How often do you receive communion? - Mothering Forums
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Religious Studies > How often do you receive communion?
NicaG's Avatar NicaG 02:01 AM 01-30-2009
Forgive my ignorance....in the Episcopal Church, generally every Sunday service celebrates the Eucharist. It's the principal act of worship. I know this is the same in the Roman Catholic Church, and also in the Orthodox Church. But what about Protestant Denominations? It seems like some churches have a service with communion once a month, or maybe even less? Why is that?

Smokering's Avatar Smokering 02:07 AM 01-30-2009
My church (Reformed Baptist) does it twice a month - once at the morning service, then too weeks later at the evening.

AFAIK there's no Scriptural reason for it. It does make the service much longer. Some churches only celebrate it rarely to prevent it becoming a meaningless ritual, in order to keep it 'special'. I think there's a good Scriptural case for doing it regularly and frequently.

My church also uses Ribena, which I think it kinda pathetic (although I hate wine, so it doesn't bug me as much as perhaps it ought). On the plus side, we just started using gluten-free bread.
SquishyBuggles's Avatar SquishyBuggles 02:36 AM 01-30-2009
I was raised in the Lutheran Church, Missouri synod and we took it every other week. My husband was raised Baptist and they do it once a month.
katheek77's Avatar katheek77 02:58 AM 01-30-2009
My Presbyterian church has two services on Sunday.

It offers communion weekly at "short" service.

It's once or twice a month at "long" service.
tricia80's Avatar tricia80 03:17 AM 01-30-2009
Twice a year in our church... we also do feet washing as Jesus did at the last supper...

We also do it a bit different... each member wishing to receive communion and gives testimony stating he is right with God and his fellow man.. then members have one week to air any grievances to the ministry if none found then they partake...
Tradd's Avatar Tradd 03:26 AM 01-30-2009
I'm Orthodox and I receive Communion just about every week - unless something happened and I couldn't get to Confession before that Sunday, so then I wouldn't receive.

Frequency of Communion is a very individual thing among the Orthodox. Some receive every week, others less often.
DahliaRW's Avatar DahliaRW 03:07 PM 01-30-2009
I'm non-denominational Christian and we do it every Sunday, as the Bible shows by example.

Quote:
Act 20:7 And upon the first [day] of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
The express purpose here was that they gathered together to break bread. Everything else seemed to have less of a purpose.
cappuccinosmom's Avatar cappuccinosmom 04:22 PM 01-30-2009
evangelical mega-church here.

We usually have it once a month, and also on Christmas, New Year's Eve, and Easter.
Viola's Avatar Viola 04:46 PM 01-30-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicaG View Post
It seems like some churches have a service with communion once a month, or maybe even less? Why is that?
I am Presbyterian (PCUSA) and we do it once a month. And then on certain holidays, I guess like Maundy Thursday, Christmas Eve, World Communion Sunday in October. But I don't think we have it on Easter, oddly enough unless it would be our normal day for it, and since we have no Vigil service, it feels lacking. I don't think we do it on Good Friday, either, but I don't believe Episcopalians do either, at least from my recollection.

I used to belong to an Episcopal church and before I had joined, they were in the habit of only doing the Eucharist every other week. On alternating weeks they did Morning Prayer. When the new priest came in, he said that they must add the Eucharist to the Morning Prayer service, so we had two different formats, but always had the Eucharist. It was an old country church, very small attendance, and I guess the families there hadn't wanted to have it every week and got away with not doing so. The new priest started keeping the communion elements in the tabernacle on a continuous basis, and also holding a daily mass.

I'm honestly not sure why my church does it only once a month, other than it is not a sacrament for us, so I guess they feel like they don't have to do it as frequently. Our Book of Order states that the session (the governing body) is responsible for authorizing all observances to ensure regular and frequent celebration, in no case less than quarterly, but more can be added. It almost seems like it's some tradition, because it sounds like you could do it once a week if that is what the people wanted.
purplestraws's Avatar purplestraws 06:12 PM 01-30-2009
Our church doesn't do it at any time specifically...basically whenever the church leadership feels led pretty much. It's actually made taking communion a very meaningful thought-provoking time...they really encourage us to examine our relationship with God. It's made a big difference in my spiritual life. The church I went to growing up (Presbyterian) just did it at specific times...and it was just something we did...it didn't really have any spiritual significance to me.
lilyka's Avatar lilyka 09:20 PM 01-30-2009
We have the opprituity to receive every week, and sometimes during the week. So long as i am properly prepared for communion I recieve. Sometimes that is more frequently than others.
JamieCatheryn's Avatar JamieCatheryn 07:38 PM 02-03-2009
We do it monthly, first Sunday of the month. Also for holidays sometimes. Open to all born again believers who've shown up and prepared their hearts for the sacrament. We spend a while on it - a worship song while ushers pass out the bread and cups, and someone sharing thoughts and scripture for each element then praying. But we eat together every week so we do "break bread" in community more frequently.
Kidzaplenty's Avatar Kidzaplenty 08:17 PM 02-03-2009
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holyhelianthus's Avatar holyhelianthus 08:24 PM 02-03-2009
I'm assuming communion is the equivalent of the LDS passing of the sacrament??????? If I am correct then we partake every Sunday excepting General and Stake Conference. If I'm wrong ignore me.
Queen of Cups's Avatar Queen of Cups 08:27 PM 02-03-2009
The Baptist church we go to most of the time has communion once a quarter plus at special services (Christmas Eve, Maundi (sp?) Thursday, and maybe another one or two during the year). The idea is that if you do it every week, its not as special. I totally disagree with that though, btw. The Lutheran Church we go to sometimes does it every week. The formerly-Baptist community church we used to go to did it every other week, with prayer/anointing on the alternate weeks.
PatienceAndLove's Avatar PatienceAndLove 08:58 PM 02-03-2009
Just an edit on the Catholic thing:
Communion is offered every Sunday, but Catholics are only required to receive once a year.
And they must be Catholic and in a state of Grace (like the Mennonite PP mentioned about being right with God, etc...)
kapatasana's Avatar kapatasana 11:56 PM 02-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post
Just an edit on the Catholic thing:
Communion is offered every Sunday, but Catholics are only required to receive once a year.
And they must be Catholic and in a state of Grace (like the Mennonite PP mentioned about being right with God, etc...)
Wow, I learned something here! In all of the the 18 years I spent attending MAss every week, the 8 years in CCD, and the Communion, Reconciliation, and Confirmation classes I'd never heard that before. Is it once a year in general, or does it have to be a specific Mass (like Easter)?
theretohere's Avatar theretohere 01:57 AM 02-04-2009
We have it planned 1st and 3rd Sundays, and it's available every day if you stop by the church. We also have private confession and absolution available twice a week.
spero's Avatar spero 11:08 AM 02-04-2009
RC here and generally receive once/week, on the Sabbath day.

When I was a jail chaplain I also rec'd on Fridays, as we held Liturgy and Communion service with the female inmates.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tricia80 View Post
Twice a year in our church... we also do feet washing as Jesus did at the last supper...
We do the foot washing on Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday. Six people are selected from the congregation and our pastor (Deacon) washes & kisses their feet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
I am Presbyterian (PCUSA) and we do it once a month. And then on certain holidays, I guess like Maundy Thursday, Christmas Eve, World Communion Sunday in October. But I don't think we have it on Easter, oddly enough unless it would be our normal day for it, and since we have no Vigil service, it feels lacking. I don't think we do it on Good Friday, either, but I don't believe Episcopalians do either, at least from my recollection.

I grew up Presbyterian and this was my experience ... though I can't remember about Easter, I'll have to ask my mom.

In the Roman Catholic Church, there is never consecration on Good Friday. It is the only day that consecration cannot take place. We do receive (reserved) Communion on that day, though.
ChasingPeace's Avatar ChasingPeace 11:45 AM 02-04-2009
I'm Roman Catholic, but not allowed to receive communion because my dh refuses to get an annulment so our marriage can be convalidated in the Church. So my answer is "never."
holyhelianthus's Avatar holyhelianthus 02:53 PM 02-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasingPeace View Post
I'm Roman Catholic, but not allowed to receive communion because my dh refuses to get an annulment so our marriage can be convalidated in the Church. So my answer is "never."
I'm so sorry.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I wanted to also add that LDS folks are asked not to take the sacrament while in a less than worthy state. I was wondering if other religions also had this rule so it's interesting to see. Great thread!
pammysue's Avatar pammysue 03:56 PM 02-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquishyBuggles View Post
I was raised in the Lutheran Church, Missouri synod and we took it every other week.
Me too! The non-denom. protestant church we go to does it 1st and 3rd Sunday.
doubledutch's Avatar doubledutch 06:06 PM 02-04-2009
i grew up seventh-day adventist. we did it four times a year and included foot-washing. gender-segregated foot washing, lol, although some sda churches now have the ladies' footwashing room, the men's, and a room for couples/families. i've never heard an explanation for why adventists don't do communion at every service as instructed (imo), and i personally can't buy "keeping it special" as a reason.

i'm no longer sda and rarely participated in communion because as a child someone told me that if you took communion and "weren't really saved" you would die - not adventist teaching but i was told that. the sda church doesn't do infant baptism, so kids don't take the bread and "wine" (grape juice) but can do the footwashing. i guess i just found all of it to be foreign and creepy because it was done so infrequently - but now i would actually appreciate the ritual aspect of it.
spero's Avatar spero 07:23 PM 02-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
I wanted to also add that LDS folks are asked not to take the sacrament while in a less than worthy state. I was wondering if other religions also had this rule so it's interesting to see. Great thread!
Yeah, this is one thing (of many ) that I am not in agreement with. Especially since us faithful Catholics acknowledge that we are not worthy to receive Him, immediately prior to doing so, every time we receive the Eucharist. We also acknowledge that only by His grace are we saved, so to already be in a state of grace would make the Sacrament a moot point. It just doesn't make any sense, IMO ... it's just another way for the Church to keep people from the thing we need most.

Jesus didn't put limits on those who sincerely sought Him. His disciples tried to, but He simply said, "Let the people come to me." We believe that Jesus is, literally, in the Eucharist ... so why we think it is our place to deny Him to anyone I will never understand.
PatienceAndLove's Avatar PatienceAndLove 07:32 PM 02-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapatasana View Post
Wow, I learned something here! In all of the the 18 years I spent attending MAss every week, the 8 years in CCD, and the Communion, Reconciliation, and Confirmation classes I'd never heard that before. Is it once a year in general, or does it have to be a specific Mass (like Easter)?
It's usually Easter.
tricia80's Avatar tricia80 07:40 PM 02-04-2009
It is nice to see other congregations doing feet washing...

Our whole congregation does it including the ministers... when you line up it just happens to be the person beside you..

We also have segregated seating in church so of course segregated feet washing as well...
PatienceAndLove's Avatar PatienceAndLove 08:23 PM 02-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by spero View Post
Yeah, this is one thing (of many ) that I am not in agreement with. Especially since us faithful Catholics acknowledge that we are not worthy to receive Him, immediately prior to doing so, every time we receive the Eucharist. We also acknowledge that only by His grace are we saved, so to already be in a state of grace would make the Sacrament a moot point. It just doesn't make any sense, IMO ... it's just another way for the Church to keep people from the thing we need most.

Jesus didn't put limits on those who sincerely sought Him. His disciples tried to, but He simply said, "Let the people come to me." We believe that Jesus is, literally, in the Eucharist ... so why we think it is our place to deny Him to anyone I will never understand.
That statement only forgives venial sins, not mortal sins.

First Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Corinthians 11:27
Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.

Footnote: "Guilty of the body"... not discerning the body. This demonstrates the real presence of the body and blood of Christ, even to the unworthy communicant; who otherwise could not be guilty of the body and blood of Christ, or justly condemned for not discerning the Lord's body.

It is through Confession that mortal sins are forgiven, and the state of Grace can be attained.
holyhelianthus's Avatar holyhelianthus 08:31 PM 02-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by spero View Post
Yeah, this is one thing (of many ) that I am not in agreement with. Especially since us faithful Catholics acknowledge that we are not worthy to receive Him, immediately prior to doing so, every time we receive the Eucharist. We also acknowledge that only by His grace are we saved, so to already be in a state of grace would make the Sacrament a moot point. It just doesn't make any sense, IMO ... it's just another way for the Church to keep people from the thing we need most.

Jesus didn't put limits on those who sincerely sought Him. His disciples tried to, but He simply said, "Let the people come to me." We believe that Jesus is, literally, in the Eucharist ... so why we think it is our place to deny Him to anyone I will never understand.
Hmmmm.... I do see what you are saying but isn't it a blessing? Shouldn't we strive for it and not just expect it? It has more meaning when you have to work for it- I know this from experience! Not only that but doesn't it make sense that one needs to be in the proper spiritual state (not perfect, mind you, but at very least striving) to really appreciate the great blessing it is? Isn't it something sacred? Do we really want to treat that with a sense of "anything goes"? YKWIM?
spero's Avatar spero 08:56 PM 02-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post
That statement only forgives venial sins, not mortal sins.
I don't believe in sin classification, either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
Shouldn't we strive for it and not just expect it? It has more meaning when you have to work for it- I know this from experience! Not only that but doesn't it make sense that one needs to be in the proper spiritual state (not perfect, mind you, but at very least striving) to really appreciate the great blessing it is? Isn't it something sacred?
Absolutely. I just don't think that WE have the right to deny that sacred blessing. That's up to the Lord IMO.
lilyka's Avatar lilyka 09:12 PM 02-04-2009
We need to be properly prepared for communion. Being properly prepared doesn't me we are perfect. But it does mean that we have confessed our sins, our hearts and heads are in the right place, we have fasted before hand, we are not in danger of throwing up immediately after, in some parishes women who are menstruating are asked to refrain from receiving (this has nothing to do with being unclean) as is anyone else with a flow of blood for any reason. I think that is one of the reason we offer it so often though so that if you are not in the proper place to receive communion you can reflect confess, or just wait until you are then it will be there waiting and available.

we do not distinguish sin either, all sin, known and unknown in thought or word or deed all must be confessed before communion. confession and repentance also includes making things right between you and any person you have sinned against. We also acknowledge being unworthy to receive such a blessing and pray that our unworthiness will not hinder us from receiving.
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