Crafting our ceremony: serving communion

15 November 2012

For the last part in our four-part series on the decisions we made for our ceremony, I wanted to talk about our choice to serve communion. (See previous posts here: readings, music, vows)

We made the decision to serve communion early on, and felt peaceful about it, but were a little… interested to see how our guests would react. Not all of our guests share our faith, and we didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or imposed upon. Thankfully, the United Methodist Church offers communion freely to all who “want Christ in their life,” regardless of religion or denomination, while also recognizing that approaching this table is a personal decision and doesn’t question those who choose not to partake. Our pastor, Carl, introduced this part of our service beautifully, inviting those who chose not to come forward to offer a prayer or good wish for us from the pew.

Photo by the fab Tanja Lippert

We served communion directly following our vows. We chose to see the symbolism in our first act as a married couple being one of serving others while honoring our Lord, especially since we chose to serve our parents and grandparents first. We were pleasantly surprised to see all the beloved and familiar faces coming forward during communion, and it was really special to have a brief moment with each individual.

A few notes: For some reason, I chose to hold the juice, and John, the bread, but based on our sartorial choices, we probably should have switched. I’m happy to say that not a drop of red was spilled on my gown, but that’s probably because our guests were hilariously, over-enthusiastically (but kindly!) careful to avoid the possibility — in fact, I think many of them dunked only one corner crumb in the juice :)

One other thing we didn’t expect was that many of our Catholic (and maybe Episcopalian?) guests chose to sip from the cup instead of dipping, which jolted me the first time it happened. Had we thought to expect that (which we totally should have!), I would have had a handkerchief with me. Oh well!

The last neat thing was that we used a silver cup from the church where my grandmother was baptized for the juice — I loved having that extra family connection.

We had SO many positive reactions from our guests about the whole experience, even those who don’t regularly attend church, with many guests naming it as their favorite part of our wedding in our guestbook. John and I would say the same.

Did any of y’all serve communion at your wedding? Or have you been to a wedding that served communion?

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November 16, 2012 2:19 pm

I’ve never been to a wedding with communion, but it sounds like it was a beautiful and moving addition to the ceremony! I love how much planning and spiritual significance you placed in your ceremony, not just the pretty:)

March 7, 2013 5:08 pm

I’m just now seeing that y’all did this. What a wonderful idea and how special!!