Communion at St. Mark
What Is Communion?
We believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the meal we call Holy Communion. When we hear the words that Jesus said and receive the bread and wine with faith, they truly become the body and blood of Christ. Christ said: “This is my body given for you… This is my blood shed for you.” We believe those words to be true. It is a mystery.
Holy Communion reflects the unity of the Body of Christ because all share the wine poured and the bread broken, the one body of Christ. The act of communion expresses the dignity and new life of the baptized.
When we gather around the altar we also commune with the saints who have gone before us and with other Christians around the globe who gather at our Lord’s Table. The uncontainable presence, grace, love, forgiveness and mercy of Christ come to us in simple bread and wine.
The word proclaimed and the sacraments —both Holy Baptism and Holy Communion — are called the means of grace.
Who Is Invited To Communion?
All of God’s people are welcome to our Lord’s table — it’s our Lord’s table, after all, and all are invited without exceptions.
Are Children Welcome To Communion?
Yes. Children at any age including infants are welcome at the table. Children are invited to receive bread and wine (grape juice) or in case of infants to receive a blessing. We offer first communion classes for children who start to have questions about communion. Please let the pastor know if your child would like to receive first communion education. If you would like your child to receive grape juice please let the person with the cup know.
How Should I Receive Communion?
Upon hearing the words, “Body of Christ, given for you,” and “Blood of Christ, shed for you,” it is appropriate to respond “Amen” or “Thanks be to God.” It is also perfectly appropriate to smile a joyful smile, as this bread and wine are amazing gifts. Some Christians make the sign of the cross before and/or after receiving the bread and wine, as a sign of blessing and remembrance of their baptism.
How Often Should I Take Communion?
We offer communion at every Sunday worship service and at special services. You can take communion as often as you wish, and we encourage you to use every opportunity to share communion with us. If you cannot come to church, the pastor and/or the care team is available to deliver communion to you at home, in the hospital, in assisted living or any place that you are.
What If I Am NOT Baptized?
You are welcome at the table. Communion has its fullest expression through Holy Baptism. If you are not yet baptized, please let the pastor know so we can talk to you about being baptized at St. Mark.
Do You Have Gluten Free Bread?
If you would like to receive a gluten free wafer, please let the pastor know at communion.
Do You Have Alcohol Free Options?
We are mindful that many have allergies or sensitivities or must abstain from alcohol in any amount. If you would like to receive white grape juice, please come to the table and when the person with the cup comes to you, let them know you want grape juice.
What If I Don’t Want Communion?
You are still invited to the table to kneel or stand and receive a blessing. If you wish to not receive communion, fold your hands so we will know.
What If I Cannot Come To the Table?
Please let the ushers know if you cannot come forward, and we will bring communion where you are seated.