Holy Communion is a precious gift of God in which we receive Christ himself into our bodies. Martin Luther reminds us that “forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation are given to us in the sacrament.” (Small Catechsim)
The following instructions are not meant as picky liturgical rubrics on the only way to “do it right,” but rather as suggestions and guidelines to help give you ideas on how you could spread a table for Jesus in your home. In the end we simply prepare a table for Christ as we would for an honored and well-loved guest in our home. It is up to you how this looks in your individual house.
- Choose a location. Perhaps your computer is at a desk, perhaps it is mobile. If you are able to gather at the table where you normally serve visitors a meal, then do that.
- Create a beautiful space. When we welcome guests we often lay out a table cloth that adds as sense of specialness to the occasion. Sometimes we light candles. We may add a display of flowers. These are all ways in which we decorate the altar at church too. You may also have a cross that is special in your devotional life, and which would remind you of Jesus’ presence at this table. All these are welcome adornments to the home communion table.
- Set out the dishes. You might have a plate or set of china reserved for special occasions. Maybe there is a pottery chalice or a simple wine glass in your cupboard. Or maybe you’d like to make this an everyday event, like welcoming Jesus into your daily life. Any dish you have is an appropriate vessel for the bread and wine.
- Bread. Maybe you’re a home baker and you delight in creating loaves for guests. Maybe you get your bread from a grocery store. Maybe it’s made of wheat, maybe gluten free. The essence of bread is that it represents what we need for our daily sustenance in life. Christ meets us there. Offer what you have and you will be blessed.
- Wine. If you normally would serve wine to a guest, then certainly use what you have on hand; there is no special variety used for Communion. Grape juice is also a festive drink that adds life and joy to a feast. The essence of the cup of blessing is that Christ brings celebration to our life.
As we share this feast together, connected online, know that distance is no barrier to Christ who walked through walls to meet his disciples in the upper room. May you be blessed as you take part in the holy meal of Jesus.