Dear Friends, We will celebrate communion across the internet on Easter Sunday, with you participating from your home.
We will celebrate Easter with a full communion liturgy and the pastor will announce the words of institution and offer the forgiveness of God with the bread and the wine. For those who wish to participate, you are asked to prepare for the Easter worship at home by setting out some bread and wine or juice or water before the service. Just as in worship, after the communion liturgy and Lord’s Prayer, the pastor will look to you and say: This is the body of Christ. You will then take up and eat the bread, or you may serve one another at home and say: "The Body of Christ for you." You will do the same for sharing the cup, "The blood of Christ for you."
A recipe for making unleavened bread is included below. You can make some bread, or use bread that you have on hand.
Download the First Lutheran Communion Bread Recipe Here.
If you do not feel comfortable taking communion this way, and you would rather wait until we gather again in the sanctuary, that is perfectly acceptable. Waiting will make that first worship together again all the more wonderful.
Let me offer a few thoughts about why we are offering communion this way.
1. Above all, we seek to proclaim the Gospel and to encourage one another with God’s grace. For many, communion is an experience of God’s grace that is powerful and meaningful, and the eating and drinking together with the speaking of God’s promise will be a memorable and compelling experience of the Gospel.
2. Having communion at home is spoken of in the Bible, Acts 2:46-47 describes the worship life of the first Christians that included breaking bread at home, a descriptive phrase for communion. “Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts…”
3. The communion service will be presided over by the pastor, the serving of communion, will be extended into your homes. So in a new way, just as servers serve on Sunday, or home communion visitors will take the meal from the table and go to people’s homes to distribute communion at a distance from the sanctuary, the serving will extend across the internet from the sanctuary to your home.
4. As Lutherans we believe Christ is present in, with, and under the promise and the elements. This presence happens as we hear the promise, this is Christ for you. Jesus said, where two or three are gathered in my name…so Christ is present for us, even at home.
5. I have read a wide range of thoughts about what it means to offer communion across the internet. While I do not think that this is a replacement for gathering in worship, we also find ourselves in the most unusual of circumstances. We also know that we can experience community and gathering when we gather for streaming worship.
6. For those who do not want to participate at home, then my invitation is that you pray for others during this time, and hold us all in the promise that Jesus is for us.
It will be a memorable communion service. I am looking forward to celebrate the risen Christ, for the resurrection speaks even more powerfully in a time like this!
Pr. Steve Knudson