Holy Communion

What’s Holy Communion?

From the Greek εὐχαριστία, meaning “thanksgiving,” we get the word “Eucharist;” English-speakers sometimes translate this as “Holy Communion.” Whichever you use, it’s among the oldest rituals in our faith tradition, and its meaning, for billions of believers over thousands of years, has grown rich and diverse. But no matter your doctrine, what’s fascinating about Holy Communion is that it both connects us to our past and brings us, right here and now, into communion with Christ. At its heart, Holy Communion is a joy-filled ephemeral moment in which you can recognize, give thanks for, and be transformed by the amazing truth that you are loved unconditionally by God, just as you are. Over hundreds of years of reflection, Episcopalians and Lutherans have developed some theologies of what Holy Communion means and how it should be carried out in practice. And while some in ELCM affirm those doctrines, we are an ecumenical organization that graciously gives space for whatever understanding you have of Holy Communion. All the Eucharistic rites listed below welcome anyone to the table to receive communion.



  • Memorial Church, 10:00am
    • Office of Religious Life Deans and invited guests, including Rev. Jane Shaw, Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, Rev. Joanne Sanders
    • not all services include Holy Communion
  • [during school year] Old Union: 3rd floor Sanctuary, 5:30pm
    • Clergy of ELCM, including Rev. Greg Schaefer
    • We pray, sing hymns and Taizé chants, celebrate the Eucharist, and share holy conversation (in place of a sermon). Afterward at 6:15, everyone is invited to dinner!


  • Memorial Church, 12:10pm
    • Clergy of ELCM, including Rev. Greg Schaefer
    • We gather for a contemplative, 20-minute Eucharist in the side chapel of Memorial Church. It is a great way to find some peace in the middle of the week!




 Other Worship

Silence & Song

  • [during school year] Memorial Church: Whisper Circle (round benches on west side of church), evening time & day TBA
    • Student leader of ELCM
    • We meditate through an hour of silence, punctuated by Taizé-style chant in the evening air beside Memorial Church. There is no sermon, no communion (no need for ordained clergy), nothing but a couple students working to find peace and God.