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What Does the Bible Say About..The Lord's Supper?

When should the Lord's Supper be given? In the day or at night?

Answer

Every example we have in the New Testament that gives a time indicates that the Lordís Supper was taken at night. (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 24, Acts 20:7-11, 1 Corinthians 11:23) There is no indication, however, that the timing is a required part of the remembrance. Because it came out of a Jewish Passover Seder, and because the Jews begin their day at sundown, it may just be that it was a matter of the timing of the day that these instances mention night.

If anyone insists that it should be taken at night because of the examples, then they probably should also insist (as the Jehovahís Witnesses do) that it should only be taken once a year, on Passover. Further, they should also insist that it be taken in an upper room, as that is also a component of all the examples.

The only specific command about the Lordís Supper that mentions time says, ďAs often as you eat this bread and drink this cup.Ē (1 Corinthians 11:26) There is nothing that says how often that should be. It could be daily, if the church meets together daily. It could be weekly, as was the apparent tradition in Troy (Acts 20:7). It could be annually, on Passover.

Over the last century the churches of Christ in America have often offered the Lordís Supper at morning and evening assemblies on Sunday. Normally the evening Lordís Supper is designated for those who did not or could not take it in the morning assembly. I find nothing, however, that would prevent somebody from taking it twice in one day. One congregation I know has stopped offering it during the evening assembly because they believe that if anyone takes it then all should take it, and they donít recommend anyone taking it twice in one day. Many object to the practice of some congregations to have those who want to partake at the evening service go to a separate room, saying that such a practice takes away from the importance of the Lordís Supper. Others insist that those who canít assemble with the church, primarily because of illness or age, be taken the elements of the Lordís Supper so they can partake separately. There is likewise no precedent for this practice, which elevates the Lordís Supper to a status higher than other elements of worship.