Communion by Extension
Communion by Extension is a religious ceremony practiced in Christian churches wherein the faithfuls are allowed to partake the earlier-consecrated bread and wine even in the absence of an officiating priest.
Communion by Extension is an extension or expansion of the rite of Holy Communion in areas and at times wherein priests are not available for whatever reason. Holy Communion or Holy Mass is a weekly ceremony in church where the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist are observed culminating in the consecration of the bread and wine for the communion of the faithful.
Three churches in Great Britain have introduced this service – the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and the Church of England – amidst considerable controvery, according to Tovey (2009 p 1).
It is the objective of this paper to examine this practice for its theological, liturgical and other considerations or implications with the end in view of adding enrichment and expanded understanding of the rite in the midst of the ongoing animated discussions on the subject. It is also hoped that the analysis may aid in providing guidance to non-ordained ministers who may be positioned to officiate in such a rite of the need to take extreme care in the officiating in the face of such unresolved milieu.
What Is Communion by Extension?