The Hour of Holy Communion

The Rev John Kilpatrick, BD, Ph D, FSA (Scot), Garelochhead Parish Church

It might be helpful to be able to read this article in conjunction with the original article by Maxwell [The Annual No. 17, 1947] to which this is a response. The tenor of the article might come as a gentle surprise to those of us who live in areas where there is no longer a communion season, and who have come to value the many opportunities today to share in the sacrament of Holy Communion at conferences, Kirk Session meetings and informal church gatherings.Kilpatrick traces the sacrament back to its earliest roots in the Passover, and as a meal which celebrates not only the Resurrection but also the whole passion of Christ. Though mindful that the experience of the evening meal in the house at Emmaus may well be understood as the first celebration of Holy Communion, he still feels it important to make a strong case against any move to evening communion services which are anything other than provision for those who find it impossible to attend in the morning. He does cite the custom of a ‘first table’ in the early hours of the morning (even 3am or 4am) for servants who would be unable to attend later by reason of their domestic duties!

Volume 18 1948, p37
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