Communion is one of two sacraments recognized and practiced by the United Church of Christ and Fauntleroy Church.
What is The Meaning of the sacrament?
The word sacrament means a holy act. That is to say it is something we do. We call it sacred because it is, along with baptism, one of the two religious rites that Christ in the Bible commanded us as his followers to do. Traditionally, we have said that it is "an outward and physical sign of an inward and spiritual grace."
Communion is an act of breaking bread and sharing the cup, and has many meanings. It is a meal of remembrance. We recall the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples. We remember his death, the way he gave his life for our healing and forgiveness so that we can belong to God in life and death. Rather than punish us for the sins of the world and ours, God through Christ absorbed the violence and gave us a new covenant, a new beginning. This simple meal celebrates that gift of grace. The meal also offers us a vision of hope that someday in God's good time, the whole human race will gather together in peace and communion. In the meal we experience the presence of the risen, living Christ in the broken bread and the fruit of vine poured out for our sakes and the sake of the world. Finally, in this meal we re-engage in the new covenant that Christ offers – a relationship of love and justice. The meal is a time for receiving, a time of commitment, and a time of gratitude and joy.
How do we celebrate the meal?
We have two main ways we celebrate communion.
Most likely we pass communion trays – one with bread and one with small cups of grape juice. These are distributed separately to folks sitting in the pews. When each element has been received, the pastor offers a word of blessing, and we all share it together.
The second way is for the folks in the congregation to come forward, rip a piece of bread off the loaf, and dip it into the grape juice, as the pastor offers a brief blessing. It is called "intinction." This method is sometimes practiced on Sunday morning, but more likely at evening services.
As with most Christian churches, the eating and drinking is preceded by and followed with prayer.
When do you celebrate communion?
We share in communion once a month, typically on the first Sunday of the month. We also celebrate it on special occasions, such as Christmas Eve (11 p.m.), Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, etc.
Who can take communion?
We practice open communion. You do not need to be member of our church. Anyone who seeks the love of God is welcome at the table. Jesus shared his life for the whole world; we seek to be as welcoming and open as he is.
What kind of bread and beverage Are used?
We sometimes have homemade bread, sometimes bread purchased at a bakery. Usually it is yeast bread, but sometimes special flat bread. We only use grape juice, rather than wine.