There were two recent blog posts others wrote that I wanted to lift up respecting Communion.
1. Cee Jay (Cee Jay’s Cyber Space) notes how the interim minister of her church recommends a monthly communion service — either before or after the main service — and she suggests this might fill a liturgical and pastoral void. Her recollection of Brethren services match what others have said about their beauty and simplicity. Here, of course, I should note that Southern and some Ohio Valley (the old “Far West”) Universalist churches were descended from Brethren churches.
As I’ve written before, despite how an off-main-service communion might be interpreted as (1) the Christians hiving off or (2) the Christians being boxed up, this is how communion was actually practiced in the then still-Christian Unitarian and Universalist churches going back centuries. Indeed, in my last pastorate, a Christian church, post-main-service Communion was the norm up to a generation ago.
And given the rhythm of the liturgy, it really ought to be post not pre.
I would also recommend the officiant be the minister, a regularly invited guest minister or a lay officiant appointed by the whole congregation. This is, after all, a ministry of the whole congregation and not of a rump. Wiser policy and politics, I’d think.
2. Stephen Lingwood (Reignite) writes about a stacking chalice, plate, basin and oil lamp. When stacked — sans plate — it looks very much like the flaming chalice well known in Unitarian Universalist circles. But the individual pieces then can be reconfigured for communion (with plate) and baptism (chalice and basin).
OK — basin might be an overstatement. Soup plate is closer, but I wanted to highlight these liturgical multitaskers. I only wish you could get them in something lighter, like silverplate.