Most Congregational Church congregations celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion once a month — usually on the first Sunday of the month. At the Congregational Church of Canton, we share the bread and cup of this sacred meal two times a month: on the first Sunday (during worship) and on the third Sunday (for those who wish to partake informally after the service). Both celebrations are open to all people “who seek to follow in Christ’s way” as the Congregational Church Book of Worship states.
Communion has many diverse yet complementary meanings. Most Christians believe it is one of the ways that Christ is made present to us. Roman Catholics believe that Jesus is literally present in the bread and the wine, whereas Lutherans claim that Jesus’s Spirit infuses the elements. Many contemporary theologians assert that Jesus is present in the entire celebration. He isn’t just in the bread and the cup. He isn’t just conjured through ritualistic prayers. He is fully present in the community gathered about the table – breaking, pouring, and sharing. It is no coincidence that the “Communion” and “community” stem from the same root word.
We encourage a diversity of understandings. We do not tell people what they should believe when it comes to this meal (or anything else). The various meanings that we bring to the table provide a fuller expression to the richness found at the heart of the Lord’s Supper. We encourage you to join us as we “break bread together,” as that old spiritual declares!