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  #1  
Old Apr 27, '11, 7:53 pm
Oldtimer_7 Oldtimer_7 is offline
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Default Baptist communion at Easter

I was installing a new computer at church today and one of the members came by. He is a musician and played at a Baptist church in the area Easter morning.
He was quite surprised that there was no communion at the service. His opinion was that if there was a time to celebrate it, Easter was the time. Can any Baptist brothers or sisters elaborate on this?
  #2  
Old Apr 27, '11, 8:04 pm
GeorgeTheWild GeorgeTheWild is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

Many Baptists practice open communion. This means that they leave it up to the individual to determine worthiness to receive the elements. Since it was Easter, lots of the people there were probably Easter and Christmas 'Christians'. It's possible the pastor did not want to administer the elements when so many in the congregation would probably partake of them unworthily.

But you're right, Easter is probably a good time to celebrate communion
  #3  
Old Apr 27, '11, 10:27 pm
losh14 losh14 is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

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Originally Posted by GeorgeTheWild View Post
Since it was Easter, lots of the people there were probably Easter and Christmas 'Christians'. It's possible the pastor did not want to administer the elements when so many in the congregation would probably partake of them unworthily.
That makes absolute sense. Thanks for explaining.
  #4  
Old Apr 28, '11, 4:10 am
Eutychus123 Eutychus123 is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

Many Baptist churches celebrate communion only on the first Sunday of the month.
  #5  
Old Apr 28, '11, 5:08 am
Cat Cat is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

I know that there are many hundreds of different kinds of Baptist denominations.

I grew up in the Conference Baptist denomination, and in our church, communion services were uber-choreographed events that took around 45 minutes. The ushers who administered the communion elements stepped off on the same foot, and they stayed in step as they processed through the sanctuary. Each element was distributed separately, first the bread and then the grape juice, and there were prayers and meditations over each element. Although the organ or piano played softly in the background, there was no other noise. Communion services in Baptist churches are times of reflections about your sins and shortcomings, your relationship (or lack of relationship) with Jesus, and your relationship with others in the Church.

I've seen many church services where the pastor gave the opportunity for those in the church who were in conflict with someone else in the church to make amends and be reconciled, and I've seen over and over these people stand up, approach each other, say a few words, shake hands or embrace, and then return to their pew for communion.

It's a solemn, serious time.

And when I say 45 minutes, I mean 45 minutes. Generally speaking, communion services doubled the time that we spent in church.

I used to think about the Changing of the Guard during our communion services. That's how choreographed it was.

Now think about it--Easter Sunday--brunches, family dinners, Easter egg hunts, a three day weekend for many families--does this really seem like a good day to add 45 minutes of silence and prayers about your sins to a church service?

Keep in mind that as someone else has said, Easter is a huge day for visitors in Baptist churches. Many people come as a family (even if they don't come any other day of the year).

And keep in mind that there is no obligation for Protestants to come to church each week or be "members" of any church. This means that all Protestant churches are always competing for people to attend and promoting their church as the best one for a Christian to join. They need those members because that's how they raise funds to pay for pastors' salaries, programs, and their building expenses and campus upkeep. And to be fair, they want people to come to their church because they are preaching the Gospel of Jesus and they want everyone to believe in Jesus and live an abundant life in relationship with Jesus and with fellow Christians.

Usually on Easter Sunday, Protestant churches go all out to have the most glorious music, both traditional and contemporary. The preacher has the BEST sermon ever. There are children's sermons. There are special solos and choir numbers. There is magnificent congregational singing (many Protestants love to sing in congregation). There are decorations and lilies and banners and trumpets and eggs and often treats in the fellowship hall after the service.

Easter Sunday in most Protestant churches is truly dazzling and uplifting. I'll be honest, folks--I'm always tempted to attend a Protestant church on Easter. I love the Easter vigil Mass, but boy, I miss that awesome traditional-praise music! Those of you who know me from my posts know that I don't find chant or Latin or dull hymns worshipful at all. Yes, I understand that nothing, no song, is as beautiful as Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist, and that's why I don't attend a Protestant church. Since I've become Catholic, I find the services without Jesus in the Eucharist to be rather empty, even with the great music.

Anyway, my point is that the LAST thing a church in the hunt for new (tithing) members wants to do is add a dull depressing downer to what is supposed to be a glorious celebration of Christ's resurrection. I never saw communion services done on Easter. Communion services were often done on Maundy Thursday, even in the evangelical Protestant churches that didn't recognize a Church calendar.
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  #6  
Old Apr 28, '11, 8:12 am
losh14 losh14 is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

Cat, thanks for sharing this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
I grew up in the Conference Baptist denomination
SBC-affiliated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
Communion services in Baptist churches are times of reflections about your sins and shortcomings, your relationship (or lack of relationship) with Jesus, and your relationship with others in the Church.
As it should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
I've seen many church services where the pastor gave the opportunity for those in the church who were in conflict with someone else in the church to make amends and be reconciled, and I've seen over and over these people stand up, approach each other, say a few words, shake hands or embrace, and then return to their pew for communion.
This blows me away. At first I think it could get out of hand, in particular if one party isn't ready to forgive, but I'd think the congregation would have sufficient respect to take anything further outside of the service, and it's got to be humbling and powerful to be called on the carpet like that - or call yourself.

Now think about it--Easter Sunday--brunches, family dinners, Easter egg hunts, a three day weekend for many families--does this really seem like a good day to add 45 minutes of silence and prayers about your sins to a church service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
Keep in mind that as someone else has said, Easter is a huge day for visitors in Baptist churches. Many people come as a family (even if they don't come any other day of the year).
Same for all churches, I think. It was the only day my stepmother - who with my father had not attended Mass since JPII's declaration that divorced and remarried Catholics should live as brother and sister - actually went to Mass.

Quote:
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And keep in mind that there is no obligation for Protestants to come to church each week or be "members" of any church.
So when one actually joins a Protestant church - signs a membership roll or book - is it seen as a permanent committment, ie "we'll see you here every Sunday and call you to help with things"?

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Originally Posted by Cat View Post
Usually on Easter Sunday, Protestant churches go all out to have the most glorious music, both traditional and contemporary. The preacher has the BEST sermon ever. There are children's sermons...There are decorations and lilies and banners and trumpets and eggs and often treats in the fellowship hall after the service.
This was our first Easter away from our old parish, which was affiliated as a Newman Center but it was a unique and more expansive community with an almost-charismatic style of worship. We didn't speak in tongues but the music was incredible, the homilies dynamic - the pastor got into the worship with a singular enjoyment. When he swung the hyssop, you got drenched. When he baptized (and last year we baptized 11 adults and welcomed another 20 into full communion), he dunked and proclaimed and we sang "Down to the River", clapping and really feeling the Spirit. Everything, from the lighting of the fire to the Exultet to the baptisms and confirmations to the reception afterwards, everything was pure joy. I miss it tremendously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
Yes, I understand that nothing, no song, is as beautiful as Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist, and that's why I don't attend a Protestant church. Since I've become Catholic, I find the services without Jesus in the Eucharist to be rather empty, even with the great music.
You perceive a greater spiritual Truth that trumps the ecclesiology, that's a real sign of maturity. I'd really like to find a charismatic Mass, and just see what it's like, or at least find a dynamic pastor and a choir who sings with the intent of us following along. Our pastor - while he is an excellent confessor - gave a 20-minute homily the other week on the dangers of internet pornography and all the theology behind it. People left. There are two choirs - one comprised of 8 to 10 year olds, the other of octogenarian women. Both sing a higher register than I can possibly hit. Yes, we're fed, but I wonder how much our children will appreciate the Mass if it seems so out of reach.

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Originally Posted by Cat View Post
I never saw communion services done on Easter. Communion services were often done on Maundy Thursday, even in the evangelical Protestant churches that didn't recognize a Church calendar.
Related question - washing of the feet?
  #7  
Old Apr 28, '11, 10:34 am
DElias DElias is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

Quote:
Originally Posted by losh14 View Post
So when one actually joins a Protestant church - signs a membership roll or book - is it seen as a permanent committment, ie "we'll see you here every Sunday and call you to help with things"?
While I can't speak for all Protestant churches, I have found this to never be the case. In order to become a member in a Baptist church, you first need to be baptized. In order to be baptized, you need to meet with the pastor and then the elders if you make it past the pastor. A strong knowledge and understanding of the scriptures is necessary as one is grilled heavily.

I was up for baptism with the pastor's son. I passed. He didn't.
  #8  
Old Apr 28, '11, 5:42 pm
Oldtimer_7 Oldtimer_7 is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

Great posts, folks, Thanks a lot! We Lutherans, Catholics, and Episcopalians especially have a much different view of communion than Baptists. I have attended a few services in Baptist churches where communion was offered, and it did not feel at all the same to me. I guess that I still have a lot to work on there.

Cat, my wife occasionally fills in for the organist at our church. My wife was raised in a little country Disciples of Christ church and they played a lot of the old Protestant songs. Many in our congregation have come out of a similar background. One Sunday, my wife played a number of the songs she had grown up with. At the end of the service, one of our members, who had grown up Baptist, came running across the sanctuary with a huge smile on her face and thanked my wife profusely for playing music that she, too, had not heard or sung in years.
  #9  
Old Apr 28, '11, 6:41 pm
newbear newbear is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

I was looking for a church home several years ago.one Sunday, I was in my car listening to a Baptist church service, and fell in love with that church over the car radio because of the music (songs) and the preaching. I was an active member of that church for a few years. The old songs are still the best for me.
May God bless
newbear
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  #10  
Old Apr 28, '11, 8:56 pm
losh14 losh14 is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

Quote:
Originally Posted by losh14 View Post
So when one actually joins a Protestant church - signs a membership roll or book - is it seen as a permanent committment, ie "we'll see you here every Sunday and call you to help with things"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DElias View Post
While I can't speak for all Protestant churches, I have found this to never be the case. In order to become a member in a Baptist church, you first need to be baptized. In order to be baptized, you need to meet with the pastor and then the elders if you make it past the pastor. A strong knowledge and understanding of the scriptures is necessary as one is grilled heavily.
Interesting. Did the pastor's son ultimately make it?

If you were to leave one Baptist congregation and join another, would your prior baptism be recognized? This made me think of a co-worker whose family is church-shopping after a massive falling out at their current Independent Baptist church. Their church looks like it can no longer function financially - and there was a toss-up with the pastor and several elders leaving - so they're moving on.
  #11  
Old Apr 28, '11, 9:01 pm
losh14 losh14 is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

Since this conversation is so open, I hope you'll forgive me for bringing us off-topic again. Most of the Protestants I currently know are Anglican, Presbyterian or go to one of the several large non-denominational churches around here, so I don't often have the opportunity to interact with Baptists or Methodists.

Some of you have mentioned growing up in one denomination and practicing another. Is this frowned upon by those in the church you leave, or did you encounter flack from your family?
  #12  
Old Apr 29, '11, 1:16 am
DElias DElias is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

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Originally Posted by losh14 View Post
Interesting. Did the pastor's son ultimately make it?

If you were to leave one Baptist congregation and join another, would your prior baptism be recognized? This made me think of a co-worker whose family is church-shopping after a massive falling out at their current Independent Baptist church. Their church looks like it can no longer function financially - and there was a toss-up with the pastor and several elders leaving - so they're moving on.
He did make it the following year. Also, baptisms are recognized between churches just as a Baptist baptism is recognized in a Catholic church (provided you make it through RCIA).

Quote:
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Some of you have mentioned growing up in one denomination and practicing another. Is this frowned upon by those in the church you leave, or did you encounter flack from your family?
This can happen. I haven't left, but I know those who have and have had this happen to them.
  #13  
Old Apr 30, '11, 2:46 pm
GeorgeTheWild GeorgeTheWild is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

Quote:
Originally Posted by losh14 View Post
Interesting. Did the pastor's son ultimately make it?

If you were to leave one Baptist congregation and join another, would your prior baptism be recognized?
The majority of Baptists recognize all Christian baptisms as valid. You usually just need a letter from your previous church to verify your baptism.
  #14  
Old Apr 30, '11, 9:59 pm
4Squarebaby 4Squarebaby is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

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Most of the mentioned growing up in one denomination and practicing another. Is this frowned upon by those in the church you leave, or did you encounter flack from your family?
My mother was raised Baptist married my father the Methodist after his death found her way to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. From United Methodist to the Foursquare Church for me with no problem.

For the Baptist and proving baptisms. I suppose you are talking showing records of a beliver's and not of infant baptisms?
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  #15  
Old May 1, '11, 5:18 am
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TrueLight TrueLight is offline
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Default Re: Baptist communion at Easter

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So when one actually joins a Protestant church - signs a membership roll or book - is it seen as a permanent committment, ie "we'll see you here every Sunday and call you to help with things"?
Oh there may be no "obligation", but it is expected that you will attend church and if some of the people don't see you several Sundays in a row, you usually get a call from a church member to see if everything is okay.

If you continuously miss church, you are seen as beginning to fall away from the faith. At least that's how it was in my church.
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