Sunday, October 23, 2011

Green Holy Communion

How to "Green" Your Church's Eucharist, or Holy Communion 

  1. Source the elements of Holy Communion locally if at all possible.
    • Is there a local and independently owned bakery to purchase loaves of bread?
    • Is there locally grown or milled flour to bake with?
    • Is there a local winery?
    • Do any members of the congregation farm or produce flour or wine?
    • Are there organic options available?
  2. Establish a church garden in which to grow the necessary ingredients for communion.
    • Call upon congregation members with green thumbs to help out.
    • Obviously this will vary depending on local climate and seasons. 
  3. Use washable cups for individual portions of wine/grape juice, or practice intinction.
    • For those who do not wish to drink from the common cup, using small washable glasses reduces waste tremendously. 
    • If this is not feasible, use recyclable cups instead.  
    • Practicing intinction (the dipping of the bread into the cup) eliminates the need for either.
  4. Dedicate a specific prayer for Creation during the Prayers of the Church.
    • Thank God for the bounty of Creation that provides us with bread and wine so that we can partake in this sacrament.
  5. Encourage and include moments of silence to reflect upon our relationship to the earth and our relationship to food.
    • Reflection can help to foster care for the earth and all its inhabitants.   
  6. Practice open communion.
    • By inviting all to the table, Christian communities embrace the diversity of all people and all of God’s creation, including the earth.