Our Trinity family will be communing on August 9 and the Sundays following.
The Word and the Sacraments are the central things of the Christian Church. We are gathered as a congregation around Word and Sacrament and the pastor is called to a ministry of Word and Sacrament. As a congregation, Trinity Lutheran has refrained from gathering since March 15 in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and thus has not communed. It is a serious lapse of devotion to abstain from communion, but it would have been even worse to endanger each other during this time. Now that we have come back together to gather in the Word, we can make plans to gather in the Sacrament of Communion.
Here is the plan for how we will commune together and yet reduce the risk of spreading disease:
- We will commune with only the bread. The Church has long believed and practiced that we receive the full benefit of communion, even if we only receive one of the elements. By not having the wine, we can greatly reduce risk.
- Communion will be available to the entire congregation. This will mean sending communion to the homes of those who cannot safely gather in the building. This sending of communion will happen right after the service, to emphasize that we are all receiving the one body and blood of Jesus, even if we are in separate places. (This is a good practice in any circumstances.) The bread wafers will be placed in individual containers to be sent to people’s homes. People will need to let the church office know that they desire communion, no later than noon on Friday. The pastor and those taking communion to homes will respect the wishes of the communicants whether to wear a mask or not in their home. People can also receive communion at their door or just outside their house, if they do not want people coming inside.
- The bread wafers will be poured from the container they come in onto the plate. The pastor will not elevate the bread during the Words of Institution. The pastor will distribute the bread with a pair of tongs so that the only person who touches the bread is the person eating it.
- People will be ushered forward, up the middle. They will maintain distance from each other at all times. They will come to the railing but not kneel (to avoid touching the railing). The pastor will stand back and say “The body of Christ given for you”, then the pastor will step to the rail and drop the bread into the person’s hands with a pair of tongs. The person then moves to the side, removes their mask, eats the bread, and after adjusting their mask says, “Amen” and then returns to their seats down the side aisle.
If you have any questions or concerns about this process, do not hesitate to contact Pastor Scott.