Common Bread in the Lord’s Supper

“Number fifty days… Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves… they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord.”

 Lev. 23:16,17

“Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?  It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”

Luke 13:20-21

“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”

1 Cor. 11:26

.

.

Subsection

Historic Quotes on Common Bread in the Lord’s Supper

.

.

Order of Contents

Articles
On Cubing the Bread Beforehand
On the Novelty of Using Shortbread in Scotland
On the Romanist Preparation of the Bread
Latin

.

.

Articles

1800’s

Houston, Thomas – The Elements – Bread and Wine in the Lord’s Supper  1878, in The Lord’s Supper: Its Nature, Ends and Obligations and Mode of Administration, pp. 253-4 

.

2000’s

Webb, Andy – Must We Use Unleavened Bread in the Lord’s Supper?  2008, 4 paragraphs with 10 historic reformed quotes following

.

.

On Cubing the Bread Beforehand

The History of

Edgar, Andrew – pp. 149-150  of Old Chuch Life in Scotland  (London, 1885)

.

The Theology Against It

Quote

George Gillespie

A Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies (1637; Naphtali Press, 2013), pp. 192–193

“§2.  The fourth position we draw from the same rule [of following the example of Christ] is, that it is not indifferent for a minister to omit the breaking of the bread at the Lord’s table after the consecration and in the distribution of it, because he ought to follow the example of Christ, who, after He had blessed the bread, and when He was distributing it to them who were at table, brake it, breaking into pieces in his hands the bread he had taken,¹ but had it not carved in small pieces before it was brought to the table.

Hence, G. J. Vossius² does rightly condemn those who, though they break the bread in multas minutias [into many small pieces], yet they break it not in actu sacramentali [in the sacramental act].  Such a breaking as this (he says well) is not mystica [related to mystery], but coquinaria [related to cooking].

1. Paræus in 1 Cor. 11:24. manibus comminuendo panem acceptum in partes. [Cf. Ad Corinthios priorem (1609), col. 743.]
2. De Symb. Cœnæ Dom., disp. 2, thes. 5. [Cf. Theses Theologicæ et Historicæ, 1658 ed., p. 275.]”

.

Webpages

‘The Sacramentally Significant Actions of the Supper’  on our page, ‘The Administration of the Lord’s Supper’

See also the articles expounding with regard to the Cup, ‘Divide it amongst yourselves’ on our page, The Common Cup.

.

.

On the Novelty of Using Shortbread in Scotland

Intro

The great majority of the evidence of the Reformation and puritan eras was that the Church used, and should use, common bread in the Lord’s Supper, as that is what the Greek word artos signifies in the Scriptural accounts.

The following evidence documents that in Scotland in the late-1800’s there was a large scale shift to using shortbread for communion, a sugary and biscuit-like kind of bread.  Various justifications were given for this, though the main impetus seems to have been the notion that one ought to use the ‘best’ bread for the Supper.  Needless to say, shortbread was not the common bread in Scotland that was used regularly as regular bread at meals.

This shift in practice occured at the same time as the height of the Liturgical Renewal of worship movement in Scotland.  Some mixed data is apparent during this time in the sources below, that some churches began to use common bread at this time after having used shortbread.  But this is what one would expect in large-scale societal shift of practice, there being some resisters to the innovation who sought to bring back the old paths.

Some churches in America have adopted the use of shortbread, believing the practice to be a ‘historic’ one from Scotland.

.

Articles, 1800’s

Edgar, Andrew – pp. 148-9  of Old Chuch Life in Scotland  (London, 1885)

Thomason, John H. – II – ‘Shortbread at the Lord’s Supper’  in Proceedings & Transactions of the Dumfiesshire & Galloway Natural History & Antiquarian Society, Session 1892-91, 2nd Oct. 1891, pp. 8-10, being bound with Sessions 1887-90

Burns, Thomas – p. 16  of Old Scottish Communion Plate (Edinburgh, 1892)

414, ‘Use of Shortbread at the Communion’  in The Scottish Historical Review, #45, quoting Scotsman, Dec. 5, 1891

.

.

On the Romanist Preparation of the Bread

Edgar, Andrew – p. 148  of Old Chuch Life in Scotland  (London, 1885)

.

.

Latin

Voetius, Gisbert – ‘6. Question: Ought the Bread to be Unleavened?’  in Ecclesiastical Politics, vol. 1, book 2, tract 2, section 4, ch. 1, pp. 733-735

.

.

.

“And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.”

Ex. 12:39

“And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.”

Lev. 23:6

.

.

.

Related Pages

The Lord’s Supper

The Administration of the Lord’s Supper