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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Frequent Communion

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The influence of the Puritans on the religious life of the Church was in many instances tremendous and far-reaching. While the Prayer Book provides for frequent Communion, that is, every Lord's Day and Holy Day at the least, yet under the Puritan influence infrequent Communion became prevalent, and four times a year at the most came to be considered sufficient. When the Church began to pass out from under this influence we find that a monthly celebration became the universal rule in the Church, and even with this many seem now to be satisfied. But as the Church grew, as the study of the Prayer Book and of Church History became more general and the Church began to assert herself, to claim her heritage, we find a return to the ancient order and Scriptural rule. The Sunday and Holy Day Eucharist was more and more restored, so that to-day there are very few parishes where "Frequent Communion" is not the rule. On this subject the Bishop of Maryland, the Rt. Rev. William Paret, D.D., has remarked, "God's Word and all history show that receiving the Holy Communion every Lord's Day was the old way and receiving once a month entirely a modern custom. In often receiving we are copying the whole Church of the first three hundred years."

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Frequent Communion'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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