The decisions we make about Communion have no small influence on others.
—Craig Brian Larson
Communion has been a theological battleground for centuries. For today's working pastors, however, many of the issues surrounding Communion seem more practical than theological. They're often questions about how to make the service as meaningful as possible for those who should and should not partake. Questions include:
- What spirit do we want to surround Communion? Celebration? Solemn reflection?
- Who can take Communion? What about the person who "does not discern the body and blood of Christ"?
- How do we train people in their understanding of Communion? How do we work with people who feel unworthy to come—though we think they should?
To get answers to these and other questions, I talked with respected pastors from a variety of theological traditions. Their varied answers provide a menu of choices to help better set the Lord's Table.
A varied focus
When I asked what spirit these pastors want to surround ...1