By Eleanor Kreider
With liveliness and intensity, Eleanor Kreider encourages church buildings to rediscover the biblical and theological issues which formed early Christian Lord's Supper practices. Renewed communion is a key to renewal, witness, and very important worship, she says.
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Additional resources for Communion Shapes Character
Judas abruptly goes out, apparently to distribute alms for the poor. They sing psalms together and follow Jesus into the night. Last SupperPrototype for the Church's Supper? The Last Supper is the meal table which people usually consider as the model for their church's Sunday communion service. " But considerhow similar to that Last Supper is a typical Sunday communion? Which of these features of the historical Last Supper correspond? A domestic setting? An evening meal-hour? A dozen people? A real meal, with proper courses of food?
The fragments passed from hand to hand all the way to the ones most distant. When they had all received, he tore off a piece for himself, and they all ate at once. . gave it to them and said, Take; this is my body" (Mark 14:22). How those words must have surprised the disciples! They were puzzling words, breaking into an accustomed silence. After the supper (the main meal) came the traditional blessing of a ceremonial cup. Jesus, host at the Last Supper, sat up, took the cup of watered-down wine, and said, Let us praise the Lord our God, to whom belongs that of which we have partaken.
Yet a highly charged, individualist piety may grow out of the oppositea sacramental perception of Christ's action and presence in the eucharistic bread and wine. At its worst, an undue focus on personal feelings has, for some people, reduced communion to a purely emotional experience. We might say that it becomes overly subjective. But distortions have also come about through an overly objective approach. " This has placed too much emphasis on objective features, including valid office, verbal formulas, and the physical substances of bread and wine.