The CTCR issued a guidance document regarding some innovative methods of receiving the sacrament. It’s HERE. It’s hard to write briefly. Augustine was said to have apologized once, “I’m sorry I preached so long. I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” Given the press of time they were under, and the need for them to be clear and comprehensive on short notice, it’s not a criticism to note that it’s pretty densely written.
If you’d like a quick and dirty summary, here it is:
1) We should not despise preaching and the Word.
2) The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
3) Holy Communion is offered by the Word of our Lord, and we should stick to that.
4) We answered video communion a decade ago. No.
5) The pastor administrates. No private consecration with other taking elements out from that. It’s a public thing.
At Trinity-Grace-Zion, we’ll be having communion services as long as we are able to meet, and doing them in modified form, but still according to the long-standing practices of faithful congregations in the church. So, while it may be innovative for us, it won’t be innovative. We’re just borrowing what has already been done by countless Christians to receive the body and blood of the Lord.
Many members are staying home – some under orders from loving family members who don’t want them going out because they are high-risk. That’s fine. And, as expected, they aren’t interested in a home visit at this time either. In those cases, they must fast from the sacrament and be fed with only the Word and Prayer. Not ideal, but our Lord often imposes crosses on us that are difficult. It teaches us to rely on him for strength, not ourselves.
Whatever is being done, my plea is patience. Pastors have had to make thousands of decisions this week. Plans have changed as quickly as they are made. I don’t know a pastor who hasn’t worked at least double or triple hours this week on service preparation. Receive what you are able, give thanks to God, and pray for an end to this pestilence, and a return to health and prosperity. And, as always, pray that our Lord returns soon.