?Will we administer both the bread and wine during communion on Easter Sunday?
The simple answer is yes, but here are some guidelines for receiving the bread and the wine that are different from the process before the COVID 19 disruptions began in March of 2020. Please follow the procedures described below.
Receiving the wine is still, and has always been, optional if a communicant receives the bread, or visa versa if the communicant receives the wine. The assurance that a communicant is fully communicated once having received either the bread or the wine is an ancient understanding which is still applicable today. Therefore, this is an invitation to receive the wine, not a requirement.
This Sunday we will follow the format we have followed since returning to in-person worship. The Presider of the Eucharist will stand in the middle of the altar rail opening in the chancel area of the church. There will be two Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEM’s) flanking the rector, one on his right and one on his left. As the ushers invite the congregation to receive communion, the people should walk forward to where the Presider is standing, hold out his or her hands, one on top of the other forming a shallow cup, in which the minister will place the bread. After receiving the bread, the communicants should move to the right-or-left hand side of the church depending on which side of the church the communicant is seated. As the communicant passes by the chalice bearer, he or she may stop to be administered the wine and drink from the cup, after which the LEM will wipe the lip of the cup with the purificator, or the communicant may continue to the pew from which he or she came without consuming the wine.
Based on the above, here are some practices that will not be in place this Easter:
- Intincture, or the dipping of the bread into the cup by the communicant.
- The placing of the bread in the fingers of the communicant to be held.
- Communicating the bread by placing it directly on the communicant’s tongue or in the communicant’s mouth.
Practices that will be followed:
- The presider and a chalice bearer will come to the communicants whose mobility is hampered and will communicate the person where her or she is seated.
- Gluten free bread is available to a communicant who for whatever reason must be gluten free. The communicant can signal this choice by placing her or his right-hand on top of the left hand as you approach the Presider. Once noted the communicant can return to holding out his or her hands in the form of a shallow cup.
- Blessings will certainly be given to those who choose to be blessed rather than receive communion. The person who wishes a blessing should approach the Presider with her or his arms crossed on top of the chest.
We will review all of this on Easter morning, so memorization of this notice is not required. We are noting this in preparation for a joyous celebration this coming Sunday.