God sent his only son, Jesus Christ to die for us: the ultimate sacrifice. The breaking of bread service is a symbol and a reminder of this sacrifice and forms the most important part of the week. After singing hymns, reading from the Bible and hearing a short Bible talk called an “exhortation”, some bread is passed around, followed by a cup of wine for baptised believers to share.
They are both symbols rather than being special themselves. The bread symbolises Jesus dying for us, which reminds us of our own mortality and sin. This is a time to reflect on our lives during the previous week. The cup of wine symbolises his resurrection and our hope of a new life (Paul called it the ‘cup of blessing’ in 1 Corinthians 10v16). This is a time to look to the future, full of promise. It is important the bread and wine are taken together to uplift, support and encourage those taking part.
This very simple service is based on The Last Supper, where Jesus shared a meal with his disciples the night before he died. After they sang a hymn they broke bread and took the cup together. At this point Jesus commanded all believers to do the same regularly in memory of him, and so we read that “the disciples came together to break bread” (Acts 20v7). Sometimes the service is also called a memorial.