Are you feeling called to the Table of Holy Communion?
Holy Communion is a Sacrament in which we remember the great and mighty work of God in and through the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. In this Sacrament, we also anticipate Christ coming again and the time when we experience the fullness of God’s Kingdom when all is set right both in heaven and on earth. During communion, we take of bread (the Body of Christ) and grape juice (the Blood of Christ) in faith, and we discover that God strengthens and sustains us with this Holy Meal to live and walk our faith journeys.
When is Holy Communion served at Ocala West UMC?
Holy Communion is served on the first Sunday of each month at all three of our Sunday morning worship services. At both of our traditional worship services (8:00 and 11:00 a.m.) communion is served by ushers to those in the pews. During our contemporary worship service, communion is served near the altar by intinction (the dipping of bread into the chalice or cup). Communion is also carried out into the congregation for those unable to move toward the front of the worship space. Communion is also served from time to time at special worship services.
Who may take Holy Communion?
All who seek to know more of Christ’s love and to be forgiven of their sins are welcomed to participate in Holy Communion. You do not need to be baptized, nor do you need to be a member of Ocala West UMC or any other church. However, if you find yourself drawn toward God’s gracious gift of communion and you have not yet been baptized, we do hope and pray that you will set a time to meet with one of the pastors. We believe that a call to communion also means that you may be a sensing a call to discipleship and choosing to follow in the ways of Christ.
May children and youth participate in Communion?
Yes! We encourage parents and grandparents to prepare children and youth for the meaning of communion prior to participating. We also encourage follow up conversations after children and youth participate in communion to hear more about how God is at work in their life. If you have questions concerning, children and youth and how to speak with them concerning communion, please feel free to contact one of the pastors.
I have special dietary concerns–can I still participate in Communion?
Many people who have specific food or drink allergies participate in communion of “one kind.” This means they only take the bread or the juice physically while receiving the entire essence of communion spiritually. This is still considered full participation in the Sacrament of Communion. We also offer a gluten free bread alternative that may be picked up at the Welcome counter in the center of the narthex (church lobby) on the Sundays in which we serve communion.
I (or my loved one) am no longer able to attend worship–can I still participate in Holy Communion?
Yes! Through our Congregational Care Teams we have faithful servants who deliver homebound or facility bound communion on the first Sunday of each month. If you would like to learn more about this ministry and how communion might be arranged to your home or facility, please contact the church office.