Infrequent Celebration of the Supper is the Devil’s Work

What we have so far said of the Sacrament abundantly shows that it was not ordained to be received only once a year—and that, too, perfunctorily, as now is the usual custom. Rather it was ordained to be frequently used among all Christians in order that they might frequently return in memory to Christ’s Passion, by such remembrance to sustain and strengthen their faith, and urge themselves to sing thanksgiving to God and to proclaim his goodness; finally, by it to nourish mutual love, and among themselves give witness to this love, and discern its bond in the unity of Christ’s body…

Luke relates in The Acts that this was the practice of the apostolic church, when he says that believers ‘…continued in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers’ [Acts 2:42]. Thus it became the unvarying rule that no meeting of the church should take place without the Word, prayers, partaking of the Supper, and almsgiving. That this was the established order among the Corinthians also, we can safely infer from Paul [cf. 1 Cor. 11:20]. And it remained in use for many centuries after…

Plainly this custom which enjoins us to take communion once a year is a veritable invention of the devil, whoever was instrumental in introducing it…The Lord’s Table should [be] spread at least once a week for the assembly of Christians, and the promises declared in it should feed us spiritually. None is indeed to be forcibly compelled, but all are to be urged and aroused; also the inertia of indolent people is to be rebuked. All, like hungry men, should flock to such a bounteous repast. Not unjustly, then, did I complain at the outset that this custom was thrust in by the devil’s artifice, which, in prescribing one day a year, renders men slothful all the rest of the year.

– Institutes of the Christian ReligionIV.xvii, 44-46.

{HT: Jake Belder}

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Calvin/Calvinism, Word/Sacrament. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Infrequent Celebration of the Supper is the Devil’s Work

  1. Pingback: Once a year frequent enough? « After The Handbasket

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