COMMUNION GUIDELINES

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1 COMMUNION GUIDELINES

2 EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SERVING COMMUNION AT WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH PEOPLE NEEDED 1. The team includes two pastors and 6 servers; the organizer recruits them: 2 to serve wine (W) 2 to serve grape juice (J) 1 to direct traffic (T) 1 to perform several functions (GF+); these functions include 1) serving the gluten-free wafers with their accompanying chalice of grape juice, 2) refilling the pastors bread supply when it runs short, and 3) handling unexpected problems. The servers are stationed as shown here, with their backs to the congregation: SUPPLIES NEEDED W J T J W GF+ 2. A day or two before the service, check the sacristy to determine what wine, grape juice, and gluten-free wafers are in the cabinets. There is often a supply of gluten-free wafers; they go slowly. When the wafer supply runs low, please inform the Sacristy Guild or the chair of the Worship Committee or buy some yourself. Buy other needed supplies. (No wine sales on Sunday morning; plan ahead.) 3. The key to the sacristy resides in a plastic pouch on the pulpit shelf. After using it, ALWAYS return this key to the pouch and shelf!

3 4. You need the following per service. Per service means you should double the quantities for two-service communions. grape juice (at least 20 ounces) rosé or blush wine (at least 12 ounces) (75 cl = 25 oz) 8 10 pieces of flat bread (single thickness pita) 5. PLEASE NOTE: Local grocery stores may stock at least three kinds of flat bread: 1) tortillas (too thin, DON T BUY), 2) double thickness or pocket pita (does not work well because it comes apart when the ministers tear it; DON T BUY) and 3) one-thickness flat bread or pita (BUY THIS KIND). SETTING UP 6. Fill two goblets about 3/4 th full with wine and two others with grape juice. While providing enough for the service, do not to fill the goblets to the point they will easily spill. Place 4 or 5 pieces of bread on each of two plates. Put a few gluten-free wafers on the ceramic plate and fill its accompanying goblet with juice. Pour 4-5 oz. of grape juice in the pitcher and place it in the center of the communion table with an empty goblet beside it. Arrange the communion table as follows, (as you face the table, with your back to the congregation): Gluten Free Set Wine Juice Bread Pitcher Goblet Bread Juice Wine Cover the bread with an unfolded napkin and the filled goblets with a folded napkin. 7. For the organist, fill a small glass communion cup (old style) with juice, and place a piece of bread in a small plate. Set them both on the left (west) end of the organ. SERVING 8. Before the service, the entire team servers and pastors together should meet in the Holderness Mission Center to confirm details and to center themselves through prayer, seeking to be worthy of serving this sacrament to fellow Christians. 9. After the pastors have said the words of invitation at the beginning of communion, the lead pastor will nod for the servers to come forward, placing themselves in the order shown in paragraph 1. Then, when the pastors have prepared the bread for serving and distributed the cups to the servers, the lead

4 pastor will nod to indicate that all should take stations. The servers will turn and step down to the sanctuary floor with the wine servers on each end and the grape juice servers second in, between the wine server and the pastors. GF+ will stand in front of the lectern, with the wafers and its cup of juice. 10. As each person approaches to be served, look that person in the eye, hold the cup forward, when possible call the person by name, and say either The blood of Christ or The cup of salvation. 11. WATCH OUT! Some communicants (a very, very few individuals, used to procedures in other churches/denominations) may take the cup from you and drink directly from it. If they have already eaten their bread and try this, be gracious and go with the flow. Then wipe the edge of the cup they used with the napkin in your hand. If they haven t eaten their bread, gently attempt to suggest intinction but, if that doesn t work, go with the flow.

5 12. If the choir is present, its members and the lector will descend to take communion. The traffic director will move between the front pews and, once the choir and lector have been served, will step backwards and gesture to the people in the pews on each side that they may come forward to be served. (DO NOT LET THE LINES GET TOO SHORT.) When about half way up the aisle, the traffic director should look up to the balcony and gesture for those congregants to come down. (If too close to the back, the traffic director becomes invisible to the people in the balcony.) The traffic director should indicate to those from the balcony that they should wait in the narthex until people on the main floor have risen to get in line. The traffic director should note those who do not rise to be served and ask if they wish to be served in the pew. (Some have disabilities and wish to commune; others may choose not to take communion.) As the last people go forward, the traffic director should follow them and report to the pastor those needing service in the pew. A pastor and grape-juice elder will then visit and serve those individuals, both in the congregation and in the choir. 13. The serving finished (including seated service), the team returns to the table, and the pastors take the cups from the servers and place them on the table. Then they offer communion to the servers and to each other and cover the elements. Once that done, the leading pastor will dismiss the servers to their seats.

6 CLEANING UP 14. The elder in charge of the 11 a.m. service is responsible for washing up the utensils after that service and for laundering and ironing the communion linens. Because these linens are fragile, they should not be sent to a commercial laundry but washed on a delicate cycle. As the table cloths are ironed, they should be rolled onto the special roll found in the sacristy so that they have no creases or wrinkles. The napkins should be ironed and folded. In the light of this laundry duty, a fair division of labor has the elder who organizes communion at the 8:30 service buy the supplies for both services (although the cost may be divided), clean up following the early service (a vacuum and brooms are in the closet next to the sacristy [DO NOT RUN THE VACUUM WHILE THE ORGANIST IS PLAYING THE POSTLUDE!]), and set up for the 11 a.m. service. This should be agreed upon in advance by the two elders involved. 15. After the 11:00 service, wash and dry the serving pieces and put them back in the cabinet. Do NOT leave any opened wine or grape juice in the sacristy (even with a screw-on cap); they both sour quickly. Thick mold floating on wine or juice is truly an ugly sight at 8:15 am. Vacuum all bread crumbs and wipe up any spills. The 11:00 organizer also does the laundry as described above. 16. PUT THE SACRISTY KEY BACK IN THE POUCH ON THE PULPIT SHELF.

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