Traditional Worship for Contemporary Christians

HOLY COMMUNION AT REDEEMER


Communion Registration Card



Our Communion practice, although different from all Protestants, is consistent with the historic practice of the Christian Church, which has regarded unity in doctrine as a prerequisite for admission to the Sacrament (Eucharist) (“oneness at Communion demonstrates oneness in doctrine”).  For this reason the churches of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod practice closed communion. We have provided this web page so that we may explain our practice to our guests.


WHAT IS CLOSED COMMUNION?

Closed Communion is the Scriptural and historic practice of limiting participation in the Lord’s Supper to those who have been...

  • catechized (instructed),
  • formally admitted to the Sacrament, after having been examined in the truths of the Christian faith, and
  • who have promised to believe, teach and confess all that the church in which they will commune believes, teaches and confesses.


We believe that Holy Communion (the Eucharist) is a special gift of God to His church.  This Sacrament is celebrated at this congregation in the confession and glad confidence that, as God says, He gives into our mouths not only bread and wine but the actual Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus to eat and drink for the forgiveness of sins and to strengthen our union with Him and with one another.


PREPARING FOR COMMUNION

In order to be properly inclined to receive Communion, communicants must

1) be baptized,
2) trust His Words,

3) repent of all sins, and
4)
set aside any refusal to forgive and love as He
    forgives and loves us
.
We receive the Sacrament
    worthily with an attitude of sincere, Holy Spirit prompted,
    contrition.


MORE INFORMATION

FOR MISSOURI SYNOD LUTHERANS

ALL Guests of this worship service who are Active Communicant Members (in good standing) of a Missouri Synod Lutheran Congregation are ASKED to introduce themselves the pastor prior to communing. (Inactive members should speak with the pastor prior to communing with us).

Our members are also reminded that is is a matter of common courtesy (good manners) to introduce oneself to the pastor before going up to the altar when visiting any other LC-MS congregation.  Receiving the Sacrament is NOT a right. (See brochure and bulletin insert links below).


 FOR OTHER LUTHERANS

We welcome to this Worship service Lutherans from other synods.  Our common name, however may not describe our common confession (e.g., the ELCA has joined in confession with church bodies that teach false doctrine). Please speak to the Pastor before communing with us.


FOR OTHER CHRISTIANS

We welcome to this Worship Service those Christians who are not fully united with us.  It is a consequence of the sad divisions in Christianity, however, that we cannot extend to them a general invitation to receive Communion.  We believe that the Eucharist is an action of this Celebrating Community signifying a oneness of the faith, worship, and doctrine of this community.  Reception of the Eucharist by Christians not fully united with us would imply a oneness which does not yet exist, and for which we must all pray.


For Those Not Receiving Communion

Those not receiving the Sacrament are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.

Formal admission to this altar is preceded by a period of Instruction. We do not wish to compromise any portion of God’s Word among us, nor would we invite you to do so without careful examination of such. If you are interested in regularly communing with us, the Pastor would be pleased to speak with you about our Instruction classes so that you may participate fully in every aspect of this ministry.


For Non-Christians

We also welcome to this Service those who do not share our faith in Jesus.  While we cannot extend to them an invitation to receive communion, we do invite them to consider the claims of the Bible concerning Christ.  We also extend an invitation to an examination of the teachings of Christ as our guests in our obligation-free LifeQuest Seminar (our Information Class).



CONCLUSION

So, who may partake of the Lord’s Supper?

It’s a tough question that pastors and congregations must face every Lord’s Day in which the Supper is offered.

Many suggest that admittance to the Lord’s Supper should be virtually automatic and that pastors and congregations are being judgmental and unloving when they try to monitor admittance to the Lord’s Supper.

Love expresses itself in many ways and there are various forms of love. Love for a friend expresses itself differently than love for a spouse.  Is participation in the Lord’s Supper more like marriage or friendship?  Many in our day and age think of it as friendship. The idea is that we have to be friendly to everyone, so no one should be excluded from partaking of the Lord’s Supper. Indeed, Christians should be friendly to everyone, even to strangers.

However, the imagery for fellowship in the Lord’s Supper found in the Bible and in the early church is that of marriage. The Lord’s Supper is a foretaste of the marriage feast of the Lamb. Friendliness involves no commitment and very few expectations. Marriage, however, involves a high commitment and great expectations. One may not share the marriage bed with just anyone, no matter how friendly they may be, no matter how much we may like them. If the Lord’s Supper is like marriage, then we should not be surprised that love compels us to exclude certain individuals from the Lord’s Supper, even though we love them.


That which we value highly,
we administer wisely and faithfully!


If you do not agree with the positions stated here, we ask that you at least consider the arguments and put the best construction on our actions, our motivation, and our concern to fulfill the great commission by “teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). Our goal is not division, but that once again the church be united under the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ as confessed in the Lutheran Confessions.