Although the practice of taking Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper, varies throughout Christian denominations, the overall tradition remains the same. Christian believers look to 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 as the introduction of the Lord’s Supper, when Jesus took the bread and wine and asked his followers to do the same. Some churches limit participation in Communion to church members or baptized believers, and other congregations extend an open communion where anyone may partake.
Fill the communion cups from a large glass or pitcher on the communion table. Use fermented wine or unfermented grape juice, depending on your congregation’s conviction, to represent the blood that Jesus shed on the cross. Prepare the communion cups before the worship service for a large congregation.
Break a loaf of either leavened or unleavened bread into small pieces and place them on a tray to represent the one body of Christ that he offered for the sins of all people. Leave the loaf whole on the tray if the participants are going to break off a piece of bread individually to help them identify with the idea that Jesus offered his body for them.
Explain to the congregation why the church observes communion. Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 to explain the significance of the bread and the wine. Lead the congregation in a song of worship. Pray for God’s presence or say the Lord’s Prayer together.
Invite individuals to approach the communion table in an orderly fashion to take a piece of bread and a cup of wine back to their seats, or to drink the wine and eat the bread at the table. Ask church leaders or laymen to pass the communion tray of wine and a basket of pieces of bread around the church in denominations that remain seated to observe communion. Instruct congregants if they are to wait and take communion at the same time.
Offer a time for congregants to reflect on what Jesus did for them on the cross and their current relationship with him. Have a time of silent prayer and then close the service with a prayer and hymn of celebration.
Items you will need
- Communion cups
- Large pitcher
- Wine or grape juice
- Loaf of bread
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