Our church, a Southern Baptist one, is considering the move to weekly Communion. We used to do it weekly, but moved away from the practice for a variety of reasons. Now, we are thinking it through again, and it looks like that will be the direction we take.
I say all this to introduce a question: Does the eating and drinking of the Lord’s Supper have a cumulative effect?
Last week our message was on the Family Meal, and the connection was made between the centrality of the family supper and the Supper we enjoy together as a church family. The family meal, as an institution, not the individual meals, become a tapestry of meaning and significance. Not that the individual meals aren’t significant in and of themselves, but the repeated and routine event becomes a sort of collective memory. (This presumes that the family meal isn’t something that is enjoyed monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or less frequently!)
The concern for making Communion a “common” thing is overcome, I think, by seeing it through the same lens. The individual events are significant in their own rite, but as a pattern of worship, a way of being continuously connected to each other and our Savior, we weave a common memory that becomes as meaningful (and more-so) than the family meal.
In fact, in the Lord’s Supper the common elements of bread and wine become something holy. I’m not advocating for transubstantiation or consubstantiation, but something spiritual happens in Communion that is beyond mere memorial; even if that something is simply the wedding of the Body and Blood to our consciousness through customary frequency. The common becomes sacred.