Communion Service: The Lord's Supper
Our next Communion Service is scheduled for January 12, 2019, and will include partaking of unleavened bread, unleavened grape juice, and the foot-washing (ordinance of humility).
Unleavened Bread and Unfermented Wine—"Christ is still at the table on which the paschal supper has been spread. The unleavened cakes used at the Passover season are before Him. The Passover wine, untouched by fermentation, is on the table. These emblems Christ employs to represent His own unblemished sacrifice. Nothing corrupted by fermentation, the symbol of sin and death, could represent the ‘Lamb without blemish and without spot.’ 1 Peter 1:19."—The Desire of Ages, p. 653.
Neither the wine nor the bread contained elements of fermentation, as on the evening of the first day of the Hebrew Passover all leaven, or fermentation, had been removed from their dwellings (Ex. 12:15, 19; 13:7). Therefore, only unfermented grape juice and unleavened bread are appropriate for use in the communion service. In Scripture, yeast represents pride and sin.
The Lord's Supper is a participation in the emblems of the sinless body and blood of Jesus as an expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Saviour. In this experience of communion Christ is present to meet and strengthen His people. As we partake, we joyfully proclaim the Lord's death until He comes again.
Preparation for the Supper includes self-examination, repentance, and confession. The Master ordained the service of foot washing to signify renewed cleansing, to express a willingness to serve one another in Christlike humility, and to unite our hearts in love. The communion service is open to all believing Christians. (1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 11:23-30; Matt. 26:17-30; Rev. 3:20; John 6:48-63; 13:1-17.)
An extensive write-up of the communion service as understood by the Seventh-day Adventist Church can be found in the book Seventh-day Adventists Believe, as well as in a series of article by the Adventist Review. The St. Helena Seventh-day Adventist Church endeavors to hold the communion service, including the Lord's Supper, at least once each "quarter" (three month period). We invite all Christian believers to participate in this service.
What to expect: A regular church service with Sabbath Schools, hymns, special music, and other worship will be accompanied by a short homily and dismissal to various rooms for the ordinance of humilty (foot washing). The foot washing practice is symbolic of cleansing, and should be done prior to participating in the Lord's Supper of bread and "wine."
Following the foot washing, the congregation is invited to partake of a small, broken piece of unleavened bread and a symbolic, small glass of unfermented "wine" which will be offered to each person by deacons and our young deacons-in-training. The bread and wine will be prayed for by participating elders of the church, and the congregation will drink and eat the emblems together.
The reason the bread is without yeast or fermentation, and the wine is without yeast or fermentation, is that the Lord Jesus lived a pure life while on Earth. In the Bible, Yeast is representative of sin, and was eliminated from the homes of the Israelites during Passover each year. We observe the same principal at church, commemorating the Lord's exhortation to remember His sacrifice for us by partaking of these ordinances.