Communion: A people of the table
We are a “people of the table”. Everything that we do and everything that we are about finds its meaning at the table. The table can be clearly seen when you walk into our church and when you come, you will have a chance every week to kneel or stand so that you can receive what Episcopalians believe to be an “outward and visible sign” of God’s grace. The “outward and visible sign” may not look like much, just a small white wafer and a sip of wine. Looks are deceiving because Jesus Christ once sat at a table and shared bread and wine with his closest friends and he asked them to repeat the act “in remembrance of him”. So, we do.
Coming to the table is indicative of the life our community. People from all walks of life are gathered around the table and there is never a case where anyone would not be welcomed to receive the bread and the wine. When the meal is served, you are urged to come. We are asked, in that moment, to set aside any differences that we may have with one another and to kneel or stand side by side in a show of genuine solidarity. Our differences in theology, worldview, and politics are set aside so that we can focus, at the table, on the one thing that we all hold in common, our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Something changes in us at the table. We may not know it, feel it, or even recognize it, but God is doing a work in us when we come to the table. A great theologian in our denomination once wrote that what happens to the bread and wine at the table is secondary to what happens to us. Since we believe that Jesus Christ, in a mysterious way, is fully present at the table with us, then we rightly assume that we are being touched by something sacred and holy at the table in the same way that the disciples were touched and changed when they sat with Jesus at the “Last Supper”. It is no wonder that Jesus asked his disciples, and therefore, his church, to repeat the act forever.
Communion with our Lord and communion that builds community with one another; this is the sacred “meal” that you are invited to share with us every Sunday. We want to share this meal with you; this holy, sacred, and mysterious meal that has formed us as disciples of the living God!
The invitation is always open…
How to Take Communion
All Christians baptized in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who receive the Sacrament in their denomination are welcome at the Lord’s Table.
Come forward to the Altar rail as the ushers direct you and take the next available place. You may kneel or stand, though the custom for most of our parishioners is to kneel.
Receive the communion bread from the Priest in your open right palm. You may then take the bread to your mouth, or, if you wish to receive by intinction (dipping), place the communion bread between the thumb and index finger of your right hand and hold the bread over your open left palm. This signals the Chalice Bearer to allow you to dip the wafer in the wine in the chalice. You may also choose to receive the wine directly from the chalice by gently guiding it to your lips as the chalice is presented to you.
If it is physically difficult for you to come to the Altar rail, please indicate this to an usher and a Priest will bring Communion to you where you are seated.