Communion

 Communion bread and wine

Index


What is Communion?

CrossCommunion literally means 'sharing in common'. We celebrate communion to remember what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross by sharing the last meal that Jesus and his disciples shared the night before His crucifixion.

The Minister will normally explain what will happen.  This will include the Bible reference (see below). The Elders will pass around bread, representing Christ's body, from which you should break a small piece. When everyone has been served with bread we all eat together. Similarly the Elders will pass round trays with small cups of (non-alcoholic) wine, representing Christ's blood, then once everyone has one we drink together.

Different churches have different names for Communion. These include celebrations of The Last Supper; Lord's Supper; Holy Communion and Eucharist. [Index]


Where in the Bible?

In his first letter to the church in Corinth Paul describes the Lord's Supper as follows:
 

I have already told you what the Lord Jesus did on the night he was betrayed. And it came from the Lord himself.

He took some bread in his hands. Then after he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is given for you. Eat this and remember me."
After the meal, Jesus took a cup of wine in his hands and said, "This is my blood, and with it God makes his new agreement with you. Drink this and remember me."

The Lord meant that when you eat this bread and drink from this cup, you tell about his death until he comes.

Taken from 1 Corinthians 11 23-26 (CEV Bible)

A version of this text is read during our Communion Service.

Last supper

The account can also be read in Matthew 26 26-29; Mark 14 22-25 and Luke 22 14-20. [Index]


A Time to Remember

In his book The Swann's Way, the French novelist Marcel Proust wrote of returning home late one evening on a dull winter day when he faced the prospect of a depressing tomorrow. The maid greeted him and, seeing that he was tired, brought him a cup of hot tea and some cake. Being both tired and depressed he at first refused them. Only at her insistence did he finally begin to drink the tea and eat the cake. Proust wrote that an unexplainable delight suddenly came over him. His anxieties and troubles seemed to vanish. Suddenly, he wrote, I had "ceased to feel mediocre, accidental and mortal."

What caused this wonderful sensation to come over him? He was at a loss to explain it. How could a taste of tea and cake produce this feeling of peace? He drank and ate more but he still could not decipher the secret. The truth, he guessed, must be in himself and not in what he was eating and drinking.

Proust began to search within himself. Suddenly he began to remember. His mind carried him back to Combray, France where in childhood he visited his Aunt and she feed him cake and hot tea. Proust had been unmoved by the sight of the tea and cake but the taste had sent shockwaves through  him and reminded him of scenes long forgotten. Suddenly he remembered the little town, the  village church, the old house, the long forgotten relatives, and the flowers in the garden. The tea and cake had recovered for Proust the memory and mystery of an existence long past.

Is it, indeed, possible to hand a person a cup of tea and say to that person: Now drink this and remember who you are? It not only is possible but we believe that in a real sense that is what we do when we partake of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. By partaking of the bread and wine we are seeking to recover the experience of salvation. Like the novelist Proust, it causes us to think back on experiences that happened long ago and in remembering these experiences we begin to recover our own sense of identity. In a haunting and mystical way the sacrament calls us to remember -- remember who we are and whose we are. [Index]


Who Can Celebrate?

You do not have to be a Church Member here or anywhere else to receive communion, or fully understand the meaning of it. If you love the Lord Jesus Christ and seek to serve Him, you are welcome to take part. Children may also receive communion if they are present, but we do ask you explain to them what will happen and help them if appropriate.  It is therefore preferable that parents accompany children who wish to receive Communion. [Index]


When is the Communion Service Held?

At Bush Hill Park United Reformed Church we usually celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month.

Additional services are held during Easter with a service on Maundy Thursday (the day of the first Last Supper) and an early morning service on Easter Sunday at 08.30. [Index]


More Information?

We hope you have found this page helpful. If you wish to discuss the contents of this page, or any other questions about the Christian faith please contact our ministers:


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