I want to share a few thoughts about why I so strongly dislike intinction and why I believe it is detrimental to the message communicated in the Eucharist and to the fullness of what I believe the believer should experience in partaking of the elements.
For those of you not familiar with the word “intinction,” it refers to a particular way in which the elements of the Lord’s Supper are served and ingested. With intinction, the believer dips the bread into the cup and ingests it in one act. There is no eating of the bread as a separate act or drinking of the cup as a separate act. Here is a more formal dictionary definition: “the act of steeping the bread or wafer in the wine in order to enable the communicant to receive the elements conjointly.”
Here at Bridgeway we observed the Eucharist by intinction for several years, much to my displeasure. We have recently enacted what I call the “extinction of intinction”! Here is why.
First, with intinction there is something quite profound that is lost in terms of what both the bread and the wine signify. When I partake of the bread, I want to meditate on the reality of Christ’s body, broken for me. His human frailty and the reality of his body being nailed to a tree for me are so important that I want the opportunity to meditate and pray and worship over that profound reality. The action of physically ingesting the bread is such a beautiful picture of my spiritually ingesting what that bodily sacrifice achieved for me.
It is much the same with the cup. There is something unique and worthy of special focus in the shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins. Yes, the body and blood are together the grounds for our hope. It was the holistic offering of Christ on the cross that saves. But when Jesus instituted the Eucharist he spoke distinctly of the breaking of the body and the pouring out of the blood and ordained that each should be received