Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Holy Communion

The 1979 prayer book restores the most ancient name for this tradition on making Eucharist: the Great Thanksgiving. there are four primary actions within the Great Thanksgiving, and these are based on the actions of Jesus in the Last Supper as well as on the Jewish pattern of thanksgiving suppers: we offer bread and wine, we bless them, we break the bread, and we give the bread and wine to all who have gathered. In the church's vocabulary, these four actions of offering, blessing, breaking, and giving are called the offertory, consecration, fraction, and communion.

In the Episcopal Church today we receive communion in a variety of ways. In some congregations you will go forward to the altar and kneel at an altar rail. In others, you may stand and receive in front of the altar or at various communion stations located throughout the church.

Some people receive by eating bread first and then drinking directly from the cup; others prefer to did the wafer or morsel of bread into the wine and then consume the bread and wine together-a process known as intinction, or to receive just the bread. (Gluten Free wafers are often available.)
Source: Vicki K. Black, Welcome to the Book of Common Prayer. Morehouse Publishing: Harrisburg, PA, 2005, pp.53, 56, 57.

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