An Episcopalian View of Family: How the Meal Defines the Members

April 1, 2015




















I became an Episcopalian at the ripe old age of twenty-eight and a half, a whopping (not quite) two years ago. Switching denominations meant that my biological family was divorced from my denominational family. Actually, they were never married to begin with. As a new orphan in the church, I knew I needed to find a church family to adopt me. But how? I discovered that the Episcopalian approach to family is fundamentally and irrevocably rooted in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Any Episcopalian will tell you that the Eucharist is the central, defining act of Christian worship; this is why we take communion every Sunday. This conviction is why family is not defined by race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or genetics. Family is defined by who is seated at the Eucharistic table. It is this sacred ritual of sharing the Eucharist with my church body that instantly changes my name from Orphan to Sister. As such, there is now a continuous relationship between my familial rite and my familial action: I am Sister because I sit at the table, and I sit at the table because I am Sister. But how does a Eucharistic perspective of family address the familial divorce that exists across denominational lines? The body and blood of Christ declares that there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Gentile. Although we might disagree, we are all equal. This means that despite our suspicions and reluctances, we are compelled to broaden our understanding of family. I have found my family in the Episcopal Church among persons with whom I do not share a generational, racial, socio-economic, or genetic commonality. This is a result of embracing a definition of family that cherishes the beauty of diversity, and displays the unique quality that worshipping God together and loving each other are mysteriously and wonderfully synonymous.


Photo Credit: Fr. Maxim Massilitin

Elizabeth McQuitty graduated Fuller Theological Seminary in 2013. She is in discernment for ordination in the Episcopal Church. She is a chaplain candidate in the U.S. Army Reserves and is a personal trainer at Liz McQuitty Fitness.
Website Facebook

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Kyle F. Kelly
11/29/2019 2:50am
As we know our family, our family is very important to us. If our family is upset, we are upset with it too as I've visit this to check quality task. If anyone is happy, we are happy with it. So we always go with our family and we get support from our family like this.
Cathrine J. Hund
12/15/2019 11:03pm
It is this sacred ritual of sharing the Eucharist with my church body that instantly changes my name from Orphan to Sister. I am a writer and my passion is about writing and helping students to improve stability. Therefore I am providing such helpful material in the study case to improve writing style through edubirdie and much more. I have found a piece of new information from here too.
Certs Official
01/12/2020 9:00pm
They have the guarantee that the HP HPE0-S56 Exam Questions that they have will be the ones that will make you pass your HP HPE0-S56 Exam in the very first go. You must try our HP HPE0-S56 Exam Questions free demo before your successive purchase.
Bryce John Adalynn
01/29/2020 1:50am
Amazing short article. Your article influences a great deal of vital issues of our own modern society. Many of us can not be uninvolved for you to these kind of issues. This specific article presents ideas along with aspects. Quite helpful along with functional. steens soft life
135 N Oakland Ave, Pasadena, CA 91182