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Taking Communion. What’s the Best Way?

January 29th, 2006 by Jason · 30 Comments

I’ve read and thought a bit about the theology of communion (see this post by Camassia for a good discussion of some of the theological issues surrounding communion), but not as much about the act—how to actually “do communion.” In other words, I’ve thought about how often to do communion, what it means, what it does spiritually, but haven’t thought about how it’s actually administered.

From the churches I’ve attended I’ve seen communion done 4 different ways (I’m sure there are more, which I would be interested to hear about):

  • There’s the take-it-on-your-own-up-front-with-God way. The crackers and wine/juice are up at the front of the church and whenever you’re ready you get in line, come down to the front, and take communion. It’s a very low-church, Protestant way of doing things. There are no human mediators between me and God. It’s highly personal and is a bit like an altar call for people who already believe and a confession time for those who don’t have confession booths. It’s how we do it in my church now, and I rather like it. However, its main weakness seems to be that it is highly individualistic. Communion is solely between me and God. I can be having a horrible row with the guy standing behind me, or not have a clue who the woman is taking communion in front of me and it won’t affect my communion experience (much).

  • Next is the pass-around-the-little-church-cups-and-take-it-when-we’re-all-ready way. Here, the cups and wafers are passed around and then everyone takes it together. It does emphasize the solidarity or unity within the church, but only to a degree. Again, you don’t have to know the person next to you and everyone is still facing forward. And, to me anyhow, it just seems a little hokey. Mostly because of the little miniature plastic cups which always remind me of the medicine cups the nurse gives (hmm, maybe there is theological significance behind the plastic cups after all!)

  • Then there’s the everyone-line-up-and-have-the-priest-administer-it-to-you. This is how it’s done in the Catholic church as well as some Protestant churches. As someone who believes pretty strongly in the priesthood of all believers it’s hard for me to swallow that the priest has a special ordained role that gives them the ability to administer Christ’s body and blood. However, on the good side it does remind the communicant(?) that Christ is made visible and present through the church (though still in a special way by the priest).

  • Finally there’s the pass-around-the-loaf-and-wine-and-give-it-to-one-another. I’ve seen this done at a Disciples of Christ church and an Episcopalian church. The plusses to this way of doing it are many. It seems the closest approximation of how it actually happened the first time between Jesus and his disciples. It makes it more difficult to not know or be in a broken relationship with someone in the church since I’ll be administering communion to them sooner or later. It fits well into a priesthood of all believers theology (and it actually gives some concrete action as to what being a priest means). The only drawback: it’s hard to do in a big church since it would take so long (which might not be such a drawback depending on your view of how big a church should be).

I also realized as I was writing that some people might actually eat a meal together (ala 1 Cor. 11:20ff.), though I’ve never heard of a church that actually does that.

While I don’t think any of the above ways are wrong, I’m find the pass-around-the-loaf-and-wine-and-give-it-to-one-another most compelling because it does the best job of maintaining the horizontal (relationship with others in the church, again see 1 Cor. 11:20ff.) and vertical (forgiveness of sins, rememberance of Jesus) components that are inherent in the communion act.

Tags: theology

30 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nancy // Jan 30, 2006 at 8:05 am

    I agree that passing around the loaf is the most compelling for all the reasons you listed. When I have taken communion in this way, I have felt more connected to the people around me, despite the fact that I did not know any but one or two of them (due to the fact that I was visiting). But I wonder if the novelty of it would wear off and the sense of community would wane after several months of taking communion in this way. Most things become mundane when we fail to vary our approach or perspective. Perhaps it would be wise for the church to branch out a bit, change things up from time to time so that we do not become lukewarm in our act of remembrance.

  • 2 metapundit // Jan 30, 2006 at 9:45 am

    I’ve been meaning to link to some of your recent entries. Interesting stuff. As far as your question about communion: may I suggest you go observe an Brethren love feast service? I’d especially recommend finding an “old order” Church (Old Order German Baptist Brethren or Dunkard Brethren Church would be 2 denominations to check out. More mainstream Church of the Brethren congregations likely have a more varied practice…)

    I grew up in the Dunkard Brethren Church. Communion is a part of “Love feast” and is held only twice a year. Properly, it is a two day process with an “examination service” inviting the congregation to make right any rifts that exist within in the body on the day before the actual love feast. (Some modern innovators have done away with this). The service itself consists of a simple traditional meal, a foot washing service (the church sits at gender segregated at tables, each member taking a turn kneeling and washing the feet of the person beside them) and then communion is done by passing around a single cup to drink from and passing around wafers of communion bread and breaking them. Throughout the service the descriptive passages from Matthew and Luke are read, both of the events of the “Last Supper” and Jesus’ actual passion. All this will take a couple of hours.

    You won’t be able to participate (Brethren tend to practice closed communion: members only). My experience has been, however, that they welcome observers (though you may have to site with all the teenager’s who haven’t yet “joined the Church”).

    I left the Dunkard Brethren a few years ago with some sadness over the power of “we’ve always done things this way” and the hopelessness of fighting the past. Still there is something so evocative about communion as they practice it. Writing this I have a lump in my throat that’s hard to explain… The witness to community portrayed when the Church unitedly engages in acts of humble service… The memories of the aged elder minister creakily kneeling to wash my feet at one of my first communion services as a teenager… The same hymns, every time. The comments by lay members as the service progresses; masculine, blue collar-type men moved to tears as they meditate upon Jesus’ suffering and the reality of his living Presence… The same statement and affirmation between each member as they exchange bread and cup…

    The Brethren are, they say, non-creedal and non-liturgical. Ironically, their communion service is one of the most meaningful religious rituals I have participated in…

  • 3 Jason // Jan 30, 2006 at 10:03 am

    metapundit, thanks for sharing that. It’s what I had in mind when I mentioned at the end that there might be churches that do the “Love Feast” mentioned by Paul. It sound like an incredible way of doing communion, and one I’d like to observe. I’ll have to see if there is a Brethren church around here.

    I’m curious what the “traditional meal” consists of? Is it similar to a Jewish seder meal or does it depend on the congregation? Also, do they do any sort of communion act the rest of the year?

  • 4 metapundit // Jan 30, 2006 at 11:16 am

    Nope, no communion the rest of the year. Very strange I know to people used to communion every sunday evening or at least once a month. I think the infrequent schedule was originally part of an attempt at theological linkage between passover and the last supper.

    Same goes for the content of the meal. This is traditionally meat (lamb or beef), sop (bread in broth) because of the reference in the Last Supper story, and the communion bread is an unleavened flat bread…

    Might be some conservative Mennonite groups that practice Love Feast as well…

  • 5 isaac // Feb 1, 2006 at 8:26 am

    Jason, great post on communion practices. I think your last ‘option’ brings up something interesting. What I thought was interesting was the “only drawback” you listed: “it’s hard to do in a big church since it would take so long.” I’m not saying you are one of these people, but I do hear a lot of people who start talking about the way things should be done at church if the congregation was smaller. Sometimes I wonder if this sort of reasoning puts the cart before the horse. I mean, if the church’s practices make the church concrete, shouldn’t we say, “Well, it looks like we are getting too big to do the stuff that makes us the church, so maybe we should divide up and form smaller congregations.” Yeah, maybe that wouldn’t fly in the corporate climate of American Christianity. I know the church I’m a part of was sent out from a growing congregation in order to keep on doing the stuff that made us the church.

    Anyhow, since metapundit told his story about communion, I though I’d tell mine. I am part of an urban Mennonite fellowship that practices communion quarterly (I think). The Sunday before communion, part of our service is called “the act of preparation.” During that time we confess our need for reconcilation and ask the Spirit to work in our hearts to show us with whom we must reconcile before we may eat together the following Sunday. On communion Sunday we have a pot-luck following our normal service. In the middle of the meal, one of the deacons gets up and does all the ‘communion’ stuff (like the “words of institution”) and passes a loaf of bread and a cup of wine around the table (we sit in a long rectangle). Each person holds the bread and wine for the one sitting next to her and echoes the words proclaimed by the deacon: “the body of Christ broken for you… the blood of Christ shed for you.” After the person receives the bread and wine, they in turn offer it to the one sitting next to them. And all of that is communion for us—the meal and the “the meal”.

    I forgot to mention a really important point in the practice. When the deacon gets up to pass around the bread and wine, s/he says who is allowed to eat and drink. They say something like, “All those are welcomed to eat this bread and drink from this cup who have been baptized into the communion of faith and who are accountable to their congregation.” And there might be something else too about being reconciled with the body of Christ, but I can’t remember that part right now.

  • 6 Jason // Feb 1, 2006 at 9:05 am

    Isaac, I think you are right on in suggesting that a church ought to consider splitting off it gets so big that the practices that shape it can no longer be done meaningfully or effectively. What that magic number is when a church becomes “too big” is, of course, subjective, but it seems every church should have a plan of that sort. And, I would guess this is how the early church operated. Once a church reached the capacity of the house it was meeting in it was time to split into two houses (esp. considerring that the first church building wasn’t built until the time of Constantine).

    Thanks also for telling how your church does communion. A couple of questions. Do you know if it’s a theological or practical (e.g. the difficulty in getting a potluck going) reason as to why communion is only done quarterly? Second, is the potluck part of the service an “open table” where all are invited regardless of whether or not they have been baptized?

    Nancy, I’ve been thinking about your question of whether it might not be better to change up how the communion service is done every now and again in order to keep it “fresh”. On the one hand, I believe it might definitely aid in helping us re-remember what it is we are doing as well as giving us a different angle on what communion means (some of my most memorable communion times have been in churches other than my own who do communion differently and, in doing so, show me a whole new meaning of the act). My worry, though, is that if we say that how we do communion has deep symbolic meaning then we would risk turning the act into just an arbitrary practice by changing it periodically. I don’t think this would necessarily happen, but it does seem that some part of what makes an act deeply symbolic and meaningful is it’s timeless nature.

  • 7 Eric Lee // Feb 1, 2006 at 11:40 am

    I’ll offer my account of how our local congregation does it. I belong to the Church of the Nazarene in Mid-City in San Diego. After re-reading through your Eucharist typology, I realized that we don’t do it according to any of the ways you outlined above, but it is most similar to your third description:

    “Then there’s the everyone-line-up-and-have-the-priest-administer-it-to-you. This is how it’s done in the Catholic church as well as some Protestant churches.”

    Well, we do have everybody line up after on of our pastors does bless the bread and cup according to the words in the Nazarene manual:

    The Lord himself ordained this holy sacrament. He commanded His disciples to take of the bread and wine, emblems of His broken body and shed blood. This is His table. The feast is for His disciples. Let all those who have with true repentance forsaken their sins and have believe in Christ unto salvation, draw near and, by faith, partake of the life of Jesus Christ to your soul’s comfort and joy. Let us remember that it is the memorial of the death and passion of our Lord; also a token of His coming again. Let us not forget that we are one, at one table with the Lord.

    But the pastor doesn’t then specifically him or herself administer it. Members of the Church (4 of them, two on each side of the table) are asked to come up and administer them. One person holds the plate of bread while the other holds the cup of grapejuice (and a second group does this on the other side of the table) and the people come up, break off a piece of bread and dip it into the grapejuice and eat. The person holding the plate of bread says, “Body of Christ, broken for you,” and the person holding the cup says, “Blood of Christ, spilled for you.”

    So, it’s sort of a mix between both a priest and the priesthood of all believers, I think. My Pastor has a good post linking the way the Eucharist should be administered in the Nazarene church (as we follow the manual here) with some stuff that Benedict XVI has written: Eucharist, the Church of the Nazarene, and Benedict XVI

    Peace,

    eric

  • 8 Eric Lee // Feb 1, 2006 at 11:40 am

    I forgot to mention: we participate in the Eucharist every week.

  • 9 Greg Henderson // Feb 1, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    **I have a few points concerning the theology behind “doing communion”. I would agree that the passing around of the communion would appear more unifying and even conjure up greater feelings of unity, but I would argue that is not the main theological reality that is trying to be symbolized. The horizontal components are only possible if the vertical are first met. Many get caught up in our call to love, but they become so excited they forget they can’t do it on their own. Slowly attempts to love become attempts to acheive a utopia or perfection in society. Then motivations get changed from service to rising against what disapoints us. Now, attempts at acheiving justice are no longer motivated by love and service, but by frustration with what is wrong! Sorry, I regress. This is just one example of how love can be distorted when it is not first received and then that gift received can be given. If their is no openness to receiving love, especially the source of all love – God, then love is watered down with egoism, preference, and absence of what is truly good. Many claim that all we have to do is “love”, but we must be taught how and the best teaching comes from actually receiving true love your self

    **The point is, that the outward ritual of “communion” that Christ is instituting in scripture is meant to communicate the spiritual truth that we cannot love w/o being united to him. More importantly, we can’t love the Father w/o being united Him. So, if you want to represent the “theology of communion” most effectively, you must first communicate what Christ was communicating, we need him to love and w/o him we don’t know how to love.

    **Above i mentioned we can’t love if we don’t know how. I think scripture takes the time to set up for us in Genesis that this is the primary problem with our human family. First of all, we failed to love our Father – VERTICAL relationship is distorted; then we fail to love our brothers and sisters – HORIZONTAL. To teach us to love, God sent His only son to illustrate love to us himself with his life and death. That love is most perfectly expressed on the cross when we are shown that it consists in laying down one’s life as a gift – breathing forth our spirit for the sake of another… out of love, we deny ourselves for the service of another. Christ served us by offering the Father what we never could, perfect love from a human person. He gave himself as the perfect sacrifice and offering to the father to atone for all sins, mainly the sin that rifted the entire human race from proper communion with its maker – the inability to recipricate God’s love. Now all humanity has the opportunity to be reunited to God, by communing with the one sacrifice of Christ which is precisely the gift of his own flesh and blood (broken and spilled on the cross) to the Father. Christ in turn presents this sacrificial offering to us, makes it available to us, so united to Christ’s body and blood, we are united to his spiritual offering and thus pleasing in God’s sight as his faithful children – co-brethren and co-heirs. It is the spirit that is avail here… we are given a chance to join into Christ’s life-giving offering, perfect love. Now we are recipricating God’s love and are keeping the covenant by uniting to Christ. Now we have to put it into action… so we go forth in the grace and peace of Christ to spread the life we have received to all the world. We first recieve Christ, a re-communion w/ our maker (Vertical), our source of all love, and then we can go and love on the horizontal level.

    ** All this is to argue that the line-up-and-have-the-priest administer illustration is actually right on. Christ’s gift on the cross, his sacrifice, is recalled – then the faithful, as one, process forward to receive their source of unity and source of love (a love that was communicated and actualized in the sacrifice recalled). They return to their places now truly one – one w/ God and one w/ each other as illustrated in the partaking (receiving) of one and the same body and spirit of the God-Man. We must receive divine love to love our neighbor.

    ** You might say, well great – I know that… but it still is more appealing to sit together and serve each other. I am just arguing that…
    1) The fact that love must first be received is lost in the style you prefer. It appears that we are attempting to love through our own efforts to establish a friendly and communal environment. Our effort is as straw – and anybody can illustrate love this way. You don’t have to be Christian to invite people to a meal.

    The importance of loving like Jesus did on the cross
    by uniting ourselves to that love is lost by the
    emphasis on a communal meal
    2)The bond we have by sharing in the life of Christ is much greater than any bond we can create through our efforts. It is important to emphasize that there is a much greater supernatural communion that occurs by us being “one body” in Christ, than by being a loving community. Reflect on that…why would Christ say receive my Body and Blood and then Paul emphasize we are one body. We are united to Christ’s resurrected body in a way we can’t imagine. Communion in a procession and as reception (not taking) illustrates that the reason we are united as Christians is because we are of the same blood, we are of the same body, we are one family of God – truly changed. That is awesome and I think that will be lost if we just hang out and pass around the food like an ordinary meal. This brings me to my next point…
    3) The reverence is lost. You loss the idea, again, of receiving divine assistance. If we process forward in awe, then it illustrates we believe we are receiving divine love and that is our source of life and w/o God, we could love noone properly. It illustrates that this is a divine / supernatural event of love when we process and reverently receive. Otherwise, what are we offering as Christians to people when it comes to communion. If it is just a fellowship, they can go to the town hall, share a meal – pass it around, read chicken soup for the soul, and be motivated to treat people well, be a community, work for justice, etc. WE have to offer more and we are. WE are offering Christ and that has to be shown through reverence which is lost if it is illustrated too much as a common meal.
    4) Why can’t we reverenlty pass around communion and still emphasize we are receiving God’s love? Because we are also being united to an event – the cross, the entire offering of Christ on the cross. A procession illustrates that was recalled in the last supper, by early Christians, and now in your Church is the act of divine love offered by Christ for man on the Cross. The people are processing to an event, the sacrifice, and the person… WOW. There is a lot to be illustrated and that is why the more ellaborate the process of recalling Christ’s words and then receiving Christ, then the more supernatural can be pondered and received and the more the theology behind it can be communicated.

    Hope this offers points to ponder… or you may totally disagree w/ what is theologically behind communion and all this was a just a lot of words…

    Sorry so long, but it was fun to write this… it was a meditation for me. God Bless.

  • 10 Brooke // Feb 1, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    Another issue lingering behind the conversations above, at least as I see it, involves the elements themselves. Sometimes there is actual breaking of bread and broken bread is distributed. Other times there are pre-shaped pieces of unleavened stuff that functions as the body of Christ broken for you, but that is actually never broken. Similarly there is sometimes one cup that all take the wine/juice directly from, either by intinction or actual sip from the cup, and other times there are individual cups passed out to each person. In terms of visual and enacted symbolism and function of unity, I think one broken loaf and one shared cup are important. Particularly the one cup is difficult for the pass-the-elements-out-and-take-them-together method (and when we did it this way in my church growing up it was little pre-formed squares we received from our pew as well). Broken crackers dipped into the same cup of juice more or less works: at least the bread is broken and shared from the same package of Saltines. My preference, I think, is receiving a piece of bread actually broken off a loaf along with wine/juice from a central cup. Somehow these little round wafer things I presently receive in the Anglican Church, boring but seemingly holy in their perfection and precise replication, just aren’t the same as a jagged piece of pita bread.

  • 11 Greg Henderson // Feb 1, 2006 at 12:26 pm

    I forgot to mention… the procession is toward the altar or table where hopefully the words of the event were spoken and the sacrfice recalled.

    Also, this is written using words to apply as closely as possible to the circumstances that might be at your Church and a language shared by most Christians and don’t do justice to my own beliefs in remembrance and Eucharist! I mean remembrance in the full biblical sense – making present a saving act of God, like those who partook in the passover were making present the event and the encounter w/ God therein, for one’s own encounter… AHHH… here I go… this will be for another discussion. God Bless!

    Greg

  • 12 isaac // Feb 4, 2006 at 10:40 am

    Jason, to get back to the follow up questions you asked: “Do you know if it’s a theological or practical (e.g. the difficulty in getting a potluck going) reason as to why communion is only done quarterly? Second, is the potluck part of the service an ‘open table’ where all are invited regardless of whether or not they have been baptized?” Now that I think about it, I’m not sure if it’s fair to say that we celebrate communion quarterly. I think it’s more than that. I think what happened is that when our fellowship started, everyone got together and decided how often to celebrate, by consensus of course. We’ve come back to the practice a couple of times and made revisions since then.

    To follow up on Brooke’s comment (by the way, it’s good to hear from you!), at our church we pass around the two halves of the one loaf that the deacon broke when saying the words of institution. And we pass around the same cup. So, yeah, I echo Brooke.

    As far as the “open pot-luck table” goes… yeah, “the meal” is open to everyone and anyone. But the other “meal” where the deacons read the words of institution is only open to those who are baptized. Does that makes sense? I think the way we do it articulates the deep ambiguity (or even ambivalence) about the practice that is part of the anabaptist tradition.

    Greg, no offense, but I am not so sure that you need to have the priest up front to administer communion to each person to articulate most of what you said. At least, I’m not yet convinced. You wrote: “If we process forward in awe, then it illustrates we believe we are receiving divine love and that is our source of life and w/o God, we could love none properly.” Sure. But the same sort of thing happens when we sit around the Mennonite table and pass one another the bread and wine (see my comment above for how it works at my church). The deacon says the words of institution, then we pass that same bread and wine to each other around the table. Please correct me if this is a wrong perception, but it sounds like the real theological difference is that our practice speaks the conviction that each and every person is a priest from which we must learn to receive God’s gift of love. There is no “loss of reverence” nor is there any assumption that “we can do it on our own.” Rather, the person sitting at the table with us offers us the gift of grace received from God. It seems to me that our way of doing it trains us to see Christ in every brother and sister.

  • 13 momsally // Mar 23, 2006 at 4:51 am

    Help, we are new christians/saved but not baptized and probably not be baptized as our church immerses and we have serious health problems that prevents this. This will be our first year as new christians, we go to a baptist church, can we take communion?

  • 14 isaac // Mar 26, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for your wonderful, practical, and important question. Let me know if this is helpful.

    I think it’s weird that your church wouldn’t baptize you with sprinkling or pouring since your health conditions disallow immersion. That’s just silly of them. I think you should have a long conversation (or a series of conversations) about this. I am pretty sure you can find some good evidence that the early church (and later baptist movements) weren’t uniform about their baptismal practices.

    But about the communion thing. I think it’s completely up to the practice of your church whether or not you are allowed to eat at the communion table. If they say you can without being baptized, then great! Eat and drink with them if they let you. But, if that’s the case, then you have to wonder what “baptism” means for them, practically speaking. But that’s a subsequent conversation that you might want to bring up. It will probably encourage your church to think about the consistency of their practices, and what it real difference the practices of the church makes.

    I hope that’s somewhat helpful. Please let me know what you think.

  • 15 ronald // Jul 5, 2008 at 1:09 am

    I am most facinated by reading all the comments and views in how the various groups are doing communion. I always asked myself are there other ways in doing this act which is so important to us as Christian believers.

    Nobody so far came up with something like, what is the current Jewish perspective on this. I once attended a synogog and I was amazed to see how they did the bread and wine thing! The rabbai said what he had to say in Jewish and everyone present walked up to the table and helped themselves be quiet for a few minutes and then they casually just talked to each other as though they were just having a cup of tea with a biscuite. I do not say that this is right, however, I felt at home with it. I always felt that I would like to practice it in such a way at some stage. I do realise to that thne significance to us as believers as focussed arround the death of Christ where as for the Jews that would be insignificant.

    But I would be more interesting to know what is actually suppose to happen when this act is taking place.

  • 16 Lynn // Oct 10, 2008 at 3:05 am

    Hello, though of mature years I am fairly new in my return to faith & regular attendance at church. Within the church I am attending everyone lines up & waits to take crackers & wine, being a new member I am not completely comfortable with this as I feel I am on show standing before everyone, I aim to become more involved in discussions within the church group & will definetly be hoping to open discussions taking on board all your comments which I have found very helpful. They do not for instance offer the option of juice which my 10 year old daughter would appreciate. Through all this I also need more information regarding the differences between baptism, confirmation & communion, can anyone advice me where to look please.

  • 17 missy // Dec 28, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    i heard you are not allowed to take communion if you are not baptised. how true is that? and where is it stated in the bible. need an answer desprately. thanks in advance

  • 18 Lynn // Dec 29, 2008 at 4:08 am

    Hi your question is one of many I myself would like answered, I always thought if you had been baptisied you were allowed to take communion however my father believes you yourself have to have chosen to be confirmed to be able to tske communion regardless of baptism or not.
    I am unsure of this & so many other areas & do not know where to look for the answers. Any help anyone can give would be gratefully appreciated.

  • 19 Candace // Feb 13, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Hi there,
    I have seen a most fun way of taking communion, i heard that it was the way jewish people did it some time back. Just because it is so much fun, this in no way detracts from the seriousness of ‘why’ we actually participate in communion. after all each person knows their own state of heart at the time.

    I was actually surfing the net to see if there are any records of taking communion this way.

    The people would stand more or less in a semi-circle and the one taking communion would be in front of the crowd. A short personal prayer would be said either quietly or out loud. this is optional.

    There would be a huge pot/ bucket/jar, with the liquid in it, a big jug would then be dipped in and filled up, the persons cup (or the cup) would then be held over the pot/bucket/jar and the jug would be completely emptied out into the cup, as soon as the cup begins to overflow, the crowd shouts, “abundance, abundance, abundance’ until the jug is emptied. (There are many spiritual/natural blessings promised to us more than we could think or ask, pressed down shaken together and running over).

    The person then begins to drink the whole cup as the crowd cheers “down, down, down, down” once they are finished they empty the last few drops in the cup over their head. (my own personal thoughts on this, is us receiving, receiving, receiving, ALL that God has for us.

    then the bread would be eaten. The crowd clapping/cheering being in agreement with the persons prayer, salvation and blessings.

    Of course it is up to each individual to stay FOCUSED on the very reason of what they are doing and not loose sight of Jesus.

    Has anyone out there ever heard or seen communion done this way, i am searching for clarification. I continue to do this occasionally with a group of friends when fellowshipping together.

  • 20 Jason // Feb 13, 2009 at 9:07 am

    @candace: I’ve never heard of that way of doing things, but it sounds quite celebratory. Given how unique communion is to the Christian faith I’m not sure if you’ll find a Jewish connection, but let us know what you find.

  • 21 stillstoked // Jan 10, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I run a youth center in Elkton Va. we have about 20 young people in our Tuesday night bible study. Most of these young people do not go to a church, but come here because we are not a church. I am going to do our first communion on Jan 19th 2010. I need to start teaching them the reason we do communion as well as introduce them to the act of communion. I only have 30-45 minutes. I’m looking at using some scenes from the passion as well as photographs of the other young people that come to the Youth Center but do not come to our Tuesday nights. I’m thinking of sitting at a long table, with me at the head, breaking the bread and passing it down both sides of the table. Then pouring the “wine” (grape juice) into 2 smaller vessels and letting them pour their own into their cup. While playing some music that they can relate to.

    If you have any suggestions please feel free to let me know. These young people are from 11 to 17 years old, so please keep this in mind.

    Thanks

  • 22 Candace // Jan 10, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Hi there Still Stoked,

    I think your idea for communion is fabulous.

    I would just like to encourage you to keep in mind that the ‘Church’ IS the body of Christ, right, so where ever 2 or 3 meet in HIS name there Jesus is in the midst of you. As soon as you meet together you ARE the church.

    I beleive our children need to be made aware of this AGAIN, that we do not GO to church, we ARE the church. We only GO to a building WHERE the meet is held. And then they will see how exciting ‘church’ can be.

    Just one other thing, the music that you are going to play that they can ‘relate’ to, would it still be christian music? Remember music is very powerful and it is either feeding our spirit or our flesh, so at a time such as communion just be aware that the music itself does not ‘detract’ from the focus on Jesus and the message of communion. I have started to become aware of many things that christians do UNKNOWINGLY, that are actually pagan customs or ideas that have merely been ‘christianized’.

    I think to take communion one way for a while and then do it another way for a while and then another way for yet another while would keep the youngsters’ attention.

    God saturate you with his Holy Spirit as you lead the young ones to Him.

    Your sister in Christ
    Candace

  • 23 stillstoked // Jan 11, 2010 at 4:31 am

    i havent coosen the music yet, however i do lean toward Christain music. there is so much good Christian music out there. im looking at some david crowder or delirious, but i havent decided yet. any ideas?

  • 24 stillstoked // Jan 11, 2010 at 4:32 am

    sorry i just woke up. Choosen**

  • 25 Mitzi // Feb 4, 2010 at 1:35 am

    We are instructed to discern the Lord’s body in the communion or refrain from taking it. Jesus said in the book of John ” 20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. ”

    The fellowship IS the communion . Christ in them, Christ in me, Christ in the Father, we are all one. When we partake of the Lord’s body & blood in the Holy Communion, His presence is actually coming into us and we are all joined together as one! I know this awareness is preached against and lost on many modern churches but look at how weak they are! That is why! They aren’t receiving nourishment from the sacrifice of our Lord! I pray all of you may discern the Lord’s body in the bread & wine & in the fellowship.

    The Supper is the most awe inspiring, magnificent, divine institution of our Lord. His great mystery in how He could give Himself to the church in actual bread and wine. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42 This was the church and it’s what we should be. Let us prayerfully ask the Lord to help us all get back to that simplicity and revelation of His gift.

  • 26 ADAM // Apr 16, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Christ arose on a Sunday, the first day of the week, and is why we meet on the first day of the week, and for WE,New Testament Christians,that is on Sunday. Christ told the disciples to”Do this in remembrance of me”,(e.g. break bread and drink of the cup) when you meet. I believe that it is very clear that we are to take the communion every Sunday when we meet. This IS why we meet, the most important part of fellowship, is to commune with the Lord. The act of “ingesting” the spirit of the beast or God in pagan rituals is of the same principal. It is hard for me to digest when I hear people say..”we have too many people to serve communion to to do it every week”. Isnt that why we are there?..It should be. Another key issue is what do WE bring to this feast? Our heart and our will as we commune with the Father in reverance to remember the sacrifice that he made for us, For those who exclude others in the taking of communion is beyond my comprehension if they ARE believers and children of God. I dont understand this reasoning.
    In what way should we do it? Whichever way brings unity to the body and is in reverance to the Lord..we are not there to take ,but to bring,..to give.

  • 27 ADAM // Apr 16, 2010 at 2:35 am

    To respond to MISSY’s question,the answer is nowhere to be found as far as you not being able to take it. But, Christ himself was baptized…are you any better that you feel you need not bebaptized? How is it that one would chose to commune with his/her God, and God with them if they havent done what HE has asked of us?

  • 28 Chris // Feb 24, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I agree with passing around the bread…My eldest sons First Holy Communion is next year and I just cant wait to be able to share this special day with him.

  • 29 Debbie // Feb 27, 2012 at 6:58 am

    to Eric Lee: Jewish people do not SPEAK Jewish, they SPEAK Hebrew.

  • 30 Love Feast | Ekklesia Modesto // Nov 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    [...] to someone who hadn’t participated and I remembered leaving a comment a long time ago over at http://www.rustyparts.com about the Brethren communion service. I’m just going to steal my old comment [...]