Sunday, January 13, 2008

Individual Communion -- An Oxymoron?

Celebration Cup
"Celebration Cup"
When I was a child, communion was served as little wafers and a sip of wine from a communal goblet. As I grew older, my family and I started to attend a church that instead used real bread and tiny, individual, stainless steel cups that were washed and reused each week. I have been to other churches that use tiny glass or clear plastic cups. These too tended to be washed and reused until they broke (although I suspect that some churches, with no environmental conscience, shamefully throw away the plastic ones after each communion service).

Today, however, I went to a church that practised the ultimate in throw-away communion. At communion time, they passed round baskets of little, individualized, vacuum sealed packs, each containing a single wafer and a small amount of communion wine (grape juice). The top of each pack is printed with "This is my body, which is broken for you. Take, eat. Do this in remembrance of me." One peels off the first layer and eats the wafer, then peels off the rest of the lid and drinks the grape juice. The plastic containers are then discarded.

For a moment I wasn't sure whether I was at church or in a cheap coffee shop.

With regard to the environmental concerns, I came across the idea for a liquid filled, wafer covered, edible communion cup. One eats the wafer, drinks the grape juice, then eats the cup too.

1 comment:

Renata said...

We used to meet with a congregation that tried this once. It was very comical because several people had trouble opening those packets, including the pastor.