Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
"Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is My body.' Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father's kingdom'" (Matthew 26:29).
On the night of Jesus' arrest, He instituted the Lord's Supper. He took bread and broke it telling His disciples that it was His body broken for them. Then He took the wine and said it was his blood that was shed for the remission of sin. And then He commanded the disciples to do so in remembrance of Him until He returns.
Every Christian all of the world knows about Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper. And just as many have participated in that ordinance at some time.
There is much to be said about the Lord's Supper, but this article will only address how the five senses are involved in the celebration of the Lord's Supper.
The preaching of God's word should come first before the communion is served; that is if we are to follow the pattern that Jesus outlined. Jesus and His disciples had eaten a complete meal. We know this as the Last Supper. It was only after the meal was eaten did Jesus turn to His disciples and instituted the Lord's Supper.
Therefore, we should get the meal (the preached word) in our churches first before we get the communion. By doing so, we will be able to understand and appreciate what that ordinance is all about. That's why it is called the Word and Sacrament rather than the Sacrament and the Word.
The bread and wine should be visible during the service. It is more effective if people could see the elements during the entire service.
Unfortunately, the table is covered with a white tablecloth in most traditional churches. And it is only uncovered when it is time for the elements to be served.
Why are the elements covered with a white tablecloth?
Tradition has it that in the "olden days" country churches would leave their doors and windows open because there was no air conditioning. Flies and other insects would come in and land on the elements. The women in the churches suggested covering the table with a white tablecloth and they would take turns bringing in a clean one each Communion Sunday. This gave the little old ladies something meaningful to do and it kept the flies off the elements.
Now that we no longer have to keep the windows and doors open for air, the white tablecloth is unnecessary but the tradition still lingers in the traditional churches, but not in some churches.
The elements on the table should be seen and not covered up! Also, the lights should not be dimmed during this celebration.
You might be wondering to yourself, how can you hear the bread and wine during the Lord's Supper.
The person who is instituting the Lord's Supper holds up the goblet containing the wine high in the air for all to see. Then he pours the wine into another goblet just for the demonstration. The gurgling sound of the wine being poured can be heard even by the people in the back pew during this sacred and holy act.
We know that in churches today, the elements have already been prepared beforehand. Keep in mind, however, that I said this was a demonstration for the hearing of the wine as it was being poured. This is done to satisfy the sense of hearing even though the elements have been prepared in advance.
You can smell the fresh bread that was baked for the specific purpose of Holy Communion. Again, a long time ago, the little ladies in the church took turns and looked forward to baking the bread for Holy Communion.
Everyone who entered the church could smell the bread during the service. Also, people would be able to smell the wine.
People have often asked about recovered alcoholics or those who didn't want wine. In a case like this, grape juice is also available. That too has a scent that satisfies the sense of smell during Holy Communion.
When you eat the bread no matter what kind it is, you will taste it. Even though churches today use all kinds of bread (wafers, crackers, white bread, etc.) I prefer the loaf. Why? The point of Holy Communion is that all Christians all over the world are eating from that one loaf. It is not just for the few people in your church or in your city, but Christians all over the world who are eating from that broken loaf. It is hard to visualize that if you are eating from that one little piece of cracker.
The bread should be touched. There is no way to get it into your mouth without touching it. Some preachers break the bread and places into the person's hand. For sanitary reasons, that doesn't happen too much anymore. Today a plate is passed and people take their own elements.
This article was about the five senses that should be involved in Holy Communion. See how many senses you use the next time you partake of Holy Communion in your church or place of worship.
Anna on September 26, 2020:
As a child I didn’t understand what the five sense was for the holy communion but now I do special thanks to Margaret.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 07, 2011:
Dave, thanks for sharing your input about the senses used during Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper.
Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on March 07, 2011:
AMEN! revmjm. Indeed all five senses should be included as one partakes of Holy Communion, bothe spiritual as well as human which would actually make that ten senses.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 06, 2011:
einron, Praise the Lord! That was exactly what I was talking about. It seems like my article was written at the right time for you to respond about your experience with Holy Communion.
I felt the presence of the Lord as I read your response about having received Holy Communion.
Thank you so much for your detailed response.
einron from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA on March 05, 2011:
We just had Holy Communion today. A sermon was delivered on the facts concerning the Holy Communion by the minister.
The bread was made by the minister in the church and was made from pure flour without any preservative of any kind. It was a big piece of bread held up to the congregation before all kneeling in prayer for consecration and broken into pieces and distributed by members of the Church Council. No matter how big the congregation, the bread is one before prayer, and broken into small pieces for distribution. Even if the congregation consists of 1,000 people, there is still only one bread.
Before distribution, the congregation was told that only those who were baptized in the church could partake in the Holy Communion.
Then the glass container of grape juice was held up in front of the congregation before the congregation knelt down to consecrate the grape juice. After prayer, it was poured into individual cups and distributed to the audience.
The bread was broken in small pieces with the help of another minister. A table was placed near the pulpit to accommodate the bread and the wine. The congregation continued to sing hymns until the bread was divided. Similarly, the congregation continued to sing hymns until the wine was divided into smaller cups.
The bread is freshly made and so is the wine from the grapes on the day of the Holy Communion. Praise the Lord.