Importance of observing Communion

ImaginaryDay2

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Headed for service in a few minutes. Due to work commitments I'm unable to attend four weeks at a time (four on-four off). I look forward to returning, anticipating participating in Communion. This week and next are "Non-Communion" services, focusing instead on some missions work and other "giving" programs. What is everyone's "take" on the importance of observing communion and the "putting it off" of the same - especially with next week being the first week of Advent?

***PLEASE do not steer this thread toward an observance/memorial/real-presence debate***
 

Particular

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Communion can be celebrated and remembered at any time. Whether alone or with many. Whether with a pastor or without. The blessing is that God places no numerical restrictions or methodological restrictions on communion. He simply tells us to "do this in remembrance of me."
May you enjoy a blessed communion with your Savior, even today.
 

jsimms435

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I wish the church I went to celebrated it more often. I don't think they even do it quarterly as far as I can tell
 

Albion

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I wish the church I went to celebrated it more often. I don't think they even do it quarterly as far as I can tell
The usual explanation churches give for doing that is they don't want people to take the sacrament/ordinance for granted. But in the churches which have Communion weekly, both Catholic and Protestant ones, there is no evidence of that happening. At the least, I would think that the once-per-quarter system would be changed to one per month.
 

Josiah

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The Lutheran Confessions state that Lutherans celebrate this weekly, however, practice is rarely required so this is a statement of what was done, not what must be done. My parish does this every Sunday and I think this is common but not universal among Lutherans.


Why is it important?


1. We are told to. "DO THIS often....." When God tells us to do something, it's likely a good idea to do it. Of course, "OFTEN" is rather subjective. But is 4 times a year "often?" If you and your spouse had sex 4 times a year, would you say that's clearly "often?" (lol.... but you get my point; perhaps).


2. There is forgiveness, grace, mercy. Those are good things to receive!


3. We are remembering Jesus - and the grace, mercy, forgiveness, salvation, etc. that are ours via His Body and Blood. And that seems good.



Now, for the Zwinglians among us, yeah.... it's hard to come up with any reason. It's just a symbolic thing (just like foot washing and circumcision - neither of whiich they ever do) but to them, there is this supremely ODD, very WEIRD, very inappropriate COMMAND to "do it." How inconvenient! My brothers huge Mega Church does it once at year, at a special evening service attended only by the ex-Catholics and ex-Lutherans in their midst) cuz well, like taxes, it's something you gotta do. I "get it" - if Communion is ONLY a symbol, then there really is no reason to do it except Jesus thought there was and commanded it.





.
 
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ImaginaryDay2

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I was a bit surprised by not observing communion two weeks in a row - it's uncommon for us, but not unheard of I guess. I was just in a place where I felt I needed it. Our presentation form the 'mission boat' project this coming week will be interesting, though. It'll be a chance to hear about the work as well as an opportunity to take part in a mission trip with them next year to an island community in northern BC. I'd be very interested in doing that. Typically they work with indigenous (Native American) communities. Since I work in these communities in a secular context that kind of trip would be rewarding - especially experiencing Indigenous culture from a Christian worldview.
 

Lämmchen

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I was a bit surprised by not observing communion two weeks in a row - it's uncommon for us, but not unheard of I guess. I was just in a place where I felt I needed it. Our presentation form the 'mission boat' project this coming week will be interesting, though. It'll be a chance to hear about the work as well as an opportunity to take part in a mission trip with them next year to an island community in northern BC. I'd be very interested in doing that. Typically they work with indigenous (Native American) communities. Since I work in these communities in a secular context that kind of trip would be rewarding - especially experiencing Indigenous culture from a Christian worldview.
Have you approached your pastor to ask if he would commune you privately at some point during those long periods where you can't attend services? I would question a pastor who denies it unless he has a good reason like he's in the hospital ;) Most would probably just add you to their list for the day or evening that they do shut in visits. I have had private communion once but it was at my church before my cancer surgery and the pastor goes through a liturgy for it.
 

psalms 91

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Have you approached your pastor to ask if he would commune you privately at some point during those long periods where you can't attend services? I would question a pastor who denies it unless he has a good reason like he's in the hospital ;) Most would probably just add you to their list for the day or evening that they do shut in visits. I have had private communion once but it was at my church before my cancer surgery and the pastor goes through a liturgy for it.
You do not need a pastor to do communion but if you want it then by all means request it
 

Lämmchen

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You do not need a pastor to do communion but if you want it then by all means request it
God is a God of order and by the Divine call the Pastor is in charge of the flock and gives to them Word & Sacrament to feed them as they grow in faith.
 

psalms 91

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God is a God of order and by the Divine call the Pastor is in charge of the flock and gives to them Word & Sacrament to feed them as they grow in faith.
Agreed but no prohibition against doing communion in your home on your own, I know people that do this and it is ok with God
 

jsimms435

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God is a God of order and by the Divine call the Pastor is in charge of the flock and gives to them Word & Sacrament to feed them as they grow in faith.
I did communion with a lady one time while she was staying in the mental health ward of the hospital I was a chaplain at. I had never seen her before or since. Yet, when I gave her the elements she seemed to take the whole thing much more seriously than most people I have seen in church. I wasn't her pastor, though I am ordained both as a deacon and minister.
 

Albion

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Agreed but no prohibition against doing communion in your home on your own, I know people that do this and it is ok with God
It's not.

The New Testament clearly indicates that doing things decently and in order is essential, and the pastors, elders, whatever you call them are clearly indicated, along with needed qualifications. And the history of the first century church also definitely shows the hierarchical structure of people and clergy. There never has been a time in Christian church history in which just anyone can start consecrating the bread and wine and distributing it on his own authority.
 

psalms 91

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It's not.

The New Testament clearly indicates that doing things decently and in order is essential, and the pastors, elders, whatever you call them are clearly indicated, along with needed qualifications. And the history of the first century church also definitely shows the hierarchical structure of people and clergy. There never has been a time in Christian church history in which just anyone can start consecrating the bread and wine and distributing it on his own authority.
I understand the churchs that are Catholic and the ones that split off and are still close in practice believing this but not anyone else. We are called to be kings and priests and as a priest you can consecrate the elements and administer them yourself. I do not say that this is preferred but in situations that warrent it it can be done.
 

jsimms435

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It's not.

The New Testament clearly indicates that doing things decently and in order is essential, and the pastors, elders, whatever you call them are clearly indicated, along with needed qualifications. And the history of the first century church also definitely shows the hierarchical structure of people and clergy. There never has been a time in Christian church history in which just anyone can start consecrating the bread and wine and distributing it on his own authority.
Please show me the chapter and verse in the Bible that indicates that a pastor or ordained person has to be present since it is so clear to you
 

Albion

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Please show me the chapter and verse in the Bible that indicates that a pastor or ordained person has to be present since it is so clear to you
There are more than a few. And there is the documented practice of the church from its beginning.

But I also hope that you know better than to tell yourself that, in the absence of a verse saying "This is the fact" or "Do this," that the witness of Scripture is silent. If that were the case, we would not believe in the Trinity (to take just one example) since our understanding there comes from the inescapable meaning of several different verses taken together...which is what must be done, considering that we say all of the Bible is divinely inspired.
 
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Albion

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Please show me the chapter and verse in the Bible that indicates that a pastor or ordained person has to be present
Genesis 14:18 - Melchizedek, the first to be called "priest" offers a bread and wine sacrifice to God.

Psalm 76:2

Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25 - Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper and commands that it be repeated regularly. His instructions were only to the Apostles and their successors.
 

jsimms435

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Genesis 14:18 - Melchizedek, the first to be called "priest" offers a bread and wine sacrifice to God.

Psalm 76:2

Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25 - Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper and commands that it be repeated regularly. His instructions were only to the Apostles and their successors.
none of those verses really proves anything. Just pointing to church history doesn't really mean much to me. The church has a lot of horrific things in its history such as indulgences and other nonsense.
 

ImaginaryDay2

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none of those verses really proves anything. Just pointing to church history doesn't really mean much to me. The church has a lot of horrific things in its history such as indulgences and other nonsense.
Yes, and a Prophet also cursed children who were then mauled by bears - that IS scripture. Holy Tradition ought not to be disregarded when it makes us uneasy.

As for "church history" - when we point to the Bible itself, what do you believe it is we're pointing to but history in the truest sense?
 

jsimms435

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Yes, and a Prophet also cursed children who were then mauled by bears - that IS scripture. Holy Tradition ought not to be disregarded when it makes us uneasy.

As for "church history" - when we point to the Bible itself, what do you believe it is we're pointing to but history in the truest sense?
Yes, there are a lot of difficult passages in the Bible. that is true
 

Albion

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none of those verses really proves anything.
Well, I knew in advance that nothing was going to change your posture and also that your asking me for verses was just a way of taunting. But I gave you the evidence that you said did not exist anyway. :)

Just pointing to church history doesn't really mean much to me. The church has a lot of horrific things in its history such as indulgences and other nonsense.
I would say that depends on WHO in history has done WHAT. There was a time when indulgences were invented and we don't approve of that...but the event is a part of history.

On the other hand, when the Christians church is known for a fact to never have held the view you are advocating and that it has always required a duly called and installed minister (by whatever name you prefer--priest, pastor, presbyter, etc) to prepare the bread and wine, etc. and a number of verses in Scripture refer to this...

...it cannot be simply harrumphed away by saying "I don't want to see it."
 
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