I’ve been a communion-taker all my life. My first experiences consisted of my grandmother’s circa 1940ish double-oven contraption, rolling out heaps of thick-crusted loaves which would eventually become the next day’s communion bread. Her bread was the envy of altar boys and parishoners, alike. So much so, that the congregation was routinely warned (and reprimanded) for sneaking a few extras on the way back to their pews. Wine-soaked bread bits preceding the bread steals were placed in the mouths of young and old–no carding required. The only requirement? One must have met with the priest earlier that morning and “confess” one’s sins–even if one had to improvise. A small soul-payment for a little buzz and great bread.
Years later, I married a Presbyterian. Grape juice replaced wine; crackers for homemade bread. No required fess-up, though. Plus, the tiny juice cups were quite adorable.
Alas, even the juice cups couldn’t keep me there. I knew in my gut something big was missing.
After several more years of “church hopping,” we eventually came to rest at our current church home. Three years in and no looking outward. The communion feels meaningful. No required confessions. No judgements. Only one thing: Follow Christ
And a new offering for this New Year: In addition to the regular bread, which has recently become a bit undesirable, in that it tends to be rather dough-y, they’re now offering a crisp gluten-free choice. Imagine that! Evangelical-Progressives.