Often folks who have been estranged, or who have been prohibited from receiving Holy Communion in their former church, contact us to ask about Holy Communion.
We believe that the communion table should be a source that unites people of faith – not one that divides us. We affirm that “There is one body, for we all share in the one bread and the one cup.” So we invite all baptized Christians to share with us in this sacrament – regardless of one’s marital status or sexual orientation. Certainly, if Christ can share the Last Supper with the one who would betray him, who are we to judge who is unwelcome? God may be at work through the Holy Spirit drawing someone forward to receive very nourishment they need from Christ’s table.
We celebrate Holy Eucharist (or Holy Communion) each Sunday. Like the Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, Old Catholics, and Orthodox Christians, we affirm that Christ is present in the bread and wine. Explaining exactly how this is so, should not be something that divides us. Rather we affirm that in the context of the prayers of the gathered community, in the taking, blessing, breaking and sharing, the bread and wine somehow become for us the body and blood of Christ. How the bread and wine ultimately become the Body and Blood of our Lord is a matter of faith—a mystery that only God can fully comprehend.
So what is Holy Communion like?
Our communion liturgy is normally based on the Anglican-rite. Within our Eucharistic Prayers, one will find all the elements found in ancient communion liturgies – some written as early as the 2nd Century.
Our custom is for those who wish to receive Holy Communion to kneel or stand at the altar rails. Following the most ancient custom, we normally receive the bread in our hand and then drink from a common chalice. Those receiving the wine are encouraged to assist the server to guide they chalice to their lips. A person may receive the bread and wine by intinction (dipping the bread in the wine) if they prefer. The chalice bearer will assist you by dipping the bread for you.
Those wishing to be part of the community, but who do not wish to receive Communion, are encouraged to come forward to the altar rail and cross their arms over their chest. This is a signal to the clergy that the person would like to receive a blessing.