Tips for Communion from Home

February 22, 2022 | Mackenzie Phillips

Tips for Communion at Home: Suggestions for Preparing Your Home for Holy Communion

Holy Communion, along with Baptism, is one of our two United Methodist sacraments. The sacraments have a special place in our church because Jesus not only commanded them but also participated in them. Baptism marks the beginning of our lifelong journey as disciples of Jesus Christ, while Holy Communion nourishes and sustains us on that journey. John Wesley, the founder of our Methodist movement, talked about how the sacraments infuse us with grace. Our sacramental life is important.

Because the sacraments are both powerful and important, we take care to preserve their sanctity and integrity. For Holy Communion, that means that the elements of Holy Communion (bread and juice) must be consecrated by a clergy person; once consecrated, the elements may be served both inside and outside the church. At times, clergy people consecrate the elements so that those who visit nursing homes, hospitals, etc. may take Holy Communion to those unable to attend church.

Because COVID-19  is still present we understand and value that people are still choosing to worship from home. Steven and I will be consecrating the elements of Holy Communion online. You may then serve them to one another, as you worship remotely. And to help you prepare for celebrating the sacrament in your homes, here are a few tips to make your home ready:

  1. Designate a special place to receive the sacrament

In church, the sacrament begins at the table. You may want to use your home’s table as well. Remember that the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples took place not in a church, but in a room with a large table. It would be appropriate to share this meal in a place where you often share meals.

2. Prepare the elements in advance

In our church, we use bread and grape juice. You may use whatever bread you have on hand; a cracker works as well. It doesn’t take a lot of bread, but we want everyone to receive a small portion. We encourage the use of grape juice if available. It may be helpful for you to prepare in advance separate cups of juice for each person you know will be participating, including children. We try to accommodate people who have special requirements (like gluten-free elements); you may want to do so as well. 

  1. Think about who will serve

If you are by yourself, serve yourself. If you have multiple family members present, you might designate someone to be the person who serves everyone else and then is served at the end. It is OK for everyone to participate; children may even serve parents and may be a good way for them to be involved.

  1. As you share the sacrament, offer a word

We often say to adults, “the body of Christ” when offering the bread and “the blood of Christ” when offering the juice. For children who may not fully understand the language of body and blood—but whose parents still desire for them to receive the sacrament—I often say something like “this is a gift from Jesus, who loves you very much.”

  1. Remember that this is an open table

We often remind people in the church that, “ All are welcome at the Communion table .” Remember that even though the table is in your home when serving the sacrament your table becomes Christ’s table and all are welcome there. 

We are glad that despite COVID 19 or other circumstances we can participate in the beauty and sacredness of Communion together!