Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church
February 28, 2014
Communion is an interactive event. We participate in the words, the prayers and the walking forward to partake.
We display the bread and the cup. The bread is baked bread, leavened and looking like it could go in the middle of any well-set table for a family meal.
The cup is ceramic of gray and blue tones. It contains grape juice, though it is understood that the Last Supper which Jesus gave to us, contained wine.
But, for me, the key is that we see the bread and raise it up and break if for all to see. The cup is lifted and words are said. Then the congregation walks forward, some more slowly than others, but coming to the bread and the cup also holds symbolism. For those who cannot come forward, we bring the body and blood to them.
I like that the bread is lifted up, broken and then the people come forward and tear off a bit of it and partake. I like the effort that is taken. The words are powerful, the tearing takes effort and the congregation moves as individuals of a collective body in a sacred movement. The cup is shared by all. Powerful symbolism.
Communion takes thought, effort, and a sense of common sacredness.
During the cold and flu season, (which seems to be much less severe this year than in recent years), I and others wonder about all those who tear off the bread. We wonder about the sharing and whether we are sharing germs, and yet we still do this ritual.
Recently the office received a new product: “Prefilled Communion Cups” (Freshness guaranteed: Use by 12/9/14). It is grape juice blend and wafer bread prepackaged in little plastic sealed units. Peel back the foil top and eat the bit of wafer bread, peel it back a bit more and drink the grape juice blend.
It’s convenient and probably much more sanitary than what we do when hundreds take from the bread and dip in the cup. For the home bound or hospital bound it is probably more hygienic.
And…… you can find this “at your favorite bookstore or online retailer.”
I appreciate the effort to make communion available to all, in the most convenient method possible. And I am not a big adherent of “that old time religion” which never changes; for worship does indeed change.
But the effort to raise a common cup and to tear apart a loaf of bread, which is shared by all is something that defies expiration dates and convenience. It lingers in the sacred sphere as we intone ancient words, which take on new meaning each and every time they are spoken over a loaf of bread and cup of the New Covenant.
Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing
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