A few days back, I stumbled upon the “Westminster Presbyterian” website, a ministry of the Presbytery of the United States of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing). Among the many useful resources there is the article “The Scottish Communion Season.”
It struck me that in Reformed churches today, there is a bare minimal preparation for the administration of the Lord’s Supper. So I thought about this coming Lord’s Day, the first Sunday of the month, when most Reformed churches celebrate the Holy Communion. Whereas the most preparation we make before Communion Sunday as a Reformed church is to read our Preparatory Form, the Scottish Communion Season prescribes preparations starting Thursday and ending in a thanksgiving meditation on Monday after the Lord’s Day.
It struck me harder that the start of the Communion Season is a day of rest on Thursday, when they rest from their work and attend two church services. The article describes this day:
This time of quiet and rest from regular work gives people time to search their lives and souls with a view to confession of sin. There are two church services on Thursday – morning and evening – which focus on Psalms and Scriptures related to conviction of sin, contrition and repentance. Sermons usually aim to induce a spiritual sensitivity in the hearers, to bring God’s people to see their spiritual need, and to start the Communion Season low, in the dust – the necessary place to be before any spiritual blessing comes to us. God brings us low before He raises us up again.
Read the article and be amazed at the practice of piety among the Scottish Highlanders of old. Lord willing, I myself would endeavor to prepare for Communion Sunday in this way, starting this Thursday.
As an aside, Scott Clark lists useful resources for churches that “fences” the Table.