How do we Practice Communion?

At Bethlehem Lutheran Church, we celebrate  Holy Communion as it was instituted by our Lord Jesus: the gift of his true body and blood, shed for the forgiveness of our sins. By sharing this meal together, baptized Christians confess that we are unified in faith & that this bread & wine are truly Christ’s body & blood as he promised. It is not merely a symbolic or spiritual eating & drinking. Since Scripture teaches that one can receive this gift to their harm & that each person should examine oneself before eating this meal (1 Cor. 11:27-28) we ask that members & visitors alike reflect on the following questions:

  • Do I believe that with the bread & wine I receive the true body & blood of Jesus, not just a symbol of it?
  • Am I willing to be unified with this congregation, its confession of faith, and its life together, under the spiritual care of its pastors?
  • Do I intend, with the help of God, to live a life that is pleasing to God?
  • Do I believe that I am a sinner in need of God’s grace & mercy, and that through this meal, I receive forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and salvation through Christ?

Those who answer these questions with yes are invited to join us at the table. There are several reasons why one might answer no to these questions, whether as a member or a guest: if you are in active conflict with a brother or sister in Christ, especially in this community, if you are of a different confession of faith than this congregation (Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod), or if you have not been instructed regarding communion. If one of these apply to you, or if you are unsure, we invite you to come forward with hands crossed to receive a blessing, knowing that there is no shame if for any reason you should abstain. Following the service, please speak to one of our pastors, as we would love for you to join us in the future! (Alcohol-removed white wine is in the center of each tray.)