Many famous men have wanted to be remembered through statues or buildings named in their honor. Here was Jesus' simple request: "Do this in remembrance of me." It's through the humble sharing of bread and the cup that we remember he was willing to sacrifice everything for us. Not a friend left on earth...they'd all abandoned, betrayed or denied him. A broken body. Blood poured out from the cross. Not because we deserved it, but because He loves us unconditionally and has given each of us His free gift of grace.
In communion, we remember.
Who Can Celebrate Communion?
Holy Communion (also known as the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper) is celebrated in many different ways across the Christian faith.
- In the United Methodist Church, we practice an open table. That means anyone who would like to participate is welcome to do so. You don’t have to be a member of this church or any church. We believe that because Jesus ate meals with everyone…his disciples, the Pharisees, and some of the most notorious sinners of his day…that Jesus still welcomes anyone to the communion table.
- There is also no restriction by age.
When Do We Celebrate Communion?
At UMCW, we celebrate communion on the first Sunday of every month as part of Sunday worship services. Celebrating communion only once a month is a historical tradition rather than a theological expression.
The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, encouraged the celebration of communion whenever Christians gathered. As Methodism spread across America, however, there were not enough pastors to serve the many churches. Each pastor was assigned a “circuit” of several churches, and that “circuit rider” got on his horse and visited churches an average of once per month. Communion was celebrated monthly only because the pastor couldn’t get there any more than that.
How is Communion Served?
- While we do require that ordained clergy consecrate the communion elements, anyone is welcome to serve the consecrated elements to others, even if the clergy person who consecrated the elements is not present.
- We use grape juice instead of wine in deference to those with alcohol addiction and provide gluten-free bread for those who need it.
- Since the method used to come forward and take the elements can vary, instructions about how to proceed are given at each service where communion is served. For those who are homebound or in an extended care facility, we can arrange for communion to be brought to you.