Communion

The Sacrament of Holy Communion

Communion at Robertson-Wesley

Sacrament

The Sacrament of Holy Communion -- also known as "The Lord's Supper" or "the Eucharist" -- is one of two sacraments (together with Baptism) celebrated in the United Church of Canada, as in most of the Reformed Tradition churches world-wide. A "sacrament" is an action that was explicitly instructed by Jesus. In the institution of the Lord's Supper, Jesus concludes by saying "Do this in remembrance of me". (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24) These words have become so important to us that they often appear on the front of the Communion Table.

Communion Table

The Communion Table (or "Lord's Table") is one of the essential furnishings that is always present at the front of the sanctuary (along with the pulpit and the font). A Communion Table is a centre-point around which we symbolically gather for a meal. (This is in contrast to an "altar" which is a place for performing a sacrifice; it is for this reason that the Reformed Tradition rejects the altar in favour of the table.)

Presiding and Serving

An ordained minister presides at the communion, taking the lead in the consecration of the elements. Then the elements are served to the congregation by volunteer servers. At Robertson-Wesley, we invite anyone who belongs to this congregation to participate in the serving of communion. In this way, the ownership of the sacrament is shared among the whole faith community.

Elements

In Communion, we partake of two elements, Bread and "Wine". The wine has been replaced in our tradition by non-alcoholic grape juice in order that our Communion might be truly inclusive. The Bread may be any kind of bread and often is different from time to time. In order to be inclusive here too, we also provide an alternative gluten-free bread.

Inclusion

Ours is an open Communion. Anyone who would live in Christ, regardless of age or religious affiliation, is invited and welcome to partake.

Sanctuary Communion

At Robertson-Wesley, the Sacrament of Holy Communion is offered as a part of the Sunday morning worship experience eight times per year, spread evenly throughout the year. It is served by "intinction" which means that one walks to one of several serving stations, takes a piece of bread, dips it into the cup of juice, then eats it. The whole process is kept simple and casual so that it proceeds with a relaxed feeling.

Other Communion Opportunities

Home Communion

Our Visiting Ministry includes an opportunity for home Communion. At any of the Communion occasions, the Visitors are encouraged to take some of the elements to the home-bound people they visit. We provide a simple liturgy so they can create a worshipful moment at their home, giving people a sense of participation with the larger congregation on each Communion occasion.

Canterbury Manor

Robertson-Wesley Ministry Personnel and volunteers conduct a brief service of worship in the chapel at Canterbury Manor once a month; and the service includes Communion twice per year.

Hospital

Our Ministers are also available to administer Communion to anyone in hospital, or home-bound, at any time. This can be important especially at times when one is facing crisis, in need of healing, or approaching death.