I need your help!

This Sunday, as you probably already know, is World Communion Sunday.  This year, I’d like to display on a bulletin board in the narthex some of your stories about Communion.  How do you “do” Communion in your church?  What about the church of your childhood or your youth?  What makes your church’s way of celebrating Communion unique or particularly memorable?

We have Presbyterians of all stripes who read this blog, including (but certainly not limited to) PC(USA), ARP, PCA, EPC, OPC, Church of Scotland, Free Church of Scotland, and EPCEW.  We also have Baptists of many different kinds, Episcopalians/Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and probably some more that I’m leaving out.  Every tradition “does” Communion a little differently.  Furthermore, even within a particular tradition, individual congregations have their own ways of doing things.

On this World Communion Sunday, I think it will be encouraging to our congregation to read the stories of what makes Communion special in your church.  If you have pictures, send them along with your stories.  The more stories and pictures, the better!  Even if you have only one or two sentences to share, such as the name of a song you always sing at Communion, send it in.  Don’t imagine that everyone does Communion the way your church does.  For example, the first time I played for a Methodist church, I discovered the tradition of leaving money at the altar rail for a special Communion offering for the poor.

Send your stories and pictures to knowtea-at-knowtea-dot-com (writing the address properly, of course).  But please send it to me by Friday so I can print your story for the board.  Thanks, and I pray that this World Communion Sunday is a special one for all of you.

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About revjatb

I am a father of six who is trying to do his best! My interests are varied. I have one blog, KnowTea, that is primarily focused on liturgy and worship and another one, Bengtsson's Baking, that is about, well, baking! I hope you enjoy both of them, and if you have any questions, please contact me!
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5 Responses to I need your help!

  1. Dave Comstock says:

    At the Church in central Indiana, where I am currently serving as Interim Pastor we have a VERY talented liturgical dance troop. On World Communion Sunday the Dancers are dressed in costumes representing several world cultures and bring the elements forward as part of their dance. It is very beautiful and profoundly moving. The words of institution are delivered in a variety of languages.

  2. here is link to a communion liturgy that we did earlier this summer which was loved by people

    http://pastormarthaswords.blogspot.com/2009/07/special-communion-service.html

  3. Our church went to weekly communion at the beginning of 2009. Our pastors and an elder wrote a booklet, ” This is for You.” Having communion weekly has not become “rote” or mindless, but reminds us of our need of Christ every day…I feel so thankful. It also puts Christ and his cross “front and center” of every service…which is, obviously, ” what it’s all about.” I wrote this poem shortly after reading the book and beginning to have weekly communion. It expresses my growing understanding of the importance of this means of grace.

    Invitation to Communion

    Come to this table spread for you
    With costly manna, finest wine
    Where strength and health and life renewed
    Flow to the branches from the vine.

    There is no price that you can pay
    To dine on this exclusive fare,
    The guests; all debtors, sin-clad men
    Who own themselves deserving wrath.

    Your elder brother brings you here
    To feast on his own flesh and blood
    Supplying everything you lack,
    He feeds your soul with proper food.

    For only this bread satisfies
    The hungry, gnawing, empty heart.
    This wine alone can quench its thirst
    And make the parching pain depart.

    So come, join with your family here
    Around this table spread for you
    Where Christ is both the centerpiece and meal,
    And you will find Him good.

    “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

    pdrinkard
    February 23, 2009

  4. Mary Haddow says:

    Within the Church of Scotland the Kirk Session sets the number of Communions celebrated in the year. For our church it is four Sundays a year – the second Sunday of March, June, September and December. Two are by invitation – March and September: every member receives a written invitation to come and celebrate – these are taken to each household by the District Elder.
    “DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME”

    Mr and Mrs A.N. Other

    You are invited to
    The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
    which will be celebrated
    at
    10.30 am and 6 pm
    on
    SUNDAY, ??th SEPTEMBER 2009

    On the day, before the service begins, we extend the invitation to visitors… “We shall be celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion this morning/evening. According to the practise of the Church of Scotland “The Lord’s table is open to any baptised person who loves the Lord and responds in faith to the invitation “Take eat” … In that spirit we invite everyone present to share in this sacrament of God’s grace.”

    Baptised children are also included – they must sit beside their parents and the Kirk Session has to be satisfied that they have been suitably instructed and understand what the Sacrament is about.

    • We set two tables – the large oak Communion table on the chancel area, and a smaller table below it, to hold the elements.
    • Our Communion Silver (goblets and plates) dates from the 17th and 18th centuries. Our older plates are made of pewter and no longer used.
    • We use individual cups and non alcoholic wine (in deference to those who might be excluded due to alcohol problems).
    • Communion is administered after the sermon.
    • Congregation stands to affirm our faith in the words of The Apostles’ Creed
    • Invitation is extended
    • The Grace
    • Elements unveiled
    • Narrative of the Institution
    • Taking of the Bread and Wine – setting them apart
    • Prayer of Thanksgiving and Consecration
    • Breaking of Bread
    • Sung – Agnus Dei
    • Communion – elements taken to the people – This is the gift of God to the people of God
    • Vessels returned and covered
    • Peace is shared
    • Prayer
    • Praise
    • Dismissal and Blessing
    • Retiring Offering for the Benevolent Fund (for those in the parish who may be struggling financially)

    Although we use a set order, over the years I have changed the words we use: some are taken from various books of order used within the CofS and some are my own. Different seasons also bring in different words. Below are some examples.

    A number of years ago all our Elders wore dark suits and black ties – a tradition from the time when most working men only owned one suit and tie – the black suit and tie they wore to funerals. I have used this to remind them that we are celebrating not a death, but a resurrection. (In some other churches within Scotland the elders still wear morning suits – these were usually churches in richer areas).

    Call (from – Wee Worship Book – Iona Community)

    As if this were the only time,
    and this … the only place,
    And we … the only people,
    Jesus Christ will meet us.

    Invitation (from – Wee Worship Book – Iona Community)

    This the table … not of the church …
    But of the Lord.
    It is to be made ready
    for those who love him …
    and those who want to love him more.
    So come … you who have much faith …
    And you who have little …
    You who have been here often …
    And you who have not been for a long time …
    You who have tried to follow …
    and you who have failed …
    Come …
    Not because it is I who invite you … It is our Lord.
    It is his will … that those who want him …
    Should meet him here.

    Sharing the peace (from the Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland)

    The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

    On the evening of the first Easter Day,
    when the disciples were together
    behind locked doors for fear,
    Jesus came and stood among them.
    “Peace be with you” he said:
    then he showed them his hands and his side.
    On seeing the Lord,
    the disciples were overjoyed.

    Jesus said again, “Peace be with you.”

    In the joyful presence of our risen Lord,
    let us give one another a sign of peace.

    Dismissal and Blessing
    After the supper Jesus shared with his disciples
    He was betrayed …
    After the supper Jesus shared with his disciples
    He was denied …
    We are his disciples … And this is after the Supper …

    And as we reflect upon that … we ask

    As we have been fed at this table,
    We would go to feed the hungry.
    As we have been set free,
    We would go and release the imprisoned.
    As we have received – we would give.
    As we have heard – we would proclaim.

    Go in peace and serve the Lord.

    And the blessing of God Almighty,
    Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
    be with you always. Amen.

  5. Sheena says:

    John,

    David wrote about communion recently on his blog, you can read about it here:
    http://davestrain.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/why-going-forward-is-biblical-after-all/

    (if you read David’s comments you will get a description of how we did communion in the Free Church in London)

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