For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
Remember that beginning thisfirst Sunday of July, we are returning to the practice of inviting you to be the one to intinct (dip) the Bread in the Wine as you participate in Holy Communion. (We still are not sipping from the chalice.) You will come forward to the communion rail as usual, extending your arms with your right hand open to receive the wafer. Pastor Sallie or I will give you the Bread, saying, “The Body of Christ, the Bread of Heaven.” Hold the wafer between your fingers until the Lay Eucharistic Minister comes to you with the chalice and speaks the words, “The Blood of Christ, the Cup of Salvation.” As the Lay Eucharistic Minister tilts the chalice toward you, intinct (dip) the Bread into the Wine without your fingers touching the Wine, then place the Body and Blood of Jesus in your mouth.
If you prefer not to intinct the Bread, simply place the wafer in your mouth immediately after receiving it and bow your head, confident you still receive the fullness of the grace offered to you by God in Christ. The Lay Eucharistic Minister will move on to the next person.
I appreciate these words from one of my former professors, the Rev. Leander Harding:
The Body and Blood of the crucified, risen, and glorified Lord are indeed the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation. We take them in faith that we might be nourished by the life of Christ and kept in everlasting life. The choice of words is careful here. Apart from God, alienated from God, we are cut off from the source of life. Reconciled to God in Christ, we have a new life with God and each other, which begins now and which the grave cannot hold. It is to be renewed in this eternal life, to be kept in it, that we come week by week to the Eucharist.
I look forward to being renewed in eternal life with you this week.
Your Pastor in Christ,