This coming weekend I will be the best man in a childhood friend’s wedding.  The service will take place in a United Methodist Church (the bride is Methodist; my friend the groom is a Campbellite/non-denom Christian).  I was informed at the tux fitting that it would also be a Communion service as well.  Both the bride and the groom know my confessional approach and stance of close Communion, so they were understanding when I told them that I could not partake. 

Here’s the dilemma:

Like any devote Lutheran, I love the Divine Service–particularly the heart and center of it: Holy Communion.  I always encourage other Lutherans I know to attend the Divine Service and go to the Lord’s Supper.  (The reason for this, I’m sure, is obvious to all of us here, for each of us knows the great gifts we receive when we eat the Body and Blood of our Lord in this heavenly feast.) 

When I found out that it would be a Communion service, my first reaction was “That’s great to hear!”, even though I knew that I would not be partaking.  The simple reason for my joy was that the Lord’s Supper is one of the best things a Christian can receive. 

I wanted to hear the opinions of everyone who lives here on Planet Augsburg and those who visit: is it really is a good thing that Communion is being offered at my friend’s wedding?  

Here are my reasons for asking: 

1. Given that the elements are Welch’s grapejuice and leavened bread, is it really the Body and Blood that the communicants will receive?

2. Given that the United Methodist Church does not confess the real presence of our Lord in the Supper, does this nullify what would be the consecration (because a Methodist minister who says “this is my body” really means “this represents my body”, therefore changing the meaning {though not the pronunciation} of our Lord’s words)?

I struggle personally with what line to walk.  Part of me wants to say “don’t go to the table–this is a heterdox church that peverts God’s word!”  On the other hand, if it really is the Supper, is it not right that I encourage Christians to partake? 

Any and all thoughts on the matter will be most appreciated!

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