Becky Savage of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. -Mark 1:35-39
I hadn’t participated in a Communion service since the 2016 World Conference. I am unable to attend services in physical church buildings where I live because of an autoimmune illness.
Then in September 2019, the First Presidency released “Guidelines for Serving the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (Communion).” The guidelines offer directions for real-time online participation in the Lord’s Supper. This simultaneous experience is considered the same as being in a single physical location with other participants. The primary location has priesthood members serving the emblems to gathered members while others join online.
I have participated with the Toronto Centre Congregation as a member of the online Beyond the Walls group for several years. However, the first online sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was a particularly meaningful service. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed the experience of shared prayers, bread, and wine.
I shopped for a special cup and saucer for my first sacrament in years. Communion day, I woke in prayerful anticipation, prepared a gluten-free piece of bread and grape juice, and set up a special worship area. I was asked to offer one of the prayers from my home in Missouri via Zoom with the local and online Facebook Live congregation. The feeling of inclusion, despite the online environment, was amazing.
Doctrine and Covenants 164:4c says, “Explore all the ways the Lord’s Supper can spiritually form the church community into a true and living expression of the life, sacrifice, resurrection, and continuing presence of Christ. Inherent in this sacrament is the divine call for the church to be a sacramental offering for the blessing, healing, and peace of creation.”
I had lost the gift of sacred community for the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The new simultaneous online Communion experience restored wholeness for my spiritual life. I rejoice each Communion Sunday as I join with the online sacred extended community of Christ that restores body, mind, spirit, and relationship to wholeness.
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Breathing God’s Compassion
Light a candle and sit quietly, reflecting on the fire and light of God. Pay attention to your breathing and let it become calmer and deeper as you focus on God’s presence. Ask God to breathe in you. Image each breath carrying the light of God into your lungs, bloodstream, and every cell in your body until God’s Spirit fills you. Now imagine breathing out God’s compassion and grace each time you exhale. Pray to have the Spirit of Christ radiate from your life like the gentle flame of a candle.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.