The Frequency of the Lord’s Supper

I Corinthians 11:26
      As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup…

ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): The words of the institution are, “As often as ye eat,” without determining how often. Those who would make these terms so indeterminate as not to denote frequency, and consequently to be no rule at all as to time, do not sufficiently consider their force. The term “often,” we all know, denotes frequency; and “as often” denotes the degree of that frequency.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): It is, moreover, hinted here, concerning this ordinance, that it should be frequent: “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup.” The ancient churches celebrated this ordinance every Lord’s day, if not every day when they assembled for worship.

GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): Although we have no express command respecting the frequency of its observance, yet the example of the apostles and of the first disciples would lead us to observe this ordinance every Lord’s day, Acts 20:7. 

ANDREW FULLER: That the supper was celebrated on the first day of the week by the church at Troas is certain, Acts 20:7; that it was so every first day of the week is possible, perhaps probable; but the passage does not prove that it was so…It is the practice of this and all the Baptist churches in Scotland to commemorate the Lord’s death every Lord’s Day. I do not think this to be binding, but I am persuaded there can be nothing wrong in it, and that probably, it was then the practice of the primitive churches.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): The Lord’s Supper might be most properly administered, if it were set before the church very frequently, and at least once in every week…It was not instituted by Jesus for…two or three times a year, but for a frequent exercise of our faith…Such also was always the practice of the ancient church…
       But because the frailty of the people is still so great, there is danger that this sacred mystery be misunderstood if it be celebrated so often…[so let it be observed] once a month.

A. P. GIBBS (1890-1967): Some years ago an older Christian mentioned that he met each Lord’s day with believers to observe the Lord’s supper. A young believer looked [at him in] astonishment and inquired incredulously; “You mean you take communion every Lord’s day?” “Yes,” replied the other, “We break bread each Sunday.” At this the young man remarked: “Apparently you have forgotten that old adage, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt.’ Why, a rite so often repeated is apt to lose all its significance and value…I would suggest that you take communion once a month. Better still, once every three months.”

GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714-1770): I do think that is too seldom by a great deal to have it administered.

A. P. GIBBS: Can you imagine a young man who has courted the affections of a young woman, and has obtained her acceptance of his proposal of marriage, complaining to a friend, “Must I go and see her once a week? Wouldn’t once a month be sufficient?” Do we really love the Lord Jesus? If so, we shall not be thinking of how seldom we can remember Him in the way He has requested, but how often we are privileged to do so. Surely once a week is not too often to remember the One who we profess to love above all others and who, in His wonderful grace, bore our sins and suffered all the judgment of a holy God in our stead, and rose to be our Lord and very best Friend.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): My witness is, and I think I speak the mind of many of God’s people now present, that coming as some of us do, weekly, to the Lord’s table, we do not find the breaking of bread to have lost its significance—it is always fresh to us. I have often remarked, on Lord’s day evening, whatever the subject may have been, whether Sinai has thundered over our heads, or the plaintive notes of Calvary have pierced our hearts, it always seems equally appropriate to come to the breaking of bread. Shame on the Christian church that she should put it off to once a month, and mar the first day of the week by depriving it of its glory in the meeting together for fellowship and breaking of bread, and showing forth the death of Christ till He come. Those who know the sweetness of each Lord’s Day celebrating His Supper will not be content, I am sure, to put it off to less frequent seasons.

WILLIAM S. PLUMER (1802-1880): It is a serious question whether the Christian world is not sadly delinquent in having so few communions.

JOHN CALVIN: It would be well [that] the Holy Supper…be held every Sunday.

JONATHAN EDWARDS (1703-1758): It seems plain by the Scripture that the primitive Christians were wont to celebrate this memorial of the sufferings of their dear Redeemer every Lord’s Day. I believe it will be again in the Church of Christ in the days that are approaching.

 

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