Worship Leader Communion Notes
We celebrate communion monthly at CCMC—the last Sunday of the month. Thank you for agreeing to plan and lead worship on a communion Sunday. This list is intended to be helpful in your preparation. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Worship Committee.
CCMC has a number of alternate communion liturgies in files that we've used in the past (including liturgies appropriate to the various liturgical seasons). We have also sometimes played with various methods for receiving communion, e.g. gathering in 4-5 smaller groups around the sanctuary. Worship committee is happy to consult with or collaborate with worship leaders interested in exploring other options. You are also welcome to be creative and go with a new vision!
The following checklist is based on our regular communion liturgy. Please make modifications as needed if you have elected to go another route.
WORSHIP LEADER CHECKLIST
During the week(s) prior to the service:
- Confirm two persons to lead the liturgy—typically the worship leader and preacher do this together, but you can feel free to ask others to participate. One distributes bread (tearing off pieces and handing them to those who come forward); the other holds the cup.
- Find a third person to hold the grapes and offer blessings to those who come forward but do not receive communion (typically children). The blessings can be as simple as, “God loves you,” or “You are welcome in this congregation,” or “May you be blessed by God.”
- Decide whether we will receive communion in silence, or arrange for the pianist or another musician to receive communion first and then play. You may also choose to have the congregation sing (i.e. from the “Communion” section in the hymnal). Short and repetitive or particularly familiar hymns work especially well. Please arrange this with your song leader and pianist ahead of time.
By the Wednesday before:
- You do not need to include “offering” in your order of worship since it includes a time for offerings to be brought forward.
- In the order of worship, please include our time of “sharing” BEFORE we receive communion, since our joys and concerns are part of what we bring to Christ’s table.
- Ask 2-3 people to bring forward the elements during the liturgy: 1 to bring bread, and 1-2 to bring the cup and the bowl of grapes. “What do we bring to Christ’s table? We bring bread…” (bread carried to altar). “What do we bring to Christ’s table? We bring the fruit of the vine…” (cup and grapes carried to altar).
- Purchase communion elements (grape juice, bunch of grapes), wash the grapes, and cut into smaller bunches easily handled by children. Confirm with a member of the fellowship committee whether someone is baking gluten-free communion bread for Sunday. You can also consider baking a loaf that lacks common problem ingredients; the recipe is below. Otherwise, please purchase and bring a loaf. [Due to an allergy in the congregation, please do NOT purchase sourdough bread. Please consider purchasing gluten-free bread so that all can partake. Most gluten-free bread comes pre-sliced. If this is the case, please pre-cut the bread into cubes and place them in a basket.]
- Confirm with the person arranging our altar that they are prepared for communion Sunday.
On Sunday, before the service:
- Get the bread, juice, and grapes ready. You can typically find our communion set in the library (room behind the sanctuary where our mailboxes are), or in our kitchen cupboards. You’ll need to select a bowl for the grapes.
- Double check that communion liturgies are ready to be handed out with the bulletin. If not, you can find them in the plastic portable file box on the floor of the library, next to the shelf with the hymnals and accompaniment books.
- Wash your hands! Especially if you are going to be distributing the bread.
- You may turn in a receipt to our Treasurer (currently Josiah Groff) if you wish to be compensated for the cost of purchasing the communion elements. Be sure to write your name on the receipt and place it in his mailbox.
On Sunday, during the service:
- Move the podium and mic stand out of the way before starting the liturgy. Replace them after communion is done.
- Vocalize the directives in the liturgy if people forget to stand or sit at the appropriate time. Typically folks need to be invited to bring offerings forward before they’ll come to the front.
- Before people come forward, please be sure to let them know whether or not the bread is gluten-free. Also note that the bread and cup will be brought to those at their seats who desire to receive it. After serving those who have come forward, offer the bread and cup to any people who have mobility challenges, as well as to the musicians, if the musicians have not already come forward.
- Offer the bread with the following options:
- The body of Christ (broken for you).
- The bread of life.
- Offer the cup with the following options:
- The love of Christ (poured out for you).
- The cup of the new covenant.
Communion Bread (gluten-free, nightshade-free, nut-free and vegan)
21⁄2 cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
21⁄4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup ground chia seeds
1/3 cup whole psyllium husks
1 cup garbanzo fava flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1⁄2 cup sweet rice flour
1⁄2 cup certified gluten-free oats (quick cooking may be easier)
11⁄2 teaspoons sea salt
Put the warm water (105 to 110 degrees F) in a bowl. Add the yeast and honey and whisk together. Let rest for 5–10 minutes to activate the yeast.
While the yeast is activating, mix the dry ingredients—except for the psyllium husks and chia seeds—together in a large bowl.
After the yeast is ready, whisk the olive oil, maple syrup, ground chia, and psyllium husks into the water-yeast mixture. Let stand for just 2–3 minutes. Whisk again.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. It will be quite sticky at this point, but that’s good. It’s so that it will stay together and not be crumbly.
Put a layer of flour on a clean surface for kneading the dough. Also dust your hands and a spatula or wooden spoon one of the flour’s in the recipe (the sweet rice flour works well), then scoop the dough out of the bowl and place it on your floured surface. Sprinkle some more flour on the dough and knead it, adding the flours a little at a time, until the dough stays together and is just slightly sticky. Form the dough into a ball, put in the large bowl, and cover with a damp towel. Put it in a warm place to rise.
After the dough has risen, put a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a cast-iron dutch oven or cast-iron skillet. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven.
Punch down the dough and return it to the floured wooden board. Knead for one minute, then form it into a round ball and place it on a piece of parchment paper.
Use a sharp knife to cut a tic-tac-toe pattern on the top, then drizzle with additional olive oil. Let it continue to rise for about 30 minutes while the oven and stone or cast-iron pan are preheating.
Use the parchment paper to place the risen loaf on the pizza stone in the over.
Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour.
Note: Unfortunately, freezing and thawing this bread makes it crumbly.
Recipe developed by chapel program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary