(also known as The Lord’s Supper, Sacrament of the Altar, Holy Communion, and the Eucharist)
We believe that through the Lord’s Supper we receive the true body and blood our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We believe that the bread and wine are more than a symbol of his body and blood, but that Christ’s body and blood are actually present in these elements.
We also believe that Jesus instituted (in other words he established and commanded) the Lord’s Supper for Christian believers to receive often. In this meal we receive forgiveness for our sins and the hope of eternal salvation.
When should I participate in communion?
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is given for sinners in need of forgiveness and that we should partake in communion any time we have the need for the assurance of God’s forgiveness in our lives.
God invites you to come if:
- By His grace you are able to declare your belief in Him as the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- By his grace you are truly sorry and repentant of your sins
- By His grace, you you believe and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive your sins,
- By His grace, You acknowledge his actual presence in the bread & wine.
If you are a guest, you are welcome to attend the Lord’s Supper. We only ask the same of you that God asks of us all – that you are able to accept by faith the above truths and are sincerely seeking His forgiveness and renewal in your life.
Provided below is a list of “Christian Questions with their Answers” written by Martin Luther to help a Christian believer examine themselves in preparation to receive the Lord’s Supper.
When should you abstain from Communion?
- If you do not trust and believe Jesus as your Savior for forgiveness and salvation
- If you have a sin that you are neither sorry or repentant of
- If you have refused to offer forgiveness or failed to seek reconciliation with another person
- If you are not sure what the Lord’s Supper is for or why you should receive it
- If you are unable to examine yourself in the case of a young child
At Good Shepherd we believe that it is important for a person to properly examine themselves before they come to communion. For as much as a promise is connected with the this wonderful meal there is also a warning.
God’s Word states: Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body and blood of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 1 Corinthians 11:27–29
Christian Questions with Their Answers
Prepared by Dr. Martin Luther for those who intend to go to the Sacrament.
After confession and instruction in the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the pastor may ask, or Christians may ask themselves these questions:
Do you believe that you are a sinner?
Yes, I believe it. I am a sinner.
How do you know this?
From the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept.
Are you sorry for your sins?
Yes, I am sorry that I have sinned against God.
What have you deserved from God because of your sins?
His wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation. See Romans 6:21, 23.
Do you hope to be saved?
Yes, that is my hope.
In whom then do you trust?
In my dear Lord Jesus Christ.
Who is Christ?
The Son of God, true God and man.
How many Gods are there?
Only one, but there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
What has Christ done for you that you trust in Him?
He died for me and shed His blood for me on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.
Did the Father also die for you?
He did not. The Father is God only, as is the Holy Spirit; but the Son is both true God and true man. He died for me and shed his blood for me.
How do you know this?
From the holy Gospel, from the words instituting the Sacrament, and by His body and blood given me as a pledge in the Sacrament.
What are the Words of Institution?
Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.” In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
Do you believe, then, that the true body and blood of Christ are in the Sacrament?
Yes, I believe it.
What convinces you to believe this?
The word of Christ: Take, eat, this is My body; drink of it, all of you, this is My blood.
What should we do when we eat His body and drink His blood, and in this way receive His pledge?
We should remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood, as He taught us: This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.
Why should we remember and proclaim His death?
First, so that we may learn to believe that no creature could make satisfaction for our sins. Only Christ, true God and man, could do that. Second, so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. Third, so we may find joy and comfort in Christ alone, and through faith in Him be saved.
What motivated Christ to die and make full payment for your sins?
His great love for His Father and for me and other sinners, as it is written in John 14, Romans 5, Galatians 2, and Ephesians 5.
Finally, why do you wish to go to the Sacrament?
That I may learn to believe that Christ, out of great love, died for my sin, and also learn from Him to love God and my neighbor.
What should admonish and encourage a Christian to receive the Sacrament frequently?
First, both the command and the promise of Christ the Lord. Second, his own pressing need, because of which the command, encouragement, and promise are given.
But what should you do if you are not aware of this need and have no hunger and thirst for the Sacrament?
To such a person no better advice can be given than this: first, he should touch his body to see if he still has flesh and blood. Then he should believe what the Scriptures say of it in Galatians 5 and Romans 7. Second, he should look around to see whether he is still in the world, and remember that there will be no lack of sin and trouble, as the Scriptures say in John 15–16 and in 1 John 2 and 5. Third, he will certainly have the devil also around him, who with his lying and murdering day and night will let him have no peace, within or without, as the Scriptures picture him in John 8 and 16, 1 Peter 5, Ephesians 6, and 2 Timothy 2.