In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.
The Moravian Church has repeatedly affirmed the position that it is neither possible to define the exact relationship of the elements used to the presence of our Lord’s body and blood, nor profitable to do so. We affirm that Christ is present in the sacrament and meets us there, but we do not define precisely how this occurs. Each member may benefit from Holy Communion by meditating upon the words our Lord used in instituting this sacrament.
The Order of Service for Holy Communion:
During the Right Hand of Fellowship, a handclasp is extended by the communicant to his or her neighbors. As the distribution of the bread begins, all are seated except those in the first group of pews or seats. These stand until each communicant has been served, and they are then seated. As the elements are brought to the next group of pews or seats, its occupants stand and are served, and so it continues until the entire congregation has been served.
The bread is received with the open palm held upward. If a person does not desire to commune, the person remains seated. Rising again at the words, “Our Lord Jesus Christ said, ‘Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you,’” each communicant eats the bread and remains standing for silent prayer.
The same procedure is followed in serving the cup. Most Moravian congregations use individual cups, rather than a chalice. Many congregations use grape juice rather than wine. Following the words, “Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sin; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me,” all communicants partake of the cup together, holding it through the silent prayer that follows, in order to avoid distracting noises. The cup may then be placed in a pew rack.
Hymns convey the particular theme of the service and are sung during the distribution of the bread and wine.
The first handclasp signifies oneness in Christ and the desire to be at peace with one another. The second handclasp signifies renewed dedication and unity of purpose in the service of Christ.
How should we use the periods of silent prayer?
Communion provides a means of appropriating God’s grace.
Before coming to the Holy Communion, we prepare ourselves through Bible reading, meditation, prayer, self-examination, and confession. The service before the Lord’s Supper usually includes confession of sins and assurance of pardon.
Christians will want to participate in the Holy Communion at every opportunity as an expression of their life in Jesus Christ and with one another. Most congregations offer the Holy Communion six to eight times a year. Many congregations are moving toward more frequent observance.
Saturday, May 18 – Psalm 66:8-15
Proverbs 12; 1 Corinthians 15:29-41
Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them.” Ecclesiastes 12:1
All things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16
Heavenly Father, we are overwhelmed by the majesty of your creation and your care for us. At every stage of our lives you generously provide for all our needs. We praise you for your great goodness and the gift of your dear Son. Amen.
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Count Zinzendorf speaks once again in this collection of sermons preached during his sojourn in Pennsylvania in the 1740s. These sermons, translated by Craig Atwood and Julie Tomberlin Weber, will touch your heart as they did those who heard them more than 250 years ago.