Centrality of the Eucharist?

I really don't like the Eucharist. There, I've said it. And if I, as a long term Christian and Churchgoer, feel that way, then what must people who are not used to going to church think? Much better to go to Evensong, where I can just sit there and enjoy the music, without having to get up out of my seat, and join a queue, and be given a little wafer and a sip out of a big cup. But, for morning attenders - and this is the only option in many smaller churches - what really is an alternative option, week by week? Mattins is old hat, and has all but disappeared. And other alternatives never quite seem to get it right, in many places being a once-a-month alternative to the Eucharist.
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Comments

  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    The Eucharist is the central act of the Christian life. At least that’s how it’s come to be articulated within much Anglican and Roman Catholic theology. I’d be interested to learn more about why you don’t like it.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    I have to go to work, but oh, the eucharist for me is the ultimate encounter with God, pre-death. In these rites, however interpreted, God is placed within me in the elements of communion, in a way God becomes one with me at no other time. I would love to say more, so much more, but w*rk beckons, dammit.
  • Of course the Eucharist has a far less central place in Nonconformist churches. Although there are a few which celebrate it weekly, for most it is fortnightly or monthly. And most of us tend to see it as a "remembrance" of Christ's death and shy away from any literalists idea of "eating Christ's body and drinking his blood". There is also a tendency for it to be "tacked onto the end" of what is basically a preaching service rather than being the main focus of worship. FWIW I had a gentleman in one church who never came on Communion Sundays as he found the whole idea repugnant.
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    I’d agree with Zappa. I have a full prayer life and experience God in many ways, but the Eucharist is the ultimate experience of Christ for me. It’s fairly common for that part of Mass to move me to tears. I’d attend daily, if my schedule permitted such.
  • Raptor EyeRaptor Eye Shipmate
    edited February 10
    I was bemused when I started to go to church services, and I was first given communion as if I knew all about it. But the story was told, and so I was remembering Jesus, and that was OK.

    Now 20 years down the road I would seek out communion if I went a fortnight without it. It's vital. I am connecting with God in a way other than in prayer. And at the same time, I am connecting with Christians all over the world who are doing the same thing: the one body of Christ, the Church.

    I do 'get it' that music and song is another way of connecting with God other than in prayer, and I found that charismatic singing provided this for me before the Eucharist did. I wonder whether 'singing services' might be worth a try in some churches, especially those who have no choir to lead Evensong or other such services.

    Or 'karaoke' services, playing the gospel songs of Elvis, Cliff Richard, etc? And, of course, Bob Dylan. (Except that nobody could sing like Bob Dylan...)

    Would that be sacrilege?
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Bobby would never be sacrilege. I miss my Old Ship avatar.
  • ECraigR wrote: »
    The Eucharist is the central act of the Christian life. At least that’s how it’s come to be articulated within much Anglican and Roman Catholic theology.

    Orthodox also. Really it depends on one's theology and definitions. If it is the one place where we physically interact with God Himself, how could it not be the center of the church's worship? If it's just a memorial, then sure, so is singing a hymn about the life of Christ.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    FWIW I had a gentleman in one church who never came on Communion Sundays as he found the whole idea repugnant.

    Of course, so did Jesus' disciples...
  • GarasuGarasu Shipmate
    I'm inclined to think that for me the ritual of afternoon tea (or perhaps more realistically the shared meal we have a couple of times each month) is more meaningful communion than most communion services. That's not intended to be dismissive but it reflects my sense of Christ being found in the midst of the community rather more than token largesse being handed out by a roman magistrate...

    But I'm a benighted heathen, as I keep being told, so probably not the best placed to comment...
  • Hookers_TrickHookers_Trick 8th Day Host, Admin Emeritus
    Chorister wrote: »
    I really don't like the Eucharist. There, I've said it. And if I, as a long term Christian and Churchgoer, feel that way, then what must people who are not used to going to church think? Much better to go to Evensong, where I can just sit there and enjoy the music, without having to get up out of my seat, and join a queue, and be given a little wafer and a sip out of a big cup. But, for morning attenders - and this is the only option in many smaller churches - what really is an alternative option, week by week? Mattins is old hat, and has all but disappeared. And other alternatives never quite seem to get it right, in many places being a once-a-month alternative to the Eucharist.

    I went to Choral Mattins yesterday. Acknowledging that I am fortunate to have that option.

    When I am in England Chorister and I are in the same diocese. Sadly in that diocese I am not aware of any place that sings or says Morning Prayer at a reasonable time of a Sunday.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    I long for the day when my mission can have the Eucharist. Vespers on its own is very beautiful (although we do Vespers "enhanced") and I couldn't live without the pattern of the Office now but the pattern of having the Eucharist at the heart of our life is what we're ultimately aiming for - that pattern of looking forward to it, preparing for confession, keeping the fast, and joining in the great offering together, and the joy of receiving.

    At the moment, to receive the Eucharist, I must take part in one rite or another which, while very beautiful, is in some ways alien to me, and involves me visiting one sister Orthodox community or another which, while always welcoming, doesn't have the same feeling of home that my own mission has. These sister parishes are home, of course, for the Eucharist is the Eucharist, but to have this as part of my own immediate church family is something I long for.
  • Somebody once said do this in remembrance of me.

    Not say this, listen to this, watch this, feel this - but Do This.

    A 'doing' sort of prayer seems to me a good place to start, YMMV.
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Qoheleth wrote: »
    Somebody once said do this in remembrance of me.

    Not say this, listen to this, watch this, feel this - but Do This.

    A 'doing' sort of prayer seems to me a good place to start, YMMV.

    Well said.

  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    Qoheleth wrote: »
    Somebody once said do this in remembrance of me.

    Not say this, listen to this, watch this, feel this - but Do This.

    A 'doing' sort of prayer seems to me a good place to start, YMMV.

    This.
  • I couldn't be without the sacrament, so I don't understand where @Chorister is coming from, but I feel like I have to point out that you aren't obliged to "get out of your seat, and join a queue, and be given a little wafer and a sip out of a big cup." You can stay in your seat and listen to the music. Our shack typically has a handful of people who choose not to receive for one reason or another.
  • It strikes me, @Chorister, that your feelings are probably fairly representative of mainstream Anglicanism until relatively recently. Perhaps my impression/understanding is wrong, it’s been my impression that while Anglicanism (like my own tradition) has a high view of the Eucharist, that hasn’t historically translated into weekly celebrations as the main service, at least not most places. In TEC, at least around here, weekly celebration as the main service was largely a product of the 1979 BCP. Prior to that, it was Communion at an early Sunday service and perhaps a mid-week service attended by relatively few, and Communion once a month at the main service. Most Sundays the main service was Morning Prayer with sermon.

    By that same token, weekly Communion, as opposed to weekly attendance at Mass without communing, is a relatively recent thing among RCs.

    Personally, I find myself in the camp of those who see the Eucharist as central to Christian life and worship, and I’m glad that my own tradition has been moving in that direction. But I have a hard time imagining that Jesus is that bothered if you and others don’t share that feeling. People are different, and I tend to think Jesus is happy to meet us whenever and wherever.

  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    Weekly Communion as the main service was ram-rodded through by the clergy in the 1960s. Except for the Spikes, I think most Anglicans had a high view of the Eucharist that not emphatically not connected to weekly reception of the sacrament. As non-communicating attendance has always been considered decidedly infra dig by MOTR and Low Church Anglicans it was something that caused a bit of tension which I don't think was very well handled. Left to my own devices I will receive Communion about once a month, and probably not at the mid-morning; otherwise I will attend Morning or Evening Prayer there being no way for not communicants to conveniently exit at the average "Slow Mass."
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    The eucharist is the eucharist; the sacrament of Christ's body and blood is always that. However it is administered; however boring the liturgy; however heretical the preacher; however slovenly the ceremonial; however ill-rehearsed the choir. If I go to a church and the service is other than the eucharist there is a good chance I will come away bored or angry or frustrated. If the eucharistic prayer is offered and I can receive Communion I will come away happy. Even if I rant about the sermon or choice of hymns afterwards.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited February 10
    While I wouldn't go quite as far as @Chorister I do find it irritating that nothing can happen in the church without a eucharist being tacked on, like some sort of holy sticking plaster. PCC meeting? Eucharist first. Fete Committee - let's start with a eucharist. And the same goes for the churchyard working party, flower guild planning meeting, Christingle making workshop, etc, etc, etc. As a retired bishop of my acquaintance remarked, the eucharist has become the church equivalent of "chips with everything".

    Sure, we "do it" but far from being "in remembrance of me" it has become an unthinking knee-jerk response to anything connected to church. Rather than it being an act of reverence, we've got to the stage of wondering if we can "do" a eucharist and PCC meeting and still be home in time for University Challenge. There's no solemn remembrance in that, rather a feeling that if you want to pray after receiving you're letting the side down in the pursuit of some speed record.

    After a particularly unedifying gabbled (and garbled) eucharist before a Deanery Synod last year I decided to forego eucharists before meetings and arrive instead when the meeting should start. No member of the clergy has asked me why I don't attend so perhaps no one at the larger meetings has noticed, or maybe they think they'll get an answer they don't want.

    In the meantime I'm still trying to work out how you can "do" a eucharist for a full Diocesan Synod with hymns in under 22 minutes.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited February 10
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    It strikes me, @Chorister, that your feelings are probably fairly representative of mainstream Anglicanism until relatively recently. Perhaps my impression/understanding is wrong, it’s been my impression that while Anglicanism (like my own tradition) has a high view of the Eucharist, that hasn’t historically translated into weekly celebrations as the main service, at least not most places. In TEC, at least around here, weekly celebration as the main service was largely a product of the 1979 BCP. Prior to that, it was Communion at an early Sunday service and perhaps a mid-week service attended by relatively few, and Communion once a month at the main service. Most Sundays the main service was Morning Prayer with sermon.

    By that same token, weekly Communion, as opposed to weekly attendance at Mass without communing, is a relatively recent thing among RCs.

    Personally, I find myself in the camp of those who see the Eucharist as central to Christian life and worship, and I’m glad that my own tradition has been moving in that direction. But I have a hard time imagining that Jesus is that bothered if you and others don’t share that feeling. People are different, and I tend to think Jesus is happy to meet us whenever and wherever.

    Yes, the first paragraph would apply here. Most parishes around here had Communion weekly at 8am or thereabouts, and Morning Prayer most Sundays at 10:30am or thereabouts. I was chasing up something else the other day and noticed that our Canons require monthly, not weekly, Communion. Quite a few dioceses have weekly in the Canons, but it is more of an aspiration than reality at parish level.

    My guess would be that two-thirds of our parishes do not celebrate communion every week, and they split between those who do fortnightly, and those who do monthly. There is a fair sized element of 'reformed Anglicanism' in our district, so the outlook with regards to HC should probably come as no surprise.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    What Zappa said, put much better than I could.

    I found this on the site of a Sydney Anglican church, which I think is typical of most of that category:

    At all our Sunday services we sing God’s praises to celebrate what he’s done for us through Jesus. We bring our needs to God in prayer, knowing that he listens and cares. And at the centre of what we do is listening to God speak to us as we read the Bible and ponder its message. Each week one of our ministers or an experienced church member gives a Bible talk which unpacks the passages we’ve read and explores their relevance to our lives. And after the formal part of church is done we spend time together over morning tea or supper.

    No mention at all of the Eucharist there, or its centrality to our worship. Nor can I find any mention of services at which the Eucharist is celebrated elsewhere on its site.
  • Cyprian wrote: »
    Qoheleth wrote: »
    Somebody once said do this in remembrance of me.

    Not say this, listen to this, watch this, feel this - but Do This.

    A 'doing' sort of prayer seems to me a good place to start, YMMV.

    This.

    That does this mean? Is this pro-communion or anti-communion? The Eucharistic service is certainly something I listen to, there are things I say, there are things I watch, and it results in my feeling certain things.
  • john holdingjohn holding Ecclesiantics Host, Mystery Worshipper Host
    I grew up (as a chorister) on sung morning prayer 3-4 Sundays a month with COmmunion on the first Sunday. And sung Evensong most Sundays. If I had not been n the choir, the utter boredom of sung M and E would probably have meant that I would be like the vast majority of those my age and younger who, having grown up on this fare, have voted with their feet and have not darkened the door of any church since being able to decide for themselves how to behave. I have no memory now (at a distance of 60 years since we moved away from that parish to a place with weekly eucharist) how the adults who attended those services reacted, though I do remember that most people seemed to be there out of duty rather than fervour (need to show that I'm a solid citizen, I think). And, to be fair to the parish in question, if was a fairly typical slightly low suburban church in a lowish diocese. We rejoiced in the ministry of a choir with men (and women -- altos only -- men don't sing alto after all) and boys (no girls, of course because girls don't sing in ANglican choirs), and managed sung psalms and canticles and sometimes an anthem. As I say, being in the choir helped -- but that's about the lot.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    That's funny - it is the Communion service I tend to find dreary. Lots of talk, talk, talk, and not much music, and what there is often of dubious quality if they insist on modern English for the liturgy.
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    If it was available I would go to Choral Mattins rather than the Eucharist every Sunday. In fact when I was a teenager my Anglican church only had the Eucharist once a month and I had the impression that other churches were similar. It always made the Eucharist seem special when it didn't occur every week and I did particularly like Mattins. Now I find none of the Anglican churches have Mattins and they claim that the congregation will only support the Eucharist service. The minister with whom I discussed this became quite heated on the subject which I found very disappointing.
  • Being stuck in darkest Presby-land the thing I miss most is the Eucharist. Four times a year plus Maundy Thursday is not enough, and whenever I am due to visit the mainland one of the first things I do is check the local pisky and, failing that, RC Mass times and see if I can get to a service. I never fail to be bemused that something so vital (in the full meaning of that word) can be treated as an occasional optional extra.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    John 6 seems fairly clear to me.
  • Alan29 wrote: »
    John 6 seems fairly clear to me.

    A very interesting passage to me. The people who most loudly insist on interpreting the Bible literally are also the people who most loudly insist that this one chapter should not be interpreted literally.
  • Alan29 wrote: »
    John 6 seems fairly clear to me.

    It does seem a very open communion. Everybody can participate with no questions asked. Maybe you just need to be hungry for the bread of life.

    Despite my having left The Brethren with no possibility of return I do remember fondly The Lord's Supper as the anticipated culmination of the Lord's Day Morning Meeting. Although any Christian man (not woman, I'm afraid) could lead this part of the service, generally only Brethren (men and women) could participate in taking bread and wine and passing them on to a neighbour in the assembly. It seemed very much that Christ was there in the midst of the community - a communion of saints.

    What I found rather strange in some other denominations is that the presence of other members seems not to be important. At the extreme of this was at a Catholic wedding where the bridegroom was not Catholic. There was a mass, but only for the bride, not even Catholic members of the family or congregation participated, and though I know that people do take communion alone (as when a priest visits a patient in a hospital), for me it seems weird and I would never do it.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Communion in the Baptist church where I grew up was for Members Only, tacked on the end of an evening service, quarterly. We non- member young teenagers left early.

    As a student I became an Anglican and my Vicar provided excellent preparation for Confirmation, including for Communion.
    The Parish Eucharist later became the main weekly service, drawing everyone together.

    Over the years and especially recently, I have found myself attending various churches in several denominations. If it is a Communion service I find myself worrying over the logistics and the practicalities of how it will work in that particular place, to such an extent that I am not sure in the end that I benefit ( wrong word but .... )
    Eg
    (Non- Conformist: Do I eat the bread as soon as I get it or wait for everyone to be served?
    ( Anglican) Is it ok to stand rather than kneel? If I kneel will I be able to get up again? Will the chalice be placed into my hands or not? Is it safe to drink from the chalice? Is intincture allowed? Can I go now or do we wait for the whole row to finish?Which way do I return to my seat? And so on....

    This is the torturous route my mind takes, in anywhere other than my local church. I wish it didn’t as I can’t focus on the main event, so to speak.
    A bit like worrying about the details of a journey so much that the arrival at the destination is spoilt.


  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    John 6 seems fairly clear to me.

    A very interesting passage to me. The people who most loudly insist on interpreting the Bible literally are also the people who most loudly insist that this one chapter should not be interpreted literally.

    Indeed.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited February 11
    Puzzler wrote: »
    Communion in the Baptist church where I grew up was for Members Only, tacked on the end of an evening service, quarterly. We non- member young teenagers left early.

    That used to be quite common, though I've never experienced it. In chapels with galleries, the custom was for those wanting Communion to come downstairs during the hymn before Communion, during which other non-communicants left. Today all mainline UK Baptist churches (unless there are legal Trust reasons for doing otherwise) practice "open" Communion. The most common pattern is once a month in the morning, once in the evening.
    I find myself worrying over the logistics and the practicalities of how it will work in that particular place.

    Me too ... one thing to do is sit near the back so you can see what others do! In Our Place, I will give instructions at the start of the service, saying that everyone can receive "whether you are a member of this church, of another church, or of no church", telling them how to receive (and what to do if they prefer not to), etc. It only takes a few moments and is hopefully reassuring.

  • mousethief wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    John 6 seems fairly clear to me.

    A very interesting passage to me. The people who most loudly insist on interpreting the Bible literally are also the people who most loudly insist that this one chapter should not be interpreted literally.

    I moved painlessly, even thankfully, from my fairly literalistic upbringing to seeing the symbolism, though I can get tripped up if I'm not careful. And John does have a strong theme of raising people's vision from the mundane/literal to the symbolic/transcendent. I see it strongly in this passage where John is critical of those synagogue Jews who take it literally.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Yes, most churches I have been to do that, but it doesn’t always allay my peculiar doubts.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited February 11
    Presumably replying to my post?

    Also shows that churches (like all organisations) shouldn't take people for granted and assume that visitors or newcomers will somehow "know how things are done".
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    I can sympathise with those who think the Eucharist is too important to be approached lightly, and if this means celebrating it infrequently but with proper preparation that makes sense. What seems to happen in too many places though is that the church noticeboard says something like 'Morning Worship', and people turn up willy-nilly not knowing what to expect until they get there. There might be communion every other week, or monthly, but not always to a consistent pattern. This is light years away from what I understand to be the old Presbyterian pattern of 'communion Sundays', the dates of which were known well in advance and prepared for rigorously.
  • And, I understand, a relatively small percentage of the congregation actually Communicating as the tables were "fenced" so rigorously.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    @Chorister what you say is not that unusual. I hear similar thoughts expressed quite often.

    There was definitely a time when I would have said much the same. I trace what changed things for me back to hearing a rabbi describe the Passover, what it meant for him and how it was done - though the change in how I felt was gradual, not instantaneous.

    I think before that I'd got very knotted up on having picked up the idea you had to screw yourself up inside to feel all the right feelings in a particular way, that this was terribly important and if you didn't, for you it didn't 'work'. On top of that, it had either never been explained what it was about, or had been spoken about in an awesome way, in terms of understandings that were difficult to relate to or imagine yourself into. So a double bind. It was difficult to guess what those feelings were supposed to be, and what was sometimes said was revspeak that either didn't make sense or didn't say anything I could get into.

    So, I suppose, being let off feeling expected to manufacture myself into thinking and feeling the 'sacred mysteries' eventually, over time, enabled this to become a sacred mystery for me but in a quite different way.

    For me, now and for some years, Holy Communion is really fundamental. I wish other people could see it the same way. But as I've said, it was not always so. I definitely agree with @Qoheleth's,
    "Somebody once said do this in remembrance of me.

    Not say this, listen to this, watch this, feel this - but Do This."

    One final thing I'd add. I don't know whether this is helpful or not. It may have Catholic shipmates squealing. If language such as 'a bloodless sacrifice' or 'the sacrifice of the Mass' doesn't mean much to you, don't worry. It does or it doesn't. I've long rather suspected whether it actually speaks to a person has more to do with one's temperament, possibly even a person's Myers-Briggs letters, than one's ecclesiastical loyalties.

  • To me, much of the significance of the Eucharist comes from the fact that it drags us - often unwillingly - to the focus of our faith, Christ's crucifixion. This is necessary because it is horrible and repugnant, something from which we would naturally turn away. However, certainly in Baptist thought. the Eucharist (not that we usually call it that!) helps us to look back at Christ's sacrifice, look forward to his return ("till he come") and around the the community of faith.
  • Or, as we often say at Mass (during the Eucharistic Prayer):

    Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!
  • I too find peace in both MP and EP, especially when sung and sung well, but even so when said. While they can be offered in a congretional setting, I can also pray them alone. Eucharist requires "two or three" gathered, and prompts us to remember that we travel the road together.
  • Or, as we often say at Mass (during the Eucharistic Prayer):

    Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!

    As do we.
  • Being on sick leave, and the chap who takes home Communion, I'm not getting it much at the moment. (Neither are the housebound, which does worry me.) I'm not missing it as much as I expected, which surprises me.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited February 11
    I suppose that depends, in part, on whether one primarily regards Communion as an act of personal devotion ("making my Communion") or as a corporate event ("the Church family's meal").
  • Being stuck in darkest Presby-land the thing I miss most is the Eucharist. Four times a year plus Maundy Thursday is not enough, and whenever I am due to visit the mainland one of the first things I do is check the local pisky and, failing that, RC Mass times and see if I can get to a service. I never fail to be bemused that something so vital (in the full meaning of that word) can be treated as an occasional optional extra.
    Is this changing at all in the Kirk, @Arethosemyfeet? Anywhere, even if not yet in the darkest reaches of Presby-land?

    Quarterly plus Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday was the norm in the PC(USA) 50 years ago. Starting in the 70s, our governing documents and liturgical resources have presented weekly Communion as the default. Now the norm is monthly, and in some places it’s more frequent, so change is (slowly) happening.

  • Yes.

    @Robert Armin the same happened to me when I was in hospital for the best part of a month, back in 2016. I received the Sacrament just once - but it was a very special occasion, which may say something, or not...

    ...and I, too, have been a little surprised at the (apparent) reluctance of some of Our Place's most devout members to receive the Sacrament at home.

    This might be due to the idea that a Lay Minister is NOT the same as the Vicar (even if, in our case, we didn't have one at the time), or perhaps to the perception that Communion should really only be received communally, in church.

    Well, peeps are where they are, not necessarily where I want them to be, and I note that Father NewPriest - perhaps simply because he is a priest - now has a regular round of home communicants, in addition to those ministered to by Father Helping-Us-Out.

    Just a thought. The reformers, Cranmer especially in this country, tried to ensure people received Holy Communion every Sunday, and major Holyday, with Matins and Evensong as extras. The rubrics of the BCP (1549 and onwards) make this clear, though I'm afraid Cranmer didn't succeed in converting the English from those 'hearing Mass' to those 'receiving the Sacrament'.

    It took the Oxford Movement, and (maybe primarily) the much later Parish Communion movement to do that!
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Being stuck in darkest Presby-land the thing I miss most is the Eucharist. Four times a year plus Maundy Thursday is not enough, and whenever I am due to visit the mainland one of the first things I do is check the local pisky and, failing that, RC Mass times and see if I can get to a service. I never fail to be bemused that something so vital (in the full meaning of that word) can be treated as an occasional optional extra.
    Is this changing at all in the Kirk, @Arethosemyfeet? Anywhere, even if not yet in the darkest reaches of Presby-land?

    I believe monthly is the practice among dangerously modern city congregations in the central belt ;) . The last minister here broached the subject and was firmly put in her place by Kirk Session. I suspect the next minister would have more success, with the Kirk Session having evolved in a rather more mellow direction.
  • The last minister here broached the subject and was firmly put in her place by Kirk Session. I suspect the next minister would have more success, with the Kirk Session having evolved in a rather more mellow direction.
    Here’s hoping for more success with next minister and mellowed Kirk Session.

  • One of my congregations has a tradition of only having Communion twice a year. I aim to change this fairly soon. Another one is like @Arethosemyfeet’s while the third congregation is monthly. But my favourite communion service is the annual celebration with the Messy Church families when we sit on the carpet in the Chancel and remember Jesus with bread and grape juice, and with nothing my friends higher up the candle would recognise as liturgy. (Indeed at that point we are not on the candle at all - maybe at the base of the candlestick.)
  • Or, as we often say at Mass (during the Eucharistic Prayer):

    Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!

    Or, as we sing each week, "We proclaim your death O Lord, and profess Your resurrection, until You come -- until You come again!"
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