“The children of Israel… kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness… and the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness… So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem… and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.”
2 Chron. 30:21-27
Frequency of the Supper
Administration of the Supper
Bible Verses: Preparation for Communion with God
Preparing for the Supper
Communion Sermons & Table Addresses
Sitting at the Table
Order of Contents
Isbell, Sherman – “The Administration of the Lord’s Supper” in The Master’s Trumpet (2006) 20 pp.
This historical essay describes the Biblically principled practice of the reformation Scottish Church’s administration of the Lord’s Supper. Special attention is given to their communion seasons which were often held outdoors in fields, ministering to thousands, and included preparatory preaching, sitting at tables, and using common cups.
Anderson, John – ‘Of Humiliation Days Before & Thanksgiving Days After the Administration of the Lord’s Supper’ Download (1800) 30 pp in Vindiciae Cantus Dominici. This article can be read for free and downloaded in a contemporary format (retitled: ‘Communion Seasons Defended’) by signing up for a free Lulu account.
Anderson was a minister in the Associate Presbytery in Pennsylvania, who came from the Anti-Burgher Secession Church in Scotland.
This, and the works by Thomson and Duncan below were responses to John Mitchell Mason (1770-1829), a minister of the Associate Reformed Church (in America) who had just written Letters on Frequent Communion, anonymously, in defense of observing the Lord’s Supper whenever the church meets together
Thomson, John – Letters Addressed to the Rev. John Mason of New York, in an Answer to his Letters on Frequent Communion (Glasgow, 1801) 47 pp.
Thomson was of the Scottish Seceders.
Houston, Thomas – ‘Season of Humiliation and Fasting’ in The Lord’s Supper: its Nature, Ends and Obligation (1873), pp. 173-75
Houston was a late-1800’s Irish Reformed Presbyterian.
Kennedy was a Free Church of Scotland minister in the Highlands of Scotland.
Murray, David – ‘The Scottish Communion Season’ n.d. 25 paragraphs
Murray, a Scot, has been a professor at PRTS. He gives an introduction and overview of the Scottish communion season.
Duncan, Alexander – A Disquisition on the Observance of the Lord’s Supper, with a View to the Defence of the Presbyterian Plan of Administering that Ordinance, with an Appendix, a Short Review of Mr. Mason’s Letters on Communion, pt. 1, 2, 3 (Edinburgh, 1807) 223 pp.
Carstairs, A.G. – The Scottish Communion Service with the Public Services for the Fast Day, Saturday & Monday Before & After Communion (1829) 310 pp.
Milroy, William – A Scottish Communion (1882) 240 pp.
Ross, William – ch. 6, ‘The Minister’s Labors in Connection with Communion Seasons’ in Glimpses of Pastoral Work in the Covenanting Times, a Record of the Labors of Andrew Donaldson, 1644-1662 (1877)
Ross was in the Free Church of Scotland.
Sprott, George W. – pp. 140-41 in The Worship & Offices of the Church of Scotland: Or the Celebration of Public Worship, the Administration of the Sacraments, & Other Divine Offices, According to the Order of the Church of Scotland; Being Lectures… (1882)
Ramsey, David A. & Koedel, R. Craig – ‘The Communion Season—An 18th Century Model’ (1976) Journal of Presbyterian History (1962-1985), vol. 54, no. 2 (Summer, 1976), pp. 203-16
Cheape, Hugh – ‘The Communion Season’ (1997) 12 pp. in Scottish Church History Society
MacLennan, George – The Story of the Old Time Communion Service & Worship, also the Metallic Communion Token of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1772 (1924) 75 pp.
Love, John – Sermons Preached by the late Rev. John Love (Glasgow: 1853), pp. 212–13
Sherman Isbell: “A Thursday Fast Day sermon by John Love at Greenock in 1785 contains an apology for observing times of self-abasement prior to the communion. His text is Gen. 18:27: ‘And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, who am but dust and ashes.’ Love remarked that,
‘Times of peculiar nearness to God, will be times of special abasement and humiliation of soul before him. Abraham was at this time admitted into great nearness to God, and we see the effect which it had upon him. He has not much to say. God’s people at these times have such views of their own vileness, as it is beyond the power of language to describe; it is not a time to pay compliments to God, in neatness or fluency of speech… This observation will vindicate the propriety of appointing a day of fasting and humiliation, preparatory to the dispensation of the Lord’s Supper.
It may be asked, What is the reason for such appointments? Is it not a feast of gladness and of triumph? It is true it is so, but who are they that are to be the partakers at this feast? Are they not sinners, who have many things about them to humble them? And it is most fit, that their humility and lowliness of spirit should bear some proportion to the dignity and glory of this ordinance, and to their nearness of access to God in it.'”
“And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord… And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the Lord our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days. On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.”
1 Kings 8:62-66