COMMUNION SERVICES - THE LORD'S SUPPER
What is Communion?
Holy Communion, otherwise known as the Lord’s Supper, is a sacrament in which the Church remembers the death of Christ by eating bread and drinking wine, symbolising the body and blood of Christ. The bread and wine are also known as the “elements”. The sacrament is open to all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and have made public profession of faith.
Where In the Bible?
The Lord’s Supper was established by Christ. Just before the crucifixion Jesus met with His disciples in the Upper Room to celebrate the Passover. During the meal, He broke bread and shared it with them, explaining that this would remind them of His own body broken for them on the cross. He then offered them wine to drink, to remind them of His blood shed to wash away their sins. This shedding of blood also sealed a new covenant or commitment between God and all followers of Christ. The following Bible verses record how the Lord’s Supper began: (Matthew 26:26, Luke 22:17, 1 Corinthians 11:23).
The Jewish Passover was the forerunner of the Lord’s Supper. In it the Jews remembered how their lives had been saved because the blood of a lamb had been sprinkled on the door posts of their houses. Exodus 12.
In the Lord’s Supper Christians remember how they have been saved because the blood of Christ has been sprinkled for them. There is therefore a strong link between the Passover and the Lord’s Supper:(1 Peter 1:18-21).
Christians continue to celebrate the Lord’s Supper regularly because Jesus Himself has commanded it. In the Lord’s Supper Christ’s death is remembered, His risen presence is experienced and faith and devotion to Him are renewed.
In his first letter to the church in Corinth Paul describes the Lord's Supper as follows:
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”
1 Corinthians 11 23-26 (English Standard Version- ESV)
The Lord’s Supper - A Sacrament of The Church
A sacrament is a visual aid which illustrates and confirms the spiritual truths and promises contained in the gospel. In the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper the bread represents Christ’s body broken on the cross, and the wine His blood shed for the forgiveness of sin. By participating in the Lord’s Supper we share by faith in the living Christ and all the benefits of His death.
A sacrament is meaningless without faith. Those who come to the Lord’s Supper should have faith in Christ as the One who has died for their sins.
The Lord’s Supper - Its Different Names
The title “The Lord’s Supper” takes us back to the Last Supper when Christ first instructed His disciples to observe this special meal. “The Communion Service” - this title emphasises our communion or fellowship with God at the Lord’s Table. Those who meet at the Lord’s Table are called “Communicants.” Some churches use the term “The Breaking of Bread” to describe the Lord’s Supper.
Who Should Come to the Lord’s Supper?
You do not have to be a Church Member at Blairgowrie ParishChurch to receive communion. Sharing in the Lord’s Supper is for those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ into their lives. They recognise that they are sinners in the sight of a holy and perfect God and believe that Christ has died for the forgiveness of their sins. In repentance and faith, they have come to Christ for salvation, have committed their lives to Christ and recognised Him as Lord. It is essential that those who come to the Lord’s table understand exactly what the Lord’s Supper means and what is required of those who share in it.
Children and the Lord’s Supper
Children are welcome to share in the sacrament of communion. To some people this might be surprising as traditionally Communion in the Church of Scotland has been an all adult affair. However, that was not always the case, the practice of children at communion is as old as the church itself. We feel that without children being invited to the Lord’s Supper our faith community would be incomplete.
Children who have been baptised and who understand the Sacrament and with the parents’ consent can receive communion. It is therefore preferable that parents accompany children who wish to receive Communion. If parents have any question please speak with Benjamin the Minister. For further information please read the 'Children and the Lord's Supper' booklet.
When is the Communion Service Held?
At Blairgowrie Parish Church, we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion three times a year - on the first Sunday of February, June and November. On those Sundays services are held at 9.30 and 11 a.m. On the following Thursday of Communion Sunday we hold a short service of Communion at 2.30 pm in the afternoon for those who normally cannot come to Church.
Additional services are held on the first Sunday of every month after the 11.00 am Morning Service. Also, during the week of Easter we hold a service on Maundy Thursday (the day of the first Last Supper when Jesus instituted the Sacrament).
(February, June and November)
THURSDAY following Communion Sunday