In this story from the Wall Street Journal, some Protestant churches are already doing it and other considering it; and in a strange way, it does appear to make sense.
The argument for it is seemingly legitimate—see last paragraph of the excerpt—even resonates somewhat in a Catholic world where, against the wishes of the Latin Mass community, lay people are allowed to give communion to worshippers, while the Latin Mass specifies only the priest having the authority to do so.
A North Carolina church’s new plans for breaking bread are also breaking with its denomination’s wishes.
Central United Methodist Church in Concord, northeast of Charlotte, earlier this year said it would launch a “virtual campus” complete with streaming services, webcam Bible study, counseling via live chat and a dedicated online pastor.
The church also planned for virtual users to be able to regularly take Holy Communion when it is being offered during services: Online users can simply grab some grape juice and any bread or crackers they have in the house, and consume them after the pastor, in the sanctuary, blesses the juice and bread as representing the blood and body of Christ.
The practice, common in many evangelical churches, could help make Christianity more accessible, especially to young people who read the Bible on an app, if at all, the century-old church says. “We believe that God is not bound by space and time,” said the Rev. Andy Langford, Central’s senior pastor. “We believe that when we bless the bread and the cup in one place, if there are others who are worshiping with us, God will bless that bread and cup wherever they are.”