|Eucharist / Communion|
We celebrate the Eucharist / Communion at every Weave of Faith / CFC Service. The only exception is when our services are based on Jewish tradition (e.g., Purim and Yom haShoah).
We combine the terms "Eucharist / Communion" because our members come from both Catholic and Protestant traditions, and have various beliefs about the sacrament.
The invitation to receive the Eucharist / Communion is open to anyone, regardless of their belief or "lack of belief." We remind ourselves that it is a meal in memory of our brother, Jesus and how he gathered together frequently with people over food. We remind ourselves that inviting people to a meal is an expression of hospitality. We remind ourselves of the human dynamic to engage in conversation during meals; to celebrate special occasions, life-passages, bring families together. In this way, every Eucharist / Communion is a Thanksgiving. After all, the term "eucharist" means "thanksgiving" and the term "communion" emphasizes what we experience with each other as we gather around a common table.
We are reminded, as well, how difficult it can be for women, in particular, to approach the Communion Table because of the ways "our bodies" and "our blood" have been regarded by church traditions. We are reminded, as well, of how individuals have been wounded by the traditional church; they may come to a service, but feel that they cannot accept communion because of their struggles with the church or their faith. So, we believe that as we gather around the Communion Table we can experience healing and receive divine blessing.
The children are also welcome to receive the bread and the cup. In fact, this part of the service has proven to a high-point for them (as well as when we Create the Altar).
At the conclusion of the service, during our Exchange of Peace and Friendship, all are welcomed to come to the altar and continue eating the bread that remains.
The liturgy of this portion of the service varies: sometimes a traditional liturgy; most-times, an informal conversational style. It always draws from the theme of the service. Most of the time we have the traditional words of institution. The celebrant for the Eucharist / Communion portion of our services is often myself, Sandy Gess, because I was ordained and I am comfortable with being the celebrant.
Because of the way that women have been denied participation in Eucharist / Communion by many church traditions, we are open to non-ordained people being the celebrant. Most-time there are Co-Celebrants, who share in the blessing of the cup and breaking of the bread. We continue to explore ways to include the congregation in the the communion liturgy, not as traditional respondents/receivers but as active participants as the "priesthood of all believers."
Recently, I've written the Communion Liturgy to read :
A Communion Meditation. Written by Sandy Gess. (Oct. 19, 1997)
The elements vary for each Eucharist / Communion because we tie them to the theme of the service. Most of the time are some kind of bread and non-alcoholic drink. Again, because some people cannot drink alcohol, this is a way to include everyone around the table. The cup most often is filled with apple juice ("in memory of Grandmother Eve").
One of our members, Dianne Winne, tried to bake the bread each time. It is interesting to know that Dianne is a physician, specializing in geriatrics, and grew up in the Methodist Church (which had a "rather dull" communion tradition : white bread cut into thumbnail-size cubes, distributed with small taste-glasses of grape juice to the congregation who remained seated in the pews).
Dianne decides on the recipe once she sees the liturgy (which is generally finished the Saturday before each service). In this way, the bread is truly part of the creative worship which we value with Weave of Faith. She tries to bake it just before our services, so oft-times the bread is still warm.
Her bread-baking has enhanced our appreciation for the ritual / sacrament of the Eucharist / Communion. It is a wonderful time when our senses our awakened, to be joined in a celebration of the Divine, and receive a joyous blessing.
Polish Easter Bread - "Babka Wielkanocna"
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 tsps grated lemon peel
2 tsps grated orange peel
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
1 cup flame raisins (or golden raisins)
1 cup chopped almonds
Beat margarine and sugar in a large bowl until blended.
Beat in egg yolks until well blended.
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Stir yeast mixture, lemon peel, orange peel, cinnamon, vanilla and salt into this mixture.
Stir in flour alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition, until soft dough forms.
Stir in raisins and almonds.
Cover. Let rise in warm place until double : about 1 1/2 hours.
Knead dough down.
Place into greased and floured tube pan - or round bowl.
Cover. Let rise until double : about 1 hour.
Heat over to 350 degrees. Bake until bread is gold brown, 35-40 minutes.
Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
Contact us to share resources,
Messages: (510) 482-9319
Note: because of the amount of spam we have received, we have had to block much email.
To get through to us, follow the instructions from our server,
and add as your Subject "Inquiry-Weave of Faith"
Last updated : February 17, 2005
Copyright © 2005 S.J. Gess. All Rights Reserved
Copyright Statement : All original materials on this WebSite are copyrighted by Sandy Gess, with the exception of materials adapted from resources as credited, or that are credited to other individuals. Please contact us for permission to use our materials.