Although I’ve taken communion just about every Sunday for the past twenty-plus years, I confess that many times I’ve taken it without giving it much thought. Growing up in churches where, traditionally, one received communion silently while staring at the back of the head of the person in front of you, there didn’t seem to be a lot of communing going on. Sometimes this sacred act can actually seem mundane. That is not how it is meant to be.
That’s why I was eager to read Nora Gallagher’s book, The Sacred Meal. Gallagher examines this ancient ritual from a modern perspective, shedding light on what the eucharist means not only to the church as a whole but to Gallagher personally. She includes many anecdotes–some amusing, some touching, some bittersweet–from her experiences with communion. More than just about eating and drinking, communion is about community with fellow believers. It’s about a connection with Christ and a connection with those around us.
For someone like me who has taken communion hundreds of times and yet often struggles to appreciate the sacredness of the practice, this book was eye-opening. It gave me a greater realization of the value of partaking in communion and what it means to be part of the body of Christ.