply ‘paste’ it over again.

    a friendly tip, from the blog author. 🙂

  5. argh!! 😉

    i guess i should check and see if my daughter’s signed in now too, before i click publish. 🙂

  6. I have honestly debated within myself as to whether or not to respond here, because I’m worried about being the odd man out, but here goes anyway.

    We have been a part of our church for nearly a year, and haven’t had “communion” one time yet. There is a reason for that though. Rather than having communion throughout the year, we celebrate Passover (because that is what Jesus, the disciples, and the early believers did).

    The “Lord’s Supper” was a Passover meal. According to Leviticus 23, this is something that is performed only one time a year as a commemoration of what God did for us by leading us out of Egypt.

    As a family, we break bread and take juice weekly at the initiation of the Sabbath on Friday night. This is done primarily to “sanctify the Sabbath” (Ex. 20:8-11). We bless God for his provision of bread from the earth (Jesus is the bread of life, the manna come down from heaven) and for providing “fruit from the vine” (“I am the vine, you are the branches…”).

    Anyway, Passover is a phenomenal experience. It is replete with the imagery of what God has done for us in giving us Jesus to be our Passover (1 Cor. 6:7-8). One of the best parts about Passover is it is ALL about the kids. In fact, the entire meal is structured to teach the kids what God did for us in leading us all out of Egypt (sin).

  7. growing up deb’s family annually participated in a “Christian” passover celebration. and so when i married her i got to come too.

    every year it’s a family that hosts it at their house and invite some friends. but it’s so popular it ends up being around 40+ people crammed into their living room with tables and chairs.

    i love it. i love the food. i love the symbolism. i love the kid’s involvement. i love the part at the end where we all yell, “next year in Jerusalem!” and each year with tears in my eyes i long and hope that it will be so.

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