Explanation of the Communion Liturgy
Our service starts off with a jubilant celebratory worship using contemporary praise and worship songs. The service then proceeds to a more reflective communion before the offering and intercession. Following in the Brethren tradition from which some of our members have their origin, we have communion every week to remind us of the centrality of the Cross of Jesus Christ in the faith life of the Christian church.
The following series of Liturgies are the ones we currently use for our Holy Communion, and is updated quarterly. Recognizing our emphasis on Christian unity, we have adapted components of Liturgies from the Anglican, Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches.
The Liturgy aims to assist the congregation to prepare their hearts for communion by focusing on:
The primacy of Christ’s work on the cross
The need to examine our lives before God
The expression of solidarity with those who suffer in this world
One unique detail we added to our Communion Liturgy is pouring some of the wine over the rest of the wine cups when the wine is consecrated. This detail was adapted from the Jewish practice during the Passover described by Larson in “Bound for Freedom – The Book of Exodus in Jewish and Christian Traditions”
The rabbis realized the danger of triumphalism and self-glorification in the story of Exodus and the final victory over the Egyptians… In the Red Sea crossing, the fact remains that Israel is saved and a considerable part of the Egyptian people are afflicted and finally destroyed… Aware of this dilemma one rabbinic commentary describes a scene in front of the heavenly throne. The angels wish to sing a song of praise when they witness what happens to the Egyptians and as the Israelites break out into a song of deliverance . Before they even start, however, they are reproached and fully silenced by God himself with the words, “The work of my hands are drowned in the sea, and you want to sing songs?…
Any suffering, even that of the enemy should make us reflect upon and subdue the joy we may feel. A reminder is given in a very concrete way during the Passover meal. In connection with a listing of the ten plagues in the Passover Hagadah, some drops of the wine in the cup are spilled out at every plague. The cup of joy cannot be full when one’s own salvation is achieved while others are suffering, even if it is one’s persecutors who are hit. This custom is explained during the meal and leaves a permanent impression on the participants…
We hope that even as we pour out some of the wine, we will in a small way affirm our solidarity with those who still suffer. We remind ourselves that Christ incarnates himself in those who suffer (Matthew 25:31-46) and therefore while our joy in Christ is truly abundant, this joy will only realise its full consummation in our ultimate reunion with our Lord Jesus.
Who can partake Communion?
The Free Community Church believes that anyone who desires to receive the grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection on the cross may partake of communion. Baptism and membership in a local church are not pre-requisites. As a matter of practice we do not bar any person from Communion.
However Communion is a serious matter as it is a time when we remember and become participants in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Communion is also a time when we affirm our unity as a body in Christ and remember those who continue to suffer on this earth.
We are called to take the Communion in an attitude of prayer recognizing our imperfections in living out our Christian ideals while receiving God’s forgiveness and grace, which are freely given.