Instructions to Prepare for Holy Communion
- Before worship begins, set a table with enough bread and wine/grape juice for each person present.
- During our live-streamed worship service, a pastor will speak the familiar Words of Institution, “In the night in which He was betrayed…”
- At that time, you will break your bread and share the cup with all those present in your household. As you give a piece of bread to each family member say the words, “The Body of Christ given for you,” and then they can dip into the wine/grape juice as you say the words, “The Blood of Christ shed for you.”
*A pastor will say these words too, so that anyone who is alone at home can hear them and receive Holy Communion with the whole church.
The bread and wine you have at home, just like the bread and wine that is on the church altar, are tangible signs of God’s promise to be present in, with, and under the elements of Holy Communion. We receive this meal and the forgiveness, grace and love it brings as an act of faith. We trust that God will be where God has promised to meet us in this meal. We also recognize that this does not replace in person worship, which we look forward to resuming when it is safe to do so. But until that time comes, we know that God’s steadfast love endures forever and we can be confident that Jesus is truly present in the bread and wine.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
- Does it matter what type of bread we use?
Typically churches serve unleavened bread based on biblical traditions, but gluten free bread or any bread you have on hand works too. Jesus used what he had and so can you!
- What if there is leftover bread or wine/grape juice?
Any leftover bread or wine/grape juice should be consumed or poured into the ground.
- What if we mess up the words or drop the bread on the floor/spill the wine?
Martin Luther reminds us that anyone who administers the sacraments cannot mess it up because the Holy Spirit can work through us all. We are after all the priesthood of all believers.
Ideas and Resources
- Include a candle and/or a cross on your table alongside the bread and wine.
- Children can help prepare your at-home altar too
- Feel free to share a picture of your at-home altar on our church Facebook page
- Read the Bible stories about communion (Matthew 26:17–30, Mark 14:12–26, Luke 22:7–39, John 13:1–17:26, 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26)
- Read Luther’s Small Catechism questions and answers about the Sacrament of Holy Communion
- Make your own communion bread (Here is the recipe we use for our Deep service communion bread)