Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? (I Corinthians 10:16 NIV)
I don’t normally refer to communion as a “sacrament” and yet I do believe that the taking of communion is a sacred or holy act. It is not the liturgy or the presence of ordained clergy that make it sacred, but rather, it is the presence of a worshipful spirit in the heart of the one who partakes. The cup is a cup of thanksgiving, before which the believer needs to give thanks to God for the shedding of the blood of Christ. When we have a thankful, reflective attitude we are participating, as it were, in His sacrifice, and when we eat the bread with the proper attitude, it is a participation of the body of Christ. This partaking of the bread and wine is indeed holy, and the way to prepare for it is to prepare ourselves in our hearts. All you have to do in order to take communion properly, is to confess unrepented sins before God, clear your mind of distraction, and thank Him for sending His Son to die for you. You need to be thinking about the cross, not about your career, your schedule, or the afternoon football game. Reflect on how our salvation cost Him so much, and cost us so little. The act of communion can be easily desecrated. It is not desecrated by following the wrong ritual or listening to the wrong liturgy, but rather, by thinking the wrong thoughts. All our focus needs to be on God and His grace, not on ourselves and our human ambitions.