Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Communion - what to do while you eat the bread and drink the wine

This may sound like a bit of an odd one, but it is me! What are you supposed to do when you receive communion? I don't recall ever being told what to do, but do remember the meaning of communion being explained to me (knowing me, probably when I asked loads of questions when my age was still in single figures).

From now having received communion in a variety of contexts and from a variety of celebrants, the basic elements stay the same. Bread and wine. That's fine, I can cope with that (though I think wafers are boggin'!). I know I probably get it wrong, but I tend to chew the bread thinking about whether it's decent, tasty bread or CofS slightly chewy, but with a dried-out outer layer, horrible centimetre square white bread stuff. I suspect I am supposed to be having a deep and meaningful moment connecting with God.

As for the wine, when it's a common cup, I sometimes can't get the idea of back wash out of my head. Or see a person with a hacking cough taking from it and think 'could you not have politely sat out?'. At least I can just place the cup to my lips and not really think about it too much. Always remembering to give the cup its 'magic wipe' - which, of course, kills all know germs dead!

When it's an individual cup, not taking the whole amount is not an option. After my experience this summer of non-alcoholic communion wine, which is sweetened grape juice,* I have learnt to just throw it down my neck and not pull faces. Not very reverend. And, at some point in the future, I will be the celebrant.

So, what I am wondering is if I don't think I have ever been taught what to do in my head (and heart) during communion, how many 'people in the pews' feel the same? It's not that I think of it as being unimportant, far from it. I miss not having communion regularly. I just wonder what I really should be doing?

* And why, oh why, does something which is naturally very sweet need have sugar added? That's why it ferments into wine so well, the sugar turns to alcohol!

1 comment:

  1. A kindred spirit! I always wondered was I alone in having these "unholy" thoughts I agree especially with the backwas aspect, having once been at communion. Service in a care home it was disconcerting to see the cup finish with more in it than when it started! Funnily enough this only happens in traditional communion services for me, not the intimate informal communions proper sharing of breaking of bread. Having just sat through a long presbytery meeting, preceded by communion led by a retired minister with rather dodgy theology ( I noticed cos the next commmunion service I attent I"ll bethe celebrant eek! Anyway the collegue beside referred to the fact that he constantly referred to Christs body "broken" ( colleagues pet hate) as in scripture we never read that christs body was Broken! Poured out yes given yes pierced. Yes but even his bones weren't broken according to ot , so. All in all it was "hard to be holy" last night!


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