Holy Communion

Pastors Matt and Nancy preside at Holy Communion on Easter SundayThe Sacrament of Holy Communion

It’s also known as the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper.  But by any name, it is the sign and seal of eating and drinking with the crucified and risen Christ.

During his earthly ministry, Jesus shared meals not just with his followers, but with sinners, the outcast, and many whom society deemed unacceptable.Holy Communion points especially to two of the tables at which Jesus sat: the table where the risen Christ on the first Easter day was made known to two disciples in the breaking of the bread; and the table where before his death Jesus shared with his disciples bread and wine, speaking of these as his body and blood.

In Holy Communion, we receive the presence of Christ and trust the love of Christ present to us and to the world.

Communion is…

  • a joyous act of thanksgiving for all God has done, is doing, and will do for the redeeming of creation…
  • an earnest prayer for the presence of the Holy Spirit to unite all those who share in the feast with the Risen Christ and with each other…
  • a living sign of love and sacrifice in which Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present to those who partake…
  • an intimate experience of fellowship in which the whole church in every time and place is present…
  • a hopeful sign of the promised Realm of God marked by justice, love, and peace—a foretaste of the new creation in which all things are made new…

The invitation to the Lord’s Supper is not just for Congregationalists, people of the United Church of Christ, or “members” of the church. All who seek the presence of Christ and the community of God’s people are welcome at the table.

This is the joyful feast of all the people of God… Taste and see that the Lord is good!

How do we ‘do’ Communion at Storrs Congregational?

At our regular weekly Sunday morning worship services, we celebrate Holy Communion usually on the first Sunday of each month, along with a couple of additional holy days.  (We also offer Communion periodically in other worship settings outside Sunday mornings.)

Current custom in our congregation is that all cups/chalices contain non-alcoholic grape juice.  A wheat-free, gluten-free alternative for bread is always available.  We are pleased to be able to facilitate full participation in the sacrament, even for those with gluten/wheat issues and for those in the recovery community.

The actual serving of the sacrament happens in a couple of different ways:

  • one way is “in the pews”, which has historically been the most prevalent practice among Congregationalists and other Christians in the Reformed tradition.  When we serve in the pews, following the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving (the main Communion prayer), communion servers will bring the elements–first the bread and then the cups–via trays to each row of seats.  The elements are passed down the row, with worshipers serving each other.
  • the other way is at communion stations in the front via “intinction”.  When we serve at communion stations, following the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving (the main Communion prayer), worshipers are invited to come forward to communion servers stationed at the front of the church.  A piece of bread is received from the first server, then dipped in the chalice of juice held by the second server, and then consumed.

Which method for serving communion is being used, as well as any other special instructions, will be clearly indicated by the printed worship bulletin and by verbal instruction.