This Cup is the New Covenant in My Blood
In recent weeks I have been discussing with you the change in how Holy Communion has been administered in many of our churches. Whereas until the late nineteenth century Communion Wine was extended in the Common Cup, a new practice has caught on of using individual cups. And this happened, as has been discussed, for practical or perceived hygienic considerations.
We then discussed how the hygienic concern was likely more of perception than of actual medical, scientific, or demonstration of the spread of infection or illnesses. And last week, we discussed how individual cups may be more suspect in the transmission of germs and viruses.
The point of this conversation is for us to consider whether we might move in the direction of recapturing the symbolic benefit of using a Common Cup for those who so desire to sup from the Chalice.
This consideration is not a matter of “that’s the way it used to be done.” It is rather a matter of contemplating whether the “old way” was more faithful and indicative of what we actually believe is occurring in the Lord’s Supper.
A loaf of bread and a common cup bespeak of a united source from which we are each individually nourished. The loaf must be distributed by breaking it into pieces. The wine must be distributed by being supped from the common source, that is, the Common Cup.
Our Lord Jesus knew what He was doing when he took His cup, and said of it, “this cup is the New Covenant in My blood.” And it was this cup that He gave for all to drink! The counterpart to the bread that He gave is the CUP that He gave.
Please know that, if there is a green light to moving in that direction at Gift of Grace, we would not force this on anyone! We would simply afford this opportunity for those who so desire it.
Since You Asked…
Are announcements necessary? And should they be included as a part of the liturgy?
Not all announcements are necessary! Nor should they be allowed to disrupt the rhythmic flow of the service. It is likewise important that announcements be kept to a minimum. But certain announcements are important. Information that will enhance participation in the worship, information pertaining to further Christian service, and information for regarding further opportunities for spiritual edification are such announcements of importance, and they are worthwhile to promote publicly to the assembly. We have chosen the beginning of the worship service as the most helpful and least disruptive placement for announcements.