Communion is central to Presbyterian worship. Below are our beliefs about the Lord’s Supper in selections taken from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Book of Order, the constitution of our church.
Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is the sign and seal of eating and drinking in communion with the crucified and risen Lord. During his earthly ministry Jesus shared meals with his followers as a sign of community and acceptance and as an occasion for his own ministry. He celebrated Israel’s feasts of covenant commemoration. (§W-2.4001a)
Communion of the Faithful
Around the Table of the Lord, God’s people are in communion with Christ and with all who belong to Christ. Reconciliation with Christ compels reconciliation with one another. All who trust in Jesus are welcomed to the Table, and none shall be excluded because of race, sex, age, economic status, social class, handicapping condition, difference of culture or language, or any barrier created by human injustice. Coming to the Lord’s Table the faithful are actively to seek reconciliation in every instance of conflict or division between them and their neighbors… (§W-2.4006)
Time, Place, and Frequency
The Lord’s Supper is to be observed on the Lord’s Day, in the regular place of worship, and in a manner suitable to the particular occasion and local congregation. It is appropriate to celebrate the Lord’s Supper as often as each Lord’s Day. It is to be celebrated regularly and frequently enough to be recognized as integral to the Service for the Lord’s Day. (§W-2.4009)
Who May Receive
The invitation to the Lord’s Supper is extended to all who have been baptized, remembering that access to the Table is not a right conferred upon the worthy, but a privilege given to the undeserving who come in faith, repentance, and love. In preparing to receive Christ in this Sacrament, the believer is to confess sin and brokenness, to seek reconciliation with God and neighbor, and to trust in Jesus Christ for cleansing and renewal. Even one who doubts or whose trust is wavering may come to the Table in order to be assured of God’s love and grace in Christ Jesus. (§W-2.4011a)
Serving and Preparing Communion
The Role of Preparing
To prepare for Communion, we fill trays with juice and bread (including gluten free bread), prepare the chalice and loaf, and set the table prior to Sunday morning worship. All members and friends of Nassau are welcome to help, and families are especially encouraged to participate.
The Role of Serving
In serving Communion, we participate in the worship service and serve the elements to the congregation. Servers must be ordained Elders or Deacons.
Our Communion Schedule
Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday morning of every month except during Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. Servers meet in the pastor’s office twenty minutes before worship. They will have been notified of their positions in the Sanctuary. The team leader will check the line-up and answer possible questions. After a short prayer, servers will take their places in the Sanctuary before worship begins.
Communion is also offered each Sunday evening at our Breaking Bread service held at 8:00 PM in our chapel, first floor through the academic year.