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Communion 

"The Lord's Supper"

“The miracle of Communion means the rich bowing down with the poor, the learned with the unlearned, the clean with the filthy,

the master with the slave, the privileged with the deprived, the Black with the white and the white with the black.”

from Rosa Page Welch, 20th Cent. African-American singer

Communion - The Lord's Supper


“While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them , and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them and all of them drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.’” Mark 14:22-23


In the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) when the church celebrates the “Lord’s Supper:”

  1. The communion is celebrated every week when the church gathers for Sunday worship. The frequency of communion is determined by the pattern or traditions of the very first Christians as we learn from the holy scriptures. The “followers of the way” as the first believers in Jesus were called met together on the first day of the week to honor the power of Easter resurrection and their meetings included “the teachings of the apostles, the fellowship, the breaking of the bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42) We follow that same pattern. There are other special holidays when communion is served. When a member of the church is sick or shut-in and not able to join the Sunday worship, elders of the church take the blessed bread and cup them even though they cannot be in worship. This action helps cement the understanding that we are all connected in Christ when we take communion.
  2. The primary purpose of communion is to recall the message that Christ died and rose again to conquer the power of death so that we, also, might have life. This sense of a memory, or memorial, is marked when the scriptures that tell us Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” This memory is so fresh with us that it is as if the whole action of his death and resurrection has just happened for each one of us. St. Paul told us, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we who are many are one body for we all partake of the one bread.” I Cor. 10: 16-17. 
  3. While the minister says the words of institution, from the scripture record, it is the lay people, regular members of the congregation who, selected as esteemed elders, say the prayers of consecration over the bread and the juice.
  4. Communion is open to all people, regardless of one’s age, religious tradition or experience, whether or not one completely understands its meaning (who really completely understands?) or the condition of one’s spirit. Communion is for everyone. The Lord’s Supper reminds us that we are forgiven.  As members of the Christian Church, “At the table of the Lord we celebrate with thanksgiving the saving acts and presence of Christ.” --from the preamble of the Design for the Christian Church.
  5. There is no one way of performing the ritual of participation in communion. At the early service communion is served to individuals where they are seated in the sanctuary. Everyone holds a piece of bread and a small cup of juice until everyone is served and at the direction of the minister we eat and drink at the same time. In our celebration service people are invited to the altar where individuals serve themselves a piece of bread, then dip it io the chalice of juice and then partake; this method is known as “intinction.” On special occasions other formats may be used.

CHRIST INVITES, CHRIST JUDGES AND CHRIST FORGIVES!