How Often to Celebrate the Lord’s Supper


Communion-1-3 (Photo credit: Weiers)

Burning Question:  Why do we observe communion only once a quarter?

Communion, also often referred to as the Lord’s Supper, obviously finds its beginnings in Scripture.  It can be somewhat traced back to the Old Testament but finds its clearest expression in the New Testament.  There, Jesus instituted it when He took bread and then the cup, both of which uniquely symbolized His pending death for our sins.  Paul would give a fuller description to the local church for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper in his letter to the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 11:23-34).  For the believer and follower of Christ, taking the Lord’s Supper is extremely significant and typically grows in significance as we grow in our maturity and understanding of exactly what took place through Christ’s sacrifice for us.

However, the Bible is silent regarding exactly who is to administer the Lord’s Supper and also how often it is to be celebrated.  It is here that we find a variety of practices within local churches.  1 Corinthians 11:26 captures the words of Christ when He says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup . . . .” [italics mine].  Since Scripture leaves the issue of frequency wide open, it would seem to be wise to find the balance between taking it so often that it becomes routine on one extreme and downright neglecting and failing to celebrate it on the other extreme.  Regarding our ministry at First Baptist Church of the Islands, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper four times per year.  Each time, it is done during each of our morning services when the greatest number of believers are able to participate.  Typically, the entire service is geared around this celebration and rightly so, as it recognizes the cost of our salvation and the responsibility that we inventory our walks and lives to insure that our walk with God is authentic and holy.