Good Friday/Easter/Lord's Supper Dilemma

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raydixon9

Puritan Board Freshman
Parallel to this thread but I don't want to hijack it.

Here is my dilemma: My church is having a "Good Friday" service in which they are serving the Lord's Supper. I will not be in attendance. We are regularly served the Lord's Supper on the first Lord's Day of every month. Without making it known to the congregation, there will be no Lord's Supper served this Lord's Day, April 5th as the pastor has said the congregation will be served on Friday. It seems as if I will not be served this month. What are your thoughts or comments? How should I respond to this? I am disappointed with this decision.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I would make the case to next time please consider those who won't from conscience for the practice or cannot providentially attend the extra service and not change the customary regular observance of the church to have communion as scheduled. My thoughts? it surely appears to put undue emphasis on following superstitious customs to change the regular course of Lord's day observance like that.
 

Brian R.

Puritan Board Freshman
Ray, I'd be disappointed, too. Leadership certainly seems to be elevating Friday above the Lord's Day. Your situation sounds like a prime example of the messiness that can result when we insist on adhering to a church calendar. I agree with Chris- I'd mention my displeasure to the elders.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
This is a sad situation. Not so bad I would walk away, but still very sad.

It's coercive. That without regard for conscience, or for the privilege of membership--which includes the expectation that at the appointed regularity in ordinary worship the Lord's sacrament will be made available to worthy recipient--the Session will move the Supper to an "optional" gathering.

Not add an extra observance, but take one away and put it in an alien service, leaving the regular service bare.

I hope at least one shepherd objected out of concern for elements of the flock.
 

Cymro

Puritan Board Junior
A practical example of the truism,when holy days come in the Sabbath goes out!
 

Kevin

Puritan Board Doctor
It find it sad. But I find it sad that any church neglects the opportunity to celebrate the supper weekly.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
The Westminster divines, while groups of them had strong feelings about the frequency to observe, held as a consensus that the Lord's supper should be observed frequently (as often as weekly as is clear from their qualifications if held infrequently); but they wisely left that determination in the hands of the local officers of the congregation who would know best the state of their people. See their directory for the public worship of God. I hardly find it commendable to beat anyone up over the frequency (let alone the WA for not prescribing weekly) when Presbyterians are generally so lax regarding so many other things Presbyterian used to be very clear about: rejecting the monuments of idolatry like the pretended holy days of the RCC, images, and conscientious observance of the Lord's Day, and on and on.
 

Jeff S. Wiebe

Puritan Board Freshman
Our church moved 1st-Sunday monthly celebrating of the Lord's Supper to this Good Friday. Agreeing with the gist of Philip and Kevin's advocating for weekly observance, I am also humbled to find myself unacquainted with thoughts behind many of the other comments. There is clearly much behind them which I don't understand. I have much to learn and am listening.
 

SeanAnderson

Puritan Board Freshman
Something else that frustrates me at this time of year is the decoration of crosses: setting them up in the place of worship and covering them with white shrouds. Why? Where in scripture can we even deduce any licence to do this? This superstitious treatment of the cross... I expect it from papists and Anglo-Catholics, but evangelicals are just as bad!

Furthermore, while we're complaining about Good Friday, I was on a walk of witness (thinking that I might spend my day hearing the Word preached), which was led by the local Anglicans. I could not discern any actual preaching in the open-air sermon. There was some comical comment about how the people of the town had not rejected the message of the gospel because they had accepted free hot cross buns. Evangelicals, Anglicans, perhaps I shouldn't be so bitter, but I despair!
 

yeutter

Puritan Board Senior
The historic canons of the Western Church prohibited the celebration of the Lord's Supper on Good Friday or the Saturday proceeding Resurrection Sunday.
 

yeutter

Puritan Board Senior
Something else that frustrates me at this time of year is the decoration of crosses: setting them up in the place of worship and covering them with white shrouds. Why? Where in scripture can we even deduce any licence to do this? This superstitious treatment of the cross... I expect it from papists and Anglo-Catholics, but evangelicals are just as bad!

Furthermore, while we're complaining about Good Friday, I was on a walk of witness (thinking that I might spend my day hearing the Word preached), which was led by the local Anglicans. I could not discern any actual preaching in the open-air sermon. There was some comical comment about how the people of the town had not rejected the message of the gospel because they had accepted free hot cross buns. Evangelicals, Anglicans, perhaps I shouldn't be so bitter, but I despair!

How sad that the Gospel was not presented. Many Evangelical Anglicans in Great Britain and North America have badly compromised the Gospel. They are infected by Pentecostalism.
 

Jeff S. Wiebe

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Yeutter,

The historic canons of the Western Church prohibited the celebration of the Lord's Supper on Good Friday or the Saturday proceeding Resurrection Sunday.

Could you point out any specific citations? It would be helpful.

Thank you.
 
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Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
This morning in our service, as the pastor was put in the difficult position of trying to fence the table in a sanctuary filled with many visitors he hasn't even had time to meet, I was reminded of one reason why some churches move the Supper when it falls on Easter: They feel they are better able to effectively fence the table (without resorting to mass examinations or denying the Supper to half of those in attendance) at some other time.

Our church normally observes the Supper on the first Sunday of the month. That tradition held this year in spite of Easter. But since we are a well-known downtown church that attracts a lot of once-a-year churchgoers on Easter, I would have been happy to see the Supper moved to next week. I realize that's not the same as moving it to Friday, but some of the thinking may be similar in churches that did move it to Friday.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Paschal Triduum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Doesn't seem to establish your point:

" Mass is not celebrated on Good Friday and the communion distributed at the Celebration of the Lord's Passion is consecrated on Holy Thursday, hence the pre-1955 name "Mass of the Presanctified"

Sounds like the elements were distributed, they just had to be consecrated the day before.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
This morning in our service, as the pastor was put in the difficult position of trying to fence the table in a sanctuary filled with many visitors he hasn't even had time to meet, I was reminded of one reason why some churches move the Supper when it falls on Easter: They feel they are better able to effectively fence the table (without resorting to mass examinations or denying the Supper to half of those in attendance) at some other time.

Our church normally observes the Supper on the first Sunday of the month. That tradition held this year in spite of Easter. But since we are a well-known downtown church that attracts a lot of once-a-year churchgoers on Easter, I would have been happy to see the Supper moved to next week. I realize that's not the same as moving it to Friday, but some of the thinking may be similar in churches that did move it to Friday.

Not sure I'm understanding your point. With a lot of visitors, it's even more important to fence the table, and not that difficult. My pastors warns (1) unbelievers and (2) Christians immersed in unrepentant sin to stay away from the table - and we had a fair number of visitors and twice-a-year "Christians" in attendance.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
This morning in our service, as the pastor was put in the difficult position of trying to fence the table in a sanctuary filled with many visitors he hasn't even had time to meet, I was reminded of one reason why some churches move the Supper when it falls on Easter: They feel they are better able to effectively fence the table (without resorting to mass examinations or denying the Supper to half of those in attendance) at some other time.

Our church normally observes the Supper on the first Sunday of the month. That tradition held this year in spite of Easter. But since we are a well-known downtown church that attracts a lot of once-a-year churchgoers on Easter, I would have been happy to see the Supper moved to next week. I realize that's not the same as moving it to Friday, but some of the thinking may be similar in churches that did move it to Friday.

Not sure I'm understanding your point. With a lot of visitors, it's even more important to fence the table, and not that difficult. My pastors warns (1) unbelievers and (2) Christians immersed in unrepentant sin to stay away from the table - and we had a fair number of visitors and twice-a-year "Christians" in attendance.

Exactly. It's more important to fence the table. But if you're trying to do more than just make an announcement, like perhaps have elders available to talk with people who may want to participate but are unsure, it's more difficult to do that sort of thing. Also, those twice-a-year attenders seem to be the ones who most feel as if they're entitled to come to the table even if they aren't really an active part of any church, so a church may want any warning given to be firmer than it otherwise would be. Besides, anytime visitors are present and you have to warn/ask them not to participate in a part of the service, you'd like to be able to speak to them personally or perhaps know that they had a chance to talk about it with the person who invited them, simply for the sake of being welcoming and friendly, but this is doesn't happen as readily on Easter Sunday when the pews are filled with strangers.

Fencing the table isn't impossible. But it is harder. And it doesn't give us as much opportunity to be friendly and personalized about it as we would like.
 

Free Christian

Puritan Board Sophomore
Good Friday? Our Lord had to die so that we could live, the one and only Holy God had to do this and its called GOOD? Who on earth came up with that name for it?
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Good Friday? Our Lord had to die so that we could live, the one and only Holy God had to do this and its called GOOD? Who on earth came up with that name for it?

Possibly those who find it good that sin is paid for and the devil is defeated. Maybe those who would celebrate the fact that God's wrath is absorbed, or that Christ was obedient unto death. Or someone who read the book of John and realized that the glory of the Lord was on display at the cross.

Christ turns things upside down. He takes what is evil and uses it for good. He takes suffering and displays glory. He brings healing out of hurt and honor out of shame.

Of all the faults one might pick with the observance, I would think the name it has ended up with in English should not be a problem.
 

SeanAnderson

Puritan Board Freshman
The word 'good' was used in the sense of 'holy' in Old and Middle English (and arguably later in phrases such as 'good book' for 'Holy Bible'), but the Anglo-Saxons (and the Scandinavians still) called it 'Long Friday' ('Langafrígedæg'), apparently because of the long fast.
 

Free Christian

Puritan Board Sophomore
Of all the faults one might pick with the observance, I would think the name it has ended up with in English should not be a problem.
Depends on how you view things. We make excuses for everything these days, even pictures of Christ in children's books.
 
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