THE SACRAMENT OF COMMUNION is usually celebrated on the first Sunday of each month. By sacrament we simply mean a symbolic action, or ritual, by which people of faith encounter the presence and goodness of God.
Communion, known alternatively as The Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, Holy Communion, commemorates the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples in which he assured them he would be with them always in the breaking of bread and the sharing of a common cup. When we gather at the table we share a small piece of bread and a taste of juice as a way of remembering the mystery of the Christ presence.
Who can participate in communion?
All are welcome at the table; none are turned away. You are also free to choose to not participate.
It is United Church of Canada’s policy to serve unfermented wine (grape juice) at communion so that all will be able to partake; at Kimberley United Church we also offer gluten/lactose free bread alternate.
How do I know what to do?
All the directions will be provided. The words to be spoken will be printed in the order of service. Sometimes we sing part of the responses, to music composed by our organist, Terry Machem.
Two styles of communion are used: seated and stations. Often the style will alternate from month to month, and these reflect different traditions in the church.
Seated communion means the pieces of bread will be passed out to everyone in their seat (you hold this, then the Minister invites everyone to eat at the same time). Then the little glasses of grape juice are passed to you in your seat (hold this, then the Minister invites everyone to drink at the same time).
Stations communion means everyone who wishes goes either to the front or back where a server will offer you bread and another will offer you juice in a large cup. Dip the bread into the cup of juice, intinction, and eat it, then return to your seat.
When you are offered your bread or cup, what should you say? A time honoured and simple response is “amen.” Also OK to accept it without saying anything.