Lord's Supper: What Everyone Should Understand
At St. John, we want everyone to understand what God thinks about the Lord’s Supper. Sometimes Christians refer to it as “Holy Communion,” “The Sacrament of the Altar,” or “The Eucharist.” All of these terms refer to the same Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
We want you to be comfortable and understand both why and how we practice the Lord's Supper in our community of believers.
What is the Lord's Supper?
Simply stated, the Lord's Supper is the true body and blood of Jesus under bread and wine for Christians to eat and drink, instituted by Christ Himself.
When Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, He gave us a precious gift of God in which Christ gives us His true body and blood (in a miraculous way), together with the bread and wine, for the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith.
As the Bible says, whenever we "commune" (that's how we refer to the act of receiving the Lord's Supper), we proclaim the Lord's death until He comes again. See 1 Corinthians 11:26.
That's why it's important that those who receive Holy Communion agree as to what we are proclaiming: that in this act God, is giving us His gift of forgiveness and faith in Jesus true Body and Blood, in, with and under the form of bread and wine.
His gift of forgiveness and faith in Jesus true Body and Blood, in, with and under the form of bread and wine.
Where Did Communion Come From?
Jesus. While several places in the Bible record what Jesus did on the last night of His life, Matthew tells what happened that night when Jesus shared a meal with His disciples.
“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” Matthew 26:26-28.
Who Is Holy Communion For?
Communion is for all baptized Christians who believe Jesus’ words "given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins." The Bible says that unbelievers who receive Holy Communion are "eating and drinking judgement on themselves" (see 1 Corinthians 11:27-30) and can have severe consequences on their lives.
I Am New to St. John. Can I Receive Holy Communion?
Holy Communion is more than a gift of God for individual Christians. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:26 that whenever we receive the Lord's Supper we do more than receive the forgiveness of sins.
When we receive the Lord’s Supper, we also make a confession of our faith to the world around us.
People who commune at St. John share in our congregation's confession of faith. Just as people who stand and pledge allegiance to the United States flag share pledge of loyalty to our country (we wouldn’t expect a person from England to pledge themselves to the American flag), those who receive the Lord's Supper with Christians at St. John must share in our confession of the faith.
Because of this, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, and yet desire to receive this Sacrament, are asked first to speak with the pastor or an elder.
How Do I Commune at St. John?
At St. John, the Pastor, Elders and others who serve during the worship service commune first. They are not more important, but doing so helps the process. Please wait for an usher to ask your row to come forward for Holy Communion.
Each person is first offered a communion wafer (the True Body of Jesus). Individually wrapped, gluten-free communion wafers are available to all upon request.
Next, those who commune may choose to receive either an individual cup of wine, an individual cup of alcohol-free wine, or may commune from the “common cup” chalice. You may also receive the Lord’s supper by dipping the communion wafer into the wine. That’s called “intinction.”
No matter how you receive the wine, ALL receive the true Blood of Jesus in, with and under the wine we receive.
After receiving the Lord’s Supper, please place your individual cup and gluten-free wrapper in the bowl on the stand by the wall and return to your seat for prayer.
If you are unable to attend worship services or come into the building, you can contact St. John at (630) 969-7987 to make an appointment for a Pastor or Elder to administer individual communion. Individual communion can be given in the building, in your car or at your home. COVID safety guidelines will be followed.
Interested in Going Deeper?
- Read and reflect on Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:16-18 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.
- Open the front cover of the hymnal and pray the prayers written there for before and after communion.
- Turn to page 329-330 to read through Martin Luther’s "Christian Questions and their Answers." They will help you prepare yourself to receive the Lord's Supper.