How often should you have communion at your church?
Communion or the Lord’s Supper is recorded in three of the gospels: Matthew 26:20-35; Mark 14:12-31; and Luke 22:1-23. Each gospel tells us the disciples and Jesus were gathered around a table to eat the passover meal – Jesus’ last one before His death. Near the end of the meal, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper. In the letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul summarizes the key points to the Lord’s Supper.
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. (NASB) 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Neither the gospels nor the epistle to the Corinthians give us a command as to how often to celebrate communion. All we find is, “do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” Jesus never gave us a command as to how often we should celebrate the Lord’s Supper. However, we do find in the book of Acts the early church apparently celebrated the Lord’s Supper every Sunday.
And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. (NASB) Acts 20:7
Some churches celebrate the Lord’s Supper every week. Others do it every two weeks or once a week. Still others do it three or four times a year. It is not important how often we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, as long as we do it. What is important is that we take the time to solemnly remember Jesus’ death.
The Holy Spirit also tells us that we should never celebrate the Lord’s Supper if we have not confessed our sins or if we have an ongoing pattern of sin in our life. If we do, we risk sickness and death.
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. (NASB) Acts 11:27-30
The Lord’s Supper is a wonderful time of introspection or self-evaluation. It is a time to examine ourselves and confess our sins and make sure that we are right with God. It is a time to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us. It is a time to thank Jesus and God the Father.