Details on Conducting Lord's Supper

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Paul Kersey, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. Paul Kersey

    Paul Kersey
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    I currently serve as Minister of Evangelism in a medium-sized church. In the near future, I will be sharing interim pastor duties with the youth minister. I have never conducted the Lord's Supper, and this observance is coming up soon. I would sincerely appreciate advice on the following issues:

    1.) Is your sermon on the Sundays of the Lord's Supper focused on any particular topic, or do you cover the material already planned, simply in a shortened format?

    2.) Could you please outline, from beginning to end, the procedure you follow for conducting the Lord's Supper, including the Scripture references etc.? In other words, please include every detail including when you pray, what you say prior to consuming the elements etc.

    I am grateful for everyone's input. I have preached many times but have never officiated in this way, and I have come to realize that I need to prepare now.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Here is the service the way I do it... you have to understand some things are neither right or wrong... but to give you an idea... here it is...

    The sermon is somehow connected to the communion service...
    After the invitation, everyone is seated...

    I ask 2 deacons to come forward. They sit on the front row.
    the Table has already been prepared, in the center of the altar, and I have a chair setting to the left of the table.

    I will read...
    1Co 11:28-32
    (28)
    But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.
    (29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
    (30) For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
    (31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
    (32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

    then I pause for a period of silent reflection.. for us to use this to examine our heart...

    Then I read...
    1Co 11:23-24
    (23)
    For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread:
    (24) And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

    I ask one Deacon to bless the bread, and then they pass it to the congregation... bring the tray back to the table... and they have a seat... I take the tray and serve the 2 deacons... then I put the tray back on the table, and I have a seat in the chair beside the table... then the one deacon that blessed the bread takes the tray, and serves me... he then sits back down...

    I say, while seated with the congregation, "The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, eat ye all of it"
    (you'll hear crunch, crunch, crunch all over the church!:laugh: )
    Then I stand back up behind the table... and read:
    1Co 11:25-26
    (25)
    After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.
    (26) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

    then we follow the same procedure as above.. I ask the other deacon to bless the cup, they pass it out, they sit down, I serve them, they serve me... and I say, "The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, drink ye all of it"
    (Now the sound effects is the result of everyone putting those little plastic cups into the cup holders in the back of the pew!!:laugh: )

    Then I invite everyone to rise, and join hands... and we stumble through "Blest be the tie that binds" (which growing up I thought was about that piece of cloth around the preacher's neck!!!)


    I hope this helped.

     
  3. exscentric

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    Do as the Lord leads.

    I always try to make it a part of the message thoughts. Sometimes I use a text, sometimes I just pass the elements and partake together.

    Pass the juice first and see if anyone is awake enough to notice. The service is very cut and paste in some churches.

    Have someone else do a devotional or give a testimony of a Lord's table service that has special meaning to them.

    There is no right or wrong way within the information we know of the time.
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    I agree. I personally do not like to do it the same way every time. I like to do things a little different each time.
     
  5. bobbyd

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    I'm with SBCPastor. Do as the Lord leads, don't be afraid to "personalize it" so that you are comfortable...just try to remember that the main focus is on remembering Christ and Him crucified.
     
  6. SaggyWoman

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    I don't like to do it the same every time I do it, but here are some suggestions on the way(s) I have done it or seen it done.

    1. Orient music to portray the body/blood/sacrifice of Christ.

    2. Show scenes from the death of Christ. Some have used scenes from the passion of Christ. Others have used scenes from the Jesus video.

    3. I like to tell the history of the passover from the Moses era and relate it to what Christ did at the cross. I like to be specific about making amends with our brother/sister prior to the taking of the elements.

    4. Offer a prayer for the elements.

    5. As far as the giving of the elements, you can pass them out. You can have them at different stations where people go pick them up. You can have people come in groups of 12 or so and recieve the bread and the juice/wine. You can have fathers offer it to their families (or, other leaders if it is a single mother offer to their families).

    6. Sing a closing him, with offering plates at the door to take money for some benevolence or missions.

    Other ideas is to have it by candlelight, in silence.
     
  7. SaggyWoman

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  8. SaggyWoman

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    Nothing against you, exscentric, but sometimes I wonder why churches bother when they make this service boring.
     
  9. SaggyWoman

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    Though I had partaken in the Lord's Supper before then, Communion became real to me when I went to play production back in the late 70's--was it Celebrate Life????? The disciples were having the Last Supper with Jesus, and they production passed the elements to everyone watching.

    The reality hit me.... and I was connected.
     
  10. Tom Bryant

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    We change the way we do it all the time. But certain elements are always the same.
    - We talk about the meaning of the Lord's Supper
    - We share a word of warning about who can be involved - Are they saved? Are they in fellowship with the Lord? Are they in fellowship with each other?
    - We pass the bread - pray, and eat together
    - We pass the juice - pray and drink together.

    We always try to bulid the service around the Lord's Supper.

    We have done a whole meal with the Lord's Supper at the end.

    The most meaningful communion service for me was on a fire bas in Viet Nam when a bunch of us got together. Had no bread or grape juice, so we tore off pieces of a box and drank water. I certainly wouldn't do that now, but it sure meant alot then.

    The key is accomplishing the purpose Jesus gave wanted us to accomplish - remembering His death until He comes
     
  11. SaggyWoman

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    I hear you. The next most memorable Lord's Supper was the first year I traveled to Ukraine and we were late getting to the church--they usually have their Lord's Supper the first Sunday of the month, and our flight had been delayed three days.

    We initially ended up having a Polish roll off the air plane, as well as a bottle of grape wine I took off another flight that for our service--out of a Dixie up! But you know, it was genuine.
     
  12. exscentric

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    I was filling in at a very stayed/traditional church where the deacon on the left prayed first for the bread and the one on the right prayed for the cup.

    I knew this, but one Sunday I had a brain cramp and called on the one on the right to pray for the bread - we almost had a melt down.

    After the service I dismissed the group and one of the little old ladies said quietly, well we usually sing a song. I said that would be great and picked a song and as the pianist began the intro the old lady quietly said, not that song. I asked which song and she told me so the pianist started the intro and again the woman quietly said, but we usually form a circle and hold hands :1_grouphug:

    I finally got it right the next time around :thumbs:
     
  13. SaggyWoman

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    Dear sweet Holy Jesus. Cum bah yah.
     
  14. David Lamb

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    1) I try to bear in mind the fact that there is something additional on those days, and to plan my sermon to be slightly shorter than usual. As we are a church in a holiday (vacation :) ) area, we try to make sure that our services do not overrun, as we often get visitors who are staying at local hotels and guest-houses where meals are served at a set time. As for the content of the sermon, I usually preach a series of sermons (either working through a book of the bible, or a series on a theme), and I don't break into that series on "Lord's Supper Sundays", though I do try to bring our thoughts around to what the Lord did to save His people.

    2) Following the sermon, a deacon and I will sit either side of the communion table. I introduce the Supper by explaining that it is the way in which Jesus told His people to remember His death. I make it clear that it is something for people who know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, yet warmly inviting anyone who does not yet know Him to remain with us. I then read a suitable bible passage, either from 1 Corinthians 11 or one of the gospels, about the institution of the Supper, as far as the bread is concerned. We then give thanks for the bread and for what it signifies. The deacon then distributes the bread. Following a moment or two of quiet prayer or reflection, we do the same with the wine - bible-reading, thanksgiving, distribution.

    We then have a final hymn, and benediction, to close the whole service.
     
  15. Gershom

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    I set aside the entire service. I have the table with the bread and cup in the center at the front. I usually stand to the side with a few words and scripture, then I sit with the congregation and everyone has the opportunity to express their love and reflect upon what Jesus has done for us. One might pray, another offer a hymn, or Scripture or testimony as to how Jesus died for them. However the Spirit leads, one will bless the bread and serve it to everyone, likewise with the cup.

    It's a blessed time of remembrance.
     
  16. bobbyd

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    And before you left, did you find a wall to relieve the stress? :BangHead:
     
  17. tenor

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    I prefer it when the Lord's Supper is central to the service and the entire service focuses on the Supper.

    When it's tacked on at the end it sometimes feels like "Oh, eah, we've got to do this" or it gives the feeling that it's not important.

    Perhaps try having the people come to receive the elelments. Do it around tables with the deacons each serving a table. Have families come and take it together - perhaps with the father serving his family. There are many ways.
     
    #17 tenor, Sep 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2007
  18. Paul Kersey

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    I appreciate everyone's comments. They have been very helpful.
     
  19. annsni

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    In our church, we have worship first (3-4 songs), then prayer then we go right into communion. The table is set up front and the servers will walk forward during the last song from worship so that they're in place in time. We always have 2 pastors who lead the Lord's Supper - and one will get up in the beginning and speak a bit about communion - usually speaking of examining their hearts to see if they're right with the Lord and with others and able to take communion, then they will pray. After that, the elements are passed out and while they are, there will either be an instrumental music time, a song or some sort of something to draw hearts to the Lord. Once the communion has been all passed out to the congregation, the servers come back up front, hand in their trays (taking their own communion as they do) and then the trays are put back on the table and the servers will sit down. The pastor will then recite the Scripture from 1 Corinthians 11 and will end with the "do this in rememberance of me" then everyone will eat the bread.

    The same thing is repeated for the cup (with the remainder of the 1 Corinthians 11 Scripture) - and there might be a different song, the same song, different or same music, etc. - it depends on what's going on that week. After the cup, we always take a benevolent offering - which is used to help those in need in the church.

    As for the sermon, our pastor usually preaches in series - and the sermon on Communion Sunday is the same as what he would preach any other day. If he had to stop and change the message for each communion, we'd NEVER get through these series (he started Romans a year ago - we're up to chapter 7).
     
  20. exscentric

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    " And before you left, did you find a wall to relieve the stress? :BangHead:"

    :laugh:

    Surprised noone has suggested finishing a potluck with the Lord's Table like He did :thumbs:
     

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