It seems that one of the sample questions was considered of interest: the variety of emblems employed for the sacrament.
For Christians, the emblems of the Last Supper, traditionally bread (or the host wafer) and wine, have represented the sacred meal of all Christians, labeled the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, the Eucharist, or, within Mormonism, the sacrament. Labeled anthropophagy (ritualized cannibalism) by those who would label such things so strangely, it is simultaneously an act of participating in the nature of God and an establishment of a religious community. In very early Christianity there is some evidence that the Eucharist was celebrated at graves and ultimately as a part of the liturgy proper, where it has remained to the present day.
For Latter-day Saints, the ritual began largely the same as for their Protestant peers, though the actual liturgy (as short as it was), was specified by revelation both old (Moroni 4 & 5) and new(D&C 20: 77-9). Initially, the Lord’s “flesh” and “blood” were represented by the food eaten at the Lord’s farewell meal, “bread” and “the fruit of the vine” (Luke 22: 1-20). Shortly after the founding of the Church (Fall 1830), Joseph Smith reported being met by an angel while attempting to purchase wine. The angel warned him that “you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies,” urging a preference for home-made wine but providing the escape clause: “it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament” (D&C 27:2-4) at the same time it promised that Joseph Smith would drink “the fruit of the vine” with the ancient patriarchs. The header in the current scriptures, elliding a rather fraught ellipsis, comments that “Water is now used instead of wine in the sacramental services of the Church.” The transition probably actually took place several decades later, though it certainly was made possible by the revelation, with some scattered evidence that the revelation was interpreted rather broadly.
So, here’s the question for the research collaborative: what other sacramental emblems besides bread, wine, and water are attested in the literature? We would include 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century emblems, including firsthand accounts from participants within the blogdom. If someone were to happen to have similar information about Protestant or Catholic churches, that would also be of interest.
And remember, if you have a research question to ask, email it to research at by common consent dot com.