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Communion for Shut-ins

The Lord’s Supper celebrates the gift of Christ and the unity of the church. A home communion visit allows those isolated from congregational worship to be part of the gathered congregation in a worshipful experience. This pastoral ministry can be scheduled at any convenient time during the week or as an extension of the Sunday liturgy and can be part of the Visitation Ministry at your church.


  • Identify shut-ins in your church. Communion may not be limited to homes, but include nursing facilities and hospitals as well.
  • Get small, portable kits for the service. Keep them well stocked. Take paper napkins with you to clean up small spills.
  • Decide when and how often you will carry out this ministry. Some churches do it once a month, while some do it three to four times a year (around Easter, Christmas, Homecoming, Advent, or Lent)
  • Gather information about the shut-ins.
  • Make an appointment to visit. Make allowance for meal times, treatment schedules, or other activities. Ask if other people will be present so that you will have sufficient elements for all to receive.
  • Before beginning the service, take time for introduction and sharing. Ask where you could set up the service elements.
  • Serve the elements. This should be done according to the bylaws and tradition of your church.
    • The visit can include the following:
    • Singing  
    • Scriptural Reading
    • Devotion
    • Prayer
  • After the service or during the closing prayer, ask for prayer requests. Listen to the concerns of those you are visiting.
  • Thank the church member for his/her hospitality.


  • Invite family members to receive Communion.
  • Encourage church members to send a note of encouragement to the shut-ins.
  • A variation of this ministry is to have a monthly communion service for shut-ins. This service can be held at the church late in the morning to allow sufficient time for the homebound to get ready. You can also provide transportation for those who are unable to get to church without assistance.