Communion and Self-Examination

Bob Allaway

A communion liturgy with three questions for self-examination (based on an early Anabaptist liturgy written by Balthasar Hubmaier).

Leader: Paul writes, ‘Examine yourself, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without recognizing the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves.’ Let us so examine ourselves.

Jesus said, ‘This is my body, given for you’. Do you recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, gave his body and blood for you on the cross, and that you only have forgiveness and eternal life through that one sacrifice, received by faith?

Silent self-examination

Leader: Paul writes, ‘We who are many are one body’ and, ‘There should be no division in the body, but all its parts should have equal concern for one another.’ Do you recognize that God calls you by his Spirit to be one Body with all who share that faith with you, to watch over and support one another in love?

Silent self-examination

Leader: Paul writes, ‘We were all baptised by one Spirit into one body…You are the body of Christ’ and Jesus said, ‘As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. Receive the Holy Spirit.’ Do you recognize that God sends you into the world by his Spirit to be the Body of Christ in it, showing his love in word and deed, even to those who are your enemies, just as the Father sent his Son into the world to give his body and blood for you?

Silent self-examination

A member: And when he had given thanks, Jesus broke the bread (lifts and breaks loaf) and said, ‘This is my body which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’

All: Is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

The loaf is passed round, each serving his or her neighbour

A member (lifts cup): Jesus said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, when-ever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’

The individual cups are passed round and held onto

All: Creating and redeeming God, we give you thanks and praise for your covenant of grace made for our salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord. I come this day to covenant with you and my fellow disciples, with whom I share this cup, to watch over each other and to walk together before you in all your ways known and to be made known. Amen

All drink together