Hi Folks, since I'm on an airplane between Denver and Edmonton right now, and because you see the communion elements on the table, and no one with the word “Reverend” in front of their name here at the church, you're probably wondering what's going on.
Well, we're going to try something new. Actually, its very old. We're using pre-consecrated elements for Holy Communion. In other words, the bread and wine were consecrated – blessed – at a previous worship service for use in later eucharistic gatherings.
Before you get all uptight about this (I'm looking at you, Torben), let me say that this was NOT my idea. It was Bishop Ron's idea. So, if you have trouble with this, take it up with Bishop Ron.
I had breakfast with him at last month's National Convention and he mentioned that this was a practice that they used when he was the pastor at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Red Deer.
I've handed out an outline of his reasoning with the bulletin. I draw your attention to number 2:
We are under obligation to provide access to Word and Sacrament for God's people. We are also required to do everything decently and in order. What would "decently and in order" look like if we pre-consecrated elements for use at a future Eucharist in a congregation?
• Those who will be receiving these elements at a future time need to see them being consecrated; i.e. pre-consecration is done with the knowledge of the people and in their presence as a worshipping body.
The people who will be receiving these elements need to be witness to each of the 4 Eucharistic actions: i.e. taking, blessing, breaking, giving. I am not aware that there is any specific prohibition of taking and blessing - before the face of the people - and then a week later, breaking and giving - to those same people. They have been witness to, and partaken of, the Eucharist in its fullness.
Taken literally, only those who were here on July 19 would be allowed to take communion... since, according to Bishop Ron's suggestion that the elements need to be consecrated in the presence of “those same people” who would later receive the pre-consecrated bread and wine. Assuming that I remembered to pre-consecrate the bread and wine. Which I didn't. And the deacons didn't remind me. Shaaaaaammmmme.
But of course, by “people” we could...(whole thing here)