By Maureen Wright
The April 10 newsletter included information on celebrating communion in this time of the coronavirus pandemic. The article referred to the March 24 Advisory Opinion (AO) from the Office of the General Assembly with guidance on celebrating the Lord’s Supper. It also included supplemental guidance offered by the Office of Theology and Worship.
It is up to the pastoral leader/moderator and the session to determine the best path for a particular church. Some churches will prefer to have people gather elements in their home and lead in communion through a video connection. Other churches will prefer to delay communion until they are all able to gather physically around the Lord’s Table. Still others may gather for some type of “drive-in” service. None of these options are mandated or prohibited. Sessions and pastoral leaders are encouraged to discern which option best meets the needs of the mission and ministry of the particular church, as well as its traditions and rituals.
I have been asked if Ruling Elders trained and authorized by Presbytery to celebrate communion in their churches of membership may officiate virtual communion. The answer is YES! If communion is approved by the session, ruling elders may officiate at virtual communion. Just remember to note these for your annual report.
I am available for consultation on any communion/virtual communion issues. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.