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Stump the Pastor: Can a Lay Person Preside Over the Sacrament of the Holy Communion?
The Sacraments are religious ceremonies or acts of the Christian Church that are regarded as an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual divine grace and presence. Sacraments center the followers of Jesus and focus us on the presence of the Holy all around us, ushering and strengthening our relationship with God. In the Methodist church we celebrate two sacraments: Baptism and the Holy Communion.
Jesus himself established these sacraments. The Baptism was established when Jesus himself was baptized. The Sacrament of the Holy Communion was established during the Last Supper.
The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church states (Here is the link):
¶340.2 Responsibilities and Duties of Elders and Licensed Pastors
a) To administer the sacraments of baptism and the Supper of the Lord according to Christ’s ordinance.
(1) To prepare the parents and sponsors before baptizing infants or children, and instruct them concerning the significance of baptism and their responsibilities for the Christian training of the baptized child.
(2) To encourage reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant and renewal of baptismal vows at different stages of life.
(3) To encourage people baptized in infancy or early childhood to make their profession of faith, after instruction, so that they might become professing members of the church.
(4) To explain the meaning of the Lord’s Supper and to encourage regular participation as a means of grace to grow in faith and holiness.
(5) To select and train deacons and lay members to serve the consecrated communion elements.
b) To encourage the private and congregational use of the other means of grace.
It is responsibility of the Ordained Elder or Licensed Pastor under appointment in the local church:
“To administer the sacraments of baptism and the Supper of the Lord according to Christ’s ordinance.”
“To explain the meaning of the Lord’s Supper and to encourage regular participation as a means of grace to grow in faith and holiness,” and
“Select and train deacons and lay members to serve the consecrated communion elements.”