Instructions for Holy Communion at Home during a Time of Isolation

This Sunday, as we gather virtually for worshipping online, we are going to re-introduce an alternative celebration of Holy Communion. When we gather to share the sacrament, we recall the “Words of Institution” – the words that tell the story of its origin in four different Scripture accounts.

We believe that God has the power to transcend our “safe distancing” and still forgive sins and grant salvation. This Sunday and  over coming weeks, we will mostly be sharing of the Sacrament of Holy Communion within the home and encourage you to share it in a dignified manner.

If you live alone, know that Christ is still present with you. If you live with others, invite them to partake with you. If you do not wish to receive Communion in this way and would rather wait until we are gathered physically again, we understand. We trust Christ has promised to present with us through the Word, through worship, and the virtual community we find at this time.

For sharing the sacrament, you will need the words below, bread (or another grain-based food), and wine (or grape juice). If you don’t have these items, anything you do have available will suffice.

What to say (The Words of Institution): The presiding pastor will consecrate the elements, reminding us via video that:

“In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.’ Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.   Do this for the remembrance of me.”

Taking the bread, you then say to yourself (if alone) or the person you are Communing: The body of Christ, given for you. Then, taking the wine or juice, say to the person you are Communing: The blood of Christ, shed for you. After a pause in the recorded service, the presiding pastor will say the blessing: “The body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless you and keep you always in God’s grace.”

Remember that one need not partake of both the bread and wine – either one on its own constitutes participation in sharing these gifts of God! We have books and video resources in our library that help explain Holy Communion to young children if you wish to expand their grasp and understanding. Feel free to reach out to your pastors if you’d like to use them!

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Tim


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North Liberty, IA