Communion Guidance for Worship Leaders (2/19/18 SPC)

Background. As a worship leader you have overall responsibility for the Sunday morning worship experience. That includes Communion preparation which usually happens on the 3rd Sunday of the month.

Persons presiding over Communion. As a worship leader it is not your responsibility to serve the elements to the congregation, nor to decide the form those elements will take. That responsibility rests with the pastor. If the pastor is not present a member of the Leadership Team will generally preside over Communion (e.g. J. Mark or Linford when they are present and or preaching). If the pastor is absent check with someone from the Leadership Team to make sure they are prepared to administer Communion or have designated someone else to do so. As the worship leader you may be invited to assist with distributing the elements.

Preparation of the elements. Check with the pastor, or if he is not present, the person presiding over Communion, and ask how the elements should be prepared. You may also recommend a particular mode if you have ideas consistent with that Sunday’s theme.

A. Bread – Generally we have a common loaf which is gluten free. If you cannot find a gluten free loaf, look in the frozen section of the Co-op. They often have baguettes along with sliced bread. There is usually a whole loaf for the presider to break. It is helpful to perforate the loaf with a fork, without severing it, to make it easier for the presider to break without a struggle. The presider holds the loaf and congregants break off a piece for themselves. At other times slices of bread may be cut into small pieces and served on a plate.

B. Grape Juice – Never use wine as there may be someone in the congregation on Antabuse or who struggles with alcohol addiction. Greta’s family, the Wengers, have a grape farm. She is happy to provide grape juice that she canned, which can be kept (before it is opened) on the shelf by the door in the office. After it is opened, any leftover juice should be sent home with someone, since it will not keep from month to month. Look for commercial juice kept in the refrigerator in the Adult Sunday school room. Check to make sure it is still good. If there is none there, pick some Welch’s Grape juice up from a grocery store.
1. The juice may be in a common cup for intinction (dipping the bread)
2. The juice may be in individual cups.

Plates and Cups. They are kept in the pastor’s office on the shelf. Small glass cups, trays and spigots are in the worship closet (to the left of the sanctuary doors). Cover the elements with a napkin if available.

Post-Communion. Pick up the cups and plates and wash them. Return them to the pastor’s office or worship closet.

Creativity. You may discuss the method of administration with the presider and use creativity. At times we have the congregation come forward individually in a single line (most common), in groups, in a large circle, or have the presider bring the elements to the seated congregation where they are passed down the aisle, held, then taken together. I remember one Sunday when the theme was celebratory and we used Hawaiian Sweet Bread and 4 ounce cups of grape juice. As with most things at IMC we have a pattern but it is subject to change and creativity is appreciated.