If you attend a Christian church, you may participate in a communion service, also known as the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper. This tradition dates back to early Christianity, when communion was often held as a shared meal. Over time, the ritual changed to a ceremony with bread and wine, and today, communion practices vary widely among different denominations. Some churches offer communion at every service or mass, while others may offer it once a month or on an irregular schedule.
Whether you’re receiving communion or leading the service, it’s important to know what to say during and after the ceremony. In the following sections, we’ll provide guidance on what to say when receiving and giving communion, as well as answer some frequently asked questions about this important Christian tradition.
- Communion is a time-honored tradition in Christian churches, commemorating the Last Supper.
- Communion practices vary among different denominations, with some offering it at every service or mass.
- Knowing what to say during and after the ceremony is important for both those receiving and giving communion.
What to Say When Receiving Communion
When waiting to receive communion, it is customary to stand quietly and bow your head as a sign of respect when the person ahead of you receives communion. Depending on your church or personal preference, you may accept it by hand or on your tongue. If you choose to receive it by hand, hold out your hands, one on top of the other, with the palms facing up. When the Priest or minister speaks to you, your only response should be “Amen.” This is a sign of agreement and acceptance of the body and blood of Christ. After receiving, return quietly to your pew and spend a moment in prayer and remembrance.
What to Say After Receiving Communion
After receiving Communion, it’s customary to say a prayer to reflect and give thanks to the Lord. There is no single prayer that you should say, but you may choose one that’s customary in your particular church or one that allows you personally to reflect. Here are a few common prayer options:
- The Universal Prayer
- Anima Christi
- Trium Puerorum
- The Divine Praises
You may also choose to pray from your heart, expressing your own personal gratitude, love, and trust in God. Remember that this is a time for spiritual renewal and connection with the Holy Spirit.
What to Say When Giving or Leading Communion
When giving or leading communion, there are many options for what to say and do. Since communion is a time to remember the Lord’s sacrifice, it’s common to begin with scripture that deals with the crucifixion and resurrection, such as Mark 15:21 or 1 Corinthians 15. You can also read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, which details the first communion.
Before giving communion, you may present the bread and the cup to the congregation, stating, “This is the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was broken for you” and “This is the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for you.” Depending on your church’s traditions, you may also have an elder or deacon pray over the bread and cup before giving it to the congregation.
As you give communion to each member of the congregation, it’s common to say “the Body of Christ” before placing the bread on their hand or tongue and “the Blood of Christ” before giving them the cup.
It’s important to create an atmosphere of reverence and unity during the communion service. This can be done through appropriate music, prayers, and structure. Make sure to prepare the elements and tray beforehand and have a group of believers ready to assist you if necessary.
Prepare a final blessing to read when everyone has received communion. Some churches have specific communion prayers or prayer options for this purpose, while others allow the celebrant to choose an appropriate prayer that gives thanks to God.
Remember that leading communion is a calling and should be done with purpose and preparation. Whether you’re leading communion in a church or in your own home with family and friends, make sure to follow the traditions of your denomination and create an atmosphere that honors the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to Say During Communion Service
What are the appropriate words to speak when leading a communion service?
When leading a communion service, there are several appropriate words to speak. The most important words to say are the words of institution, which are the words spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper. The words of institution are “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” and “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Other appropriate words to speak include words of invitation, words of confession, and words of thanksgiving.
How does one offer the communion elements within the Methodist tradition?
In the Methodist tradition, the bread and wine are offered to the congregation by the minister or other authorized person. The minister or authorized person will hold the bread and say, “The body of Christ, given for you.” The congregation will then take a piece of bread and eat it. The minister or authorized person will then hold the cup and say, “The blood of Christ, shed for you.” The congregation will then take a sip of wine or grape juice.
What is the traditional Catholic phrase said upon receiving Communion?
The traditional Catholic phrase said upon receiving Communion is “Amen.” This word expresses agreement and acceptance of the gift of the Eucharist.
Could you provide a brief prayer to accompany the distribution of the bread during communion?
A brief prayer to accompany the distribution of the bread during communion is “Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.” This prayer acknowledges God as the source of the bread and gives thanks for the gift of nourishment.
What is a fitting prayer to recite over the communion wine?
A fitting prayer to recite over the communion wine is “Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” This prayer acknowledges God as the source of the wine and gives thanks for the gift of nourishment.
Where can I find examples of communion prayers in the Bible?
Examples of communion prayers can be found in the Bible in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and 1 Corinthians. These books describe the Last Supper and the words spoken by Jesus and his disciples during the meal. Additionally, the Psalms contain many prayers of thanksgiving and praise that are appropriate for use during communion.