The elements your church/congregation/community uses for communion?

For all: Does your church/congregation/community use bread and wine, bread and grape juice, etc… for communion? If so, do they have guidelines as to what kind to use, how to prepare it? Also, what is the reasoning behind what is used?

For those that use unbroken bread especially, what is the idea behind using unbroken bread; so, for example (if my understanding is correct) the priest at a Catholic mass consumes a piece of broken bread (please don’t take it as an insult, I mean that as the “accidents”), but the congregants receive unbroken. If you have a quote or link to an explanation of these things, or how it evolved, please do share if you’d like.

Does everyone agree that the Last Supper was a Passover meal where the Lord would have used Matzoh bread that was specially made for Passover, and wine (whatever the alcohol content)?

If there is another thread discussing this, please do point me there, or merge!

We do gluten free crackers for those people with celiac. We also do grape juice I am assuming for alcoholics I never asked. Every week I actually do not like the way they do it. I have been at churches all over the spectrum of guarding the table. This church just has it where everyone walks in and the children are always walking by and sticking their hands in the basket. I am not a member so I am not sure how they prep it.

I like my friends church they have bread that everyone comes up to the alter and breaks off and they use wine in one cup. Most people dip the bread in the wine. They also do it every week. The do minimal guarding.

We pretty much have the same requirements as Catholics… The bread must be unleavened, made of water and wheat flour with nothing else added. The wine must be red wine (my parish uses Christian Brothers ruby port, but that’s just our preference). I believe there was a council called before the schism between the East and West (I can’t remember which one), where it was decided that the bread had to be flour and water only, and that’s been the tradition in the Western Church ever ever since.

As far as the host itself, the priest uses a larger host for the altar, along with smaller hosts for the congregation, all of which get consecrated at the same time. The altar bread is broken in half at the Fracture, and a small particle of the piece the priest will consume is dropped into the chalice, with the words: “In token of Thy great descent into the limitations of matter, we rend this Thy holy body, that we may live, praying that by this action ordained from of old, Thy will, Thy love, and Thy consciousness, which Thou dost give us in this holy sacrifice, may be spread abroad upon Thy world: And as Thou, O Christ, art ever made known to Thy disciples in the breaking of bread, so may Thy many servants know themselves to be one with Thee, even as Thou art one with the Father.” The Deacon and Subdeacon receive pieces of the altar bread, as do any minor order clergy, if there is enough; and the smaller hosts are distributed to the congregation.

Because we’re more of an esoteric Church, the idea here is that in dropping the particle into the chalice, a connection is made between the elements of the Eucharist. When the priest drinks from the chalice, a connection is made between him and both elements, which is then continued through the congregation as each one of us receive the Eucharist. We also receive Communion by intinction, so the host is dipped into the wine before we receive it – but if, for whatever reason, someone prefers to receive only one species, they may. The fullness of Christ is contained in both species, so nothing is lost there.

I do agree that unleavened bread and wine would have been used at the Last Supper because it was Pesach, when leavened bread wouldn’t have been used. I believe, if I remember correctly, that the reason the Orthodox use leaved bread is to symbolize the resurrection. I could be wrong, but I think that’s a beautiful way to look at it, if it’s true!

I should add too, that one benefit of unleavened hosts is that they’re less likely to leave a lot of crumbs. We’re very meticulous in making sure that not even the tiniest particle is left where it might be desecrated. This is why the priest and deacon rinse their fingers during the Ablutions.

In the Baptist church, communion is generally held either monthly or quarterly. Serving communion is done by the deacons and each person is served at his seat. The elements are unleavened bread, generally in chicklet size pieces, and grape juice in thimble size glasses. Both are served on silver trays. After the bread has been served, the pastor will usually say something like, “When He had given thanks for the bread, He broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’” Then the entire congregation eats the bread.

The deacons then serve the cup (grape juice) and the pastor usually says something like, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
Then the whole congregation drinks their small container of grape juice.

It is always done in a prayerful and reverend atmosphere. When the communion service is over, the congregation sings a hymn as Jesus and the apostles did in Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26.

I am Catholic, but my in-laws are non-denominational evangelicals. I am not sure how often they have “the Lord’s supper,” but they do on Christmas every year. One year we went with them to their Christmas Eve service, and the bread was just a loaf of Italian bread from the grocery store, and the juice was Welch’s or some other brand. My husband and I did not participate, but people just went up at the preacher’s invitation and pinched pieces of bread off the loaves and then juice was in paper cups. There was a hymn being sung but there wasn’t any formality to it at all (which is typical for them - their community meets in a movie theater and definitely promotes the “casual” worship style.)

In the Orthodox church we use leavened bread and wine I think Mavrodaphne a sweet red wine from Greece.

Unleavened bread wafers & “altar” wine (wine specifically made for communion). Bought from a local Catholic Shop actually.

We observe Communion on a monthly basis. There is a movement at the higher levels of the UMC to make that observance a weekly thing. That may or may not happen. Of course, John Wesley’s views on the subject call for a regular (perhaps even daily!) act of communion.

My congregation uses a combination of store-bought breads for that particular component of the service. In our capacity as United Methodists, we generally utilize pasteurized grape juice in place of wine. Our official UMC statement on the matter states that during the “movement against beverage alcohol in the late nineteenth century”, the predecessor groups of the modern UMC took positions against the use of wine. I’ve been told that as a matter of history, early Methodist societies in England weren’t particularly fond of providing alcohol to those people who might struggle against alcoholism. A commentary to the official UMC statement suggests that “differences of opinion on this matter reflect continuing tension in United Methodism between the Catholic-Anglican and evangelical-free church aspects of our heritage”.

Our official position paper also lays out our view on bread. “The use of a whole loaf best signifies the unity of the church as the body of Christ and, when it is broken and shared, our fellowship in that body.” Said loaf should also be “plain”, with care being taken to avoid excessive crumbling, etc., on account of the dignity of the service. The two elements are generally served by intinction (a relatively recent trend) or by individual cups and small-cut pieces of bread. Whethether common cups or any method are used elsewhere, I can’t say.

All of this is done against the framework of several variations of “A Service of Word and Table”, the official UMC communion service; our current leadership follows it closely if not always down to the letter. Invariably, some version of the words, “The body of Christ, broken for you/The blood of Christ, shed for you” are spoken to each recipient. Lay men and women often participate in the actual serving of the elements.

Naturally, we practice open communion, contradistinguished from the Roman Catholic practice.

Lutherans typically use unleavened bread and grape wine, though leavened bread is not prohibited


Anyone know the rationale for changing the communion wine from red to white wine? Red wine was the norm up until the 1970’s. Maybe Vatican II had something to do with?

AFAIK, it is simply a matter of practicality. White will not stain the purificators and other altar linens.

Can. 924 §1. The most holy eucharistic sacrifice must be offered with bread and with wine in which a little water must be mixed.

§2. The bread must be only wheat and recently made so that there is no danger of spoiling.

§3. The wine must be natural from the fruit of the vine and not spoiled.

No color is mentioned, andrewstx is probably right, that said, the color of red wine is indicative of blood.

I have never had white wine at Mass. :shrug:

Don’t forget that the Lord’s Supper is modelled after the Passover Seder and at the meal they had to get rid of anything that contains leaven, that included alcoholic beverages, because 1 Corinthians 5 gives us the picture of sin in a metaphorical sense as being like leaven and that even a small amount of leaven will make the whole bread leavened, just like how one sin makes the whole person a sinner. Also when instituting the Lord’s Supper, the term used for what is in the cup is “fruit of the vine” when there is a word for wine already, meaning they used grape juice not wine in the Seder. Which is why my church uses unleavend bread and grape juice for the symbols of Christ’s suffering…

Interesting. I wonder how they got fresh grape juice in the first century, months after harvest, and nearly two millennia before refridgeration and Pastuerisation had been invented.

No yeast has to be added to grape juice to get wine. there are naturally occurring yeasts on the grape even before they are crushed.

BTW there is no such thing as “unfermented wine”.

In the Catholic Church all hosts must contain gluten . The ones used for celiacs have a much lower amount but gluten must still be present.

There is no grape juice used in the Catholic Church, it is always wine.

What do you do with leftover bread and grape juice?

In one parish in my town it is white wine, in the other red.

We use unleavened bread and wine. Usually the wine is white but sometimes it is a red wine. The bread is made on Saturday night usually by a lady in the parish.

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