Posted by: AJtheIrishLass | September 1, 2014

The Gifts of God for the People of God

Receiving Christ’s Body and Blood in the form of bread and wine is personal, yet also corporate. The priest breaks a single large piece (known as a priest’s host) before distributing the bread to the congregation. This might be accompanied by an anthem, known as a fraction anthem, that is said or sung.

The priest also extends an invitation immediately before communion is distributed. This serves as a reminder that the sacrament doesn’t belong to one congregation or one denominational body. It’s freely available to all baptized Christians.

The congregation comes forward to the front of the church, where communion is distributed by the priest(s), deacon(s) (if any are present), and Eucharistic Ministers. You may stand or kneel. If you choose not to drink from the common cup, you may dip the bread. Declining the cup is okay, too, just make sure you cross your arms over your chest when the chalice bearer comes around.

If you can’t come forward, tell an usher and one of the clergy or Eucharistic Ministers can bring communion to you. If you’re not baptized or your own denomination doesn’t let you receive in other churches, you can come forward for a blessing. Make an X over your chest with your arms and the priest will bless you.

The choir typically sings appropriate hymns during communion.


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