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frequency of Communion


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On a possible interpretation of Acts 2: 46 the apostolic community communicated daily; from other passages in the NT and 2nd-cent. writers it seems that members of the local Churches all communicated at the Sunday Eucharist. Later, though attendance at the Liturgy was general, Communion became infrequent. The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) ordered that all Christians should communicate at least once a year. Nearly all post-medieval revivals, Catholic and Protestant, have sought to increase frequency of Communion. In the RC Church the relaxation of the Eucharistic fast was directed to this end, and in the second half of the 20th cent. Communion was sometimes allowed for the second time on the same day, e.g. at a Nuptial Mass. Weekly Communion is common among the devout laity of the RC Church and the C of E; in religious communities and among a small proportion of the laity daily Communion is normal. The same change from infrequent Communion (not more than once a month) to weekly (or more frequent) Communion occurred in the E. Orthodox and many Protestant non-episcopal Churches during the 20th century.

Subjects: Christianity.


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