Comparing the Sacrament/Communion between the LDS & RLDS
March 28, 2014
This the first post from commenter Markag. Growing up RLDS, he converted to the LDS Church in 1999, a few years prior to the RLDS name change to the Community of Christ. He gives some insights into differences between LDS and RLDS/CoC worship practices.
There are a few similarities and differences of the service conducted by the two Churches. In the LDS Church, the Sacrament is passed every regularly scheduled Sunday meeting. Communion in the CoC is traditionally, but not limited to, the 1st Sunday of the month. Both churches have opening/closing hymns, followed by prayers. In the CoC, at least one hymn will be on the subject of the meeting. The CoC will have a Communion Address (one speaker) and special music occurring before the Sacrament portion of the service. Meditation music is played during the uncovering/preparation/serving of the emblems. The LDS observe in silence during the administration of the sacrament.
For now, the Sacrament prayers are alike, except that the CoC refers to “wine” no matter what the liquid is. There are proposals to make the Sacrament prayers gender-neutral, but no actual text suggestions have been made. Any Priesthood holder in the LDS Church can serve the Sacrament, but in the CoC it must be delivered by someone who has at least the office of Priest.
LDS allows small children to partake of the sacrament, but in the Community of Christ, children should be at least 8 years old to partake.
The LDS Sacrament is meant for baptized members, but there are exceptions. Small children of member families are served. Since 1994 the CoC practice open communion, so anyone can partake, even non-members. There are also exceptions; children under age 8 are usually not served in the Community of Christ. In the CoC, a “pastoral prayer” by the presiding priesthood member is often given following the Sacrament portion of the service.
Since the CoC service is monthly, the Sacrament emblems can be carried to the homes of sick/shut-ins who have requested it. LDS homes, with the Bishop’s permission (and proper priesthood authority), can conduct a Sacrament service in their individual home. I once did so when we were trapped by tropical-storm flooding and it was very spiritual.
The CoC service will also receive donations for their “oblation fund”, similar to the LDS fast offering.
Do you have any questions or thoughts concerning LDS/CoC worship practices?