Communion is a central part of each worship service; even on days when there is no special music, or sermon, Disciples celebrate communion.
Celebrate, or share, or pass, or practice, or partake - there's no one verb.
Communion is a part of most Christian groups; the frequency or the theology may differ greatly, but it is an important element of almost all faith communities. From time to time, folks ask me how we as Disciples understand communion. Obviously, I can't and don't speak for all Disciples (I don't even speak for all the members of OUR church), but there are some common understandings I can share:
+We understand the meal is more of a symbolic act than a literal one. We are not holding the literal or Spirit-imbued Body of Christ, but elements that represent Him. In our church we use Welsh's grape juice and gluten-free crackers. They do not become holy or closer to God somehow - the idea is that by remembering Who we chose to follow, our LIVES become closer to God. It is not the cup and bread that are changed - it is us.
+We use grape juice - not because we are teetotalers, but because we want all who wish to share in communion; that means those who deal with alcoholism can participate.
+Some parents in our church let their children share in communion; others wish their children to wait until they have gone through Pastor's class. Here again, it is up to the individual. I can sit and make a fairly good argument on both sides of this. Bottom line is, it is between the individual and Jesus; we don't broker that.
+Because it is not sacramental in our understanding, there is no need for me as a minister to somehow serve as a conduit. On Youth Sunday, our young people serve at the table. This is not in any way a lax attitude, nor a casual one. In our understanding of Scripture, it is an orthodox behaviour: we see Jesus as reaching out to all, and we see the communion table as His. Consequently, it is at HIS invitation, not ours; so we are not in the business of making that call. And though some may see this as disrespectful or in some way harmful to the cause, we disagree. In the story told in ninth chapter of Matthew, when touched by a woman seen as filthy and unclean, Jesus was NOT made unclean - SHE was made whole. It is hubris to assume that anything we can do has such power.
+ The good news is, God knows our hearts. The bad news is, God knows our hearts. There are some whose behaviour and demeanor appears to be beyond reproach; but their hearts are stingy and judging and two sizes too small. There are some who appear to not follow 'our' rules; but their hearts are broken open and hungry for the Spirit. WE CAN'T KNOW THIS; GOD CAN.
+In summation, communion is not about us, or anything we do. It is about God's Son, and all God can do to us and for us, for ourselves and for the world. It is not about the words, or the wine, or the dirt on our hands, or whether the right rubric was followed; it is about open hearts and minds and hands that are filled with grace and mercy and justice and salvation, to be carried to a world that is in such desperate need of such. We do not claim to know all the truth there is, but we strive to share all the truth we've known and been given.