“Breaking the Bread”

"Why don’t you break the bread when you do the words of institution?"
This question was asked of me a few weeks ago right before worship and I figured if one
person had this question there were bound to be more who had the same question. 
The Words of Institution are the words that are spoken over the bread and the wine during
the meal part of our liturgy. These words are similar to the words Christ spoke over the bread
and the wine the first time the Eucharist was shared among God's people. 
We hear, "In the night in which he was handed over to death, our Lord Jesus Christ took
the bread, gave thanks, and gave it to his disciples saying. "Take and eat this is my body given for you." Again after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks and said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this in
remembrance of me." 
The question asked to me by this church member, is why don't I break the bread when I
say that Christ broke the bread. My response to this individual was that when we come together
around the table, it is not a play or reenactment of what happened the night when Jesus was
handed over. 
Rather, when we partake in communion, we do it because it is what Jesus tells us to do
every time we gather. It is here, when the elements are gathered and the words are spoken, that
the bread and wine becomes more than just bread and wine, but rather the body and blood of
If you find that you have questions of faith or why we do what we do, please do not
hesitate to contact me. Who knows you might just show up in a newsletter article! 

Pastor Katie

Pastor Katie has served St. Paul Hametown since July 2012. She is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg with a Masters of Divinity and a concentration in Theology and Public Life. She is married with three children.

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