Can I Serve Myself Communion at Home? (Y1.T2.D48)
Unsplash; "James Colman"
Before I answer this question, it's important to differentiate between Protestant communion and Catholic Eucharist. Both refer to the passages we will be reading today but have different ideological lenses. According to a section called "Religious Studies" on BBC's website:
In the Catholic Church, the Eucharist or Holy Communion is celebrated daily in the Mass. Catholics believe in transubstantiation—that the bread and wine are physically changed into the body and blood of Christ.
In most Protestant churches, communion is seen as a memorial of Christ’s death. The bread and wine do not change at all because they are symbols. Communion means ‘sharing’ and at a communion service, Christians share together to remember the suffering and death of Christ.
So if you are Catholic, and believe in the transubstantiation explained above, you will need a priest to partake in the Eucharist. For more information, here's a link to a PDF from St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Roseville, MN, USA. It contains the bold bulleted statement: "Only priests can distribute Communion to themselves."
But if you are a member of a Protestant church—which does not believe in transubstantiation—a priest or pastor is not required for consuming communion. The focus is to "do this in memory" of Christ (Luke 22:19).
First Corinthians 11:26 reminds us: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes."
The first communion ever served was served in a home. With that said, it wasn't done alone. Homes were gathering places for believers who eventually became the church.
However, making it to church can be hard, like:
During mandated quarantines
When traveling and there are limited faith-filled local churches
During relocation transitions
If a person has mobility issues
Recently, I found myself housebound and hadn't attended a communion service in person or online for a while. One morning, during my quiet time, I felt called to take communion.
I didn't enter into it lightly. I sang a couple of worship songs before reading from 1 Corinthians 11. I focused on Christ—the grace and mercy of his sacrifice—before eating a small piece of unleavened cracker and taking a sip of grape juice. I then closed out the moment with a hymn (Matthew 26:30).
This moment elevated my state of mind and prepared me for the rest of my day and week.
But be careful. Communion should never be taken lightly:
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in a way unworthy of the Lord will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy way eats and drinks judgment to himself if he doesn’t discern the Lord’s body. For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep [in death]. (1 Corinthians 11:27–30)
Remembering Christ should never become for any of us a beneficial routine, like bathing or exercise. No matter where we do it—whether at home or in a sanctuary—it should be set apart as holy.
We Remember You
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded: 3 Whatever man there is of the house of Israel who kills a bull, or lamb, or goat in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp, 4 and hasn’t brought it to the door of the Tent of Meeting to offer it as an offering to Yahweh before Yahweh’s tabernacle: blood shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood. That man shall be cut off from among his people. 5 This is to the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they sacrifice in the open field, that they may bring them to Yahweh, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to the priest, and sacrifice them for sacrifices of peace offerings to Yahweh. 6 The priest shall sprinkle the blood on Yahweh’s altar at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and burn the fat for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh. 7 They shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat idols, after which they play the prostitute. This shall be a statute forever to them throughout their generations.’
8 “You shall say to them, ‘Any man there is of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9 and doesn’t bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting to sacrifice it to Yahweh, that man shall be cut off from his people.
10 “‘Any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who eats any kind of blood, I will set my face against that soul who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood. I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life. 12 Therefore I have said to the children of Israel, “No person among you may eat blood, nor may any stranger who lives as a foreigner among you eat blood.”
13 “‘Whatever man there is of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who takes in hunting any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood, and cover it with dust. 14 For as to the life of all flesh, its blood is with its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, “You shall not eat the blood of any kind of flesh; for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.”
15 “‘Every person that eats what dies of itself, or that which is torn by animals, whether he is native-born or a foreigner, shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. Then he shall be clean. 16 But if he doesn’t wash them, or bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity.’” (Leviticus 17:1–16)
15 He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, 16 for I tell you, I will no longer by any means eat of it until it is fulfilled in God’s Kingdom.” (Luke 22:15–16)
27b “All of you drink it, (Matthew 26:27b)
23b They all drank of it. (Mark 14:23b)
1 Praise Yahweh, all you nations!
Extol him, all you peoples!
2 For his loving kindness is great toward us.
Yahweh’s faithfulness endures forever.
Praise Yah! (Psalm 117:1–2)
23 For I received from the Lord that which also I delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread. 24 When he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in memory of me.” 25 In the same way he also took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in a way unworthy of the Lord will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy way eats and drinks judgment to himself if he doesn’t discern the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep. 31 For if we discerned ourselves, we wouldn’t be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are punished by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. 33 Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest your coming together be for judgment. The rest I will set in order whenever I come. (1 Corinthians 11:23–34)
I love You because You listen to my voice and cries for mercy (Psalm 116:1). You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling (Psalm 116:8). Help me honor You and all You did for me on Calvary's cross. Bring all Your wonderful works into remembrance (John 14:26) as I take the cup of salvation and call on Your name (Psalm 116:13).
Is this the first time you're reading a blog from The Mosaic Bible Experience? Click to learn more.
To receive more content, remember to click Like and Subscribe.