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What’s Up With Communion?

What’s Up With Communion?

This is a question we get a lot. Nearly every Christian denomination or group celebrates the sacrament of Communion. Many Catholic, Eastern Orthodoxy, Episcopal and Lutheran traditions offer Communion each and every Sunday. Many Baptists serve the Eucharist four times a year, while many Methodist churches celebrate the Lord’s Supper once a month, often at the first Sunday worship.

As with so many things, HOPE tends to do things a little differently. We often offer Communion during the week at Christmastime or during Lent or at other church gatherings such as our annual Church Conference. Sometimes we will celebrate Communion once each month, and at other times, as in this month, we’ll participate in remembering the Lord’s Supper more than once. We believe the table at which we gather belongs to the Lord, and that it is open to all who respond to Christ’s love, regardless of age or church membership.

Here at HOPE, we invite our 2nd graders to begin to receive Communion  after they have attended a special class preparing them to better understand the meaning of the sacrament.

During the worship service when Communion is offered, laypersons as well as other clergy may assist the pastor in giving the bread and cup. (There is a gluten-free, alternative wafer available for those with food sensitivities.) A confessional prayer is always extended before the sacrament takes place. Communion elements are symbols representing the body and blood of Jesus and as such may be extended to those who are unable to attend the church service due to age or illness.

Here at HOPE, we use the intinction method to serve Communion, in which the communicant is given a piece of the consecrated bread, or host, which is partly dipped into the consecrated wine before consumption. Since the late 19th century, many churches, including Methodist churches, have used unfermented grape juice instead of wine.Our continued participation in this powerfully symbolic ceremony helps shape our identity as a people of God and provides us with the assurance that we have been redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice.

 

 

 

Filed Under: HOPE Insights, Sunday Bulletin Articles