Village Church, Cummington, MA
March 16, 2014
The power of communion comes from within the Christian tradition and comes from beyond the Christian tradition. The power of communion is deeply Christian, where the roots of this church planted themselves so long ago and the power of communion in this place stretches beyond these roots, becomes branches that reach toward a sky wider than any one set of beliefs.
At this open table, communion is open to all, required of none. We honor your participation and we honor your sitting out. It is one of this congregation’s chosen means to gather together, to honor its teachers, to honor the Sacred that surrounds us at all times, that infuses our bodies and souls even when we cannot feel or connect with that holy energy.
Communion is a celebration not only of our gathering together, our leaving behind the false cloak of individuality that we might find better fitting garments of community, it is recognition that we are bodies who sense the world and do so without shame. Communion gives us the opportunity to connect with the Holy Energy that Jesus embodied through our touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight.
SHARING OF THE BREAD AND CUP
Let us take this bread, that it remind us of the goodness of bodies, the integration of our holy bodies with our holy spirits, not some constructed duality of good and bad. Let us remember that the great teacher and prophet, Jesus, chose to teach through embodiment and incarnation. As we eat this bread, let us bless these bodies given to us for this lifetime: bless them when they do well by us and bless them when they are cranky, or giving us pain, or needing feeding tubes, or aging in ways that astound us, or help us to bring life into this world, or disappoint us by their limitations. Let us find within ourselves blessings for our own imperfect perfect attempts at incarnation.
Let us say together, “We bless this bread and this bread blesses us.”
Let us take this wine, that it remind us of the goodness of our senses. Let us smell its sweetness. Let us behold its rich hue, holding it up to the light of the windows that we might see the jewels contained in its color. Dip your finger in and feel the wetness, remembering that this world and we creatures in it are made of water. And before you bring the glass to your mouth, I ask you to both savor the flavor and listen to your own swallowing, a reminder that you have the capacity to take in sustenance and more: you have the capacity to enjoy it.
Let us say together, “We bless this wine and this wine blesses us.”
Let those who are moved to say the Lord’s Prayer do so now together.
0 thoughts on “Communion of the Senses”
I like this. May I have your permission to use it — with adaption and attribution?
Joe, I would be honored and blessed for you to use it. And tickled if you remembered to let me know (but not necessary)!
I will certainly share what I use, though it will be a while before I do another communion liturgy as a guest preacher. Incidentally, a UU colleague and friend (do you know Alison Hyder?) once asked me to help her prepare a communion liturgy for her UU congregation, St. Paul’s in Palmer MA
Joe, I think Alison did her internship at the UU in Northampton, in which case, I do know her.
I believe that’s so, Karen. Last I knew Alison was pastor at UU Provincetown.