Tuesday, 07 December 2010
For most of my life, I attended a Lutheran church with a liturgical service. Everything is always very structured, and I kinda like it that way. At college, though, I started going to church with my roommate; she's CMA, and we usually go to Baptist churches.
I never realized how different the services were. Over the past few months, I've had to get used to no kneeling, no songs written before 1990 -- let alone anything like "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" or "This is the Feast" -- seeing adults baptized instead of infants and having communion passed out instead of filing to an altar.
Even though communion is done less often in these churches, that's the one thing that I think is hardest for me to get used to. I had to go through a long confirmation class period to get communion. I was taught that the presence of Christ is in the bread and the wine, and I was used to it being wine and not grape juice.
Why grape juice? Is alcohol really so evil that we can't even have it in small amounts for the remembrance of Christ? I can understand why, say, a recovering alcoholic wouldn't want to get near the stuff, but to me, it doesn't feel like the actual sacrament if it isn't wine. I know it is, of course; the meaning is more important than the materials, and I respect all ways of practicing Christianity, even if I can't relate to them.
Honestly, I like both services. Things are very enthused and vibrant in these more contemporary services, but I feel the beautiful ancientness of God more deeply when attending my own church.
What do you think? Do you prefer communion with wine or grape juice, and why? What kind of church do you attend?