Whether our tradition is ‘liturgical’ or ‘non-liturgical’, it’s all too easy to simply go through the motions when sharing the Lord’s Supper. Whether we are working from a written script, or from an unwritten script, it’s perfectly possible to do what we always do, without thinking about what we are doing or why we are doing it.
I’ve appreciated the following video, from Michael Petty of St Peter’s Anglican Church in Florida, walking us through their communion service. Like other churches in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), they appear to combine a vibrant evangelical faith with a rich, Anglican liturgical tradition, in a way that I find a little bit curious, but mostly very appealing. I’d love to see the two combined more readily in the Church of England. The focus of the video is very much on the words that are said: there is hardly anything about funny clothes, furniture or paraphernalia. So, assuming that you come from a tradition that uses words in celebrating the Lord’s Supper, I think it should be relevant to you!
(For the record, there were a couple of elements of the video that I wasn’t sure about — such as calling the table an ‘altar’, a prayer of epiclesis, and the idea that the bread and wine change in some way — but I don’t think those detract too much. Also, while we’re in these parentheses, it’s worth noting that ‘The Book of Common Prayer’ refers to a different book on the other side of the Atlantic.)