Bread and Wine

The Peace

The presider then says, “The Peace of Christ be always with you!” And the congregation responds, “And also with you!” People then greet each other with a handshake, hug, kiss or other sign of peace and words such as “Peace be with you” answered by “And also with you.” This moment follows the Apostle Paul’s injunction to the early Christians to greet one another with a holy kiss.

The Peace can be an awkward moment for people who are new to Grace since they may not know people in the church. Although seemingly an exuberant 7th inning type stretch, when people leave their seats to greet one another and joyfully visit with one another, this ritual shows our need for and God’s power to restore our relationships with one another and with God.

Sin, those things that we have done or left undone and that go against God’s will for us and for our world, divide us from one another and from God. Having confessed those things and having received the assurance of God’s forgiveness, we are able to greet one another in the peace of Christ knowing that Jesus has renewed our bonds with one another and with God. We may then approach the Lord's table together as one people, united, redeemed and renewed by the mercy of our loving God.