Dear Friends in Christ~
This Sunday, congregations around the globe will celebrate World Communion Sunday. Most of us have heard about World Communion Sunday but may not know much about where the celebration originated. According to the website of the National Council of Churches, World Communion Sunday began in 1936 in the Presbyterian Church and was adopted by the Federal Council of Churches in 1940. Since then, the celebration has grown into an international ecumenical celebration of Christian unity.
The key word for World Communion Sunday is communion, or unity. It is a day when we mark the almost universal Christian practice of breaking bread and remembering both the night of Jesus’ betrayal—when Jesus instituted what we now call the Lord’s Supper as a lasting remembrance—and of Jesus’ sacrifice. So accounts of the last supper feature prominently, by virtue of World Communion Sunday being a celebration of the Eucharist. But there is a flavor of the Christian celebration of Pentecost as well, when people from around the Mediterranean world came together in mutual understanding and inspiration, by the power of the Holy Spirit. World Communion Sunday is a time for remembering that around the globe—in different languages, with different traditions and customs, and in various forms of liturgy—the Lord’s Supper is celebrated throughout Christendom.
At its best, therefore, World Communion Sunday serves two purposes: it is both a joyous and meaningful sharing in Jesus’ sacred meal with his friends and a mind-opening exposure to different Christian traditions from around the world.
So, let’s partake of the Lord’s Supper this week and let’s also remember that we are part of a global family.