We will be celebrating a version of online communion on May 3rd during our worship broadcast. In preparation, we are inviting people to bake a simple loaf of bread for us to use together. This is not required, but it might help capture some of the meaning of the sacrament. We’ve included a recipe and liturgy below that may be helpful. Otherwise, simply have some bread on hand during the service. We hope that knowing our church family is simultaneously enacting the Lord’s Supper will give all us a sense of community and meaning as we worship “separately together.”
A Liturgy of Baking Bread
Bread has been a staple of humanity for thousands of years and remains an important symbol of fellowship and blessedness. The very meal that Jesus shared with his disciples as the Last Supper was the Passover meal, and one of the foods served was always unleavened bread, or bread made without yeast. This symbolized the escape from Egypt which happened quickly so there was no time to wait for bread dough to rise. It was also some kind of bread-like substance that the Israelites called Manna, which sustained them in the desert and literally became the people’s daily bread as it was new every morning.
As you make this bread, consider the millions of times throughout the history of the world that hands have worked to craft this most common gift. Use this time to reflect, pray, give thanks, and worship.
Read through these instructions to make sure that you have everything ready. If possible, involve your family or friends, and if you prepare this by yourself, pray for others while you go through the process. In the tradition of Jesus’ people, preparing food for worship gatherings was considered a sacred act, and we hope that this project will give us an opportunity to reflect and pray as we prepare to celebrate the promise of Jesus through communion together using the bread we have made.
Flour – 3 1/3 Cups (All-purpose flour)
Baking Powder – 2 teaspoons
Salt – 1 Teaspoon
Milk – 1 1/4 Cup
Preheat oven to 375 and place baking sheet/stone in the oven while it preheats.
Step 1 – Preparation (Psalm 51:1-2)
In the Jewish tradition, preparation for the Sabbath involves significant cleaning. The idea is that a space used for something sacred should be dedicated and cleansed. To get at this idea, begin with a thorough cleaning of the working and cooking space. [Yes, I know your kitchen is probably spotless but this is liturgy not chores.] Work together with those in your house to clean where you will be making bread. Also, clean the dishes and baking stone/pan that you will be using. Use clean towels to dry everything and as you make these preparations reflect on what it means to be clean, to be holy. This might be a good opportunity to talk together with children about forgiveness and being made clean by the sacrifice of Jesus for all of us.
Step 2 – Gratitude (Psalm 118:1)
Before beginning the recipe, place each ingredient out where visible and pause for a moment to give thanks. This might be a good time to reflect on the blessings in our life, or to consider the role that bread has played in history. Perhaps say the Lord’s Prayer as a family, putting special emphasis on “Give us this day our daily bread.” Ask kids what it would be like if you had to actually make bread every day and how blessed we are to have enough food.
Step 3 – Mixing (Exodus 12:17-18)
Wash hands. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir in the milk. Mix with hands or utensil until a soft dough forms. Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured workspace where you can knead it gently until the dough has a uniform consistency. This would be a great way for young kids to be involved, though it might be messy? Shape dough into a round disk (not a ball). The disk should be about 1-1 ½ inches thick.
Using a knife, cut a cross into the top of the bread dough. This would be a great moment to reflect or share and emphasize that the cross always reminds us of Jesus.
Step 4 – Baking (Matthew 4:3-4)
Remove pan or stone from oven and place the dough disk on it. Place in oven and bake for about 35 minutes. Bread should turn light brown on the top. Remove from oven and let cool, perhaps while reflecting on the need for all of us to rest, physically and spiritually.
Step 5 – Rest (John 6:5-7, 30-35)
Set bread aside and have it with you Sunday morning when you join us for the live-stream of our Sunday worship.