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Re: Frequency of Communion Questions

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  • thebishopsdoom
    ... Well, from what I gather, it involved preaching from Thursday to Monday in services that sometimes were not unlike what we would call today tent meeting
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 1, 2003
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      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
      <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
      > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, thebishopsdoom
      > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      >
      > Thanks, buddy. Hey, can you clarify this for me:
      >
      > "The infrequency became a habit among some, while others complained
      > that the infrequency was causing abuses during the services that
      > preceded the communion service (it was a Thursday to Monday season,
      > each day to be treated as a sabbath, with preaching sometimes going
      > on for hours) and superstitious views of the sacrament."
      >
      > Speak more of this "season," if you please.
      >
      > gmw.
      Well, from what I gather, it involved preaching from Thursday to
      Monday in services that sometimes were not unlike what we would call
      today "tent meeting revival services." Communicants were expected to
      attend services and work was forbidden from 6p.m. Wednesday night
      until I guess the next Tuesday morning. The whole time if I recall,
      was a part of "communion season."
      Preaching was long. I have heard of John Cuthbertson holding a
      service 9 hours long.
      The other thing I am aware of is that some families (not just covies)
      were exceedingly strict with the "no work" requirements, though I
      won't say it was universally held as strictly as the example I am
      giving here. I understand from some records online regarding a
      certain John Bourne and his family, 18th century American covies,
      that it is recorded that on sabbaths, washing dishes was forbidden.
      They had to leave dirty dishes until Monday. Cooking was also
      forbidden, including heating food - only coffee could be heated, and
      only in the morning (to help waken the family, no doubt). It is
      recorded that it was forbidden to crack nuts, or to pick up a fallen
      apple off the ground and eat it because it was defined as "unecessary
      work." Whether the rules were so strictly enforced for the whole
      communion season or no, I can't say, but my inkling is that some
      families were really taking with them a whole week's worth of cold
      food and unwashed dishes.
      -thebishopsdoom
    • gmw
      ... I guess I m not understanding the idea of why a communion season where every day is treated as a holyday was deemed necessary. I mean, doesn t the
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 2, 2003
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        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, thebishopsdoom
        <no_reply@y...> wrote:

        > Well, from what I gather, it involved preaching from Thursday to
        > Monday in services that sometimes were not unlike what we would
        > call today "tent meeting revival services."

        I guess I'm not understanding the idea of why a "communion season"
        where every day is treated as a holyday was deemed necessary. I mean,
        doesn't the Directory simply say,

        "Where this sacrament cannot with convenience be frequently
        administered, it is requisite that publick warning be given the
        sabbath-day before the administration thereof: and that either then,
        or on some day of that week, something concerning that ordinance, and
        the due preparation thereunto, and participation thereof, be taught;
        that, by the diligent use of all means sanctified of God to that end,
        both in publick and private, all may come better prepared to that
        heavenly feast." ?

        > only coffee could be heated,

        This I understand, coffee is an act of necessity and mercy.

        gmw.
      • thebishopsdoom
        ... mean, ... Let me clarify. I m discussing what became the historical practice among presbyterians, I m not advocating what I believe about required
        Message 3 of 12 , Dec 2, 2003
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          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
          <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
          > I guess I'm not understanding the idea of why a "communion season"
          > where every day is treated as a holyday was deemed necessary. I
          mean,
          > doesn't the Directory simply say...

          Let me clarify.
          I'm discussing what became the historical practice among
          presbyterians, I'm not advocating what I believe about required
          preparations for communion, or what the old standards required.
          From the habit of infrequent communing and the fact that these things
          were going on, it seems to have become an idea in some presbyterians'
          minds as though such intense preparation was always required in order
          for anyone to be properly prepared to partake, and spoke out against
          more frequent communing that it would not allow such
          intense "preparation" for communion as was being thought necessary.
          Or if not necessary, those who questioned whether it could be done
          another way were sometimes attacked as being of no piety for not
          desiring to have such drawn out and elaborate services surrounding
          communion.
          The practice of Thursday to Monday services for communion persists in
          some presbyterian churches. For example, the Free Pres. Church of
          Scotland appears to do a Thursday thru Monday communion season. (I
          also noticed on another FP site a notice that such and such
          session "has decided there will be no communion this year.") A Free
          Church of Scotland website also had an "end of season assessment"
          from this past October where the minister wrote:
          "For all our emphasis on the simplicity of New Testament worship, we
          seem to have built an elaborate formal structure around the Lord's
          Supper. We have services from Thursday through to Monday, in most
          cases in both morning and evening. In my own congregation there are
          fourteen distinct acts of worship spread over these five days, all of
          which are designed in some way to make the sacrament meaningful,
          although just how I am not sure."
          A Free Church of Scotland Continuing site gave reports of upcoming
          communion in various locations, and they list dates starting on
          Thursdays and ending Mondays.
          My experience with the RPCNA was simply to let people know well in
          advance when communion would be, and to touch upon the things the
          Directory mentions above with repsect to communion during the
          previous Lord's Days rather than having a weekday preparation service
          (which would have been impractical anyway seeing that for worship
          services they rented out a room on Lord's days from a local YMCA and
          would not have been guaranteed being able to do so on a weekday -
          especially since it couldn't be covered in one meeting since
          different people worked very different schedules and there would have
          had to have been one in the morning and one in the evening to
          accomodate everyone).
          You might find the historical essays here of interest in relation to
          the practice:
          http://www.kintyremag.co.uk/2000/42/page4.html
          http://web.ukonline.co.uk/d.haslam/mccheyne/hewat/COMMUNION_SEASONS.ht
          m
          http://www.freechurch.org/revival/revival6.htm
        • revrayjoseph
          I grew up in the Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) Church in Hopkinton, Iowa, where we had Thursday Preparatory Service (at 10:00 am - I was excused from
          Message 4 of 12 , Dec 2, 2003
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            I grew up in the Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) Church in
            Hopkinton, Iowa, where we had Thursday Preparatory Service (at 10:00
            am - I was excused from school) - and Friday Preparatory Service (at
            7:30 pm) - and Saturday Preparatory Service (at 3:30 pm after 2:00
            pm Communicants' Membership Class) - Sabbath am Communion Service -
            (at 11:00 am) - Sabbath evening Thanksgiving Service - (at 7:30 pm) -
            and Monday morning Thanksgiving Service - (at 10:00 am - I was
            excused from school) - all this with the preaching of a visiting
            pastor called a "Communion Assistant".

            Ray Joseph




            --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, thebishopsdoom
            <no_reply@y...> wrote:
            > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
            > <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
            > > I guess I'm not understanding the idea of why a "communion
            season"
            > > where every day is treated as a holyday was deemed necessary. I
            > mean,
            > > doesn't the Directory simply say...
            >
            > Let me clarify.
            > I'm discussing what became the historical practice among
            > presbyterians, I'm not advocating what I believe about required
            > preparations for communion, or what the old standards required.
            > From the habit of infrequent communing and the fact that these
            things
            > were going on, it seems to have become an idea in some
            presbyterians'
            > minds as though such intense preparation was always required in
            order
            > for anyone to be properly prepared to partake, and spoke out
            against
            > more frequent communing that it would not allow such
            > intense "preparation" for communion as was being thought
            necessary.
            > Or if not necessary, those who questioned whether it could be done
            > another way were sometimes attacked as being of no piety for not
            > desiring to have such drawn out and elaborate services surrounding
            > communion.
            > The practice of Thursday to Monday services for communion persists
            in
            > some presbyterian churches. For example, the Free Pres. Church of
            > Scotland appears to do a Thursday thru Monday communion season. (I
            > also noticed on another FP site a notice that such and such
            > session "has decided there will be no communion this year.") A
            Free
            > Church of Scotland website also had an "end of season assessment"
            > from this past October where the minister wrote:
            > "For all our emphasis on the simplicity of New Testament worship,
            we
            > seem to have built an elaborate formal structure around the Lord's
            > Supper. We have services from Thursday through to Monday, in most
            > cases in both morning and evening. In my own congregation there
            are
            > fourteen distinct acts of worship spread over these five days, all
            of
            > which are designed in some way to make the sacrament meaningful,
            > although just how I am not sure."
            > A Free Church of Scotland Continuing site gave reports of upcoming
            > communion in various locations, and they list dates starting on
            > Thursdays and ending Mondays.
            > My experience with the RPCNA was simply to let people know well in
            > advance when communion would be, and to touch upon the things the
            > Directory mentions above with repsect to communion during the
            > previous Lord's Days rather than having a weekday preparation
            service
            > (which would have been impractical anyway seeing that for worship
            > services they rented out a room on Lord's days from a local YMCA
            and
            > would not have been guaranteed being able to do so on a weekday -
            > especially since it couldn't be covered in one meeting since
            > different people worked very different schedules and there would
            have
            > had to have been one in the morning and one in the evening to
            > accomodate everyone).
            > You might find the historical essays here of interest in relation
            to
            > the practice:
            > http://www.kintyremag.co.uk/2000/42/page4.html
            >
            http://web.ukonline.co.uk/d.haslam/mccheyne/hewat/COMMUNION_SEASONS.h
            t
            > m
            > http://www.freechurch.org/revival/revival6.htm
          • gmw
            ... Right, right, yeah... I know that. I was just confused as to why Presbies would be insisting on these things. I get it now, given the great infrequency,
            Message 5 of 12 , Dec 2, 2003
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              --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, thebishopsdoom
              <no_reply@y...> wrote:

              > Let me clarify.
              > I'm discussing what became the historical practice among
              > presbyterians, I'm not advocating what I believe about required
              > preparations for communion, or what the old standards required.

              Right, right, yeah... I know that. I was just confused as to why
              Presbies would be insisting on these things. I get it now, given the
              great infrequency, they were playing catch up.

              gmw.
            • gmw
              Wow, Mr. Joseph. How things have changed, huh? gmw.
              Message 6 of 12 , Dec 2, 2003
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                Wow, Mr. Joseph. How things have changed, huh?

                gmw.

                --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, revrayjoseph
                <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                > I grew up in the Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) Church in
                > Hopkinton, Iowa, where we had Thursday Preparatory Service (at 10:00
                > am - I was excused from school) - and Friday Preparatory Service (at
                > 7:30 pm) - and Saturday Preparatory Service (at 3:30 pm after 2:00
                > pm Communicants' Membership Class) - Sabbath am Communion Service -
                > (at 11:00 am) - Sabbath evening Thanksgiving Service - (at 7:30 pm) -
                > and Monday morning Thanksgiving Service - (at 10:00 am - I was
                > excused from school) - all this with the preaching of a visiting
                > pastor called a "Communion Assistant".
                >
                > Ray Joseph
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, thebishopsdoom
                > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
                > > <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
                > > > I guess I'm not understanding the idea of why a "communion
                > season"
                > > > where every day is treated as a holyday was deemed necessary. I
                > > mean,
                > > > doesn't the Directory simply say...
                > >
                > > Let me clarify.
                > > I'm discussing what became the historical practice among
                > > presbyterians, I'm not advocating what I believe about required
                > > preparations for communion, or what the old standards required.
                > > From the habit of infrequent communing and the fact that these
                > things
                > > were going on, it seems to have become an idea in some
                > presbyterians'
                > > minds as though such intense preparation was always required in
                > order
                > > for anyone to be properly prepared to partake, and spoke out
                > against
                > > more frequent communing that it would not allow such
                > > intense "preparation" for communion as was being thought
                > necessary.
                > > Or if not necessary, those who questioned whether it could be done
                > > another way were sometimes attacked as being of no piety for not
                > > desiring to have such drawn out and elaborate services surrounding
                > > communion.
                > > The practice of Thursday to Monday services for communion persists
                > in
                > > some presbyterian churches. For example, the Free Pres. Church of
                > > Scotland appears to do a Thursday thru Monday communion season. (I
                > > also noticed on another FP site a notice that such and such
                > > session "has decided there will be no communion this year.") A
                > Free
                > > Church of Scotland website also had an "end of season assessment"
                > > from this past October where the minister wrote:
                > > "For all our emphasis on the simplicity of New Testament worship,
                > we
                > > seem to have built an elaborate formal structure around the Lord's
                > > Supper. We have services from Thursday through to Monday, in most
                > > cases in both morning and evening. In my own congregation there
                > are
                > > fourteen distinct acts of worship spread over these five days, all
                > of
                > > which are designed in some way to make the sacrament meaningful,
                > > although just how I am not sure."
                > > A Free Church of Scotland Continuing site gave reports of upcoming
                > > communion in various locations, and they list dates starting on
                > > Thursdays and ending Mondays.
                > > My experience with the RPCNA was simply to let people know well in
                > > advance when communion would be, and to touch upon the things the
                > > Directory mentions above with repsect to communion during the
                > > previous Lord's Days rather than having a weekday preparation
                > service
                > > (which would have been impractical anyway seeing that for worship
                > > services they rented out a room on Lord's days from a local YMCA
                > and
                > > would not have been guaranteed being able to do so on a weekday -
                > > especially since it couldn't be covered in one meeting since
                > > different people worked very different schedules and there would
                > have
                > > had to have been one in the morning and one in the evening to
                > > accomodate everyone).
                > > You might find the historical essays here of interest in relation
                > to
                > > the practice:
                > > http://www.kintyremag.co.uk/2000/42/page4.html
                > >
                > http://web.ukonline.co.uk/d.haslam/mccheyne/hewat/COMMUNION_SEASONS.h
                > t
                > > m
                > > http://www.freechurch.org/revival/revival6.htm
              • Abigail
                My sister is a member of an RPCNA church where they have communion twice a year, starting with a Saturday evening service, then communion in the a.m. on the
                Message 7 of 12 , Dec 3, 2003
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                  My sister is a member of an RPCNA church where they have communion
                  twice a year, starting with a Saturday evening service, then
                  communion in the a.m. on the Sabbath, then a thanksgiving service
                  Sabbath evening, usually with a visiting "communion assistant".
                  The church I've been attending (RPCNA) has communion once a month, in
                  the afternoon service. The congregation is always advised the week
                  before communion to prepare by self-examination and renewed
                  repentance, meditating soberly on the work of Christ. I haven't been
                  to any nine-hour services yet!

                  Abigail

                  --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, revrayjoseph
                  <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                  > I grew up in the Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) Church in
                  > Hopkinton, Iowa, where we had Thursday Preparatory Service (at
                  10:00
                  > am - I was excused from school) - and Friday Preparatory Service
                  (at
                  > 7:30 pm) - and Saturday Preparatory Service (at 3:30 pm after 2:00
                  > pm Communicants' Membership Class) - Sabbath am Communion Service -
                  > (at 11:00 am) - Sabbath evening Thanksgiving Service - (at 7:30
                  pm) -
                  > and Monday morning Thanksgiving Service - (at 10:00 am - I was
                  > excused from school) - all this with the preaching of a visiting
                  > pastor called a "Communion Assistant".
                  >
                  > Ray Joseph
                  >
                  >
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