Holy Communion, also known as the Eucharist, is the receiving of the elements of bread and wine which Christians accept by faith as the real presence of the crucified and resurrected Christ.
The Eucharist has been described as the source and summit of our life in Christ. It is the weekly (or more often, in some cases) renewal of our communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the members of the Body of Christ throughout the world and through time.
The Eucharist is like a diamond with many different facets. It is the re-enactment of the gospel—a reminder of the death, resurrection, and the Second Coming of Christ. It is renewal of our faith and our identity in Christ. It is the strengthening of our spiritual commitment to live under the Lordship of Christ. It is the re-membering of the Body of Christ, as young and old, people of different ethnicities and social classes, and men and women come together to receive from the One Loaf and the One Cup. It is the moment when we are renewed as the Body of Christ in order to be sent out to be what we have been made to the world around us—the hands and feet of Christ.
WHO SHOULD RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION?
If you are not yet baptized but desire to receive Communion, we encourage you talk to Fr. Pete after worship about baptism and the process of preparation. A hunger for Communion is a good indicator of a growing desire for baptism. Baptism is the formal act of initiation into Christian faith that historically has always preceded receiving Communion. There is a sacramental and theological logic to this.
We are careful to honor God in how we handle Communion. St. Paul in I Corinthians 11 warns his readers about taking the Body and Blood of Christ casually or inappropriately. So we do our best to receive Communion simultaneously with sober-minded humility and deepest joy. None of us is worthy of this meal, which is precisely the point, and why we must receive it by grace in humility. In taking the very presence of Christ into ourselves we recognize we are intimately connected to God and to the entire Church around the world and through time.