What of the Sacrament after Communion?

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by PilgrimPastor, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor Puritan Board Freshman

    Hello,

    I have recently transferred from serving First Congregational Church of Cheboygan, Michigan as Pastor to serving First Congregational Church of Peru, Illinois as Pastor. Our Diaconate Board has come to me with an interesting question which I have shared some thoughts on, but I am curious to get some perspective from anyone who has a thought on the matter.

    What is the appropriate means of "disposal" of the bread and wine (juice) after the Sacrament of Communion has been shared by the congregation? What of the "left overs?" :think:

    Your thoughts and conversation are appreciated!

    Many Blessings!
     
  2. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    You could give the bread to ducks I suppose if it's unsanitary to re-use it. If it is juice, and somebody likes juice, I guess they could take the leftover juice, pour it in one cup, and drink it. It's good for you. If wine then it's probably best to pour it out.

    The significance of the Sacrament is not in the elements themselves. They remain plain bread and plain wine. It is our corporate participation in them, as we are communally in the presence of Christ and dine at His table and feed Sacramentally upon Him that the significance of the Supper is found.
     
  3. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor Puritan Board Freshman

    SemperFideles,

    I agree completely. They are a commemoration and that is precisely what I told the Diaconate Board. There was a question raised by a woman who has not been preparing and disposing of the bread and wine for many years and now finds herself handling that task.

    I think she rightly consulted her new Pastor and I appreciate that she did. Interestingly, she told me that in years past she had, in fact, fed the bread to birds living on the church property and once made a bread pudding to serve the following week at fellowship time after the worship service. :amen:
     
  4. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor Puritan Board Freshman

    SemperFideles,

    By the way, I am a former Marine Staff Sergeant - Semper Fi.
     
  5. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Ooorah! What years did you serve?
     
  6. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Exactly. It's the work of the Holy Spirit, which is what any special "treatment" of the elements (after administration) demeans in emphasis.
     
  7. etexas

    etexas Puritan Board Doctor

    When I was Anglican it was broken up and the wine was poured out to return it to the Earth. Now I am PCA.......I have no idea what we do with it?????:think:
     
  8. Stephen

    Stephen Puritan Board Junior

    We save the elements for the next communion service so that we are good stewards and not wasting it. If you have leftovers it is perfectly fine to eat it or dispose of it. As good Protestants we reject Transubstantiation, so the elements remain bread and wine. If you use wine, which I encourage, you can join with Jean Calvin and enjoy it for a Sabbath meal or with friends. Psalm 104:14,15 :)
     
  9. Stephen

    Stephen Puritan Board Junior

    If you are like many PCA churches and use that sweet, horible tasting unfermented stuff called grape juice, pour it down the drain, if you use wine enjoy it, but don't let the teatotters know. :lol:
     
  10. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    The wine that is already in the cups we toss out. But the bread! Ooooh the bread. Everyone nibbles on the bread as we clean up the room. My wife makes the best communion bread every Lord's Day morning. (It's great for communion but not so great for my gluttony!)
     
  11. Stephen

    Stephen Puritan Board Junior

    Sounds like your wife knows how to make good communion bread :drool:
     
  12. etexas

    etexas Puritan Board Doctor

    Actuly we use both. And be nice.....I Tee-Total!;) Not for Religious reasons I am a recovering Alcoholic.:2cents:
     
  13. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    RC's have to make sure all of it is partaken (since it is 'Jesus' body/blood you know...don't want rats eating Jesus). Priest I believe usually takes this task.
     
  14. etexas

    etexas Puritan Board Doctor

    Indeed! I am Roman Catholic Educated, I went to Mass every Friday those Priests made SURE not a drop of wine was left. No comment.
     
  15. Gryphonette

    Gryphonette Moderator

    Well, sort of.

    Any hosts not consumed are put in the, oh what IS the term?.....the box in the wall that has the sanctuary light next to it? Anyway, that's what happens to them. Plus, they're taken to those in the hospital and shut-ins. The wine is, If I recall correctly, poured down a pipe installed so that it goes directly into the ground, not a sewer.
     
  16. jawyman

    jawyman Puritan Board Junior

    I would re-use what could be re-used (taking sanitation into consideration) and then give the bread to the birds and any remaining cups of wine, down the drain. I agree with Rich, the elements remain the elements.
     
  17. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor Puritan Board Freshman

    I was in from 1995 - 2003. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton with 3AAVBN (I was an "amtraker") and then I lat-moved into Photography and spent 4 years at MCAS Yuma.

    I wouldn't trade those years for anything. Looking back I see God shaping me for ministry in the Marine Corps in so many ways. I was involved in outreach, preaching in rescue shelters and nursing homes and experiencing uncommon people in uncommon ways!
     
  18. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm not so sure about the quality of the bread we use... I think it may be wonder bread! :p
     
  19. jawyman

    jawyman Puritan Board Junior

    I still advocate unleavened bread.
     
  20. etexas

    etexas Puritan Board Doctor

    TRUE! But they represent something, it is like US Flag, there are certain ways to dispose of it, the Flag is not America, but I respect what it stands for. Same thing for the Elements.:2cents:
     
  21. jawyman

    jawyman Puritan Board Junior

    I understand there should be a certain way of respectfully disposing of the elements, but are they still consecrated after the Supper has been celebrated. We fold and burn the flag in a solemn ceremony, because man said this is the way we do it, but Scripture is silent with regard to what Jesus and the disciples did with their leftovers. Can we infer that there were no leftovers or did they just leave what they did not eat? I believe in respect of elements, but if they are no longer being used, than they are just bread and wine. I am probably way off.
     
  22. etexas

    etexas Puritan Board Doctor

    I understand where you are coming from! I am just saying this:Scripture gives no specifics, but out of respect I would not toss the wine in a urinal and the bread in a toilet. Thats just my....:2cents:
     
  23. jawyman

    jawyman Puritan Board Junior

    Nor would I. I would give the bread to the birds and the wine down the drain. This is a difficult question, because how does one dispose of the elements without approaching the elements as something that is holy and should be handled as holy. I think we can become legalistic with how we dispose of the elements. I would ask the question of how do we approach the elements before we celebrate the Lord's Supper? Is there a protocal for moving the bread from the kitchen to the alter or how do we pour the wine (juice) into the common cup or individual cups?
     
  24. etexas

    etexas Puritan Board Doctor

    Oddly, I think an Anglican Pastor I had was on the right track, he crumbled up the bread outside for the birds to eat and poured the leftovers of he cup on the ground to return it to the earth. I think that is rather fitting.:2cents:
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2008
  25. jawyman

    jawyman Puritan Board Junior

    Oddly, I think an Anglican Pastor I had was on the right track, he crumbled up the bread outside for the birds to eat and poured the leftovers of he cup on the ground to return it to the earth. I think that is rather fitting.:2cents

    I would agree with this method of disposal.:handshake:
     
  26. etexas

    etexas Puritan Board Doctor

    Thank you Brother. I always felt it was fitting without being legalistic where Scripture is silent.:)
     
  27. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor Puritan Board Freshman

    That is where I am as well. In my last church I had a former RC who had come increased his faith greatly in the time I knew him. He would often tell me that he had never heard God preached as a God of grace prior to coming to the church I served.

    After some time in the church and coming into a renewed relationship with Christ, I asked my friend to serve communion. He had done so as a child as an "alter boy" and it meant a great deal to him that I asked him to do this.

    One Sunday after church he was washing the communion setting and asked me what he was supposed to do with the left over communion bread and wine (juice). After an explanation on my part regarding the commemorative nature of the Sacrament he said - with a thick New England accent, "I can't do it Pastor... you do it... I can't pour it down the sink!" I had a hard time doing it also even though I am firmly not a transubstantiationist.

    I guess it is a matter of respect not reverence for me for the bread and wine which do play a central role in the worship of our Lord on Communion Sundays.
     
  28. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor Puritan Board Freshman

    I am inclined to adopt a similar means of disposal in my Parish.
     
  29. raekwon

    raekwon Puritan Board Junior

    I remember quite vividly seeing the priest guzzle down every last drop of sacramental wine after my dad got married in an Episcopal ceremony (this was about 12 years ago). I was taken aback.
     
  30. jawyman

    jawyman Puritan Board Junior

    :eek:
     
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