Communion or the Lord’s Supper is one of two sacraments that Presbyterians celebrate in conjunction with the rest of Christendom. As Presbyterians partake of the bread and the cup of the sacrament, they acknowledge the very real spiritual presence of Christ in the elements. We celebrate the Good News of the Gospel that Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead for our salvation in our participation in the Lord’s Supper. We do this at State College Presbyterian Church ten times a year to acknowledge our faith, to remember and express our gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice for us, and to strengthen the ties of our Christian community as we share this feast with one another.

Presbyterians practice open communion. That is, all those who have been baptized, whether members of the Presbyterian Church or not, are invited to participate. Baptized children may participate if their parents have instructed them in the practice and believe they are ready to partake. When the service is by intinction, the ushers will indicate when it is time for the congregation to come forward, row by row, by the side aisles to receive the elements. Each person should take the bread (now gluten-free rice crackers) and dip it into the chalice of grape juice before eating. Then return to their seat by the center aisle. Those who prefer not to use the cracker and chalice may remain seated and an Elder will serve them in the pew.  When the service is in the pews, the elders will pass first the bread and then the cup. Hold the element until all have been served and the officiating minister gives the signal to eat or drink, so that all may commune together, expressing the unity of Christ. There are cupholders in the back of the pew in front of you to hold the cup after you have partaken.

In the Presbyterian Church, a minister of the Word and Sacrament presides over the sacrament, assisted by ordained officers of the church, elders and deacons. Preparation of the elements of the Lord’s Supper is under the direction of the Worship Ministry Unit.   There are gluten-free options available at each service that communion is offered.  The currently serving elders, in a rotation provided by the Worship Ministry Unit, assist the ministers in the communion. A member of the congregation, usually a serving elder, also assists at baptism. Presbyterian elders are responsible for the mission and government of the congregation. As such, it is their task to provide for the worship of the people of God, including the observance of the sacraments.

2014 Communion Observances:
January 15, 2014 (Epiphany Sunday)
February 17, 2014 
March 5, 2014 (Ash Wednesday)
March 30, 2014 (Mid-Lent)
April 17, 2014 (Maundy Thursday)
April 20, 2014 (Easter — 8:00 am)
June 8, 2014 (Pentecost)
June 15, 2014 (8:30 am)
July 20, 2014 (8:30 am)
August 10, 2014
August 17, 2014 (8:30 am)
October 5, 2014 (World Wide Communion)
November 23, 2014 (Christ the King Sunday)
January 6, 2015 (Epiphany Sunday)

We use two formats for serving communion at State College Presbyterian Church. When there are two Sunday morning services, communion is by intinction at the 9:00 am service and by pew service at the 11:15 am service. On Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Easter (8 am), intinction is also used. When there is one Sunday morning service only (June 30 and August 18 in 2013), communion is by pew service.  Gluten-free rice crackers are used for intinction at each service that (intinction) communion is offered.  Gluten-free shortbread is prepared for the trays for pew service and those not wishing to take communion by intinction.  All “bread” is now gluten-free.

For more information about communion, please contact John Robison, Chair of Worship Ministry Unit, via e-mail or by phone at: (814) 237-2623.