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Bread and Wine

Breaking of the Bread

 

When we eat the bread and drink the wine, we participate in Christ's death and resurrection.  The moment is a powerful communion with one another and with God.  Regardless of a person's place in society, all stand together to receive the gift God gives to us in and through Jesus Christ.  Episcopalians place one hand over another forming a cross.  The bread is placed in our hands instead of our taking it, because to receive the gifts of God we must come with open hands and heart.

We use real bread and real wine since Jesus did at his Last Supper.  For those who are gluten intolerant, gluten free wafers are available.  We use a common cup for the wine symbolic of our unity in Christ.  Some worry that germs may be transmitted because of the common cup, this method has been used for thousands of years and millions of people safely as has benn also shown in scientific studies (William Lobdell, "Does Communion Cup Runneth Over with Germs?" Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2005).  Nonetheless, if a person wishes to receive only the bread or only the wine for whatever reason, Episcopalians believe that Christ is fully present in the bread and the wine.  One receives neither more nor less from one or the other or both.

After taking communion, the high point of the service, the worship ends quickly.  With our lives renewed through the Word of God in Scripture and the sacrament of bread and wine, we are sent out to proclaim the Good News of God in Jesus Christ in word and deed.