Is this the fast I have chosen, to fast from the Eucharist?

During this season of Coronatide, there has been much discussion, both in church circles generally and on the Ship, about this being a season when many are called upon to enter into a "fast from Communion." Perhaps the idea first took hold because the various restrictions and closures of churches first happened during Lent, and many were hoping it would pass by Easter or soon after.

Recently, on an episode of the podcast All Things Rite and Musical, I heard the idea of "fasting from the Sacrament" challenged. A guest on the podcast noted that a fast is a discipline that is voluntarily undertaken for the purpose of spiritual benefit. That, he said, is not what's been happening in our current situation. For the most part, the inability of the faithful to receive Communion has not been voluntary, nor has it been undertaken for spiritual benefit. It's been involuntarily undertaken as a matter of necessity. It's better, he said, to call it what it is—Eucharistic starvation, a deprivation of the food needed for spiritual growth and nourishment.

To be sure, as he acknowledged, the deprivation has in this case been necessary to protect the physical health of many. And also to be sure, exactly how this situation is viewed depends in part of an individual's and a faith tradition's view of the Eucharist.

But his comment made some sense to me, even though I'm pretty sure that the speaker I heard and I have somewhat different views of the Eucharist, and I'm curious what others think. Is what has been required of so many churches and so many of the faithful properly considered a "fast"? Is it ever appropriate to "fast" from the Eucharist?

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Comments

  • I guess 'fast' is useful shorthand, so to speak, but yes, it is/has been a necessity.

    As to when it might be appropriate to voluntarily fast from the Eucharist, I leave it to others, with greater spiritual knowledge than I, to come up with some answers.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    During this season of Coronatide, there has been much discussion, both in church circles generally and on the Ship, about this being a season when many are called upon to enter into a "fast from Communion." Perhaps the idea first took hold because the various restrictions and closures of churches first happened during Lent, and many were hoping it would pass by Easter or soon after.

    Recently, on an episode of the podcast All Things Rite and Musical, I heard the idea of "fasting from the Sacrament" challenged. A guest on the podcast noted that a fast is a discipline that is voluntarily undertaken for the purpose of spiritual benefit. That, he said, is not what's been happening in our current situation. For the most part, the inability of the faithful to receive Communion has not been voluntary, nor has it been undertaken for spiritual benefit. It's been involuntarily undertaken as a matter of necessity. It's better, he said, to call it what it is—Eucharistic starvation, a deprivation of the food needed for spiritual growth and nourishment.

    To be sure, as he acknowledged, the deprivation has in this case been necessary to protect the physical health of many. And also to be sure, exactly how this situation is viewed depends in part of an individual's and a faith tradition's view of the Eucharist.

    But his comment made some sense to me, even though I'm pretty sure that the speaker I heard and I have somewhat different views of the Eucharist, and I'm curious what others think. Is what has been required of so many churches and so many of the faithful properly considered a "fast"? Is it ever appropriate to "fast" from the Eucharist?
    The important bit is not the eating and drinking. It's the remembering.
  • I am not sure that the remembering and the eating and drinking are separate activities.
  • Jesus did say 'Eat' and 'Drink' in remembrance of him, so yes, all three go together.
  • Telford wrote: »
    The important bit is not the eating and drinking. It's the remembering.
    Well, that's certainly one view that many hold, but it's not the only view, nor is it, I think, the majority view. As @Jengie Jon and @Bishops Finger say, many would argue that Jesus's command to remember cannot be separated from the command to eat and drink, given that what we are told to do to remember is to eat and drink.

    And there is also Paul's statement that "as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes." (I Cor. 11:26)

  • He rather said to eat and drink in remembrance of him, not to remember him., and if you feel like it eat and drink. The purpose of the eating and drinking is the remembrance, and the method of the remembrance is eating and drinking.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited September 11
    Indeed. Based on my (admittedly limited) understanding of the Greek, the command in the original is not to “remember.” It is, as you say, to eat and drink “as my remembrance/memorial,” or in the traditional English, to eat and drink “in remembrance of me.”

  • Jengie Jon wrote: »
    I am not sure that the remembering and the eating and drinking are separate activities.
    See below
    Jesus did say 'Eat' and 'Drink' in remembrance of him, so yes, all three go together.
    Normally they would.

  • Actually let's get very precise. The verse as regards the cup: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

    I can't see how you can remove the cup from the remembrance here. The cup is the thing you do, the remembrance is why. One can drink wine without remembering Christ. People do it all the time. But there is no indication, from this verse, that the remembrance can be separated from the cup.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited September 12
    Telford wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    During this season of Coronatide, there has been much discussion, both in church circles generally and on the Ship, about this being a season when many are called upon to enter into a "fast from Communion." Perhaps the idea first took hold because the various restrictions and closures of churches first happened during Lent, and many were hoping it would pass by Easter or soon after.

    Recently, on an episode of the podcast All Things Rite and Musical, I heard the idea of "fasting from the Sacrament" challenged. A guest on the podcast noted that a fast is a discipline that is voluntarily undertaken for the purpose of spiritual benefit. That, he said, is not what's been happening in our current situation. For the most part, the inability of the faithful to receive Communion has not been voluntary, nor has it been undertaken for spiritual benefit. It's been involuntarily undertaken as a matter of necessity. It's better, he said, to call it what it is—Eucharistic starvation, a deprivation of the food needed for spiritual growth and nourishment.

    To be sure, as he acknowledged, the deprivation has in this case been necessary to protect the physical health of many. And also to be sure, exactly how this situation is viewed depends in part of an individual's and a faith tradition's view of the Eucharist.

    But his comment made some sense to me, even though I'm pretty sure that the speaker I heard and I have somewhat different views of the Eucharist, and I'm curious what others think. Is what has been required of so many churches and so many of the faithful properly considered a "fast"? Is it ever appropriate to "fast" from the Eucharist?
    The important bit is not the eating and drinking. It's the remembering.

    @Telford - how do you suggest that we do the remembering without the eating and drinking, and still obey our Lord's command?

    NB - I think we probably all acknowledge that the Eucharistic abstention which some us have had, of necessity, to observe is NOT the norm!

  • mousethief wrote: »
    Actually let's get very precise. The verse as regards the cup: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

    I can't see how you can remove the cup from the remembrance here. The cup is the thing you do, the remembrance is why. One can drink wine without remembering Christ. People do it all the time. But there is no indication, from this verse, that the remembrance can be separated from the cup.

    To be even more precise you would have to be using that actual cup.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    edited September 12
    Telford wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    During this season of Coronatide, there has been much discussion, both in church circles generally and on the Ship, about this being a season when many are called upon to enter into a "fast from Communion." Perhaps the idea first took hold because the various restrictions and closures of churches first happened during Lent, and many were hoping it would pass by Easter or soon after.

    Recently, on an episode of the podcast All Things Rite and Musical, I heard the idea of "fasting from the Sacrament" challenged. A guest on the podcast noted that a fast is a discipline that is voluntarily undertaken for the purpose of spiritual benefit. That, he said, is not what's been happening in our current situation. For the most part, the inability of the faithful to receive Communion has not been voluntary, nor has it been undertaken for spiritual benefit. It's been involuntarily undertaken as a matter of necessity. It's better, he said, to call it what it is—Eucharistic starvation, a deprivation of the food needed for spiritual growth and nourishment.

    To be sure, as he acknowledged, the deprivation has in this case been necessary to protect the physical health of many. And also to be sure, exactly how this situation is viewed depends in part of an individual's and a faith tradition's view of the Eucharist.

    But his comment made some sense to me, even though I'm pretty sure that the speaker I heard and I have somewhat different views of the Eucharist, and I'm curious what others think. Is what has been required of so many churches and so many of the faithful properly considered a "fast"? Is it ever appropriate to "fast" from the Eucharist?
    The important bit is not the eating and drinking. It's the remembering.

    @Telford - how do you suggest that we do the remembering without the eating and drinking, and still obey our Lord's command?
    I have in front of me my lunch and a cup of coffee. I am also remembering.
    NB - I think we probably all acknowledge that the Eucharistic abstention which some us have had, of necessity, to observe is NOT the norm!
    I have already acknowledged this .

  • *sigh*
    I didn't say you hadn't acknowledged it - I merely made a peaceful and legitimate request for clarification as to what you meant.

    I hope you enjoy your lunch, but I doubt if that's quite what Our Lord had in mind.

    YMMV.
  • But Telford, the command was not to remember. The command is to do something specific (eat bread and drink wine) as Jesus’s remembrance (or memorial or memorial offering). That’s what the Greek means, and it’s different from simply “remembering.”

    In any event, how do you see the idea that the important thing is remembering relating to the questions in the OP: Is what has been necessary with regard to Communion during the pandemic appropriately called a “fast”? Is it ever appropriate to fast from Communion?

  • *sigh*
    I didn't say you hadn't acknowledged it - I merely made a peaceful and legitimate request for clarification as to what you meant.

    I hope you enjoy your lunch, but I doubt if that's quite what Our Lord had in mind.
    Having read again the acounts in the first 3 gospels I am not sure what he had in mind. Perhaps Paul had a different source of information.
    YMMV.
    ?

  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited September 12
    Your Mind May Vary.

    Please see @Nick Tamen's post, which makes a pertinent point (again), and asks (again) a pertinent question.
  • Telford wrote: »

    I hope you enjoy your lunch, but I doubt if that's quite what Our Lord had in mind.
    Having read again the acounts in the first 3 gospels I am not sure what he had in mind. Perhaps Paul had a different source of information.
    I had forgotten that Paul got all his information directly from Jesus.
  • Your Mind May Vary.

    Please see @Nick Tamen's post, which makes a pertinent point (again), and asks (again) a pertinent question.

    answered.
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    But Telford, the command was not to remember. The command is to do something specific (eat bread and drink wine) as Jesus’s remembrance (or memorial or memorial offering). That’s what the Greek means, and it’s different from simply “remembering.”

    In any event, how do you see the idea that the important thing is remembering relating to the questions in the OP: Is what has been necessary with regard to Communion during the pandemic appropriately called a “fast”? Is it ever appropriate to fast from Communion?
    I tend to rely on the gospels and in them Jesus gives no instructions about remembrance.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited September 12
    Eh?

    Luke 22:19

    And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

    1 Corinthians 11:24


    And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

    1 Corinthians 11:25

    After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

    I think (others will correct me if I'm wrong) that the 'he' in these quotations is Jesus.

    How do you @Telford interpret these words?
  • Telford wrote: »
    Please see @Nick Tamen's post, which makes a pertinent point (again), and asks (again) a pertinent question.

    answered.

    With all respect, @Telford, you have not answered my questions at all.

    How do you see the idea that the important thing is remembering relating to the questions in the OP, the questions this thread was intended to be about: Is what has been necessary with regard to Communion during the pandemic appropriately called a “fast”? Is it ever appropriate to fast from Communion?

    I tend to rely on the gospels and in them Jesus gives no instructions about remembrance.
    So you tend to rely on the gospels, you say that in them Jesus gives no instruction about remembrance, but yet you said in your first post on this thread that “[t]he important bit is not the eating and drinking. It's the remembering.“

    I’m confused why you think that’s the important bit if you tend to rely on the gospels and think they give no instruction from Jesus on remembrance.

    (@Bishops Finger mentioned Luke 22:19. The instruction on remembrance in that verse is found in some but not all early manuscripts of that part of Luke. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, of course, was written earlier than any of the gospels)

  • Fair point re Luke @Nick Tamen - I'd forgotten that, but is it true to say that most people would accept the version which includes that verse?

    BTW, @Telford, I think Paul probably got most of his information from the apostles, but again, I'm happy to be proved wrong.

    As regards abstaining voluntarily from Communion, I can say that I've done it once or twice - on the spur of the moment, as it were - on occasions when something or someone has upset or angered me, just before the service.

    It seemed right NOT to receive Communion then, as I was 'not in love and charity with [my] neighbour' - but the matter was resolved soon afterwards. I try not to 'let the sun go down on [my] wrath'!
  • Eh?

    Luke 22:19

    And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

    1 Corinthians 11:24


    And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

    1 Corinthians 11:25

    After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

    I think (others will correct me if I'm wrong) that the 'he' in these quotations is Jesus.

    How do you @Telford interpret these words?

    I must have missed that bit in Luke. The other two are not gospels and even though Paul says "He" we have to trust that it's not just Paul's interpretation. He never met Jesus .
  • Telford wrote: »
    He [Paul] never met Jesus .
    Aside from the experience on the road to Damascus?

    Beyond that, we don’t know one way or the other whether he ever met Jesus.

    As regards abstaining voluntarily from Communion, I can say that I've done it once or twice - on the spur of the moment, as it were - on occasions when something or someone has upset or angered me, just before the service.

    It seemed right NOT to receive Communion then, as I was 'not in love and charity with [my] neighbour' - but the matter was resolved soon afterwards. I try not to 'let the sun go down on [my] wrath'!
    Yes, I’ve done that, too. I thought about the question of whether abstaining from receiving because one isn’t properly prepared or disposed is a “fast.” If a fast is voluntarily giving up something otherwise permissible as a spiritual discipline or for spiritual benefit, I’m not sure abstaining because one isn’t properly disposed—and therefore the thing being given up is arguably not permissible—is properly called “fasting” either.

  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited September 12
    *sigh*

    I really think you need to read those verses from 1 Corinthians 11 in context:

    23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

    24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

    25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

    26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

    So, is Paul telling a Hideous Fib?



  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    Please see @Nick Tamen's post, which makes a pertinent point (again), and asks (again) a pertinent question.

    answered.

    With all respect, @Telford, you have not answered my questions at all.

    How do you see the idea that the important thing is remembering relating to the questions in the OP, the questions this thread was intended to be about: Is what has been necessary with regard to Communion during the pandemic appropriately called a “fast”? Is it ever appropriate to fast from Communion?

    I tend to rely on the gospels and in them Jesus gives no instructions about remembrance.
    So you tend to rely on the gospels, you say that in them Jesus gives no instruction about remembrance, but yet you said in your first post on this thread that “[t]he important bit is not the eating and drinking. It's the remembering.“

    I’m confused why you think that’s the important bit if you tend to rely on the gospels and think they give no instruction from Jesus on remembrance.

    (@Bishops Finger mentioned Luke 22:19. The instruction on remembrance in that verse is found in some but not all early manuscripts of that part of Luke. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, of course, was written earlier than any of the gospels)

    Part one....I more or less answered by saying that I didn't recognise the problem.

    Part two....I have never recognised the importance of formal ceremonies apart from Baptisms and Marriages. If we accept that Paul's letter came first you would have thought that the gospels would have used the informatioin he got from Jesus. The writer of John's gospel did not think it very important at all.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Telford wrote: »
    He [Paul] never met Jesus .
    Aside from the experience on the road to Damascus?

    Beyond that, we don’t know one way or the other whether he ever met Jesus.

    As regards abstaining voluntarily from Communion, I can say that I've done it once or twice - on the spur of the moment, as it were - on occasions when something or someone has upset or angered me, just before the service.

    It seemed right NOT to receive Communion then, as I was 'not in love and charity with [my] neighbour' - but the matter was resolved soon afterwards. I try not to 'let the sun go down on [my] wrath'!
    Yes, I’ve done that, too. I thought about the question of whether abstaining from receiving because one isn’t properly prepared or disposed is a “fast.” If a fast is voluntarily giving up something otherwise permissible as a spiritual discipline or for spiritual benefit, I’m not sure abstaining because one isn’t properly disposed—and therefore the thing being given up is arguably not permissible—is properly called “fasting” either.

    Cross-posted - my previous post was addressing @Telford.

    Yes, voluntary abstention, for whatever reason, isn't quite the same as 'fasting'. That would perhaps imply abstaining for a longer period - not just for one service, for instance - but I can't offhand think why one might do it. Perhaps as penance for some sin or other?

  • Thank you Telford.
  • *sigh*

    I really think you need to read those verses from 1 Corinthians 11 in context:

    23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

    24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

    25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

    26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

    So, is Paul telling a Hideous Fib?


    You seem to do a lot if sighing. Are you OK ? I never suggested that he was telling a hideous fib. I was saying that we have to rely on what he says even when it is not supported elsewhere in scripture.

  • Yes, voluntary abstention, for whatever reason, isn't quite the same as 'fasting'. That would perhaps imply abstaining for a longer period - not just for one service, for instance - but I can't offhand think why one might do it. Perhaps as penance for some sin or other?

    I would say not all voluntary abstention is fasting, but all fasting is voluntary abstention. If it's not voluntary then you're not fasting at all. Going without meat because there isn't any to be had, or because it makes you violently ill, isn't fasting.
  • Yes, I see.
  • Oops...got distracted...sorry to double-post.

    Going back to the OP, yes, I think 'Eucharistic starvation', or perhaps 'deprivation', might well describe the experience of those to whom the Sacrament is important.
  • In the present circumstances I find the exhortation from the BCP very helpful: "Take this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving." I can feed in my heart, even when I cannot use my mouth.
  • Yes, the concept of 'spiritual communion' has become much more widespread and acceptable.
  • Yes, the concept of 'spiritual communion' has become much more widespread and acceptable.

    It's been part of my practice for several years, being several miles of open sea from the nearest priest most of the time.

  • Yes, voluntary abstention, for whatever reason, isn't quite the same as 'fasting'. That would perhaps imply abstaining for a longer period - not just for one service, for instance - but I can't offhand think why one might do it. Perhaps as penance for some sin or other?

    Abstaining from communion voluntarily, for any length of time, is like abstaining from a bandage when you are bleeding.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate

    Yes, voluntary abstention, for whatever reason, isn't quite the same as 'fasting'. That would perhaps imply abstaining for a longer period - not just for one service, for instance - but I can't offhand think why one might do it. Perhaps as penance for some sin or other?

    Abstaining from communion voluntarily, for any length of time, is like abstaining from a bandage when you are bleeding.

    Very similar to à Kempis' comment - don't refrain from communion until you're sufficiently clear from sin, as you never will be.
  • JuanaCruzJuanaCruz Shipmate Posts: 46

    Yes, voluntary abstention, for whatever reason, isn't quite the same as 'fasting'. That would perhaps imply abstaining for a longer period - not just for one service, for instance - but I can't offhand think why one might do it. Perhaps as penance for some sin or other?

    Abstaining from communion voluntarily, for any length of time, is like abstaining from a bandage when you are bleeding.

    Indeed and sorry to be blunt, especially as an ex-Christian, but to me "fasting" from holy communion feels analogous to a spiritual form of self-flagellation.

    Both are harmful to the self (as you say @Lamb Chopped , perhaps a form of penance).

    Perhaps there's an element of developing/training self-discipline which is nice to have and yet ultimately .... not required for personal salvation, which requires personal repentance and godly forgiveness with a fair old sprinkling of potentially unlimited mercy ...

    Perhaps it's an attempt to experience god's mortification/wrath or Christ's pain/separation, yet equally wouldn't that effort be better used re-acknowledging one's sorry state and re-connecting oneself with forgiveness and love?

    In short, both seem very strange to me.


  • Hmm. Yes, a long voluntary Eucharistic self-deprivation does seem a bit over-the-top, but people are (spiritually) where they are, and not always where we think they might (or should) be, IYSWIM.

    OTOH @Arethosemyfeet makes the valid point that for some people, the absence of accessible sacramental provision anywhere near their home can lead to long periods of deprivation, though this, of course, is hardly self-inflicted.
  • I am currently somewhat eucharistically deprived, because of having my right calf in a boot following an operation on my achilles tendon. I suppose there could be communion at home, if that is now permitted, but I have never received that before, and don't really know how I feel about it. Eucharist out of community context feels a little odd, to put it mildly.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited September 14
    @ThunderBunk - certainly in the C of E, home Communion is again allowed, subject to various social-distancing and other Covid-19 related restrictions, of course.

    FatherInCharge recently took the Sacrament to a housebound member of the congregation, and it was the first time she had been able to receive since before lockdown in March.

    Yes, it does feel a little odd, as I have found in the past, but there's good Scriptural precedence for the practice. For many years, it was quite the usual thing for people unable to be at the Sunday Eucharist to receive the Sacrament very soon afterwards - perhaps with the Deacons being sent out to them even before the end of the main service.

    This most laudable practice has been rediscovered in recent years by churches of very many different positions up and down the candle!

    The point is, of course, that the Host you receive at home on (say) Monday or Tuesday is one of those consecrated at the Sunday Eucharist, and you are, therefore, in a sense, still part of that Sunday congregation.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    I am currently somewhat eucharistically deprived, because of having my right calf in a boot following an operation on my achilles tendon. I suppose there could be communion at home, if that is now permitted, but I have never received that before, and don't really know how I feel about it. Eucharist out of community context feels a little odd, to put it mildly.

    The better "extended communion" liturgies emphasize that the recipient is not out of communion but embraced by the extension in space and time of divine love and its shadow form in human fellowship:
    God, creator of time and space,
    may the love and faith
    which makes this bread the body of Christ
    and this wine his blood
    enfold us now.
    Make us one with [ the people of St Swithin's on the mountaintop or wherever ] and
    the whole body of Christ.
    may Christ's Holy Spirit bring to us in this sacrament
    the strength and pace we need ...

    [from A New Zealand Prayer Book / He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, 734.
  • We have in the past gathered up one or more people and taken them with us to have communion with the sick. So if your pandemic guidelines permit it, you need not have communion alone. (If nothing else, I'd hope the celebrant partook!)
  • Not sure about how the C of E is playing home Communion at the moment, but the person I mentioned upthread lives with her son, so he also received the Sacrament. It is, I think, FatherInCharge's practice to receive as well.
  • For many years, it was quite the usual thing for people unable to be at the Sunday Eucharist to receive the Sacrament very soon afterwards - perhaps with the Deacons being sent out to them even before the end of the main service.
    We have in the past gathered up one or more people and taken them with us to have communion with the sick.
    These are the Communion by extension practices in my tribe. Communion is to be taken to the home as soon as possible after the service, preferably the same day, and it must be taken by at least two elders and/or deacons. And it is the practice at our place to “send” at the post-Communion prayer those taking Communion to homes, to underscore the connection.

  • So that is not a fast either from the sacrament or from the community within which it was celebrated, at least from the point of view of that community. How it feels to one who receives it is quite possibly a different matter entirely, but I can't speak to that at the moment.
  • @ThunderBunk - my experience as a (lay) minister taking Communion to those who couldn't get to church has shown that, whereas some are only too happy to receive the Sacrament, and thereby be reminded that they are part of the worshipping congregation, others have preferred to abstain until such time as they could return to church.

    These latter persons were mostly those temporarily disabled in some way, or just unwell for a time, but it was a little surprising to find that one or two of them were those usually most regular at Sunday and weekday Mass. Maybe the 'community' aspect of it was more important to them than to others.

    As there was no real reason why they could not receive Communion at home, you could say that they were fasting, or abstaining, temporarily.

    I hasten to add that no pressure was put on them to have home Communion, but the offer was always open, and they were visited or kept in touch anyway.
  • Possibly there might have been an element of "that is for Aunty Gertrude who is now in a nursing home and won't go to church again", whereas they were sure of getting better so it was very much a temporary break from church.
  • Possibly, although one of my home communicants was fully aware that he was dying (bowel cancer), and that he had not long to live.

    It was a privilege to take him the Sacrament not only at home, but also whilst he was in the local Hospice for the last two weeks of his life.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    But Telford, the command was not to remember. The command is to do something specific (eat bread and drink wine) as Jesus’s remembrance (or memorial or memorial offering). That’s what the Greek means, and it’s different from simply “remembering.”

    In any event, how do you see the idea that the important thing is remembering relating to the questions in the OP: Is what has been necessary with regard to Communion during the pandemic appropriately called a “fast”? Is it ever appropriate to fast from Communion?

    I am fond of waking up the historical theology class by saying 'Even Zwingli was not a memorialist' as most of them have had the 'pop theol.' version of his Eucharistic teaching. Personally, I am of the opinion that it is not appropriate to fast from the Lord's Supper. Jesus said 'Do this' and that tends to end the discussion for me. Of course how often, and to a certain extent how, is the business of the church (denomination or local) though within the Reformed tradition Calvin, Cranmer, and Bucer all wanted weekly.
  • Jesus said 'Do this' - no getting away from that, is there?

    As @PDR says, just how we obey comes in many shapes and forms, but sitting at lunch, drinking coffee, and *remembering* (remembering what?) doesn't really fit the bill...
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