Is It Scriptural To Take Communion On Any Day?
by Douglas Hoff
Occasionally we hear of people eating the Lord’s supper on a day other than the Lord’s day (i.e., Sunday). The question naturally comes up, “Is this OK?” To determine if God approves of this practice we need to search the scriptures (John ; Acts ). Everything a Christian does is to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians ). Is there any authority for taking communion on a day other than Sunday? If the Bible does not address the matter in any way (i.e., command, example or necessary inference), then there is no authority for the practice and must be rejected.
First, is there a command to
partake of the Lord’s table on any specific day at
all? No, When Jesus instituted his
memorial he did not specify the day or days to observe it. However, Christians are commanded to “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke
The only way to discover which day to
take communion is by considering when the first Christians did so. Since eating the Lord’s
supper is clearly an act of worship, when would we expect the church to
engage in this action? The obvious
answer is Sunday. Why Sunday? Well, there are several good reasons. First, it is the day when Jesus rose from the
grave (John 20:lff).
Second, it is the day on which the
church was established (Acts 2:1). Third, it is the day Paul specified the church
was to give of their means (1 Corinthians
records that Paul met with the church on the first day of the week so they
could “break bread” (Acts 20:7). This is an example of Christians purposely
waiting until the first day of the week to take communion (Acts 20:6). Why wait until
Sunday to take the Lord’s supper with the disciples if
it is permissible on any other day? After
all, Paul was in
Would it be scriptural to take the Lord’s supper on any day other than Sunday? No. There is no command to do so, no approved example of the apostles or early church doing so and no reasonable conclusion to justify the practice. Thus, it cannot be done in the name of the Lord Jesus since God’s word does not authorize it. To take the Lord’s supper on any day other than the first day of the week is vain worship and sinful (Matthew 15:8-9; John -24; cf. Colossians 2:8, 23).
Some might argue the point that there is no example of the early church taking communion on any day other than Sunday. They might point to Acts 2:46 which says, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.” Does this verse mean Christians were taking communion daily in their houses? No. In this verse Luke used the Greek word trophe (“meat”) which means nourishment. The Lord’s supper is not taken to nourish our bodies but ordinary meals are. Also, note where they were breaking their bread — from house to house; not in the temple. This certainly sounds more like the setting for a common meal than the Lord’s supper.
Certainly, the new Christians were engaged in worship of God. Part of that involved the “breaking of bread.” Notice Acts — “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Both verse 42 and 46 use the expression “breaking bread.” Context determines what is meant in each instance. Verse 42 deals with matters of worship (i.e., preaching, fellowship, and prayers). Verse 46 first speaks of their meeting daily in the temple (presumably for worship or teaching others the gospel) but also eating a common meal from house to house. It is interesting to note that “fellowship” in verse 42 is translated from the Greek word koinonia. This word means partnership, participation, or communion. This emphasizes the religious activities of verse 42. Thus, the expression “breaking bread” in verse 42 refers to communion.
Douglas Hoff, preacher
(734) 782-2886 [
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