Question TIme

Richard Collings, Caerphilly, Wales [SEE PROFILE BELOW]

Category: Question Box


Would it be in order to have a hymn or reading between breaking bread and drinking the cup? 


Although we are given very clear instructions as to the preparation required by those who participate in the Lord’s Supper, and equally clear guidance as to the purpose of the event, very little detail is supplied relative to the format of the meeting. This does not give us licence to be unwise as to the order of things but it does mean that we need to guard against imposing regulations that are not endorsed in the scriptures. Something may be a personal preference or a pattern that has been followed for decades but that does not make it authoritative and unchangeable.

The only detailed information we have regarding the Lord’s Supper is given in the first three gospel records and Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. In comparing these records, we learn that the bread is a symbol of the body of the Saviour that was given for us. As for the symbolic relevance of the cup the Lord Jesus said ‘this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins’, Matt. 26. 28. If we only had Matthew’s and Mark’s accounts we would not know that what the Lord did on the eve of His crucifixion was something to be perpetuated throughout the years until His return. That instruction is briefly alluded to by Luke but clearly stated by Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 24-34. 

The request made by our Saviour was that we should partake of the bread and cup in remembrance of Him. In addition, as we carry out this request, there is an outcome, for we ‘proclaim the Lord’s death till he comes’, 1 Cor. 11. 26. This is not something we are requested to do, it is something that happens as we eat and drink at the supper. As the bread speaks of the Lord’s body and the cup of His blood, two things which are closely linked, and as we are to call Him to mind in the partaking of them both, I suggest that we ought not to separate them by readings or hymns etc. Other than the giving of thanks prior to using each of the symbols, I am of the mind that it would be preferable that the one should follow the other without any other contributions between. 

However, whilst these are my convictions, I would be hard pressed to dogmatize that this is what should be done everywhere and at all times. There seems to be an innate desire with many, maybe for very commendable reasons, to impose regulations as to the format of the Lord’s Supper that go far beyond the simplicity of the meeting as revealed in the scriptures. One danger we need to be aware of is that of becoming very ritualistic or formulaic instead of being sensitive to the guiding of the Spirit of God. I know of no reason why the partaking of the bread and cup has to be reserved for a particular point in the meeting or specific time showing on the clock. On one occasion it may be appropriate to break bread at the start, on another occasion it might be correct to leave it until the later stages of the service.

There is need for those who are mature to be wise in their handling of those who are younger in the faith. Perhaps a younger brother might give out a hymn that is not in keeping with the remembrance of the Lord, or participates in prayer in a manner that indicates their very limited understanding as to the purpose of the meeting. Such a person needs to be gently guided and should not be chastised or publicly embarrassed.

I cannot think of a more privileged way, or more heart warming manner, to commence each new week than that of responding to a request made by our Saviour when, on the night of His betrayal, He said ‘this do in remembrance of me’. Let us respond to that in the joy and liberty of the Holy Spirit, doing so in an orderly manner with hearts bursting with love and gratitude to Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.

AUTHOR PROFILE: RICHARD COLLINGS is a trustee of Precious Seed and writes the ‘Question Time’ page of the magazine.

There are 21 articles in
ISSUE (2017, Volume 72 Issue 2)

A Word for Today - Panim

The Believer as a Pilgrim

Bible Exhibitions as an Evangelistic Tool

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Part 7: The Thief who turned to Him

Charting the Scriptures - Joshua

Christ in Zechariah's Prophecy - Part 4

Editorial - ‘They were cleansed ... where are the nine?’ Luke 17. 14, 17

Ephesians - Part 9: Chapter 5 vv 1-14

The Fruit of the Spirit - Part 1 - The Character Developed in the Believer

Godly Living in the Workplace – Its Pressures

Introduction to the Messianic Psalms - Part 2


Keeping the Wise Men in Focus

Local Church Discipline

Opening up Proverbs - Jim Newheiser

Psalm 2 The Triumph of The King

Question TIme

The Suffering Servant of the Lord: A Prophecy of Jesus Christ

Symbols of the Holy Spirit

Their Finest Hour - Paul

Truth & Training from Titus - Part 7: Chapter 2 vv 1-9

This article is not part of a series

There are 49 articles by this author

Question Time

Question Time

Question Time

Question Time

An Introduction to a Study of Future Events

Question Time

Question TIme - Why do I find it hard to spend time in prayer?

Question - Will there be different levels of reward for believers?

Question - Is it wrong for a woman to cut her hair?

Question Time - Does the Bible specify a dress code for the meetings?

Question TIme - Should there be a minimum age set for those requesting baptism?

Question TIme - What is scriptural marriage?

Question TIme - Should elders discuss matters relating to oversight with their wives?

Recognising Elders

Question TIme - Can I use my natural skills in the service of the Lord?

Question TIme - Does the teaching of 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 2-16 apply only to assembly gat

Question TIme - Is it wrong for a Christian to be cremated?

Question Time - What guidance does the scripture give regarding organ donation?

Question Time - Are there scriptural grounds to justify leaving one assembly to join another in the

The Final rebellion and the great white throne judgement

An overview of the Lord’s Supper

Question Time

Question Time

The Symbols of Headship

Question Time

Question Time - Why are people leaving assemblies and meeting elsewhere?

Question Time - What is the most effective way of teaching God’s people?

Question Time

Question Time - Should some assemblies consider meeting in a house instead of a hall?

Question Time - Will the church go through the great tribulation?

Question Time - Does the New Testament stipulate what meetings an assembly should convene?

Question Time - Is ill health an evidence of God’s chastening?

Question Time - Why do we worship on a Sunday and not on the seventh day?

Question TIme

Question Time - Is it appropriate for assemblies to donate to non-Christian charities?

Question Time - What advice can be offered to a couple who cannot have children?

Question Time

Question Time

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Question Time

Question Time - Is it wrong for a Christian to go out with someone who is not saved?

What does the Bible tell us about the future? - Part 2 ‘I will come again’

Question Time

What does the Bible tell us about the future? - Part 4 - ‘I will come again’

Question Time - Is it essential that an assembly should convene a weekly gospel meeting?

Question Time - Does the first part of 1 John chapter 3 verse 8 teach us that a Christian will never sin?

Question Time - Can a Christian commit the unpardonable sin?

Question Time - Is any aspect of the Mosaic law binding on Christians? 

An Assembly of the Lord’s people will be a people among whom ... Prayer Arises to God - Part 7