Joel Sarli was Associate Secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association and the second editor of Elder’s Digest when this article was written.

1. Importance

Communion is an occasion of solemnity and heartsearching, of rejoicing and anticipation. "Everything connected with it should suggest as perfect a preparation as possible. . . . This ceremony isl performed listlessly . . ."(Evangelism, pages 277, 278).

Properly planned and conducted, it brings encouragement and spiritual renewal to the congregation. Conducting Communion service is, therefore, one of the most sacred duties of a pastor or elder.

2. When held

In the Seventh-day Adventist Church the communion service customarily is celebrated once every quarter.

3. Foot-washing Ceremony

Foot-washing should always be included.

4. Announcement

The Communion service should be announced at least a week in advance so members can prepare themselves, and deacons and deaconesses can prepare the emblems and equipment.

5. Who officiates

Ordained elders are qualified to officiate over a Communion service. The elder and the pastor should always communicate with each other in planning the Communion service. Deacons assist by distributing the bread and wine.

6. Who participates

Jesus' example of including Judas at the first Communion proves that participation should not be limited to only exemplary Christians. "Christ's example forbids exclusiveness at the Lord's Supper. It is true that open sin excludes the guilty. This the Holy Spirit plainly teaches. But beyond this none are to pass judgement. God has not left it with men to say who shall present themselves on these occasions. For who can read the hearts?" (Desire of Ages, page 656).

7. Cultural differences

Several cultural factors influence the way the Communion service is celebrated. People of different cultures need not be discouraged as long as they effectively teach the spiritual lessons Jesus intended.

8. Sermon

Traditionally the Communion sermon is given just before separating for the foot-washing service. The sermon should be short but meaningful.

The Communion service sometimes lasts longer than other worship services. However the elder must be sensitive to the feelings of the members in general.