Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sacraments: Gift or Burden?

The early service is over. Communion trays have been replenished and restocked along with broken pieces of Matzoh bread in the plates. It's what we do on the first Sunday every month; celebrate communion. Preaching and music need to be adjusted so that we don't feel rushed or run over time. The question between services is; is it still fresh and real? Are the sacraments the gifts they were intended or a liturgical necessity, even a burden and bother? Who sets up? Who cleans up? Do we sing during the serving or play instrumental? Should there be silence? What about coming forward to the table, or kneeling at a kneeling bench/rail? Bread or cracker? Two species or intinction? Juice or wine?
After the first service a discerning friend came up and asked: "Do we serve the sacraments or do the sacraments serve us?" and then the kicker: "If, after dinner with my family and friends, can we just break some bread and share a cup in Jesus name without you, the pastor leading it?" Hmmm? Priesthood of believers or special role for clergy? How far did the Reformation go?


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