How was the Holy Communion conducted in Jesus’ times?
Is the “breaking of bread” in Acts 2:42 similar to the Holy Communion?
Yes and we have reasons to believe that it is similar to the Holy Communion. When the Holy Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost, about three thousand people were baptised and the believers were of one heart. There appeared the unity of a spirit-filled true church. The believers were determined in following the teachings of the disciples, receiving one another, breaking of bread and praying together. Breaking of bread means communion and remembrance of, the Lord. Therefore, it refers to the Holy Communion.
Who may partake of the Holy Communion?
Only those who believed and are baptised may do so. In the Old Testament, only the circumcised could eat the Passover Lamb (Ex 12:43).
What is the proper way of partaking the Holy Communion?
The Corinthians did not adhere to the correct procedure and were thus reproached by Paul for not eating the Lord’s supper in a proper manner (1 Cor 11:20). The bread and the cup are holy. Anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on Himself (1 Cor 11:29) leading to bad consequences (1 Cor 11:30), to the extent of being judged and disciplined (1 Cor 11:32).
In breaking of bread and taking the cup, there are some things we should do:
1. Be in accordance with the truth: The Lord’s supper is not meant to feed the body. It is different from secular ceremonies or festivals. It is the banquet of grace furnished by the Lord with which we remember and declare the death of Jesus. Through it, the Lord reveals His graciousness to us. We must eat (unleavened bread) and drink (cup) with recognition of the truth, lest we sin against the blood and the body of the Lord (1 Cor 11:27).
2. Self-examination: Before partaking of the bread and the cup, we must examine ourselves to determine if our conscience is not at ease. If it is so, we should wait till it finds rest (1 Cor 11:28). “If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence to go before God and receive from Him anything we ask.” (1 Jn 3:21-22)
3. Discerning: Partakers must discern the bread as the body of the Lord and the Lord’s cup, His blood. Never regard them as unholy (1 Cor 11:29). Jesus set Himself apart to be holy (Jn 17:19) – so, we should regard His body and blood as holy.
4. Waiting: The Holy Communion is to be taken together when believers meet in the church. Wait for each other with quietness and sincerity to strengthen the union (1 Cor 11:33).
Are there specified dates and frequency of partaking of the Holy Communion?
No. The Holy Communion should be planned according to the need of the church. Some propose that it be held on the day of the Lord’s suffering. But, is it truly the day when Christ was betrayed? It is hard to determine and even if it is, there is no necessity to observe this date. It is not proper to partake if it is irrelevant as we are eating the bread of sincerity and truth in remembrance of the Lord (1 Cor 5:8). It may be more meaningful for different churches to have the Holy Communion on a chosen day, so that all the believers may jointly remember the Lord.
The breaking of bread means communion and remembrance of, the Lord.It refers to the Holy Communion and we must adhere to the correct manner of partaking it in the Lord.
If you want to know more about Holy Communion, feel free to request for one by providing your name and email address below…