World Communion Sunday

Ideas for Communion Services in the Congregation:

Serve a plate of red-grapes along with the cups of communion juice, if you use Communion trays with little cups of juice in your service. Grapes are much easier to manage by those who may have difficulty holding, and/or drinking from, a small cup due to a variety of issues (Parkinson’s Disease, eye-problems, etc.).

Set up a bread machine in your sanctuary. Prepare the machine on Saturday evening, with a timer set so that bread is done baking Sunday morning, just before people arrive to church. Then, when people come in to church, the sanctuary is filled with the warm aroma of home-baked bread. This offers folks a heightened worship experience through their sense of smell; ... olfaction as spiritual practice!

In celebration of how the welcomed diversity of World Communion Sunday experiences can empower global Christian unity, I offer you the following links to downloadable PDF recipes for various breads. You are invited to use these breads in your World Communion celebrations (as well as on your own dinner tables). Make one kind as a special bread on this special day, or make ‘em all and dress your Communion table with abundant variety! Enjoy.

Communion Disclosure Notes ...

In the playful spirit of “full-disclosure,” the church tradition within which I participate, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Sunday morning Communion (aka.- Lord’s Supper and/or Eucharist) is a sacred every-week act. It is the center of our weekly worship experience (pragmatically, ecclesiastically, and theologically), and something we hold above most-every other act of worship.

Our participation in this sacramental experience is also grounded with other traditionally Disciples priorities. This means:

Our experience is primarily a memorial event, recalling the incarnational life, death and resurrection of Jesus, whom we proclaim as Christ, as a most-generous and redemptive gift from God.

We approach the experience confessionally; which is to say I can tell you what the act of Communion means for me, but I will not pronounce what it must mean for you, and I will respect the confession you make about this holy act.

Anyone who is a part of the “Priesthood of all believers” (any member of the church, whether lay or clergy, regardless of ethnicity, gender-identity, sexual orientation, age or other unique qualifiers) has the authority to preside/officiate at the Table. This includes saying the Words of Institution, offering prayers, serving the bread and cup, and more. (even the youth of the church can participate in such leadership).

Most of the time pastors and representational lay-leaders serve at the table together, sharing such leadership becomes a sign of the whole church’s call to ministry.

We proclaim an “open table,” which means anyone is welcome to receive/partake/consume communion in our churches, whether or not they are a member of our congregation, or any church for that matter. Such participation is up to the individual.

From our early historical connection to the temperance movement, Disciples congregations continue to use grape juice in today’s Communion services, instead of fermented wine. This early adoption to use unfermented juice actually helped support the beginnings of the modern day juice industry.  

The bread used in our services can be in many forms, from little commercial communion wafers, to matzoh, to bread that is home-baked by a church member.

Communion is often served from trays that are passed down the pews, but many of our congregations are very familiar with and enjoy taking communion by intinction, that is the dipping of a piece of bread in a communion chalice of juice, and taking the elements together.

We love to celebrate World Communion Sunday to lift up the unity of the church across creation, denominational lines and more; we actually appreciate all the different ways Communion is interpreted and practiced as a sign of unity in God’s grace amidst our diversity.

For us, it is not so much HOW we practice Communion, but THAT we practice Communion, and do so regularly, together and as inclusively as we are able.

Click here to return to Well-Fed Spirit's Food & Diet page