I believe that we create our own symbols.
Our way of blessing and administering the sacrament is very different from other churches but each method for performing the ritual is rich in symbolism. For instance, some people highlight the fact that the bread was blessed before
it was broken. Breaking the bread before it is blessed might "destroy" the symbolism people find in blessing the bread before it is broken.
Most churches use grape juice and some have argued that using water removes many symbols from the ritual.
1) Supposedly grapes can only survive because they hang together on the vine in bunches, grapes wither and die if they're on the vine in isolation.
2) There are many references in the bible to fruit of the vine, the vine symbolism isn't retained when we use water. There are even some mentions of the "blood of the grape:"
Genesis 49:11 wrote:Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
Deuteronomy 32:14 wrote:Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.
Sirach 50:13-15 wrote:All Aaron’s sons were in their glory, and they held the Lord’s offering in their hands in front of the entire assembly of Israel. When he was finishing his service at the altar, after he had arranged an offering to the Most High, the almighty, he stretched out his hand for the cup used for drink offerings and he poured a libation of wine. He poured it out at the base of the altar, a pleasing aroma to the Most High, the king of all.
3) The interesting thing about wine... you have to be moderate when consuming it. A little wine, no biggie; a lot of wine, inebriation. Perhaps a hidden symbol warning against fanaticism?
Some churches will administer the sacrament by dipping bread in grape juice, where both emblems are taken at the same time. Some churches have the congregation approach the sacrament as opposed to passing. Some churches make it a point to use unleavened bread because leaven symbolizes sin. Different symbols can be found in different practices, that's not to say that any one way is wrong and another right, we're cafeteria symbolists after all.
According to the D&C the lord doesn't have a problem with people creating their own symbols.
For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins.
Perhaps a person that is left handed finds more meaning in using their
dominant hand to take the sacrament, thus creating their own symbol.
We're going to destroy or create our own symbols no matter how we end up performing the ritual. Perhaps that's another casualty of correlation. We miss out on new symbols and meaning by insisting on homogeneous worship.
LookingHard wrote:This week I intentionally took the sacrament with my left hand - not to be a rable-rouser, but just to make myself think more about what I was doing.
I took it a step further, I watched other people that were in my line of sight take the sacrament.
Not counting myself one other person took the bread with their left hand (DW, and she didn't know I was keeping score. It was one of those situations where the tray was passed and secured with the right hand and the left was the only free hand). There were 5 people that took the water with their left hand. Nothing major, I just thought I'd play the part of social anthropologist.