I have recently received a question from a reader of the portal Moldova Creștină
My question is if the Lord’s Supper should be celebrated more times a year, because the Bible says that only the Easter Supper should be celebrated. And why it is not officiated when the Bible says it has to and as the disciples were celebrating it, at the biblical Passover (Leviticus 23)?
Jesus Christ hasn’t set up a frequency when celebrating the Lord’s Supper
The Passover celebrated by Jewish people in the Old Testament was a shaddow of the redemption that had to come in Jesus Christ, but it is also a remembrance of their redemption of the Egyptian slavery. The Lord Jesus is the One who instituted the Lord’s Supper for Christians, but He hasn’t set up how often they should do it. It was important to undestand the meaning of that holy act, that is a remembrance of the Savior’s sacrifice that brings redemption. Here is what Apostle Paul says in regards to this:
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.” (1 Corinthians 11:23–25)(NASB)
The repeated phrase is that every time the Lord’s Supper is celebrated, we should do this “in remembrance of Him”. This is the esential thing, that people may be aware of this act every time they take part in it.
How often did the first Christians celebrate the Lord’s Supper in Jerusalem?
In the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended, after Peter’s sermon many people repented and were baptized in Jerusalem and about three thousand souls were added to the number of apostles that day.
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42–47)(NASB)
In this text the Lord’s Supper is named the “breaking of bread” and you can draw out two things from this passage:
The Lord’s Supper is practiced by Christians from house to house, because the Church were gathering in the yard of the Temple, where not everyone could have the Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper was officiated in people’s houses and, it seems it was celebrated daily, of very often.
Christians from Troas were celebrating the Lord’s Supper in the first day of the week (Sunday)
Doctor Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, when he relates about Paul’s visit to Troas and the case of Eutychus’ resurrection, he writes:
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together. And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead. But Paul went down and fell upon him, and after embracing him, he said, “Do not be troubled, for his life is in him.” When he had gone back up and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while until daybreak, and then left. They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted. (Acts 20:7–12)(NASB)
How often then we should celebrate the Lord’s Supper?
Some churches and confessions celebrate the Lord’s Supper once or twice a year, others once in a month and others each Sunday. It is not and it should not be a reason to separate or to create debates among Christians. And also, it is not good to have discussions and quarells on this subject in the church you attend. The most important is to be aware of the meaning of this holy act and to judge yourself well before you take part in the Lord’s Supper if you entered the covenant with God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Translated by Felicia Djugostran