The Sacrament of Communion

One of the core parts of our weekly Worship together is the Sacrament of Communion. We come from all different traditions and experiences of when and how Communion is celebrated, and when and how a person receives Communion for the first time. Many of us have memories of the first time we participated in Communion. And we may have experienced receiving Communion in many different ways, from intinction, to common cup, to individual cups, to receiving only bread.


Everything changed as we journeyed through Covid together worshipping on Zoom, and began celebrating Communion together, at home. For some of our children, their first time receiving Communion took place during those days of Zoom worship, as they joined their families in communing. Some of us were creative with what elements we used for Communion, as we did not have shared bread and wine and used what we had available. One thing is for sure: even as our sanctuary altar remains and will always remain a sacred symbol of God’s presence and abundance, our Communion table expanded, far beyond our sanctuary walls.


As a result, when we look around the sanctuary, we or our children may notice differences in how each family at Christ Lutheran recognizes First Communion, and when that takes place. That is part of the richness of our community—the diversity of experiences and practices we have among us, even as we share a common faith in Christ who invites us to the table.


As all of us reflect on the meaning of the Sacrament of Communion, and especially as parents consider when your child may be ready to participate in the sacrament, here are a few things our ELCA Lutheran tradition, and our scriptures, tell us about the Sacrament of Communion.


Jesus Christ is truly present in the sacrament of communion.

In our Gospels, at the Last Supper, Jesus says, “This is my body. This is my blood.” The Augsburg Confession states: “It is taught among us that the true body and blood of Christ are really present in the Supper of our Lord under the form of bread and wine and are there distributed and received.” The `how’ of Christ’s presence remains as inexplicable in the sacrament as elsewhere. It is a presence that remains `hidden’ even though visible media are used in the sacrament. Use of the Means of Grace 33


The Sacrament of Communion and the Word of God go together in our Worship.

Communion is core to our Worship. We come together, each week, and are fed in Spirit and in body, as we hear God’s promises proclaimed, are strengthened by those promises and body and blood of Christ. We are then sent forth to embody God’s promises and share God’s abundance with the world. Use of the Means of Grace 34


The age of first communion may vary, for each congregation and each child.

Jesus fed all who were hungry, whatever their age. Throughout scriptures, God always feeds God’s people, without distinction. In the ELCA, congregations may choose to have a requirement of age and catechetical preparation prior to receiving Communion for the first time, or may commune children from infancy. For many families, receiving Communion for the first time is an important milestone in faith. The Communion table at Christ Lutheran will always be open to all who wish to receive. And, we will always respect the varying needs and preferences of people of all ages and experiences among us. Use of the Means of Grace 37-38


Catechesis and the Sacrament of Communion

Among the promises of Baptism, parents and sponsors promise to teach children about our faith as they grow. Along the way, as we celebrate Communion throughout our lives, our understanding of the sacrament grows and changes, and none of us can ever say that we fully understand it! In John 16, Jesus tells his disciples that he has more to tell us, but we can’t bear it yet . . . but the Spirit will continue to guide and teach us as we grow. We as a community of faith carry out the promise to learn together so that children and adults continue to grow in our understanding of the scriptures and the sacraments. A class dedicated to learning and reflection about the Sacrament of Communion in particular will take place at least once a year, for children around 2nd grade or older to learn about the sacrament, whether they have been receiving Communion or not. A celebration for those students in Worship will recognize their continued learning about our faith. The next Communion class will take place in the fall of 2022. Use of the Means of Grace 37-38


If you wish to learn more, you can read about our sacraments in the ELCA’s document Use of the Means of Grace The Use of the Means of Grace ( You can also talk with Pastor Meagan for additional resources, or to ask any questions, or share your thoughts and experiences.