Thursday, April 9, 2015


I’ve never been sure what to make of the communion ‘service’. I’ve passed through a number of different approaches: the Anglo-catholic ‘mass’ which at CCSL could be had several times on Sunday and through the week, the formal Anglican eucharist weekly in a ‘higher’ church, monthly in evangelical parishes, weekly in Churches of Christ and monthly in Baptist churches.

In all it has been approached as a ritual, done awkwardly in non-conformist settings, where a mystical experience was sought, or conjured in many cases, but splendidly in some Anglican churches. If you are going to have a ritual, do it properly. Dress up, do it with unselfconscious solemnity, but at least do it properly.
Eucharistic Procession at St James, Sydney
It was often well and truly hammed up in my experience in non-conformist churches, particularly when dress up meant men in 'bermuda' shorts and long socks!

It also amuses me that the non-conformists call horrible weak grape juice ‘wine’. At least at an Anglican church you get the real thing; but everyone calls a measly crumb of biscuit or bread ‘bread’. I think that's a bit of a joke.

Because the tenor of the NT is singularly non-ritualistic and even non-religions in many ways, when Yeshua said to ‘do this as often as you meet’ in remembrance of him I wonder if he was referring to the passover: whenever you meet together to celebrate the passover (annually)...the broken bread and cup of wine are those that are part of the passover meal: thus Yeshua is saying in the last supper that these are no longer symbolic of the body and blood of the passover lamb, but of him. He is, therefore the passover lamb.

This tells us that consumption is celebratory in manner and done with gusto and enjoyment (but not to excess, as Paul reminds us) not in the coy ceremonial of many contemporary churches.

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