Church · faith

The Practice Of Holy Communion

One of the issues in the Church of England is the importance of Holy Communion.  As someone who grew up in a community with communion at its heart, I have always believed in the centrality of this act of worship.  But I’ve been re-evaluating this in lockdown,  as we (at least in Church of England communities) have not been allowed to have  services of Holy Communion over Zoom for example.

Two main reasons – Firstly you need an ordained priest to consecrate/bless the bread and wine. And secondly, you need a physically gathered community.

Now instead of bemoaning this, (which I did for a few weeks) I’ve been thinking about this practice that is at the heart of my church worship.

For example – what we now experience in sharing bread and wine is far removed from the meal that Jesus shared with his disciples. Admittedly the practice of just having a small piece of bread and a sip of wine does go back a long way – 2nd Century ?

But … for Jesus and the disciples it was the traditional Passover meal that they shared. A proper meal.  And from other parts of the New Testament it’s clear that this was the way they first remembered Jesus – by sharing in a communal meal.

Many thousands of scholarly words have been written about this.  Did Jesus intend us to remember him in the way we typically do now ?  He clearly commanded his followers to remember him in some way that had bread and wine at its heart.  But could that be through sharing table fellowship ? Would that count ?

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