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Holy Communion


Holy Communion (con't.)

Invitation to the Lord’s Table


The invitation to the Table comes from the risen and present Christ.  Christ invites to his Table those who love him, repent of sin, and seek to live as Christian disciples.  All who respond in faith to the invitation are to be welcomed.  Holy Baptism normally precedes partaking of Holy Communion, which is a meal of the community who are in covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Invitation to partake of Holy Communion offers an evangelical opportunity to bring people into a fuller living relationship with the body of Christ.  As means of God’s unmerited grace, Holy Baptism and Holy Communion are to be seen not as barriers, but as pathways.  Nonbaptized people who respond in faith to the invitation in our liturgy will be welcomed to the Table.  They should receive teaching about Holy Baptism as the sacrament of entrance into the community of faith – needed only once by each individual – and Holy Communion as the sacrament of sustenance for the journey of faith and growth in holiness – needed and received frequently.  No one will be turned away from the Table because of age or “mental, physical, developmental, and/or psychological” capacity (BOD, ¶ 162.G) or because of any other condition that might limit his or her understanding or hinder his or her reception of the sacrament.  Young children and people with handicapping or incapacitating conditions may need special consideration as the elements are served.  Children of all ages are welcome to the Table and are to be taught and led to interpret, appreciate, and participate in Holy Communion.

The Lord’s Supper in a United Methodist congregation is open to members of other United Methodist congregations and to Christians from other traditions.  The United Methodist Church recognizes that it is only one of the bodies that constitute the community of Christians.  Despite our differences, all Christians are welcome at the Table of the Lord.  Response to the invitation is always voluntary, and care needs to be taken to ensure that no one feels pressured to participate or conspicuous for not doing so.

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Last revised on 25 October 2008