“Communion,” “The Lord’s Supper,” “Eucharist,” “The Service of the Table” – these are all different words to describe the same event in the worship life of the Church of Jesus Christ: the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup. In the Presbyterian tradition we mostly refer to it as “Communion” or “The Lord’s Supper.” With other branches of the Christian church we affirm that it is a sacrament (one of two sacraments we observe in the Presbyterian Church, the other being Holy Baptism).
A sacrament has been defined as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace.” It is the way God has chosen to seal upon our hearts the promise of the gospel, that we may celebrate what God has done for us in Christ, setting us free from sin and death, granting us forgiveness of our sins and extending to us eternal life.
Presbyterians affirm that Jesus Christ is fully present with us in Communion by our faith and by the power of the Holy Spirit as we break the bread and share the cup. We also affirm that the sacraments belong to God and not to us. Therefore, we welcome all who put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior to share with us in this holy meal. One need not be a member of Chapel Lane or another Presbyterian church to take part in Communion here. Baptized children are also welcome to participate, at the discretion of their parents.
During our regular worship schedule, we celebrate Communion weekly at the 8:15 a.m. Sunday worship service. We also celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of each month at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship service.
Communion is shared in a variety of ways. At the 8:15 a.m. Sunday service we commune by the method of intinction (in-TINK-shun). Intinction means that we come forward to receive the bread and the cup, dipping the bread into the cup before eating.
At the 10:30 a.m. Sunday services, in most cases, Communion is served to the congregation while all remain seated. Occasionally, worshippers at the 10:30 a.m. service commune by intinction.
We use bread that is common to our area and grape juice rather than wine, but we believe that what is most important is not the bread or the cup themselves, but the real presence of Christ in our midst, which the bread and cup represent and convey to us through this holy meal.