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#73 - Sun Nov 04, 2001 9:38 AM The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  

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Dear Discussion Board participants,

I'm doing research on the communion practices of various churches and denominations and the background of the variations in the ritual/ceremony/observance of each. I would like to hear from everyone, especially pastors.

If you're so inclined, please answer the following questions:

-- Frequency? (Once a week, once per month)?

-- The kind of bread and wine used?
-- Small unleavened cracker/wafer?
-- Single loaf of leavened bread, distributed to congregation?
-- Grape juice?
-- Diluted wine?
-- Undiluted wine?
-- Other?

-- Reading of 1Cor. 11 or some other text?
-- Commentary or elaboration on the bread and wine?
-- Time of quiet reflection and/or prayer?
-- Other?

Special attire?
-- White gloves?
-- Special robes?
-- Other?

Finally, what, if any, of the above are viewed as the mandatory requirements of your communion observance?

All the best,
James Hilston

#74 - Sun Nov 04, 2001 12:02 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  

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Hi [Linked Image]

-- Frequency? (Once a week, once per month)?
First Sunday each month.

-- The kind of bread and wine used?
tiny wafer; grape juice.

-- Small unleavened cracker/wafer?
Yup.

-- Reading of 1Cor. 11 or some other text?
Yes.

-- Commentary or elaboration on the bread and wine?
Yes.

-- Time of quiet reflection and/or prayer?

Yes, with piano while it is served.

Special attire?
-- White gloves?
-- Special robes?
-- Other?

No, regular.

Finally, what, if any, of the above are viewed as the mandatory requirements of your communion observance?

Reading/admonishment against nonbelievers participation.


#75 - Sun Nov 04, 2001 12:13 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  

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Greetings, ReformedSBC.

Thank you for your reply. For clarification, does SBC refer to Southern Baptist Convention?

Blessings,
James

#76 - Sun Nov 04, 2001 12:15 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  

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Yup!

#77 - Sun Nov 04, 2001 4:26 PM This goes for me, too!  

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Right down the line.

#78 - Sun Nov 04, 2001 6:53 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  

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I would suspect most independent Bible churches and most baptist churches of Conservative Bap, Ind. Bap. would follow closely the Southern Bap.

Some ind bap now are teaching a baptist bride "doctrine" and they might follow something different.

I personally have tried to take the entire service and focus it on some aspect relating to the Lord's Supper - music and sermon both - it takes time, but seems to keep the observance a little more meaningful.

I was raised in the Christian Church tradition (yep - answers a lot of questions doesn't it gang - he is messed up! ;-) and they did it weekly - grape juice - cracker or wafer - in our church the elders took turns (two of them) sharing a devotional and then doing the serving. Pastor usually was not involved.

Sad to say, I wondered for years what it was all about.

A few ind. Bible churches give every (weekly) worship service to focus on the Lord's table - they share Scripture, songs, readings and ultimately share in the table of juice and bread.

#79 - Sun Nov 04, 2001 8:02 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  
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Hilston,

Okay, here ya go:

Frequency: quarterly

Elements used: Single loaf of unleavened bread broken in half and 2 cups wine. Served to all who come to the table set up at the front of the sanctuary.

Method of Administration: The large single table seats about 25 people. The Pastor and an Elder sit in the middle. Two Elders "fence" the table on either side. A genuine invitation is give to the congregation, on behalf of Christ, to come to the Table. A warning to unbelievers, professing Christians living in unrepentant sin, and those under discipline that they have no warrant to come and thus are not allowed. The first "group" sits around the table and the elements are "blessed" at which time the two plates with the bread are passed around. A short meditation is given by the pastor. Then the two cups of wine are passed around and another short meditation follows. That group returns to their pews and another "call" is given for a second group to come. And the process repeats itself until there are no longer any who will come forward. A "sermonette" follows the supper.

Special attire: none, but "casual dress" is not allowed.

Mandatory requirements: One must be a member of that particular church (denomination) and not under discipline. OR... a member in good standing of another denomination and having had an interview with the Elders beforehand. In other words, it is basically a "closed table" policy. (of which I oppose, but rather holding to a "close table") [Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#80 - Sun Nov 04, 2001 8:14 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  
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Mississippi Gulf Coast
-- Frequency? (Once a week, once per month)?
Quarterly

-- The kind of bread and wine used?
tiny wafer; grape juice.

-- Small unleavened cracker/wafer?
Yup.

-- Reading of 1Cor. 11 or some other text?
Yes.

-- Commentary or elaboration on the bread and wine?
Yes.

-- Time of quiet reflection and/or prayer?

Yes, with piano while it is served.

Special attire?
-- White gloves?
-- Special robes?
-- Other?
No, regular.

Finally, what, if any, of the above are viewed as the mandatory requirements of your communion observance?

Reading/admonishment against anyone not in good standing in an evangelical church participation.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
#81 - Mon Nov 05, 2001 12:58 AM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  

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These answers apply to an OPC congregation in WA state.

If you're so inclined, please answer the following questions:

-- Frequency? (Once a week, once per month)?

once per month (third Sunday every month)

We have a special schedule for the third Sunday of the month. The communion service is in the AM, a church supper follows, and the PM service moves up to 2 PM. We usually add an additional responsive reading of the Law in the PM service, which is read and commented upon by one of the elders.

-- The kind of bread and wine used?
-- Small unleavened cracker/wafer?
yes
-- Undiluted wine?
yes (I think it must be undiluted--don't laugh, it tastes very strong to me, but I have no point of comparison)

The elder's wife tells me this has been a somewhat hot issue in the church with a vocal wine-only group and a vocal grape-juice group. The pastor does have some grape juice which he will bring in at the last minute if there is a strong request or special circumstance, and the elders will make sure it reaches the right people. I have no idea how many that is or if that is every month or not.

-- Reading of 1Cor. 11 or some other text?
Portions of this text are read almost every time, but there is usually another reading as well (might be from the Book of Church Order or the WCF, might be from Matt. 26 or Mark 14 or another Bible passage)--it's not exactly the same every time. The reading is accompanied by a prayer.

-- Commentary or elaboration on the bread and wine?
It depends. Sometimes the pastor spends more time elaborating on the sacrament and presenting the Gospel and warning those who do not believe or who are living in unrepented sin to abstain. Sometimes it is pretty brief. Sometimes it is a separate homily.

-- Time of quiet reflection and/or prayer?
Yes. The elements are passed out by the two elders usually (sometimes a deacon or another man helps if they are not available). This is a time for quiet reflection and prayer (except for the sizable number of us who are mostly trying to keep our kids quiet).
-- Other?

Special attire?
-- White gloves?
-- Special robes?
-- Other?
None

Finally, what, if any, of the above are viewed as the mandatory requirements of your communion observance?

An announcement concerning the upcoming communion is placed in the bulletin the preceding week along with instructions to prepare, examine oneself. The bulletin for communion week also carries the instructions that all who are members in good standing in a Bible-believing church and are trusting in Jesus for their salvation are welcome to participate. The pastor always elaborates on this in his remarks before the sacrament is celebrated.

We have a variation each month, but the basic requirements as set forth in the Book of Church Order are always met, and usually exceeded. I'll paste those in from the OPC website for you:

C. The Lord's Supper
1. Before the administration of the Lord's Supper, the minister shall read the words of the institution of the sacrament from one of the evangelists or from I Corinthians 11. Thereupon he shall give instruction as to its institution and nature:

The Lord's Supper is an ordinance instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ. Until his coming again it is to be observed for a perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death. The physical elements, representing the broken body and the shed blood of the Saviour, are received by true believers as signs and seals of all the benefits of his sacrifice upon the cross. They signify and seal remission of sins and nourishment and growth in Christ, and are a bond and pledge of communion of believers with him and with each other as members of his mystical body. As signs and seals of the covenant of grace they not only declare that God is faithful and true to fulfill the promises of the covenant but they also summon us to all the duties of the children of God, and call us to renewed consecration in gratitude for his salvation.

2. The minister shall then declare who may come to the Lord's table and who are excluded, according to the Word of God:

It is my solemn duty to warn the uninstructed, the profane, the scandalous, and those who secretly and impenitently live in any sin, not to approach the holy table lest they partake unworthily, not discerning the Lord's body, and so eat and drink condemnation to themselves. Nevertheless, this warning is not designed to keep the humble and contrite from the table of the Lord, as if the supper were for those who might be free from sin. On the contrary, we who are invited to the supper, coming as guilty and polluted sinners and without hope of eternal life apart from the grace of God in Christ, confess our dependence for pardon and cleansing upon the perfect sacrifice of Christ, base our hope of eternal life upon his perfect obedience and righteousness, and humbly resolve to deny ourselves, crucify our old natures, and follow Christ as becomes those who bear his name. Let us therefore, in accordance with the admonition of the apostle Paul, examine our minds and hearts to determine whether such discernment is ours, to the end that we may partake to the glory of God and to our growth in the grace of Christ.

3. After prayer and thanksgiving the minister shall take the bread and, having broken it, give it to the people saying:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which he was betrayed, having taken bread and blessed and broken it, gave it to his disciples--as I, ministering in his name, give this bread unto you--saying: "Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me."
Having given the bread, the minister shall take the cup and give it to the people saying:

Our Savior also took the cup and having given thanks--as has been done in his name--he gave it to his disciples, saying: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for many for the remission of sins; drink ye all of it."
After a prayer of thanksgiving, an offering may be taken for the relief of the poor or for some other sacred purpose.

A psalm or hymn should then be sung, and the congregation dismissed with the following or some other benediction:

"Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal covenant, even our Lord Jesus, make you perfect in every good thing to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen."


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
We have, upon occasion, heard the above paragraphs read verbatim, but that is not the usual practice--maybe once a year or so.

--LH



#82 - Mon Nov 05, 2001 4:43 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  

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Our church is a Calvinistic "Bible church"Frequency? Ist Sundays-- The kind of bread and wine used? Unleavened crackers and grape juice-- We bring down the lighting of the sanctuary for the duration of the service-- Reading of Luke's account-- A devotional thought-- Blessing of the elements-- Gospel accounts of His passion/Isaiah 53/etcSpecial attire?Dark Suits -- White gloves---( Our church is largely African-American)-- Other?We announce that the Table is the Lord's Table and is opened to all who know Christ as their Savior. Parents are exhorted to exclude children from the table who do not understand its significance. They are exhorted to share the significance of both the Supper and more importantly Christ's death.

#83 - Mon Nov 05, 2001 8:23 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  

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-- Frequency? Once a month

-- The kind of bread and wine used?
-- Small unleavened cracker/wafer
-- Grape juice

-- Reading of 1Cor. 11 or some other text?yes
-- Commentary or elaboration on the bread and wine?
yes
-- Time of quiet reflection and/or prayer?
yes
Finally, what, if any, of the above are viewed as the mandatory requirements of your communion observance?
being a confessing believer

#84 - Mon Nov 05, 2001 8:51 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices [Re: Pilgrim]  
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I'm curious..what is considered 'casual dress'? <br><br>the other Susan

#85 - Mon Nov 05, 2001 9:00 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  
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Posts: 1,856
Northwest Indiana, USA
Hilston,

Frequency... 6 times per year.

Elements... broken white bread, grape juice.

Reading... I Corinthians 11 and other texts.

Attire... Sunday best.

Requirements... must be a confessing member in good standing of a Biblical evangelical church.

I have just one comment to make. I wonder why the Lord's Supper is celebrated so many times per year by nearly all the churches when it replaced the "passover" which was celebrated only once per year.

Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
#86 - Mon Nov 05, 2001 9:09 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices [Re: Hannahsmom]  

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Oh I'm inclined to say that Pilgrim would consider jeans, t-shirt (even if was tucked in), tennis shoes (or are they called athletic shoes now? Showing my age), and a leather jacket would qualify. [Linked Image] 'Course I consider slacks and a polo shirt to be kind of dressed up. [Linked Image] Yet my father would call me a heathen of the first water if I didn't appear in a suit and tie in church, anything short of that was casual. [Linked Image]

#87 - Mon Nov 05, 2001 9:34 PM Re: The Lord's Supper/Communion practices  
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The church I attend is a tiny little thing, older than dirt, and to many folks looks a little shabby on the outside. The inside is modest by anyone's standard (but it's clean!) and that's one of the things I love about it. It's in an equally tiny little working class town, used to be mostly coal miners until they closed most of the mines around here, and 'dressed up' to some of these folks is a clean pair of jeans and a clean shirt, any color. Some do dress along the lines of JC Penney 'casual', and one man, besides the pastor, wears a suit and tie, always. I like it alot because no one really cares what you're wearing, but they do care that you're there.

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