How is communion celebrated in your church?

communionI’m amazed at the variety of ways communion is celebrated across Christianity. Even within my own denomination there is great diversity of practice; some churches celebrate communion quarterly, others do so every single week, and many of the details differ. You could visit a different church each week and never come across the exact same communion service twice.

A church’s implementation of communion tells us something important about its theology of the practice. What does a communion service look like in your church, and why is it done that way?

These questions might help:

  • How often does your church celebrate communion? Weekly, monthly, quarterly?
  • Is communion at your church open to all, including visitors? Is communion restricted to members of your church? Members of any Christian church? What about children?
  • What other elements of the worship service (liturgy, Scripture reading, singing) accompany communion?
  • How are the “body” and “blood” shared? Are they passed through the pews on trays? Are full loaves of bread and pitchers of wine handed from person to person? Does the pastor personally distribute them?
  • Why does your church choose to practice communion the way it does?

    [Image by Gregory Neal and used under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license]

    4 Responses to “How is communion celebrated in your church?”

    • Bob Brown says:

      The following is my humble understanding of the printed word of God. I believe the text in the gospel accounts of how Jesus Christ celebrated the feast of Passover. One the eve of His death Christ showed us how to keep an annual memeorial of His death, as our Passover Lamb. He took bread and broke it as his body, and told us to eat. He then took wine and told us it represented His blood, and told us to drink. Afterwards he washed His diciples’ feet, and commanded them to follow His example and wash each others feet. I beleive Christ set us an example which we are to follow: the bread, wine, and foot washing as an annual memorial of His death, until His second coming. I cannot find scriptural support of a ceremony we are entitled to partake in at mere whim, each week or when a minister determines. When we show the Lord’s death, we do so as a commanded annual memorial, as a solemn Holy Day. In fact, the scriptures state that many become sick and die for taking this solemn Christ ordained ceremony outside the annually ordained Passover service.

    • julia says:

      As Sevenday adventist foot washing is a very important part of our communion seremony it is done before the we serve the bread & the wine, the ladies and the gentleman is separated into different rooms where songs of praise is song, we then take a partner and wash each other foot, say a prayer and return to the sanctuary,when communion is ready to be served we all stand together,once served we sit, when all is serve we eat together,we serve the wine and we all drink together. it is done in unity no one eat or drink before another.

    • jansen says:

      The Holy Communion, I’d say from experience trying to be a regular Church member, is a Sacrament–means revealed through Jesus Christ, Son (not, yes more more than, Prophet, fulfilling the prophecies of all Prophets preceeding Him, therefore “revealed through the Son”, after all the revelations through the Prophets”] of God. The Lord Jesus Christ wants–and we need–to share His Body, flesh and blood, to make all of us “as One” in the Church who receive the flesh and blood and become The Body of Christ. I adhere to the press-reported statement of the Orthodox Church on ecumenism that Christian Unity lies in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, rightly taught and properly administered. Catechism, preaching, may perhaps be said to be necessary yet preparatory to the Oneness, or in tandem, Word and Sacrament.

      After the Internet, when you download some item (in my case the free items), you are asked: WEBsite Do you trust … , EULA do you accept? In Holy Communion we reveive the elements, we click Yes to affirm we are in the Holy Body of Christ, and in my case I concentrate to the Promise–we are One as the Saved by Grace, by His Sacrificial Love on Calvary (knowing of course, follows the Commandment of the New Life: the Commandment of Love.

    • Mearrha says:

      My church is Baptist, so we have communion the first Sunday of every month. As mentioned in the blog, only members are alowed to partake in the communion. The distinction is that members are those who have been baptized. The deacons serve us the bread/wine and whoever is going to participates stands up and get the bread/wine from the tray. The bread and wine are served seperately. Before the bread is passed, a designated Pastor reads scripture and says a few words. As the bread is passed, the congregation sings a hymn relating to the occasion. Once every one is served, the Pastor serves the decons and the other Pastors present. Then he serves himself and says ‘This is my body broken down for you, eat this in remembrance of me’ and we eat together. And the same goes for the wine.
      I found it interesting what Julia said about the foot washing. I know Jesus did wash his disciples feet but I didn’t know that churches today immulate that in their services. Quite interesting…