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A Communion Survey

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  • rcaamo
    replied
    Re: A Communion Survey

    I do not have all the historical background to communion, but what we as Roman Catholics as well as all Catholics whether Eastern Rite or Anglican Rite have communion service any time we celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist. the Mass of old. One below mentioned the one hour fast. In the older days we also fasted all night and morning before communion. Of course there are several levels of rules about who may partake in communion. Up until recently with Vatican II our communion was the host only. Only the priest would consume the blood (wine). Now it is almost presumed in all churches that both are presented to the faithful who can partake. Originally only an ordained cleric could distribute communion. It is now permissible for any faithful member to aid in the distribution when clerics are absent. So important is that communion that it makes up our faith to the point that we are expected to participate at least once a year during the Easter season to profess that faith. Communion too can only be taken once a day except on special occasions like Christmas and Easter where it is permitted twice as well as certain special ceremonies like weddings and funerals... I stand corrected by any more learned canonists...I hope this adds to your study.

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  • dec
    replied
    Re: A Communion Survey

    Philip in Miami - couldn't have been said better. Some folks think that when the service includes communion, the service is too long. Such a terrible perspective!!!!!! I am Presbyterian. Communion as often as possible is fine with me. I have a personal communion every day with the powers that be -- God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity.

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  • Philip in Miami
    replied
    Re: A Communion Survey

    In my experience, there is great variety even within denominations. I have worked in Baptist (once a quarter), Methodist (monthly), Lutheran (one congregation was monthly, one was weekly) and Presbyterian congregations and it all basically boils down to each congregation in these particular denominations. I'm currently in a Presbyterian church. We have two Sunday services. One of our services has communion weekly and the other has communion on the first Sunday of each month.

    Many churches don't do communion every Sunday simply because they are afraid that it will become too ordinary and lose it's "specialness." (That was the word the pastor used at the Southern Baptist church where I grew up.) For other churches, it's just too much work to prepare communion each week. From a Biblical perspective, we probably should celebrate communion every time we gather as a community of faith.

    Peace,

    Philip
    Miami FL

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  • Jerry
    replied
    Re: A Communion Survey

    Same for me growing up here in America. Then, we knelt at the alter and the priest would place the host on our tongues We were not allowed to touch the host with our own hands, and it was not supposed to touch your teeth while swallowing it. Now we walk up to the alter and take the host from the priest in our own hands and chew it like bubble gum on the way out the door before mass is over. The Catholic Mass seems to have lost its reverence. Our parish even distributes communion at the rear of the church. I once asked the pastor if it would be more convenient to install a drive by window for those who just wanted to "get it out of the way" needless to say, He didn't think that was funny. I didn't either.

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  • organic
    replied
    Re: A Communion Survey

    I was brought up as a Catholic in England - I was an altar boy and when it was my rota to serve at the weekday mass, i would receive communion every day!... We had to fast for an hour before communion so it was a big thing for a 10 year old kid!

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  • Jerry
    replied
    Re: A Communion Survey

    The Catholic mass represents, in short, the story of Christ, his birth to his resurrection. The last super focuses on Christ changing the bread and wine into his blood and body. although many interpret this in so many different ways, the Eucharist (holy communion) is the foundation of Christianity. And the focal point of the catholic mass. The communion host and wine are offered at each mass that is said in representation of Christ's actions at the last super.

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  • chimay
    replied
    Re: A Communion Survey

    As a youngster, our Episcopal church had communion just once a month. Now, all Episcopal churches I know have it every week. I currently play at Lutheran church (ELCA), and they hold communion twice a month.

    The choir (I am not choir director) has shilly-shallyed about when they take communion, it's been causing some brow-furrowing. The strangest occurence happened last Sunday, when I happened to not take communion myself. After the congregation had finished, the Pastor walked over to me at the organ with the bread and wine. I had to stop the music to recieve! We'll have to work this out.

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  • Bill
    replied
    Re: A Communion Survey

    I too have a Prebyterian background. Our church celebrates communion on the first
    Sunday of every month, Maundy Thursday, and at the 11:00 pm service on Christmas
    Eve. It wasn't always this often. About 20 or so years ago our senior pastor
    convinced the Session and the congregation that since the sacrament of communion
    is central to our core belief that Christ died for us, that we should celebrate
    the Last Supper as often as once a month. Hence it was decreed... I know of other
    Presbyterian churches in the US that keep a similar schedule, so it was not
    without precedent.

    We normally pass the bread first, then the cup. We do occassionaly serve by
    intiction, where the congregation files up to the front, dips the bread
    into the cup and eats and files back to their seats. (aka "dip & sip")

    I was Director of Music for a Lutheran church for about 8 years, and they
    celebrated communion every other Sunday, and on feast days.

    Good luck with your research

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  • fuguebwv582
    replied
    Re: A Communion Survey

    In our parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio (USA), we celebrate the Mass (Holy Eucharist) at both of our Sunday services. At the 8:00 AM service we use the older language form (from the time of Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer) and at the 10:00 AM service we use modern English. On Feast Days we usually will have Holy Communion also. During the week we have one or two celebrations of the Mass. I am sure our priest would honor a request if a parishioner asked for a special celebration when a scheduled one was not available. We also take the reserved (consecrated) elements to shut-ins who request Communion. This is done by laypersons commissioned at the end of Communion each Sunday.

    During the Holy Eucharist we hear the retelling of the story of salvation. It includes the words Jesus spoke at the institution of the Blessed Sacrament the night before he was crucified. Then the celebrant (a priest or bishop) and the congregation ask God in the Eucharistic prayer to "Sanctify them [the elements of bread and wine] by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him." We pray the Our Father and then are reminded that the table (altar) is not ours but is Christ's and that he died for us. The words we hear echo the very words from the Holy Scriptures.

    At the distribution of the consecrated elements, we hear the priest or bishop say as we receive the bread, "The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven." When the cup is offered, we hear a deacon or lay chalice bearer say, "The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation." At each of these we affirm by saying, "Amen!" All who come to the communion rail receive unless they indicate that they are there solely for a blessing. We stand or kneel to receive communion. The bread can be received in the hand or on the tongue. The cup (a common chalice) can be sipped or the host can be dipped in the wine (intinction). If either of the elements (a host or morsel of unleavened bread and wine, either red or white from the fruit of the vine) is in short supply, the celebrant will ask the congregation to attend while the additional element(s) is/are consecrated. Any consecrated elements not consumed immediately are carefully and reverently kept in the ambry or tabernacle. All vessels are cleaned in a special sink in the sacristy with a drain not connected to the sanitary sewer. The drain goes directly to the earth so as not to defile the consecrated elements, which for many are the true Body and Blood of our Lord.

    Some have asked why we have Communion so often. The historic and ancient church celebrated the Eucharist (Thanksgiving) whenever Christians met. They and we know that the words and prayers bring Jesus, the Christ, to the church, which is truly the Body of Christ. In other words, the Holy Communion is what vivifies the people of God just as the Holy Spirit brings us the life-giving breath from the Lord of creation and the Author of our salvation.

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  • Fettler
    replied
    Re: A Communion Survey

    In my church (Roman Catholic) communion is offered every day of the week (the organ is played daily too, usually) I also play in an Anglican church and there communion is given in only one of the Sunday services. In the R.C mass you correctly stated that it is taken from the priest at the altar (the same happens in the CofE). The only difference nowadays is that the host is placed in your hands, whereas years ago you werent allowed to hold it.

    Hope this helps.

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  • organist88
    started a topic A Communion Survey

    A Communion Survey

    I'm researching differences in the church service of different Christian denominations and I was wondering if you could help me out.
    I come from a Presbyterian and Baptist background, both of which are non-liturgical denominations. In the Presbyterian Church, we take communion 4 or 5 times a year. I was wondering how often other denominations take communion? I've heard that in some liturgical denominations like Roman Catholics, that they take Communion every Sunday, so I was kinda wondering how often all of your denominations take communion.
    Also, how exactly does it work in other denominations? In the Presbyterian Church (at least in mine anyway) the ushers pass a plate and little glasses around the church, similar to when they take up the offering...but I know in the Roman Catholic church, you go up to the altar and take it from the priest himself.

    So, if you wouldn't mind telling me your Communion Traditions, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks.
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