The second serving of the Lord's supper

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The second serving of the Lord's supper

Post by M130 » Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:07 pm

At the assembly where I attend we partake as the scripture indicates, the Lord's Supper. We partake of it as the apostles did in Acts. It is done on the first day of the week every week. Open for discussion is this:

I Cor 11. was written to the church there since there were problems about saying one gift was better, the covering, and the Lord's Supper. In that book Paul condemned such acts as eating before others and shaming those that didn't have anything to eat. He said that they had made the Lord's Supper a common meal since he said "What, do you not have house to eat in". He said it was to be done together on the first day of the week as we know already. What the problem I have always had is the second serving at night. I believe that Paul took care of that at the end of the book when he said tarry or wait for one another. If I am not taking it at night then we are not doing it together. The argument is made about those taking it are taking together but that doesn't seem true since Paul wrote to the whole church not just a few. I would have the same problem with meeting in a separate room or taking to the sick. We are excused if we are sick of course. We could take it at night or anytime during the first day as long as it is done together. I have tried to prove what I believe is a wrong view but I can't find scripture to do it. What if only one takes at night? How are we taking it together then? We aren't. A violation of scripture. Paul would not have spent that much time of the subject only to end it with "tarry" one for another if he had not thought it to be very important. I need someone to show me scripture of how this is correct. I don't want the things like: Well they have to work so we have to offer it at night or "I just feel like I have missed out if I miss the Lord's supper on Sunday" My point is why did you miss the meeting of the saints together to break bread. I hear speeches at the Lord's Table all the time reading that very scripture but they ALWAYS leave the "but when you come together, tarry one for another" out. Why is that? There is no way we are doing it together if some do it at night and others do it at some other time. Now, could we all take it twice? I don’t know. I have thought about that. We would be at least partaking together. But we would have repercussions about that because it goes against our traditions which I believe to be wrong and a matter or right and wrong since the Bible says if we drink in an unworthy manner we eat and drink condemnation to ourselves. Your thoughts

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more than just example of Acts 20:7

Post by m273p15c » Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:51 am

Which comes closer to "tarrying one for another" and ensuring that none go "hungry"?
  • offer the Lord's Supper at each meeting on the first day of the week, so all may partake
  • offer the Lord's Supper once on Sunday, denying the opportunity to those who attend at the other services
Whether or not they had a legitimate excuse to miss the first observance is between them and the Lord.

Also, please keep in mind that the Lord's Supper is a feast celebrated by all Christians on the first day of the week, all over the worlf - separated by thousands of miles and hours in time.
Paul by the Holy Spirit wrote:The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. (I Corinthians 1:16-17)
Paul, even though he was separated from the Corinthians by the Agean Sea, was still communing with the Corinthians in joint partaking of the one supper. The fellowship transcends both space and time, because it is a fellowship that is rooted in Christ - a spiritual dimension, not a spatial dimension. I believe this is akin to the principle demonstrated in John 4:20-24.

Also, please keep in mind that we have more than authority than just the example of Acts 20:7. We have the underlying command, given by Jesus, which authorizes both the example and its modern practice:
Matthew by inspiration wrote:And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." (Matthew 26:26-29)
Please notice the following about this verse:
  • Jesus specifies that there will be a specific day - not just any day, but it will be on "that day".
  • The command is durative. The tense is "future perfect", indicating future beginnning time with an indefinite ending. Therefore, it is something that was to begin in the kingdom, and would continue for some unspecified time.
Acts 20:7 does indeed tell us the "day", but there is neither specific direction provided as to the number of times in a day, nor the time of the day. All that is specified is the day ("the first day of the week"). Therefore, number of observances falls under the realm of "generic authority" (, and should not be limited by men.

Finally, let us examine the command you referenced a little more closely:
Paul the apostle wrote:Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. (I Corinthians 11:33)
Please notice that the command to tarry was bound for the single occasion of gathering ("when you come together to eat"). This means that whenever they came together for the cause of partaking the Lord's supper, they would wait for each other. They should not have taken it in the chaotic manner described earlier in the chapter, which would diminish their ability to partake in a reflective, self-examining, "worthy manner".

If the command to tarry meant that they had to wait until everybody was there, they would never eat! Therefore the command to tarry is limited to temporal boundaries of that particular assembly. If they later came together again for the purpose of eating the Lord's supper, they would again need to tarry for one another while in that second assembly, and thus fulfill the command for those unable to partake that night.

Here's another "ice-breaker" for your consideration: Paul also commands that contribution be collected each first day of the week. Does that mean the collection can only be take once on the first day?

Although we must always be careful not to "loose" what the Lord "bound", we must equally be certain that we do not "bind" what the Lord "loosed".

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Post by M130 » Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:57 am

You have made some good comments. I have heard all of those views as well. I commend your reply; however, I would say that time is the issue just as you have well stated. Paul knew that he would not be there with them to partake. When he wrote the commandment about tarrying, he was talking to that group just as you stated. We do meet to break bread. We are to come together for that reason. Most of that chapter is dedicated to the abuse of the Lord's supper. It was a problem not only for those who are hungry, but also for the ones that were not doing it together. Just because something is commanded wouldn't give us the right to do what is commanded in any manner (unless we are not given a specific example). It is commanded. Paul demonstrated what they should have already known. He would not have been upset otherwise when he wrote, "Tarry one for another." I believe this "together" is referring to the assembly. When we come together at night, most of us are not assembling to take the Lord's supper. It is by our tradition that we come together at night, and I think this is a good time for us to meet. I think that it is fine to meet twice on Sunday, but I don't think that the Lord's supper should be offered at both services. The giving of money would not be a parallel situation since we are not commanded to "tarry" in our giving. If it was stated that way I would say that we were in violation of direct scripture if some gave in the morning and some at night. It is the tarry part that gives me the most concern just as I stated before. We would be closer to correct if we ALL took of the supper again that night since some were out. I can't look at this subject as others and say which seems closer to right denying some the right or letting each take at different times. It being the first day of the week still clears nothing. I understand that part. Paul did also. All those things that were in violation of the Lord's supper happened at the assembly and on the same day. Paul was upset about the tarrying.

Some congregations take it to those that are out sick. I can't justify that in my mind nor by scripture either. If you are sick your excused. The communion is with each other but mostly with Christ to remember him. I appreciate your points and time that you put into posting. You put a lot of concerned thought in it and I really appreciate it. That is more than I have gotten where I currently attend or in my life for that matter. It is never dealt with as a matter of concern which is the way Paul dealt with things. You are commended for your efforts. That is great. Either way thanks and we will continue to discuss.

A few more notes: I believe that most places today would frown upon us taking it to nursing homes or the sick at their house. The reason I have always been given for this is that we are not in the assembly together. This is true. We are not in the assembly (hence not partaking together). The same could be said about going into a separate room after the assembly. Neither, I believe, would be scriptural since we are not doing it together. I do not mean that you must take it simultaneously as some would suggest. I just mean in the same time frame. Consider this thought: Just because you say the prayer together doesn't mean you are partaking of the Lord's supper together.

The second serving of the Lord's supper became prevalent around the time of World War II when second shifts began. It was heavily debated at that time; however, most congregations have accepted the second serving over time. Today, there are very few congregations around that only offer it once. Nonetheless, just because everyone else is doing it, does that mean it's right?

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Post by sledford » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:41 am

In order to find truth I typically first ask myself what the thing under consideration IS. From that we can then establish what meets that pattern and what does not.

My understanding of scripture comes to these things of what the Lord's Supper IS:

* Eating of the bread (1 Cor 11:24) and drinking of the cup (1 Cor 11:25)
* Remembrance of Jesus (1 Cor 11:24, 25 "do this in remembrance of Me")
* Proclamation of our Lord's death (1 Cor 11:26)
* Self-examination (1 Cor 11:28 ) which defines our worthiness while performing the above (1 Cor 11:27, 29)
* Come together (1 Cor 11:33)
* Tarry, or some versions render that wait, for one another (1 Cor 11:33)

Of the characteristics identified by Paul, the first 4 are characteristics of the individual and the last 2 are characteristics of the group. Therefore, there is an individual responsibility in how the supper is taken and there is also a responsibility of me as part of the group.

It is with the latter part of my statement, a responsibility of me as part of the group, that I begin having concerns over a second offering of the supper on a Sunday evening. I state it as a concern because for me it is just that in my mind for now, something I am giving time to study and prayer about. But, I'll make some observations about practices that I observe. In the morning service, when the time arrives everyone in the audience is well aware of what is about to take place. The song leader will generally select one that helps "preapare the mind" for the supper. There may be scripture read about Jesus' crucifixion or some aspect of His life. And then the prayers and distribution of the bread and cup for taking. Effort is made to allow us to easily perform the individual aspects of the supper as listed above and we do this together as a group. In an evening service, I have yet to see the same effort, or anything close, given for those that are partaking. Which leaves me asking about the thought given for the spiritual preparation of the individual partaking, is that a help to them? And likewise, what about everyone else in the audience, do they still understand a responsibility to be "together" with this person as they partake?

My current thought process is that a second offering on Sunday CAN be done in a way that achieves everything Paul identified in 1 Cor 11, but in my practical experience of places I've been, the way it is offered in the evening is not in keeping with the "together" aspects required. I think it could be done "together" by providing the same, careful preparation of the hearts and minds of the audience, with song, reading of scripture, etc while those partaking do so. I don't believe it requires everyone to actually partake again. My perception of the way it is done is not gving much if any consideration to the "together" aspects of the supper which is why I am concerned. In an evening offering, I personally will recall scripture and perform examination again so that I meet my obligation of "togetherness", but I cannot speak confidently for the rest of the audience and I shudder to consider if the person taking is well prepared for their own examination.

I leave with one final thought which gives me pause as I approach this subject: I do NOT want to sow discord among the brethern. As can be seen in this passage from Proverbs about how seriously God views this:
Prov 6:16-19 wrote:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Approach this subject prayerfully, cautiously, patiently, and with love in your heart and discord can be avoided. I've seen various repsonses to this subject over time that range from careful listening to rejection which is why I provide this caution and keep it in my mind as well.

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Post by M130 » Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:18 pm

I really appreciate the posting. I appreciate more the idea of approaching this in prayer and much thought. I have always had a strong problem with it but you make me think more soberly in that we can't sin in being so dogmatic and stubborn that we neglect our brethren.. I appreciate one not wanting to sow discord. However, preaching what the Bible says is not discord. Discord is saying things that would be gossip, whisperers, etc. Speaking the truth in love as you have said is never discord. We should never apologize for truth. Jesus said that mother and daughter would be divided due to his teaching. This would mean that some would accept it and some would not and thus "parting of the ways". We never read of Paul apologizing.

Tarry, or some versions render that wait, for one another (1 Cor. 11:33) is when Paul was saying when you "take" "tarry". If we are not partaking we can't be doing it together nor tarrying at the night service. If we took the time like the morning service and everyone knew it was to be done at night the ones not partaking would still not be tarrying. The ones taking it would not be tarrying either. The church would be neglecting the whole idea of tarrying when we partake. One example before I close:

I invite several of my friends out to eat and said that I want everyone to wait until everyone is there so we can eat together. We are to eat at 7:00. A couple gets there at 6:30 and goes ahead and eats since we are not there. After we arrive at 7:00 and get or food would we be "eating" with them? No, we would be eating and they would be full and watching us eat. Just almost word for word in the I Corinthian letter.

A very good post. I will give your thoughts much consideration

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Re: The second serving of the Lord's supper

Post by dvm » Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:35 pm

This issue has been giving me concerns for a long period of time also. I finally came to realize this issue is not addressed in the scriptures. There are 3 options. (1) it was practiced and was not a sin, (2)it was practiced and was a sin, (3) it was not practiced during the first century. The second option is void, else the scriptures would have corrected the sin (2 Peter 1:3)

Acts 20:7; a congregation of believers assembled on the first of the Sabbath (first day of the week) and broke bread. Was it all the saints of that location? Some of the saints? Did they meet later that day and partake again? It is left unrevealed.

1 Corinthians 11:18ff; a congregation was "gathered in one place", but those of privilege (with provisions) observed a wrapped version of the Lord's Supper, eating and drinking all of their provisions, while those less fortunate (without provisions) watched. The command to "tarry" or "wait" is one that enjoins joint participation. The "unworthy manner" is "not discerning the Lord's body", meaning not recognizing what they were doing to the church or the body (vs. 22 cf). Again were all of the saints of that location gathered? Some of the saints? Did they gather at other times? It is left unrevealed.

If it can be deduced that it was practiced, then you would have specific authority, which we don't. If it can be deduced that it was not practiced, then we follow the pattern. (Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent) "Our only to be found in copying precisely the form instituted by divine authority" J. W. McGarvey 1910. If it can't be deduced at all then you follow your conscience.

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