Church: Celebrating the Lord’s Supper at Home
The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of our Savior’s death by which he atoned for all our sins. Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior participate in this service. Church members usually participate in the Lord’s Supper service with their congregation. When this is not possible, it may be observed privately or in small groups.
Our Lord’s Supper service may be held on any day of the week or year. Many of our congregations observe the Lord’s Supper during the regular weekly worship services.
Prior to an in-home service, you will want to have a small amount of bread (either leavened or unleavened) and a small glass with about a tablespoon of wine or grape juice for each person who will participate. If wheat and grape products are unavailable, you may use other food and drink. Jesus used what was readily available in his culture.
This is a sober, yet joyful, occasion, because we are reflecting on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, who gave his life to reconcile us to God. The Lord’s Supper is for those who place their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
The service may begin with prayer. While the occasion is serious, it is also encouraging and joyful, because it pictures God’s unbounded love for his people. He gave us this reminder of the glorious victory over sin and death that is ours because of the sacrifice of the Son of God. Those who participate in the service are expressing their faith in Christ’s death in their behalf and participating in the body and blood of our Savior (1 Corinthians 10:16).
Participants may wish to read 1 Corinthians 11:23-30 and John 6:32-58. The eating and drinking of the symbols of Jesus’ body and blood are directly associated with eternal life.
Eating the bread
This part of the Lord’s Supper ceremony may begin with the reading of Matthew 26:26-30, followed by 1 Corinthians 10:16-17. The bread represents the body of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. Christ lives in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, making us part of the unified body of Christ — his church, the family of God made up of all believers everywhere through all time. Eating the bread indicates our commitment to Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-30; 1 Peter 2:20-24).
Give thanks for the bread, asking God to bless it as a symbol of Christ’s body, given for us. Thank Christ for his humility, for his willingness to become a human. Thank him for inviting us to eat of him, to come to his table and to share in his suffering that we might also share in his glory. Then each person may eat a small piece of the bread.
Drinking the “fruit of the vine”
As this portion of the service begins, the participants may want to take turns reading aloud such passages as Matthew 26:27-28, Hebrews 9:11-15, 1 John 1:7, Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 1:20-22.
Give a prayer of thanks for the wine, asking God to bless it as a representation of Christ’s blood, shed for the remission of our sins. Thank God for the sacrifice of his only Son to die for us, washing us clean and reconciling us to him. After the prayer, each member may drink a small portion.
Next, the group may want to read portions from John 13:18 through John 17, and 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.
The service may be concluded with one or more songs, and prayer (Matthew 26:30).
After the service, any bread and wine that had been taken into the room for the service and had been blessed should be respectfully discarded.