Communion

I’m taking a small break from writing about things UUA to write about something seminary related.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m on the Worship committee here at ESR. One of the things that I had been wondering about since joining the committee was whether or not I would be burned at the stake if I offered a communion service.  The funny thing is that over the summer, half of the committee was thinking the same thing. So we have decided to do a communion service, but in a very non-traditional way (this is a Quaker institution after all).

Now I’m looking for readings about Communion. I have a couple, but am looking for more? Any suggestions would be welcome.

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7 thoughts on “Communion

  1. When I did a communion this past Palm Sunday (my small UU didnt meet on Easter) , I used a modified version from the 1937 Beacon Press RED hymnal (Hymns of the Spirit) . Lots of good readings there – not knowing exactly what you need (or the length), its hard to suggest one from there or other places. I personally like many short readings… (after you do this Communion, let us know what worked and what didnt)

  2. Yes, the Red Hymnal has two Unitarian orders of service for communion, a longer one and a shorter one. (I believe the shorter one was used when communion was held in a separate ceremony after the main worship service.) They are similar to Congregational and Presbyterian communion liturgies, which makes sense given their shared Reformed origins.

    The Red Hymnal was a joint project of the Unitarians and the Universalists before they merged, but Scott Wells over at Boy in the Bands can probably suggest some uniquely Universalist communion resources.

    You might also look in the Kings Chapel prayer book for an Anglican-derived Unitarian communion liturgy.

  3. Then again, if you’re looking for something from the Unitarian tradition that’s Quaker-inspired, you’ll read Emerson’s “Lord’s Supper” Sermon and decide that communion isn’t such a good idea after all.

  4. The contemporary British Unitarian worship manual, “Celebrating Life,” has some truly wonderful communion materials drawn from a wide range of Christian sources. I used it to put together a communion service when I was at Harvard Div.

  5. Thank you all for the suggestions. Since this is a group effort, I don’t want it to be too Unitarian/Universalist. I have a copy of both the King’s Chapel Book of Common Prayer and the old Red Hymnal, just not on hand.

    What I’m really looking for is writings about people’s reflections on communion, just in case people come to the service and want to read something about communion not ever really having experienced one.

    I’ll write more on this after the service next week.

  6. I was first taken aback at the idea that ministers-to-be needed information on communion… why even UU ministers know about the flower communion … but good topics (I dont have handouts on this!) would be contemporary communions like “the PB&J and Flower: clarifying or trivializing”; and “how open should communions be?” ( Personally I’m on the wide open field). Hope it goes / went well.

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