Thursday, April 01, 2010

communion as community storytelling

Craig Mitchell offered what I found a wonderfully helpful communion at chapel here on Wednesday.

Often the words leading into communion are said by the person at the front and run the danger of becoming a potentially lengthy monologue. Instead, on Wednesday, leading into communion, the communion leader asked questions of those gathered. Questions like

Why have we gathered here?
What story shall we live?
Where did this story begin?
Whose story is this?
Why then should we speak of this story?
Tell me what he said and did
Let’s celebrate the way that grace has shaped our lives, I invite you to say aloud a prayer of thanks
What is our prayer on this day?

The responses (scripted) were provided by those gathered. In so doing, the people told of the redemptive story, proclaimed the words of Institution, welcomed the Spirit, joined with the crowd of witnesses.

It felt so much more like the work of the people. It reminded me of the Jewish Passover tradition in which learning happens on a question and answer basis. Thus faith formation is placed within the context of home and food and inter-generational relationships. Doing this in Holy Week added yet another layer, for it was on Maundy Thursday that Jesus gathered his disciples for the last time in a Passover type meal.

So thanks Craig, for offering simultaneously a fresh, yet deeply traditional approach to communion.

Posted by steve at 01:10 PM


  1. I agree… I found it an engaging way of hearing the communion story. I also liked the way you started each question with, “I wonder…..”

    Comment by Linda — April 1, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  2. ta for feedback!

    to tell you the truth, the “I wonder” wasn’t actually scripted! but it just felt right and I hoped craig wouldn’t mind. πŸ™‚


    Comment by steve — April 1, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  3. I love those words (nice work Craig!). It got me thinking about how or when we might approach communion in the Esther Project – and I don’t think our little story telling community could do better than to use those words, so thanks for sharing them. Hope you and your family are enjoying your Easter break at Robe.

    Comment by Michelle — April 5, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

  4. it was a great time away Michelle. wines at Coonwara, fossils at Naracoorte, reading on long beach, coffee at great local roaster πŸ™‚


    Comment by steve — April 6, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

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