Holy Communion in the Home Fellowship
Every year around the week of Passover / Easter we get our family fellowship together and share the great love that Jesus Christ had in his heart when he died for us. We share the memorial of "communion" as he presented it at the last supper he ate with his disciples prior to his crucifixion. Communion in your own home can be one of the sweetest fellowships you will ever experience.
Much of what I plan to share on this page comes from information that Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille shared regarding how to do an effective communion service so that everyone will be blessed abundantly by the fellowship. Each year as I set up and plan for this wonderful occasion I review this information. I hope it will bless you as you prepare to share Christ's love in your own home.
There are many different ways to handle the fellowship, but you need to be sure that you have planned ahead and have everything set up and thought through before anyone arrives for the fellowship.
1. WORK GOD'S WORD on this subject. Think it through and do the best you can to bless the believers in your home.
2. Make the atmosphere soft and easy, tender and loving. This should not be a long drawn out fellowship (like two hours), but you need to take enough time to present Christ's love for us and cover all the important aspects of the communion memorial (including forgiveness of sin and physical healing).
3. In the weeks before you do communion tell the believers in your fellowship about what will happen at that fellowship and involve as many as you can in the preparations and presentation of communion. Remind them that when the communion fellowship is over that you are not going to do a lot of visiting. There should not be a lot of running around, loud noises, shouting or visiting. Let the believers go home quietly reflecting in their hearts on the love of Christ. TELL them that this is a time to be alone with God and meditate on communion.
The physical set up:
Have a chalice, loving cup, or nice looking wine glass. Fill it about 3/4 full with red wine. I have used Port, a dry red wine, or a good non-alcoholic red wine (not carbonated).
Cover a small coffee table or card table with a white table cloth. I have used a cedar chest or a square end-table that I can easily get around. (The person serving communion sits or stands behind the table.) I usually buy a disposable paper or plastic embossed table cloth that looks kind of lacy to cover the table.
Have a small loaf of bread and place it in front of the wine on the table. Cover the wine with a white cloth or napkin. I have used some nice white cloth handkerchiefs. Also cover the bread with one of these. For the bread we usually bake a frozen bakery loaf in a small round pan. We kind of try to make it like the round flattened loaves of Bible times. Any fresh home made bread works nicely. We usually set the bread on a round silver serving tray or round white plate.
Place a "horn of plenty" (cornucopia) somewhere on the table.
Have two candles, preferably red, and place them on the table. Years ago my wife and I found some candle holders that look like up-turned cornucopias and these have become our communion candle holders. If you can find dripless red candles use those. The candles are burning for most of the fellowship and can be quite a mess on a white table cloth (one of the reasons I use a disposable nice looking table covering).
Candles can also be very effective soft lighting if properly set around the room. Take care to place them where they won't be knocked over. If there are small children in your communion fellowship you need to consider them before using or placing candles in the room.
Have the physical set-up complete before anyone else arrives.
In planning any fellowship or presentation of the Word of God, don't leave God out! These are guidelines for presentation. You must never let the presentation become more important than the heart of God's Word you are sharing. Especially when preparing the great heart of God that was demonstrated in His giving His only begotten son. We must allow God to work within us to will and do His good pleasure in presentation of His wonderful Word. A believer once taught me when preparing to share God's Word that he thought about it like a coloring book: We work God's Word and draw the outline of what we want to present - then let God fill in the colors. God may reveal to you an entirely different picture than the one I will describe. If the truth of God's Word is presented in a loving atmosphere God will bless the fellowship.
Order of the meeting:
When everyone is there, sing a song or two. I like to have some soft music playing in the background when believers are arriving. Rev. Dean Ellenwood has a tape of soft Instrumental Hymns called "In His Own Quiet Way" that would be nice to use. (You can purchase this tape from him at: Household Music, 8805 Sparkling Creek Drive, Austin, TX. 78729-4547 (512)335-7337.)
Have some prayer with the understanding for specific things. Pray for the individual believers in your home, the believers around the world, the leaders and ministries that God has placed in the church for our edification. (We would be blessed if you remember our fellowship in your prayers.) Pray for the continued outreach of His Word around the world.
Have the worship manifestations - tongues with interpretation - prophecy.
Have another song or short chorus. Use songs that are quiet and peaceful.
Sometime during the fellowship share I Corinthians 11:23-30. The first century believers met in their homes and remembered the accomplishments of Christ by sharing communion. However, they made it such a common practice that some came to eat and drink rather than to remember Christ's love. Great healing is available when the Word is presented with focus on its significance.
Have a prayer of blessing over the bread and wine. You can stand or sit while giving communion. Mainly do what is comfortable.
Remove the napkin from the bread and lay it nicely to the side. Fold it (you are not in a hurry), and do the same for the napkin over the chalice. Take your time; fold these nicely and lay them to the side.
Pick up the bread in both hands, hold it, then break it in half.
Then, pick up half and quote "Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you, for your healing, this do ye in remembrance of me." (His body was broken for our healing!) I like to say it like this: "Take, eat, this is Christ's body which was broken for us. For our healing! This do in remembrance of him."
Then put one half down, take the other half and break a little piece off and put it in the hand of the believer. Go around or pass the half around and let them break off their own pieces. All hold their piece in their right hand until everyone has one. (You have to tell them this!) Say "Everyone hold your piece until I tell you to eat it and then we will eat it together." Also if you are giving pieces take a soft small piece from the center of the bread (not the crust) to give to each believer. Make sure it is small enough that they can eat it easily and do not have to sit there chewing while you have moved on to the next part of the communion. Try to give everyone the same size portion. When all have the bread in their right hand you say, "Take, eat" and then you all eat together.
Wait about 30 seconds, praying silently. Then you take the cup and say, "This cup is the New Testament in Christ's blood unto the remission and forgiveness of sins. This do ye in remembrance of me." You then take a sip of wine out of the cup, and take the cup or pass it around with a napkin so they can each take a sip. As you go around the room give each a sip and wipe the cup between each with the napkin. Maybe turn the cup a little each time. I like to be last to sip rather than first when we do this part. Its up to you (and God).
Set the cup down on the table and cover both the bread and the wine.
Give a prayer of thanksgiving, where you thank God for His son, Jesus Christ, and that he came and gave his life for us, and that these symbols of the broken bread and the cup are indicative of what he accomplished for us and made available to us.
You may want to then sing a chorus or two of "Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace", or "My Jesus I Love Thee", or "Yes, It is Jesus", or anything soft and nice. Then just sit quietly for a minute or two and relax and be thankful. Then you will have your abundant sharing. God gave so much for you, you and I can never out give Him. Have a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving and close your meeting and have the believers go on their way rejoicing over what God has done for them.
© Copyright February 1997 Michael Cortright