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Q: #224. How often should I take Communion/The Lord's Supper?

     A: The Bible does not tell us how often we should take Communion or the Lord’s Supper. However, some believe that based upon (Acts 20:7), “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread..,” that a pattern was set by the disciples to “break bread” (picturing Communion: Mt 26:26, Mk 14:23) once a week on the first day of the week (Sunday)(Also see: Acts 2:42). While this is possible, others disagree believing that they were simply sharing a meal together, using verses such as (Acts 2:46)(Acts 20:11) (Acts 27:35) to help support their position.

     There are those who teach (rather voraciously) that Communion should be connected with Passover, and therefore taken only once a year.

     Most Catholic leaders teach that Communion (they call it Eucharist) should be taken very frequently, perhaps even daily if possible. They offer it at every Mass. It is stated in their Canon, however, that it can only be taken once a day, except under certain circumstances. In addition, Catholics MUST take it once a year during the Easter season, or it is a “mortal sin.”

     John Wesley (founder of the Methodist religion) is said to have taken Communion every 4 or 5 days. He stated that one should take Communion “as often as you can.”

     The churches I have been in have offered Communion either every week or once a month (1st Sunday of the month). I have also taken it in small group. It is my opinion that since the Bible does not prescribe how often to take Communion, it is up to each church and individual to determine how often it should be done. If daily, that is fine, as long as its meaning does not lose its significance, and become rote or ritualized (God HATES “vain repetition” Mt 6:7). (I, as many often do, used to mindlessly recite the Lord’s Prayer this way every day.) Nor do I see see any problem with taking Communion weekly or monthly, although once a year seems a little too long to go.

     The word “Communion” comes from the Greek word “koinonia,” which means to have fellowship or partnership with (i.e. see: 1 Cor 1:9, Phil 1:5, 1 Jn 1:3, 2 Cor 6:14, 2 Cor 13:14). When we take Communion, we are remembering the atonement that Jesus made for our sins, celebrating our fellowship with Christ, and participating in salvation through His broken body and shed blood (1 Cor 10:16). We are also following Jesus’ command to do this “in remembrance of me” (Lk 22:19)(1 Cor 11:25).

     In addition, in (1 Cor 11:27-32) we are told to examine and judge ourselves before we take partake of this meal (How many are seriously doing this?), and if we take Communion in an unworthy manner, it can lead to sickness and even death!

     I believe that these reasons why we take Communion are far more important than how often we take it.

*** Note: If you are not a Christian, Communion is not something you should participate in, because you have not yet accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for your your sins. You can do so today here.

Copyright: © Steve Shirley

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