Must the bread be broken by the one presiding at the Lord's Supper?

Question:

I looked at your Q&A about the Lord's supper, but could not find an answer to my question.  Is there any Bible teaching that the man who is "presiding" at the serving of the Lord's Supper needs to break the bread in two before serving it to the congregation? 

Thank you for your consideration.


Answer:

The breaking of the bread has symbolic meaning. "And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me"" (I Corinthians 11:24). We cannot alter the presentation any more than we can exchange leavened bread for unleavened because it also has meaning -- it represents Christ's sinless life (I Corinthians 5:7-8). We also have the example that it was an action that the disciples did during communion. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (I Corinthians 10:16).

There is no direction to break the break before serving it. If one wishes to cite Jesus' example, he broke it, but did he break it in two or thirteen pieces? The text is not clear. I suppose that it would be easier to argue that we all break the break from I Corinthians 10:16.

There is nothing wrong with breaking the break before serving it, but it cannot be made a requirement. If there is a preference in a congregation to do it a particular way, it is better to go along rather than to upset people. But it needs to be taught that we don't codify traditions in the church. If someone doesn't break the bread before serving, nothing wrong was done. The bread still is broken by each member who partakes.