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Will Methodism ever make the Eucharist a weekly practice?

Discussion in 'Methodist DIR' started by Many Sages One Truth, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Many Sages One Truth

    Many Sages One Truth Active Member

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    I'll be honest, I almost wish they would. I enjoy the Methodist congregation I attend, but one of the things I have a hard time getting used to is Eucharist only once a month. I am used to taking the Eucharist every week due to my background, and personally believe the Eucharist to be a very powerful and mystical experience.

    I guess I wonder if Methodism will ever make Eucharist every week, or do any other Methodists support the Church doing so, or has the national convention ever discussed the possibility?
     
  2. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    Great question. I am a former Catholic, now attending a Methodist church, and I love the liturgy and form of the service, but believe it would be so enriched by weekly Eucharist.

    People don't know what they're missing. As for any sort of movement in that direction, I haven't heard of it. But our church recently introduced communion by tincture, which I thought was an interesting development. (isn't that what you call it when you dip the host in the wine - or in Methodist fashion, the grape juice?)

    And don't even get me started on the grape juice!
     
  3. Many Sages One Truth

    Many Sages One Truth Active Member

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    Ok I might be getting you started, but I have to say something. Personally the use of grape juice or wine doesn't matter to me much. I doubt the faithfulness of god in the sacrament would be negated by use of non-alcoholic fruit of the vine.
     
  4. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    I just think that grape juice is weenified.
     
  5. Villager

    Villager Active Member

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    Would breaking of bread, at somebody's home, any day, if not every day, not be a solution?
     
  6. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    since 2003 the Anglicans and methodists have shared some common agreements.
    The Anglicans have a number of Calvinist members but the vast majority like the Methodists follow arminian thought.

    Most Methodists (like most other protestant churches) (especially in the USA) practise open communion. This is followed by Anglicans with the Proviso that partakers are baptised.

    John Wesley was to follow the Anglican practise of having the Eucharist as the main Sunday service. I would expect that it will return to that important position, as the links with Anglicans strengthen. It is the only service actually ordained by Christ.
     
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  7. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    (raises a tiny glass of Welch's grape juice)

    "Here's to the Eucharist once a week!"
     
  8. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    Actually in my Methodist church, we don't have to drink grape juice out of a tiny plastic glass.

    We have the option of dipping the bread into wine, OR going up to the altar and kneeling, and using the little plastic glasses.

    I choose the first option.
     
  9. Badran

    Badran Veteran Member
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    ***Mod post***

    This is the Methodist DIR, members who do not belong to that group can only post respectful questions.

    Posts that do not follow this guideline will be deleted. ​
     
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  10. Songbird

    Songbird She rules her life like a bird in flight

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    ***Thread closed for review.***
     
  11. Songbird

    Songbird She rules her life like a bird in flight

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    ***Reopened.***
     
  12. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    Find-A-Church: Hand Memorial United Methodist Church

    [SIZE=-1]Meet the people of [/SIZE]
    Hand Memorial United Methodist Church
    Pelham, GA
    Welcome to the web page for Hand Memorial UMC! We hope you find the information you are looking for here and we hope you will join us for worship this Sunday.Worship and Sunday School Information

    • Worship
    • Holy Communion
      The first Sunday of every month 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
      (The table of Holy Communion is the table of our Lord and as such is open to all who will come. We receive the Bread and Cup on our knees at the altar. Those unable to come to the altar are served at their seat.)
     
  13. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    altar call
    The invitation offered by the pastor to come forward to the chancel rail or communion table in order to dedicate one's life to Christ, to become a member of the congregation, or to offer prayer.
    Glossary
     
  14. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    From http://gatewayumc.org/pdf/hcfinal2.pdf

    John Wesley described the Lord’s Supper as “the grand channel whereby the grace of his Spirit was conveyed to the souls of all the children of God” (“Sermon on the Mount—Discourse Six,” III.11). During the years in which Methodism was beginning and growing, Wesley himself communed an average of four to five times a week.

    And further into the article on Methodist doctrine:
    Congregations of The United Methodist Church are encouraged to move
    toward a richer sacramental life, including weekly celebration of the Lord’s
    Supper at the services on the Lord’s Day, as advocated by the general orders of
    Sunday worship in ​
    The United Methodist Hymnal and The United Methodist Book
    of Worship
    . The sacrament can also be celebrated appropriately on other
    occasions in the life of the church from the congregational to the denominational

    level.

    In the Old Testament, sacrifice was offered on an altar. In the Gospel
    narratives of the Last Supper, Jesus “took his place at the table, and the apostles
    with him” (Luke 22:14). Through time, the church increasingly understood the
    Eucharist as a repetition of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and the table came to be
    seen as an altar of sacrifice. It was moved against the wall of the sanctuary and
    priests stood before the altar, with their backs to the congregation, to offer
    sacrifice to God.
    The more radical Protestant reformers abandoned altars, preferring simple
    tables and reenactment of the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples. Others,
    including the Church of England, of which John Wesley was a priest, retained the
    altar against a wall.
    A twentieth-century international liturgical renewal movement, expressed in
    the changes of the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church, made
    major reforms in worship. These reforms included moving the table into an open
    space so that the priest could stand behind it, giving the assembly a sense of
    meeting around it. The United Methodist Church, along with many other mainline
    churches, adopted revised rituals that call for the presiding minister to stand
    behind the Lord’s table, facing the people, from the offertory through the breaking
    of the bread (​
    BOW; page 36).
    In a church building, the place where the elements are set is sometimes called
    the altar, but the terms
    altar-table and Lord’s Table are preferable.
    The rail that in some churches is located between the congregation and the
    chancel area, while not properly called the altar, is a sacred area for kneeling to
    receive Communion. People may also come to one or more stations where the
    elements are served and receive them standing, with an option of kneeling at the

    rail for prayer.
     
  15. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    So - Methodists are encouraged by the UMC to include Holy Communion, aka the Eucharist or the Lord's Supper, once per week.

    Kneeling in prayer to receive the Eucharist is acceptable.

    The word altar is used, often interchangeably, with the words "The Lord's Table" though the phrase "the Lord's Table" and "altar table" are preferable within the UMC.

    Hope that clears up some of the questions on this thread.
     
  16. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    Methodism came out of the Church of England, I believe, and the Wesley brothers did not intend to break away and form a new denomination. Their intention was to build up faith and spiritual practice within the CoE, and as Kathryn is pointing out, moving away from weekly (or more frequent) Eucharist was a later development.

    My understanding is that there is nothing to keep any Methodist congregation from doing weekly (or more frequent) Eucharist if that is what they want.
     
  17. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    Helpful information. Thank you!
     
  18. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    You are very welcome, Luna! It's my pleasure. As usual, while studying up on this, I learned a few things myself.
     
  19. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    Salvation happens to us both now and for the future. It's "eternal life," that new quality of life in unity with God of which the Gospel of John speak—-a life that begins not at death, but in the present. But how does salvation happen?
    By grace through faith

    Salvation cannot be earned. There's no behavior, no matter how holy or righteous, by which we can achieve salvation. Rather, it's the gift of a gracious God.

    By grace we mean God's extraordinary love for us. In most of life we're accustomed to earning approval from others. This is true at school, at work, in society, even at home—to a degree. We may feel that we have to act "just so" to be liked or loved. But God's love, or grace, is given without any regard for our goodness. It's unmerited, unconditional, and unending love.

    As we come to accept this love, to entrust ourselves to it, and to ground our lives in it, we discover the wholeness that God has promised. This trust, as we've seen, is called faith. God takes the initiative in grace; but only as we respond through faith is the change wrought in us.

    John Wesley called this process justification. Justification is what happens when Christians abandon all those vain attempts to justify themselves before God, to be seen as "just" in God's eyes through religious and moral practices. It's a time when God's "justifying grace" is experienced and accepted, a time of pardon and forgiveness, of new peace and joy and love. Indeed, we're justified by God's grace through faith.
    Justification is also a time of repentance—turning away from behaviors rooted in sin and toward actions that express God's love. In this conversion we can expect to receive assurance of our present salvation through the Holy Spirit "bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Romans 8:16).

    We Are Saved - UMC.org
     
  20. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    By the way, I feel I need to point out something that I THOUGHT I had made quite obvious by my first post on this thread (and during my several years as a regular member of RF).

    I am a former Catholic.

    Prior to converting to Catholicism, I spent much of my childhood attending the United Methodist Church with my grandmother, though I was not a member of that church. My father was a full time leader with a non denominational group called the Navigators.
    Home - The Navigators

    Consequently, I enjoyed a childhood with much exposure to many different forms and expressions of Christianity.

    I converted to Catholicism as an adult. I learned SO MUCH during that process, and I don't regret a single year that I spent in communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

    Over time, there were several doctrines that I eventually simply couldn't accept in the Roman Catholic Church - I realized that my mindset had been "Wow - they have so much right - I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on a few issues till I can understand them better."

    The thing is - with the RCC - it's pretty much an all or nothing gig. So - my conscience would not allow me to act like I accepted all the doctrines, when I really didn't/

    At that time, I decided to take another look at the UMC. Coming from a different perspective, with so much more understanding of sacraments and liturgy and the doctrine of the communion of saints, etc. this go-round, I re-discovered the UMC with great delight.

    I will never forget my first Communion experience in the Methodist church after my departure from Catholicism. It was profound. I knew that regardless of what the long term future holds for me in my spiritual walk, I was where I needed to be.

    Seven years later, I'm still here - and about six years ago, I became a member of the UMC. My great grandparents - charter members of a tiny UMC church still serviced by a traveling pastor in a deeply rural area - would be so pleased!

    No church or group of Christians has it all right - at least I don't believe so. God is so big, so omnipotent and wise and just - I don't think we can truly grasp His complete Truth from our limited human perspective.

    But we can try - and I believe the UMC does an admirable job of trying.
     
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