Weekly Eucharist

Part of the fun of church planting is figuring out what our church will look like a do. John and I have discussed, however briefly, whether we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper monthly or weekly. My home church in Windsor (Grace) does it weekly with great profit. The standard Baptist practice in Canada seems to be monthly. The fear of weekly celebration is that it reduces to mere ritualism, where familiarity breeds contempt.

So, seeing Jim Hamilton’s guest post on Russ Moore’s blog arguing for a weekly celebration was timely. His argument is that the New Testament church seemed to “break bread” – a term for the Eucharist – every week.

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One response to “Weekly Eucharist

  1. Mark

    Nice! Good to hear you guys are going for weekly observance. That’s great. I love observing it weekly here at Grace.

    I would rather it turn into a ritual than into a near extinct practice!

    The familiarity breeds contempt argument bothers me somewhat. The way I see it, neglect has more potential to breed contempt than familiarity does.

    I think we can see this when we look at a family setting. Suppose a household, due to work or something, only eats together for dinner once a month. And then they decide to do it every day. Will each single meal be seem less special? Perhaps so. But what is being ignored is that while each meal may seem less special, when the 30 or so meals are added up, each one doesn’t have to be so special on its own, they aggregate of them together! And thats not even factoring the extra bonds that are formed by the additional time spent together!

    Likewise, each weekly observation only has to have 1/4th of the specialness of a monthly observance for the “math” to add up. I know, this sounds absurd, but I think it really pokes a whole in the “familiarity breeds contempt” idea.

    In terms of the Lord’s supper..rather than breeding contempt, I think regular observance helps us mature and helps us to SEE the contempt in our hearts. Maybe some of the contempt that sometimes seems to accompany doing things frequently may be just a matter of the fact that starting to do something more regularly exposes attitudes we had beforehand. So if we start despising the Lord’s supper when it is practiced more frequently, it is probably because we never really had a good attitude to it before the frequency was raised. And so it is probably a good thing that the regular observance ‘shines the light on these attitudes’. All the better for us to work them out.

    Perhaps what I’m saying isn’t really “biblical”, but I think it is consistent with what the Bible teaches. Does that make any sense?

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