Thursday, December 24, 2009

Communion as a non-Christian

Today I had communion for the first time as a non-Christian. And it was on Christmas Eve. I'd been told that communion from a pagan perspective is a little strange, so I tried it out. And it's definitely weird.

It wasn't at a Catholic church, it was Baptist. So it was the little cracker with grape juice. Looking at the cracker with the realization that this is symbolic cannibalism is a little strange. I'm about to stick the body and blood of Christ into my digestive system and I don't even believe he's a god.

Normally I would have passed up the experience, but a friend of mine who is a pagan was caught in a situation where she had to do it or else she would reveal to her Christian family that she wasn't part of their religion so I tried the experience in honor of her. It's not one that I'll do again. Like her, I felt quite sick afterward and felt like I was betraying myself. I didn't go to the point of throwing up, but it was kinda close.

Communion has so much meaning applied to it for Christians. And I'm sitting in the church on Christmas Eve as a heretic and performing one of their more sacred rituals. Especially sacred to the Baptists since they only do it twice per year (albeit with grape juice and a cracker rather than good bread and red wine).

It's a feeling that I can't really write down easily. Again, I felt like I betrayed myself, but also I felt like I had betrayed the other Christians in the church, even though I didn't know any of them. I don't think that they would have really minded that much (a Catholic would be mortified), but I still felt that betrayal feeling afterward. Combine that with holiness and you have an idea of what was going on in my head.

Not planning on doing that again unless I become a Christian later in life. Even then I'm not sure if the ritual will make any more sense to me.


Richter, Alexandra said...

It is not symbolic of cannabalism, allthough I'm sure you already knew this and are just scoffing. Roman Cat.holics, however, do beleive that during consecration the bread and the wine actually becomes the blood, body, soul. adn divinty of Christ and it must be worshippe as God.. so here I scoff along with you. Communion is and only is symbolic. It is a ritual and should therefore not be worshipped. You should be worshipping the Holy God, not the ritual itself which is the way it seems many Catholics do..

The bread symbolizes the manna - (the 'bread from heaven' sent from God while the Jews were wandering in the desert). All together, the symbols remember the Covenant made between God and the Israelites way back at the time of Moses. However, when Jesus broke the bread (symbolizing the new 'bread sent from heaven', he symbolized the old Covenant now being replaced with a New Covenant - the sacrifice of his body on the Cross for all people, for all time. Thus, this New Covenant, in the broken bread, symbolized Christ's body broken for us. The wine of the passover meal then symbolized Christ's blood shed for us on the Cross. (Matthew 26:26-29)
This is the reason why the Bible is split into two sections - the Old Testament ('Testament' is another word for 'Covenant') which concentrates on the Jewish Covenant with God, and the New Testament, which tells of the new Covenant with God, through Jesus.

I understand why the ritual doesn't make sense to you. Because it's a RITUAL. People (mainly Catholics, but plenty of other churches as well) don't really think about the meaning behind it. They just think it will make you holy. Baptists, nor should any denomination of the Christian faith have to do this 2 times a year, or everyday. You don't have to drink a little juice every once in a while to remember the sacrifice of Christ. He knows whether you acknowledge the meaning behind it. So why should you care what a few Baptists, or Catholics might say if you don't take communion? If I didn't mean it, I'd rather not take the Lord's Supper and have some hypocrtical "christians" jeer at me than know that I betrayed the One, True, Living God. He knows your heart.

I try to be non-biased person.. although I know in some ways myself saying that just makes me a hypocrite. I know I don't always hold up to the standards I expect of other people. I doubt anyone does fully. Anyways, I enjoy your blog!

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