Holy Communion is an important and central part of our life as a congregation here at St. Athanasius Lutheran Church. Therefore it is celebrated as part of our Divine Service every Sunday.

We are very happy for all people -- members and guests -- to be with us!

Holy Communion at Saint Athanasius
Missouri Synod
Church Location: 114 Kingsley Road SW, Vienna, VA  22180
Mailing Address: 3057 Nutley Street Suite 822, Fairfax, VA  22031
703-455-4003                       Rev. James Douthwaite, Pastor
Saint Athanasius Lutheran Church
I. The True Body and Blood of our Savior

We believe that in Holy Communion the true body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ is given into the mouths of all who commune at this altar. Our Lord is present with us in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine not only in a "spiritual" sense, but with His true and actual body and blood. Further, this holy food is given to all - not only those who believe it.

The Holy Scriptures tell us that those who partake of Holy Communion in an unworthy manner, not recognizing this "real presence" of Jesus, bring harm to themselves. Therefore as a matter of love and pastoral care, our Pastor and Church want to make sure that all who commune with us understand what we are receiving in this Sacrament and why, so that it is received for good and not harm.

II. The Unity of the Faith

In the word "Communion" you will see the word "union." Holy Communion is a public demonstration of our unity with God and with one another.

Therefore, before joining in the Communion at our church:

        1. Union with God through Christ in Holy Baptism is needed.

        2. Agreement and unity with all that church believes, teaches, and confesses
            is necessary.

The Holy Scriptures tell us that unity in the Church is desired by God, but that this unity is not to be taken lightly. It must be a unity in the truth as revealed to us by God in His Word, and therefore is not only a matter of the faith in your heart, but also the faith that is publicly professed by all in this place.

Thus, while we do not deny that members of other churches and denominations are Christians, we do recognize that not all churches and denominations are united in their teachings. It is this unity for which God would have us strive.

Therefore, as a matter of love and pastoral care and in accordance with God's Word, we kindly ask that all visitors who are not members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to please speak to our Pastor about preparing for a future, informed participation with us in the fellowship of Holy Communion. And although we cannot commune together today, we look forward to the day when you will join us at the altar in the unity of faith. Thank you for respecting our position of love and faithfulness in this matter of pastoral care.

If you are a member of one of our sister Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations, we welcome you to commune with us. However, please speak to our Pastor before the service to introduce yourself and allow him to welcome you into our fellowship.

If you are a visitor from another church or do not currently belong to any church, we kindly ask that before you participate in Holy Communion with us that you allow us to teach you what we believe and teach regarding our administration of Holy Communion. The explanation provided below is provided to help you understand why we believe this process of teaching before receiving Holy Communion is God-pleasing and necessary.