Christians of different denominations across the world will act as one today in observance of World Communion Sunday, which celebrates unity in Christ.
Designated as the first Sunday in October, World Communion Sunday started within the Presbyterian Church in 1936, but was never intended as an intradenominational activity, said the Rev. Jim Wallace, pastor of St. Luke Presbyterian Church.
“It was intended to be ecumenical and involve other churches,” he said. “Over time, that came to be — a lot of different denominations are participating now, which is wonderful.”
Many World Communion Sunday services will emphasize global representation with various languages spoken during service, as well as the presence of bread from different cultures.
“In our bread display, we try to make bread from different kinds of grain and different kinds of textures to represent the diversity of the world,” said the Rev. Barry Loving, senior minister of First Christian Church. “We try to make our service multicultural.”
World Communion Sunday is one of six special Sundays in the United Methodist Church, said the Rev. Josh Kouri, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church.
“One of the things that we’re going to do is incorporate everyone into the service,” Kouri said. “During communion, it is set up so that everyone is serving communion to someone else.”
Communion was intended to bring people together, Wallace said.
“Our service will be done in Spanish, Latvian, German, French, Italian, American sgn language, and Russian,” he said.
“Several different people in the congregation will make different kinds of bread from the different cultures, so we’ll have those when we serve communion. For the day, we really emphasize the worldwide spread of Christ.”
It is the diversity of the service and uniformity of many denominations that Wallace, Loving and Kouri all look forward to every year.
“What’s neat about World Communion Sunday is there are many Christians around the world doing the same thing,” Loving said. “On that day, we’re unified at the table.”