Worship Leading & Communion

Pastor Jan has been out of town visiting her new grandson, so I had the opportunity to lead worship tonight (I didn't have to preach, but that'll come in a few weeks). It was mainly just "officiating" over communion as well as saying the opening prayer, the benediction and directing a few other things. It was actually a bit intimidating to do because our church is slightly different. We all sit in a circle around the table. We don't operate with ushers. We take communion in groups around the table. We're casual, but also very ancient-oriented in our practices. So it was intimidating just because it's different than all my other worship-leading experiences. That being said, all went fairly well. I know some areas I need to focus on or do differently if I every get to lead worship again, but I didn't forget anything major.

I loved the opportunity, though (I usually do). I love communion at our church, and it was a blessing to lead it. I always love leading communion (as well as participating in it), but I love the way we do it at Abbey Way.

After the words of institution and blessing of the elements, we are invited to gather around the table in small groups (six or seven people), with children interspersed between adults ( adult-child-adult-child as we say). The bread is passed around, each person serving the next. There is something special in being given the body of Christ by a young child (especially if it is your son). There are four servers: two with wine, two with grape juice. We take our bread and dip.

Two things make it special for me: 1) the intergenerational-ness of it and 2) the community-ness of it. All are welcome at the table--children don't have to have passed any specific rites of passage. We're all at different points on our faith journey. Children have things to teach adults, just as adults have things to teach children.

Our church has a strong community feel to it as it is, but gathering around the table together makes that sense all the stronger. It's different than just sitting in pews, even though we all still take communion together in that setting. It's bonding to journey to the table and serve one another. We all come together, united as members of one body. Christ gave His body and blood for each of individually, but He also died for the collective church that we may be One in Him. Each week we come to the table. Each week we participate "in remembrance." Each week we are reminded that our sins are forgiven, that we are under the new covenant. Each week we are reminded how much God loves us. Each and every one.

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