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Flatliner

Eucharist

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Flatliner    0

As I'm feeling quite jumbled about my faith, I decided to visit a different church on Sunday. During the service, I realised the congregation was a very diverse bunch of people (which I think is a plus). The minister paid particular attention to the 'invitation' to communion, that ALL were welcome at the Lord's Table. It was very genuine and I felt moved (and welcome) to participate and receive communion for the first time in two years. I had not set out with that thought or intention that morning.

 

For a range of reasons (personal and external) I have not taken communion. On Sunday, I received communion and as I stood there (it seems so bizarre to say) but I wept. I didn't sob, and no one else really noticed but I was surprised at my reaction and depth of feeling, AND that it moved me to quiet tears. It was very painful, yet wonderful. It felt quite suddenly, that I was part of the past, the present and the future - right at that moment, through taking the bread and wine.

 

I felt very 'present' in that moment and although it was a personal and solitary experience, the shared cup somehow joined me to the eclectic bunch who stood at the altar. I felt somehow part of the moment WITH them, even though I didn't know them.

 

As the wine (in particular) warmed my chest, I felt tied to the past, strangely fused to thousands of others who have shared in the eucharist for centuries. It tied me/joined me to Jesus, John, Henry VIII, Luther, etc etc and dare I say Judas. It was a strange moment.

 

It also gave me hope for the future. It was a bizarre moment. Lovely, disturbing, tender, painful, confusing and unforgettable.

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Kay    0
It felt quite suddenly, that I was part of the past, the present and the future - right at that moment, through taking the bread and wine.

 

Beautiful.

 

As I read this, I could almost see an invisible line reaching into the past, connected to you, and then another line reaching out from you towards the future. (If you've seen Donny Darko, you'll know what I'm saying a bit better.)

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Interesting because I do not take communion. I used to attend Synagogue (for about 2 years) and after the Torah Service on Saturday morning they had Oneg which including a special prayer over the halllah (bread) and wine. The prayer combined with a better understanding of what Jesus was doing duirng the "last supper" has led me realize that the way in which we take communion today misses too much of the original meaning (versus the meaning put on it by Early Christians).

 

I understand some churches do the communion service differently and would potentially take communion at a church like that, but it seems unlikely. Although I'm not completely closed to the idea.

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Flatliner    0
Interesting because I do not take communion. I used to attend Synagogue (for about 2 years) and after the Torah Service on Saturday morning they had Oneg which including a special prayer over the halllah (bread) and wine. The prayer combined with a better understanding of what Jesus was doing duirng the "last supper" has led me realize that the way in which we take communion today misses too much of the original meaning (versus the meaning put on it by Early Christians).

 

I understand some churches do the communion service differently and would potentially take communion at a church like that, but it seems unlikely. Although I'm not completely closed to the idea.

 

Hi OA,

do you not take communion, or is the eucharist not a part of your current church service?

What was the prayer like? What are we missing today - from the original meaning of the last supper (rather than the early interpretation). Sorry - don't mean to grill you, just intrigued. ;)

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Hi OA,

do you not take communion, or is the eucharist not a part of your current church service?

What was the prayer like? What are we missing today - from the original meaning of the last supper (rather than the early interpretation). Sorry - don't mean to grill you, just intrigued. ;)

 

 

I choose not to take it.

 

While many of us in the West will eat with a total stranger and not think twice about it in the middle east one was very careful whom one ate and drank with. Eating with a person meant making a covenant with them. The covenant was to forever be bound to them, to protect them. There is great significance to eating with another person that we lose in the West. When Jesus dipped his bread in the sop with Judas there is also a signficance. Jesus, by making this special covenant with Judas should be interpreted as Jesus forgiving Judas for betraying him.

 

Today in Israel there are groups of people seeking to make peace between those waring. One way they do it is by bringing together people from different religions (Primarily Islam and Judaism) to meet. Eventually the goal is to have them share a meal together.

 

The stories in the bible are incredibly rich but because we (Christians) spend so little time trying to understand them in context we lose a great deal of their meaning.

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des    0

One thing I REALLY like about Anne Rice's book. It presented a very Jewish Jesus. I think you're right about not telling the same stories and so on. I don't think most, at least mainline white churches emphasize the Hebrew Bible too much, perhaps the Psalms some and various things that seem to foretell Jesus' birth, etc.

 

My old church back in Chicago did communion as a totally communal service with almost all the service around the communion. We stood around a table and it was very meaningful. (Since it was the whole service the elderly would go up and sit in the front pews so no one was made to walk up to participate.) I find the current and more typical way that most protestant services do it, of passing out the wine (grape juice) cups and the bread much less meaningful. And I find I dislike the more Catholic or Episcopal going up and being passed little wafers dunked in wine. Just find it so rote or something. Every once in awhile someone will talk about doing a different type of communion service which would actually be a meal. I think it is a very good idea but I have also never really worked to get it done either.

 

I do take communion but I did nto go when they decided to do a communion via can't think of the term but was more the Catholic/Episcopal model. I try to salvage some meaning out of it, but I really miss what we did in that church in Chicago, which would stay with me all week (and then some).

I don't personally find it all so meaningful as it is done. But every once in awhile I might pick up a genuine

transcendent experience. It does happen. So I'm happy for you that it did.

 

 

 

 

--des

Edited by des

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Kay    0
While many of us in the West will eat with a total stranger and not think twice about it in the middle east one was very careful whom one ate and drank with.

 

Makes the significance of Jesus eating and drinking with publicans, prostitutes, Romans, gentiles and women all the more significant. Cool stuff.

 

"Upon this rock ... " What were Jesus and the disciples that were with him looking at when he said 'upon this rock I will build my church?' The "Gates of Hades" - a pagan shrine and altar found upon a large rock mound, dedicated to Pan, where they worshipped with prostitutes and orgies.

 

B)

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Makes the significance of Jesus eating and drinking with publicans, prostitutes, Romans, gentiles and women all the more significant. Cool stuff.

 

 

I thought so when I learned it. Incidentally, while traveling in Israel over 10 years ago! There is HUGE significance (again, missed when we read the bible through 20th/21st Century eyes) of Jesus eating with all those you mention. Explains why the Pharisees are so ticked off about it, too!

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While many of us in the West will eat with a total stranger and not think twice about it in the middle east one was very careful whom one ate and drank with. Eating with a person meant making a covenant with them.

 

We may think we have lost this part of our culture, but it was originally there, and I think parts of it still remain. We still have conventions respecting hospitality, and appropriate behaviour at a dinner party, particularly towards guests. We may share space in restaurants with strangers, but rarely in our own homes.

 

If you think of the relatively recent past of 2,000 - 1,000 years ago, the Anglo Saxons and other Germanic and Celtic peoples all had cultures which were very much based on loyalty and on hospitality.

 

If a traveller was passing through an area, and was invited to share a meal in the main hall, that meant that he was under the protection of the Lord of that hall. To attack him, steal from him or violate that hospitality in any way would constitute an attack on the Lord himself, and through him on the whole tribe. On the other hand, if that traveller was camping out on his own, he had no such protection, from man or wild animals. So a sensible traveller would bring gifts, and offer them in return for shelter.

 

Quite simply, isolated people did not then, and do not now survive; we all need other people.

 

Germanic and Celtic societies were founded on loyalty to death, and underwritten by the giving of gifts; each would vie with the others to give the best gift to the Lord, and the Lord would respond by acts of extreme generosity in return. Evidence for this is found in Beowulf and other ancient sagas and poems; they make very interesting reading.

 

In other words, we do not need to understand the culture of the Middle East, as if it is not our own. It is our own; this is how people learn to behave when they live in a very dangerous world, where anyone who is alone is in danger of not surviving.

 

This was once applicable all over the world, and in every culture. It is part of who we are, as well as part of who Our Lord was.

 

In addition to the Germanic elements of hospitality, however, the Jews also had a tradition of separation from those they regarded as ritually unclean. I think in relation to the New Testament, it is this aspect which is most meaningful for us to study. The Lord very clearly breaks this Jewish convention, and does not attempt to separate himself from sinners, but rather sanctifies them by his presence.

 

It is this tension between the mores of Judaism and the radical new approach that the Lord brings to it, which ultimately means that the two cannot be permanently reconciled. You cannot separate yourself from sinners and sit down to eat with them at the same time.

Edited by Anglocatholic

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