Holy Communion in the Lutheran Church

The recipient of a doctorate in divinity from Jackson Theological Seminary, Hubert Jaundoo serves as a pastor’s assistant and minister at Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church in Springfield, Massachusetts. In this role, Hubert Jaundoo offers Holy Communion to parishioners.

Also known as the Eucharist, Holy Communion is an “eschatological feast” that provides a “foretaste of the heavenly banquet.” Through this process, Lutherans eat bread and drink wine that represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ. They refer to it as the “means of grace.” The origins of communion go back to the Last Supper when Christ blessed bread and wine and gave it to his disciples.

In the Lutheran church, the ordained pastor distributes the bread, and the lay assisting minister allows people to drink from a chalice. The bread varies depending on the church. Some churches use whole loaves of leavened or unleavened bread, while others prefer thin wafers known as hosts. Congregations consume the wine in different ways, as well. Parishioners either drink directly from the chalice or from individual cups. If the church practices the former method, the minister wipes the rim with a purifier between communicants. Alternatively, some churches prefer intinction, where communicants dip the bread in the wine prior to ingestion.