Communion Services

Twice in every year the Lesson-Sermon in Christian Science churches is on the subject "Sacrament." Twice in every year is there thus given the opportunity to gain a larger, broader understanding of this remarkable subject, which God's people have been contemplating from many an angle for many an age. Centuries ago Moses, in his endeavor to educate his followers into a truer comprehension of their dependence on and relationship to God, instituted what was called the feast of the Passover. This feast was largely material in its observance, but was nevertheless intended for the specific purpose of keeping the Israelites in frequent remembrance of the manner in which God had delivered them from bondage and of the fact that their future prosperity depended on their obedience to His commands.

From Moses' time until Jesus' public ministry this custom had prevailed. Jesus observed the same rite, though in much modified form, when he ate what we call "the last supper" with his disciples. Mrs. Eddy states in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 33), "This supper closed forever Jesus' ritualism or concessions to matter." This "last supper" which Jesus ate with his disciples was much less material in observance than the Jewish Passover, for he was thereby to lift the thought of his followers to the recognition of a more nearly spiritual concept of unity with God and to impress upon them the necessity of their grasping the spiritual import of his own life work, as well as of their own responsibility to walk in his footsteps.

Paul's teaching in regard to the Lord's supper was an endeavor to awaken his hearers to the metaphysical import or spiritual sense of bread and wine. He admonished them to study most earnestly such meaning in order that they might win therefrom the richest possible results and that none should eat and drink unworthily. From then until the present time, Christian churches all over the world have observed with much regularity what they have denominated "the sacrament of the Lord's supper," frequently giving it the name of "communion service." They still hold at such times to the use of material bread and wine, and in clinging to the symbol do they not lessen thereby the value of the service? It remained for Mrs. Eddy under the guidance of divine wisdom to divorce such service from the material and institute in its place the silent, or spiritually mental, communion.

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Among the Churches
July 5, 1919

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