Spiritual Communion

When I was thinking about online worship a few weeks ago as we faced a continuing lockdown with people worshipping at home I wondered why we continue with Holy Communion when the majority of people cannot receive the bread and wine. I am one of the few Christians who doesn’t experience that. I am the one on the other side of the camera celebrating the Eucharist in an almost empty building without a congregation. I am used to small scale services with just a few at a mid-week service. Oh how I miss those informal times of worship with just a few of us gathered around the Lord’s Table!

After discussing this with another priest, I read the book she recommended: Henri Nouwen’s With Burning Hearts. I also recommend it as a good reflection on the eucharist. It is available in many Christian book shops as well as on-line so I am not linking to any particular shop. This is what you are looking for:

I had decided a few weeks ago that I would preach on what it means to receive Spiritual Communion when it was next my turn to preach. That turn came last Sunday with the set readings being Colossians 1:15-20 and John 1:1-14. Both wonderful passages.

I decided to split the sermon into the sections that Nouwen had in his book. I have edited the video of the service to produce a video of just the sermon bits to create a teaching video on communion, including what it means to receive spiritual communion. It is, I think, good teaching on communion in general as well as spiritual communion.

Video of teaching on communion

I would be interested to know how you have experienced having to stay at home and receive spiritual communion. And, what you think about the teaching video. If you think it is worth watching, please share with others. Thank you.

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