4. The Thanksgiving, the Communion / The Ministry of the Sacrament.
A] READ 1Corinthians 11:17-22. Does this introduction to the earliest account of the Last Supper (the gospels were probably written after this letter) surprise you?
B] In what ways are things going wrong? Could any of these apply in our own time, and in church communities in different places now?
C] READ on, 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. What is Jesus purpose in giving us his body?
D] What is the significance of “the new covenant”?
E] The Greek word “Anamnesis” – Memorial – is sometimes used. What is a memorial, and what is its purpose? In this context it refers to the use of the “Words of Institution”, usually taken as necessary to a celebration of the Sacrament.
F] In the tradition of the Eastern Church, it is not the Anamnesis that is essential, but the “Epiclesis” – calling down the Holy Spirit on the bread and wine. (Some would want to say the Holy Spirit only inhabits people, not things! – though this may be a dispute about words. Surely the Spirit is involved in miracles involving for example the sea). Can you find an Epiclesis in our 2004 service? What about older services?
G] verses 26-32. What should we do before joining in? Why?
H] The service we most often call the Eucharist or Holy Communion is also known as: the Mass, the Lord’s Supper, the Breaking of Bread, the Liturgy, Which Christian groups use each?
I] The Thanksgiving Prayer – sometimes called the “Consecration” – gives thanks to God. Does it always give thanks for the same things? What is most important? What if anything changes?
J] The tradition of saying the Lord’s Prayer immediately after the Thanksgiving is old, as is the Breaking of the Bread (though this used to happen at a different point – where? Why?).
K] How many different ways of distributing the bread and wine have you experienced? What should guide the choice of method?