Weekly Communion?

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A Lutheran (Missouri Synod) pastor of my acquaintance posted the following on his Facebook page earlier today:

“Lutherans: regularly-scheduled non-communion Sundays – unless caused by poverty or other physical hardship – are expressly contrary to apostolic practice as recorded in Scripture, violative of our confessions, and only benefit the realm of the demonic.

“It’s like deliberately starving your own children for a week so that they’ll appreciate eating, so they don’t look like the Roman Catholic kids who get regular meals, or because you were similarly abused as a child. Stop it.

“We need to drive a stake through this vampire’s heart.”

I used to regularly experience this in my Methodist days. Somewhat to my surprise, I encounter it from time to time in Anglican circles, as well – and I think it’s a shame. Much though I value the proclamation of the Word (which is, after all, read and preached at every Communion service), and much as I love the beauty of Choral Mattins and Evensong, I think those who speak against the weekly reception of the Holy Communion are sadly astray.

It is, after all, the one thing, other than loving one another, and baptizing in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, that our Lord emphatically commanded us to do! And for that small minority of Anglicans who can’t seem to embrace anything without the imprimatur of Continental Protestant divines, both Luther and Calvin advocated for the weekly reception of the sacrament of Holy Communion.

If I had the resources to do so, I would offer the Holy Communion (the Holy Eucharist, the Divine Liturgy) every Sunday and Holy Day, if not as the primary service on a given Sunday, then following Mattins, or as an earlier service (a “Morrow Mass,” as it used to be called), for those desiring to receive. The Lord’s Body and Blood should certainly not be withheld, I believe – and least of all on the Lord’s Day – from any baptized Christian who recognizes His presence in it, and wishes to receive!

No love that in the family dwells,
No caroling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare:
That God was Man in Palestine,
And lives today, in Bread and Wine.
– Sir John Betjeman, “Christmas”

Author: The Anglophilic Anglican

I am an ordained Anglican clergyman, published writer, former op-ed columnist, and experienced outdoor and informal educator. I am also a traditionalist: religiously, philosophically, politically, and socially. I seek to do my bit to promote and restore the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in a world which has too-often lost touch with all three, and to help re-weave the connections between God, Nature, and humankind which our techno-industrial civilization has strained and broken.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Communion?”

  1. Jesus said “this do in remembrance of me” because He knew how easy it is for us to forget that He died for us – for our sins. It’s amazing that we would require a specific ritual to remember such a sacrifice, but we do. In our church (independent Baptist), we have communion on the first Sunday of each month. That’s just how we decided to do it, but if others want to do it each month, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. In fact, it strikes me as more than just a little bit prideful to claim that one doesn’t need a regular reminder of what He did for us. I certainly do.

    (By the way, I, too, came from a Methodist background. In fact, I could probably count the number of services I missed on two hands from the time I was just a few weeks old, and for the next 47 years. Something was missing, and I found it in April of 2000.)

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  2. Correction: “but if others want to do it each month,” should be “but if others want to do it each week”.

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  3. This!!! This is what I’ve been actually “battling”!! The *very first* paragraph in the Book of Common Prayer states: “The Holy Eucharist, the principal act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day and other major Feasts, and Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, as set forth in this Book, are the regular services appointed for public worship in the Church.” And yet, at least half of the congregation would prefer to have morning prayer on half the Sundays, but not having it used as the Liturgy of the Word, followed by Great Thanksgiving (an alternative and acceptable form on Sundays). I’m being told by the priests that if I’m leading the service, I *have* to provide Holy Eucharist; so then the question is, do you want me to serve as the rector here or not?

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