Communing on Communion


#1

Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic East/West celebrate the Eucharist daily. This may be true in some Protestant groups as well. Calvin and Luther commented on the frequency of communion. Catholics worship in the Eucharist daily although not all attend daily.

"Most assuredly, the custom which prescribes communion once a year is an invention of the devil, by what instrumentality soever it may have been introduced. ... Each week, at least, the table of the Lord ought to have been spread for the company of Christians, and the promises declared on which we might then spiritually feed."

John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, bk IV, ch 17.

"[N]ow that we have the right interpretation and doctrine of the sacrament, there is great need also of an admonition and entreaty that so great a treasure, which is daily administered and distributed among Christians, may not be heedlessly passed by. What I mean is that those who claim to be Christians should prepare themselves to receive this blessed sacrament frequently. ... Let it be understood that people who abstain and absent themselves from the sacrament over a long period of time are not to be considered Christians."

Martin Luther

This author states that Communion should be offered whenever the church assembles to worship.

albatrus.org/english/theology/sacraments/on_weekly_communion.htm

I will argue that this rule -- that as often as the church assembles together for worship, so the Lord's Supper should be celebrated -- is suggested in the Scriptures. Furthermore, that the very earliest Christian churches followed this practice is suggested by early Christian writings describing the typical worship service of the early Church.

How often should communion be celebrated?


#2

Jesus gave no specific instruction as to how often we are to observe communion.
Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

And later instruction from Paul follows course.
1Corinthians11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
So communion can be taken as often as the person feels necessary. Our church takes communion every Sunday based on this verse in Acts.
Act 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
So when believers meet for teaching, fellowship, and prayer, communion should be part of the worship. However, a few verses later talks about believers meeting daily at the temple and breaking bread together. The frequency is less important than the spirit in which it is taken, reverently, humbly, and thankfully.


#3

[quote="stevekehl, post:2, topic:281768"]
Jesus gave no specific instruction as to how often we are to observe communion.
Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

And later instruction from Paul follows course.
1Corinthians11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
So communion can be taken as often as the person feels necessary. Our church takes communion every Sunday based on this verse in Acts.
Act 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
So when believers meet for teaching, fellowship, and prayer, communion should be part of the worship. However, a few verses later talks about believers meeting daily at the temple and breaking bread together. The frequency is less important than the spirit in which it is taken, reverently, humbly, and thankfully.

[/quote]

Steve,

So you say Jesus gave no specific instructions. He also said nothing about reading a Bible or the Campbellites.

You conclude as opposed to the author based on how you see Scripture verses that frequency is less important.


#4

Daily Eucharist is rare in the Orthodox Church. I'm personally not aware of any churches where it is done.


#5

[quote="Nine_Two, post:4, topic:281768"]
Daily Eucharist is rare in the Orthodox Church. I'm personally not aware of any churches where it is done.

[/quote]

Is it possible or rare?

Probably in monataries it is possible however if you consider that Rome considers the Eucharist to be celebrated at every hour considering that it is being celebrated somewhere in the world then at some point in time their is a daily Orthodox celebration.


#6

[quote="CopticChristian, post:5, topic:281768"]
Is it possible or rare?

Probably in monataries it is possible however if you consider that Rome considers the Eucharist to be celebrated at every hour considering that it is being celebrated somewhere in the world then at some point in time their is a daily Orthodox celebration.

[/quote]

There likely are monasteries that do it daily. Whether it is done every hour across the world I don't know. Since it requires the participation of the laity, monasteries would be the only place it could be done, and I don't know if we have one in every time zone.


#7

[quote="CopticChristian, post:5, topic:281768"]
Is it possible or rare?

Probably in monataries it is possible however if you consider that Rome considers the Eucharist to be celebrated at every hour considering that it is being celebrated somewhere in the world then at some point in time their is a daily Orthodox celebration.

[/quote]

It is possible but rare because of the disciplines associated with serving a liturgy.

That being said, Orthodox liturgical life, while centered on the Eucharist, is not made up only of eucharistic services. Ideally one should also hold vespers and matins for every liturgy performed, although in practice, some orthodox parishes sadly do not hold vespers regularly.


#8

[quote="CopticChristian, post:5, topic:281768"]
Is it possible or rare?

Probably in monataries it is possible however if you consider that Rome considers the Eucharist to be celebrated at every hour considering that it is being celebrated somewhere in the world then at some point in time their is a daily Orthodox celebration.

[/quote]

It is possible but rare because of the disciplines associated with serving a liturgy.

That being said, Orthodox liturgical life, while centered on the Eucharist, is not made up only of eucharistic services. Ideally one would also serve vespers and matins for every liturgy served, although in practice, this is not always the case.


#9

[quote="Cavaradossi, post:7, topic:281768"]
It is possible but rare because of the disciplines associated with serving a liturgy.

That being said, Orthodox liturgical life, while centered on the Eucharist, is not made up only of eucharistic services. Ideally one should also hold vespers and matins for every liturgy performed, although in practice, some orthodox parishes sadly do not hold vespers regularly.

[/quote]

Same problem with Eastern Catholics. The problem in Eastern Catholicism is that the Latin Rite becomes the "gold standards" of sorts. People won't go to Vespers because it is not the Divine Liturgy, there is no Communion. So why go to Vespers when going to an anticipated Mass down the road is "better". So some parishes resort to Vesperal Divine Liturgies just to keep their congregation.


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