“When John Wesley sent Bishop Thomas Coke along with the Articles of Religion and The Sunday Service Book across the ocean to found The Methodist Episcopal Church (now The United Methodist Church) he urged the ordained elders to celebrate Holy Communion “every Lord’s Day” using this official liturgy. With the adoption of “This Holy Mystery” the General Conference of The United Methodist Church has repeated this call to our clergy and congregations: move toward weekly communion and use the established liturgy.”
Daniel McLain Hixon in “Practical tips in celebrating the Lord’s Supper“
I experienced every-Sunday communion a few years ago in a PCA church-plant, and overall I really liked it. I also remember the deeply moving quarterly Lord’s Suppers we had when I was growing up in the old Methodist Church. In the UMC I go to now we have communion once a month, on the first Sunday of the month.
In recent months I have become aware that our celebration of the Lord’s Supper seems to be almost tacked-on at the end of the service and done in a big hurry. Our pastor is very conscientious about doing the Great Thanksgiving every time, and he almost never seems to hurry it. But when it comes down to the actual consuming of the elements, we seem to be doing it in the most expeditious manner possible, usually either by intinction or by coming up front, getting a piece of bread and a tiny cup of juice as we pass by, eating and drinking and heading back to our pews.
I can’t help but wonder if we’re not missing something by doing it rush-rush like that. It really seems to take some of the meaning, or at least some of the emotion, out of it. I don’t know if Holy Communion should be an emotional thing or not, or if it should just be a Zwinglian memorial. I do know that it can stir up something inside a person, when it is done reverently. While I don’t believe in the Roman idea of Transubstantiation, nor even the Lutheran approach, the idea that the Lord is there with us in a special way as we partake of Communion can itself be very moving.
Can we have Holy Communion every Sunday and continue to find it meaningful? I think we can if we are careful not to rush it. But if we’re going to tack it on at the end of the service and hurry through it every Sunday, then we might as well go back to doing it four times a year instead, and making the entire worship service focus on the Lord’s Supper.