Holy Communion is the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given with bread and wine, instituted by Christ himself for us to eat and drink. Through Holy Communion we receive Christ’s body and blood and God’s gifts of forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation.
Who Can Receive Communion at Zion?
Everyone is welcome to join us for this meal. Believing Jesus’ words, “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” we receive God’s good gifts given in the bread and wine. Communion instruction is available each year for children in grade 3 and above, and is also part of the confirmation program for students in grades 7 and 8.
When is Communion Served at Zion?
- 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sundays of each month at the 8:30am and 10:30am worship services
- 1st Sunday of each month at the 9:45am worship service
Sometimes communion is served at the Altar: The ushers direct the congregation forward to kneel at the altar (it is also OK to stand if you need to). The first server will give you bread or a wafer, which you should eat right away. The second server will offer wine from a tray of small glasses (white grape juice is also available in the center of the tray). The third server will collect your empty glass. Once you are finished you may return to your seat.
Sometimes communion is served by intinction (dipping) at stations: The first server will hand you a piece of bread or wafer, which you will dip into a large glass of wine held by the second server.
Members of the congregation are asked to fill out a card with their name, which the usher will collect as you leave your seat for Communion.
If you are not able to come to the front of the sanctuary for Communion, the ushers will direct a server to serve you in your seat after the congregation has been served.
More About Holy Communion
The Lord’s supper has its roots in the Jewish Passover, dating back to the time of Moses. In the book of Exodus of the Old Testament we find the story in which the angel of death killed the first-born of the Egyptian’s homes but passed over the homes of the Israelites who had followed God’s instruction to put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts that night.
Jesus was celebrating the Passover Festival when he and his disciples had the Last Supper. When Jesus served the bread, instead of the usual Jewish customary words, he said, “This bread is my body, given for you.” Jesus told the disciples to remember him whenever they drank wine or ate bread—to remember how he gave his body and his blood on the cross. We are Christ’s disciples too, so we share in this same meal of bread and wine and remember Jesus.
This meal has many names, each reminding us of an aspect of experiencing this meal including Communion (Common Union, community, reminding us that this is a meal for all people, not a private event), Lord’s Supper (reminding us that this meal is a gift from God, it is God who invites us to come and receive), and Eucharist (from the Greek euchario, reminding us that as we participate in this meal we are showing our thanks to God).
Lutherans believe that Christ is really present in the bread and wine. Because of this, when we have Holy Communion, we are really present with Christ.
Further Reading: The Use of the Means of Grace