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Virtual Communion Preparation Guide

Virtual Communion Preparation Guide

In these unique days of social distancing due to the pandemic, we live and worship differently.  Virtual worship has become necessary and the norm for many.  Virtual Holy Communion adds an extra dimension to our virtual worship gatherings. Whether or not you participate in this portion of the worship is your responsibility and decision.

 

The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper offers an abundant feast of theological meaning, including thanksgiving to God the Father; the remembrance of Jesus Christ; invocation of the Holy Spirit; communion in the body of Christ; and a meal of the realm of God. The Reformed tradition understands the Lord’s Supper to be a sign of God’s covenant. The bread of the Lord’s Supper is linked with the bread of Passover and the gift of manna in the wilderness. The Lord’s Supper thus connects us with God’s saving power and providential care from generation to generation. Like the offering of sacrifices, a sign of Israel’s thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness, the Lord’s Supper is a sacrifice of praise and a sign of our gratitude for God’s steadfast love. The Lord’s Supper represents God’s gracious invitation to an everlasting covenant. The Lord’s Supper also reflects our calling to feed others as we have been fed, and offers a foretaste of that heavenly banquet when God will wipe away every tear and swallow up death forever. The Lord’s Supper enacts and seals what the Word proclaims: God’s sustaining grace offered to all people. The Lord’s Supper is at once God’s gift of grace, God’s means of grace, and God’s call to respond to that grace. Through the Lord’s Supper, Jesus Christ nourishes us in righteousness, faithfulness, and discipleship. Through the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Spirit renews the Church in its identity and sends the Church to mission in the world. When we gather at the Lord’s Supper the Spirit draws us into Christ’s presence and unites with the Church in every time and place. We join with all the faithful in heaven and on earth in offering thanksgiving to the triune God. We reaffirm the promises of our baptism and recommit ourselves to love and serve God, one another, and our neighbors in the world. The opportunity to eat and drink with Christ is not a right bestowed upon the worthy, but a privilege given to the undeserving who come in faith, repentance, and love.

        –  W-3.0409 in the Book of Order 2019-2020 of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)

 

How to prepare the meal at home.

  • Please plan to receive Holy Communion within the virtual worship service.
  • Before the worship begins, please set out a cracker or bread (any type you have or desire) and wine or grape juice.
  • To symbolize the unity and dignity of Holy Communion, consider setting aside a special space with a tablecloth/placemat using glassware or pottery for the cups and plate.
  • Please handle the bread and wine with care and respect, out of a sense of the value both for what has been set apart by the Word to bear the presence of Christ and of God’s good creation.

Pastor Denise will take the bread and say: “The bread of life.”
Then she will raise the cup, dip the bread in the wine and say: “The cup of salvation.”
After she has taken communion, you will do the same.
You may pause for a brief moment of silent reflection or prayer after the meal until the worship service continues.

 

What do we do with Bread/Wine/Juice not eaten or drank?

Any bread/wine that remains may either be fully consumed by participants or returned “to the earth” – scattered on the ground for the birds and to water the plants. (Use of the trash or sink/sewer to dispose of the bread/wine/juice is not fitting or proper.)