Holy Communion: A Sacrament of the United Methodist Church
Holy Communion is one of two sacraments recognized and practiced in the United Methodist Church. “Holy Communion is a sacred meal in which the community of faith, in the simple act of eating bread and drinking juice, proclaims and participates in all that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do for us in Christ.”* In Holy Communion, we remember God’s gift of Jesus Christ and Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. We also remember God’s grace given to us in our baptism and partake of the spiritual food necessary for sustaining us in the journey of faith. As a sacrament, we believe Holy Communion is a means of God’s grace. It is not solely a memorial meal, but is also a time we encounter the Risen Lord through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
Who Can Partake of Holy Communion? “Because the table at which we gather belongs to the Lord, it should be open to all who respond to Christ’s love, regardless of age or church membership.”* [By Water and the Spirit, Book of Resolutions, p. 875]
Method: We receive Holy Communion by “intinction”, the method whereby the bread is given and then the cup is offered. The bread is then dipped in the juice and both elements are received at the same time.
Weekly: Holy Communion and Prayer are offered during the Ascent Wednesday Worship service held on Wednesday night in the Sanctuary at 7:00 pm
Monthly: The sacrament of Holy Communion is served on the first Sunday of each month at the morning worship services and is open to all who seek a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Special Events: Holy Communion is served as part of the Candle lighting Christmas Eve Service and as part of the Maundy Thursday service during the Easter Season.
Communion loaf bread is used during the communion service. Often times this bread is baked by church family members and given as a gift to be used in the Holy Communion service. Gluten Free Bread is being offered as well.
Grape Juice is used during the Holy Communion service. Often times the grape Juices is Welch’s Grape juice.
Children of any age are welcome to take part in Communion.
Children and Communion
At what age can my child attend Communion?
Any age! United Methodists practice an “open table.” We do not exclude people based on age or religious tradition.
We do understand that the concept of Communion is a tough topic (even for adults!). For this reason when the Communion servers get to children, they may not say the formal phrase “The Body of Christ …” but rather a more age-appropriate phrase such as “This means that God loves you very much.” Younger children are literal, and talking about the “body” of Christ and eating is weird! Instead, focus on this wonderful traditional ritual of our church. Help your child feel comfortable even when standing in line. Quietly explain what is happening. If you are going to pray after being served, prepare your child for this quiet moment by telling him or her, “Let’s pray for a second.” (But keep it quick for their sake.)
My own daughter called Communion “Snack Time” in worship. Not an altogether bad idea – it is a community of God’s children gathered for a meal, just like in Sunday school.
Communion is taught throughout the years in the Sunday school curriculum as well as extensively during sixth-grade Confirmation.