Too much change is never pleasant, but consistent change helps with bringing meaning out of what we repeatedly do. That is why I try to change 1 or 2 things in our service every year if possible. This year, we are going to change a few things in how we do communion.
First of all, shepherds in Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) will distribute bread and wine. Participants would still come out to pick them up, but this will bring more personal interaction during the communion.
Secondly, we will read the Apostles’ Creed together. Apostles’ Creed is an early statement of faith that the majority of Christian denominations have adopted. Communion is an excellent opportunity to remember what Jesus has done visually, symbolized through the bread and the wine. So, reciting what is considered as a summary of the Christian faith together will highlight its meaning more clearly. I have divided the Apostles’ Creed into four sections. After we ate and drank, I will ask, “What do you believe?”. Then all baptized members are invited to recite each section, starting with, “I believe…”. All information will be available on the screen for members to follow.
I had to memorize Lord’s Prayer and Apostle’s creed growing up in my church. They didn’t mean much to me then because they became so repetitive since we recited them every Sunday. So I moved away from them because I considered them as a “tradition.” But certain traditions can be beneficial because of their long history and its educational benefit if used with discernment. For example, later, I began to realize that Lord’s prayer is not a prayer to be recited, but a pattern of prayer he wanted his followers to shape their prayers. Many good prayer books suggest using the Lord’s Prayer as a guide for our personal prayer. So, recently, I started ending official church meetings with Lord’s prayer, so we can be reminded that Jesus’ central prayer was to be “aligned” with his Father’s will.
Though it can feel “traditional,” reciting Apostle’s Creed every time we have communion will be an excellent opportunity to profess our faith and to be reminded of what we believe. It will be an informative moment for non-Christians who are curious about Christian faith and an educational moment for young members who grew up in our church.