You can prepare a table at your home, and participate in much the same way you would at the church.
We invite you to prepare a space for Holy Communion in the same way you might prepare a meal for a special guest in your home. Make the space ready ahead of time. Choose a special plate and cup/ cups. You may wish to set them on a cloth and have a candle lighted.
There is no special type of bread or wine needed. You can use a slice of bread, crackers, or even make your own small loaf. You can use wine or grape juice. Any bread or wine that has been set out for Holy Communion and is not used in worship can be consumed with lunch. Or if not, you can give the bread to the birds as a gift of creation and pour the wine/juice onto the ground outside. (Our practice is to avoid putting the wine from worship down the drain.) A recipe for a small loaf sufficient for an individual or family can be found here.
This recipe has been adapted from the well loved Luther Seminary recipe to make 1 round.
Preheat oven to 350°
Sift or stir together well:
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup white flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
In a measuring cup combine:
¼ cup hot water
1 teaspoon vegetable or other neutral flavored oil
2 teaspoons molasses
2 teaspoons honey*
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well, being sure to mix in all of the flour mixture. Using your hands, fold the dough over on itself several times. The dough should be sticky but able to hold its shape. If necessary, add an extra teaspoon or two of flour.
Place the dough on a greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper). Shape into a round, about 1/4 – 3/8 inch thick. With a knife score the top in the shape of a cross. Bake for 10 minutes. Brush with oil, and return to bake for 2 - 4 minutes more. Cool completely.
*You can replace the molasses and honey with other sweeteners in the same amounts (maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.)
We find joy and comfort in being physically present with one another. We see the eyes of Christ in others’ faces. But is that the only way we can be together? God has blessed us with a new way to gather, and we have learned to use it for Sunday worship. Now we can use that technology to receive Christ in the holy meal. One other thought about “virtual community”: We believe and teach that we are present each week in worship with the Communion of Saints – all those through the ages and around the world who have been baptized into Christ. We are not physically present with them, but we worship in their presence. The Communion of Saints is virtual community.
In Luther’s Small Catechism we read, “[The Sacrament of the Altar] is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ himself for us Christians to eat and to drink. In the ELCA document, The Use of the Means of Grace, we read, “In this sacrament the crucified and risen Christ is present, giving his true body and blood as food and drink. This real presence is a mystery.” This is the meal of Christ, given as a gift by Christ, so Christ can be present to us bringing forgiveness, nourishing faith and giving us life. Christ is both host and meal. As we gather together, the celebration of the meal is the responsibility of the pastor as Christ’s representative. But we do not have to receive the one loaf that the pastor has touched. Christ will come through many loaves as we receive the meal together. Each week in our sanctuary, members of the altar guild lovingly and carefully prepare the table. I have no doubt that the same honor and care will be true of preparations for the holy meal in the homes of Immanuel.
Lutherans teach that God comes to us in everyday things – water, bread and wine. In communion, Christ is really present in the bread and wine. As as we eat and drink, Christ is in, with and under the bread and wine. The bread and wine do not change in form, they are the vessels Christ uses to come into us.
After the meal, they are still bread and wine. So, if you have leftover bread please enjoy it with lunch or offer it to the birds in your yard. Extra wine or juice left in the cup can be consumed or poured on the ground outside.