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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'Chugging' communion wine

What to do with unused communion elements

Following communion distribution our pastor chug-a-lugs the wine left in the chalice. Is this an authorized practice? In earlier days, we reverently poured the wine back into the bottle.

The best practice is to take the leftover communion elements to shut-ins. In the early church, communion was taken to the sick by designated lay assistants, who took the consecrated bread and wine from the weekly communion service.


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