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