Back to the Table

Resuming Communion at All Souls

1. February 2021In Pastor's deskBy Scotty Williams7 Minutes

Out of all my pastoral duties, serving Communion is my favorite. I love chanting the Sanctus, consecrating the elements, and declaring the mystery of faith in Christ. But the thing I love the most about Communion is the way that it shows God’s grace; the grace that has carried me for almost a year since the Pandemic suspended it.

“Do this” He said – not believe this but do this – “in remembrance of me.

– Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor

Beyond Belief

In addition to the grace of God, what makes Communion so special is that it is more than belief. Of course, we must come to the Table with faith, but the focus of this moment is the things that are done. We are called to break bread as the body of Christ was broken for us. We are called to pour out wine or grape juice as the blood of Jesus was poured out for us. And, before we come to Table, we are called to settle conflicts with fellow believers, and to seek forgiveness from those we have wronged that we might eat and drink in a worthy manner.

Communion takes us beyond belief and puts our faith into action, and all the things that we believe about Christ are lived out in the worship place. And when we live what we believe about Christ we find that He is present with us, and are reminded that His presence is shown through us in our daily lives throughout the week. In addition to Sunday, Communion compels us to put faith intoaction from Monday to Saturday, and through our works we bring to the minds of others the memory of our living Lord.

We look to the future, as we believe that the Lord’s Supper is a foretaste of the Messianic Banquet.

– Book of Common Worship (Presbyterian)

A Foretaste

The Reformer John Calvin taught that Communion is a foretaste of a banquet to come or a glimpse into the future where the Church will feast with Christ at the Table of eternity. At this feast we will see the fullness of who God is making us to be, and that is something far greater than the divided and broken humanity that we currently are. Bishop Michael Curry once told a story about his parents, who attended a service at an Episcopal Church during the Jim Crow era of the American South. They were the only African-Americans in the predominantly White congregation, but when Communion came they drank the wine from the same cup as everyone else.

What Bishop Curry’s parents experienced was a foretaste of the future, where humanity is united by God’s love and free from the powers of sin and death. Like the foot of Jesus’ cross, His Table is place of level ground where no one can look down on others and can only look up to Him. At the feast that is to come this level ground will be unending, and all eyes will gaze upon Christ while the troubles we know will pass away forever. In Communion we have the chance to live out the second part of the Lord’s Prayer, where we say with hope for the future, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”.

We will feast in the house of Zion. We will sing with our hearts restored.

– Sandra McCracken

We Will Feast

Due to new COVID-19 restrictions from the Swiss Federal Council we have taken many measures to keep everyone safe, and one measure that was being considered was putting all services online until further notice. It has been decided that we will continue holding public worship gatherings, and one reason for this is that people have expressed a strong desire to celebrate Communion again. Yes, we coulc take the elements together from the comforts of our home during a livestream, but Communion is about fellowshipping with other believers in the same time and space.

During last year’s Early Christmas service we found an alternative way to eat and drink in the sanctuary, and since then we have found another alternative way that is much safer than the first. Though I am not too keen on the prepackaged elements that we will use, I am grateful that we can once again feast in the sanctuary. We can once again do what Christ has called us to do in remembrance of Him and receive a glimpse of the coming day when we will feast together in the house of Zion and sing together with our hearts restored.


–Pastor Scotty

*Images – “The Cup” by Raquel Sandoval (this image was taken during an ASPC service and purchased by the congregation; ASPC has the photographers permission and full right to use this image). “Cup and Candle” by Scotty J. Williams (this image was taken by the author of this article and requires no license). Paino Communion Church Bible by fbcstcharles and  “Celebration of the Eucharist“, by norbert47/Nobert Staudt “”(these images comes from Pixabay and are free for commercial use; no attribution required.)