COMMUNION AT HOME
Over the past two thousand years, the church has consistently celebrated baptism and communion or the Lord’s Supper. Although many other traditions and rituals have been added, we believe that these two acts of worship are what our Lord commanded us to do until he returns. Over time, the church in all of its diversity has developed a variety of ways to practice these holy ordinances that came from Christ.
The Lord’s Supper is a meal that symbolizes a bigger truth. When we take the meal we are remembering that Christ really did die for his people. We participate in this meal in community to remember that Christ died, not just for you but for his church. We are also given a consistent opportunity to reflect on our lives and examine our hearts to see where we need to repent. The purpose of this tradition is to strengthen our faith and proclaim the gospel until Jesus returns. Taking the Lord’s Supper doesn’t “save us” nor does it “keep us saved.” It is a symbolic yet sacred rite that believers have participated in for over two thousand years and we will continue to participate in till Christ returns.
If you’ve been to an Epikos service, you know that we observe communion as a part of our worship service every month. We dip a piece of bread into a cup, thus remembering that Christ’s body was broken for us and his blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins. For other churches, you may see them pass the elements to one another. Others have the ordained leaders administer the elements to each individual parishioner.
Due to the pandemic, many of us are unable to attend in-person gatherings and are choosing to join our online campus here at Epikos. So it begs the question—what do we do now? Can we still participate in communion even though we may not be gathering together in person for worship?
The answer is a resounding yes!
We want to continue to honor the Lord by observing communion in our homes. We can do this as we gather virtually through our online campus on Sunday mornings.
Before we talk about how to take communion at home, let’s talk about what communion is all about in the first place.
The three main passages we look to in scripture concerning the Lord’s Supper are Matthew 26, Luke 22, and Mark 14. Jesus was celebrating Passover with his disciples. Passover was a festival the Jewish people celebrated to remember how God rescued them out of Egypt. In that meal, Jesus recognized the bread and the wine in that meal and gave it a new significance.
Jesus took the bread, broke it, but began to break Passover tradition. He said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” He followed with a cup of wine, and said to his disciples:
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:27–28, ESV)
Jesus then tells his disciples to, “Do this in remembrance of me.” With those words, we have the motivation for why we take communion together as followers of Christ. Jesus is asking us to keep this tradition of remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. By doing so, we are proclaiming the gospel to ourselves and those around us.
Every time we take communion we are not only reminding ourselves and each other of the sacrifice of Christ and his eventual return, but communion helps provide us a steady rhythm in our lives for self-examination and repentance. Communion is a time where we can reflect on our own lives and see what we need to continue to give to the Lord so that our lives reflect a life worthy of the sacrifice of Christ.
HOW TO TAKE COMMUNION AT EPIKOS
If you are attending our online campus we want to invite you to prepare for communion with us. Every second Sunday we have the opportunity to take The Lord’s Supper as a church. On that second Sunday, as you prepare to gather in front of whatever screen you’re using, here is how you should prepare.
- Before worship begins, set a table with enough bread and wine/grape juice for each person present.
- During our live-stream worship service, after the sermon, one of our pastors will come up and lead our church in a devotional thought about communion. When the pastor partakes in communion himself, that will be the moment you and whoever you are watching the service with should take part in communion. At that time you and hundreds of other Christ-followers at Epikos will be taking communion at the same time in remembrance of Christ
SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does it matter what type of bread we use?
You can use any bread you would like. If you want to use unleavened bread, you can look for Matzos at the grocery store. You can use Italian bread, sourdough bread, purchase some gluten-free bread or any bread you have on hand works too. As for the cup, you can use wine if you would like or use grape juice so your children can participate with you.
What if there is leftover bread or wine/grape juice?
Any leftover bread or wine/grape juice can be consumed as part of your next meal if you would like.
Can I just pick up the prepackaged elements as I have done in the past?
You are welcome to contact Laura Kraft or call 414-963-9010 no later than the Wednesday before we have communion. As a reminder, we take communion every Second Sunday of the month.
One more piece of advice.
One thing the bible is very clear about is to remember that the Lord’s Supper should not be seen as a meal to fulfill our physical hunger. Eat breakfast (or at least a snack) before you take the Lord’s Supper. Keep the portions very small. Enough for each person with you to participate: A small piece of bread and just a small mouthful of grape juice or wine.