The Sweet Christian Bride

Breaking Bread Together

by admin on October 28, 2011 in Ceremony Traditions with 9 Comments

What’s the first act that you would want to commemorate or found your lifetime as husband and wife?

For many couples it is a unity ceremony that serves as a symbol of their covenant marriage in Christ.  For others it is as simple as kissing the bride.  One of the most common acts, however, is sharing in communion together.

Partaking in the bread and the wine, which Jesus says is taking of his body and blood (Matthew 26:26-28), is an incredibly humbling act.  It is a call to confession, that one’s sins may be laid at the foot of the cross.  It is a call to grace and repentance, that one would accept the death of Christ as penalty for his or her sins.  It is a call to freedom and redemption because Christ rose again and each is made new.

Communion is also a call to remember (1 Corinthians 11:25).  At Jesus’ last supper with His disciples, He asked them to remember Him every time they ate the bread and drank the wine.  As we too remember Christ’s body and blood given for the forgiveness of our sins, we are compelled to offer grace to one another in return.  It reminds us that we are all sinners, and we are all saved only by the grace of Christ.

In remembering that we are all in need of a savior, we also remember that we are one body (1 Corinthians 10:17).  Each person who partakes in communion is doing so as a part of the body of Christ throughout the world and in heaven.  Together we worship Him; together we confess and forgive; together we are humbled by His payment for our sins; and together we look with hope for His return.  Remembering is also a way of re-membering the body of Christ that is divided because of sin.

In the stark reality of our degradation made clean only by the death and resurrection of Christ, all believers who partake in communion stand in hope and gratitude for the moment that Christ will come again (1 Corinthians 11:26).

To share in communion as husband and wife is to stand vulnerable and humbled together in the acknowledgement of your sins.  It is to make right any division between you or sin against you.  And it is to join in worship together, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, for the risen Christ Who is your hope now and to come until He returns in all His glory. 

You can see why so many brides and grooms want to share communion as their first act together as husband and wife.  It sets a foundation for Christ as your hope and the source of your grace.  It acknowledges that you are both sinful and must rely on the grace of Christ to help you forgive one another.  And it unifies you, or re-members you, in worship as you remember the body and blood of Christ given for you.

Your wedding guests will be witnessing a visual demonstration of the Gospel as you take communion.  For those who do not know what communion is, you might consider having your pastor narrate the act or introduce its significance prior to the act so that the symbolism of the Gospel is explained as well as demonstrated.

Do consider, however, the importance of communion to the body of Christ.  The table of communion is for all who believe in Christ as their Savior, which can make it feel odd to keep it a private act between only two people while other believers are separated from it.  If you do invite your guests to partake in communion, you must also consider that you will by default bring isolation to those who are not believers because they will not be invited to partake (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).

Some ways to tactfully address this would be for the communion to remain between the husband and wife but to have an invitation from the pastor as he explains the sacrament for all believers present to remember Christ’s sacrifice for their sins and to hope for His return.  This way, though they are not physically eating or drinking, they are still invited to confess their sins and worship Christ through their observance of the bride and groom’s communion.

If the bride and groom are ordained to serve the elements, they can serve communion to their guests.  Though there is still a noticeable divide between those who are believers and those who are not, the mere fact that the bride and groom are serving the communion creates the feeling that, “This is who they are.”  Most wedding guests are content to observe religious ceremonies that they themselves do not believe in or cannot partake in if they believe that those ceremonies deeply reflect the identities of the bride and groom.  To celebrate the bride and groom is, after all, why they came to the wedding in the first place.

Chris and I had so many non-believing guests that we opted not to have communion available for our guests.  He and I lean more on the significance of communion being for all believers and not just for two believers in the midst of more, so we didn’t have communion at our service at all. 

If you do not have communion in your wedding ceremony, you are no less of a Christian and your marriage is no less founded on the grace of Christ.  And if you choose to have communion with just the two of you, you are by no means less reverent than Chris and I.  Let the Holy Spirit and the Word of the Lord guide you in whether and how you have communion.  You know what it is you are proclaiming, so choose whatever allows you to proclaim that in faith.

Photos © John Yao, SimplyTwo Photography, and Garry Tan, respectively

By Lindsay
  • There are currently 9 Comments.

  • The Sweet Christian Bride
    • Tori says:

      Obviously, it’s completely up to you – it’s your wedding but I’ve been to a few weddings where only the couple did communion and my personal opinion as an attendee was that it was weird that only they did it. I thought I want to remember Christ by partaking in communion too. I understand that there are often non-christians at the wedding too but the same thing happens in a church whenever we do communion. As long as you serve it in a way that does not highlight those who are not partaking I think it can be okay for those who don’t want to participate. Also, my personal opinion again, it’s not all about you (the couple). While yes the wedding is about you, Communion isn’t about you – it’s about what Christ did for all of us. Communion is something we do in the community with the fellowship of all believers. As a believer, I always felt weird when I wasn’t included when communion was done with just the couple or just the wedding party. Personally, I felt like it was “we are doing this thing that is just between us but you have to watch us.” Obviously, I get if you want it to be just between the two of you – but then I think it should be just between the two of you. If you don’t want to open it up to everyone then why not slip away after the ceremony and take it then, just the two of you. I hope that makes sense. I know it’s definitely a really personal decision but I just thought I’d share my 2 cents as someone who has sat in the chair watching. xoxo

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    • Trackback from “Blessings” for Communion Solo | The Sweet Christian Bride
      Monday, 31 October, 2011

      […] listened to the song this morning, I pictured a bride and groom humbled together in the sharing of communion.   It sounds strange to picture a song that highlights brokenness at a celebration as happy as […]

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