Daily Reading for November 14 • Consecration of Samuel Seabury, First American Bishop, 1784
The general practice in this country is to have monthly Communions, and I bless God the Holy Ordinance is so often administered. Yet when I consider its importance, both on account of the positive command of Christ and of the many and great benefits we receive from it, I cannot but regret that it does not make a part of every Sunday’s solemnity. That it was the principal part of the daily worship of the primitive Christians all the early accounts inform us. And it seems probable from the Acts of the Apostles that the Christians came together in their religious meetings chiefly for its celebration. And the ancient writers generally interpret the petition in our Lord’s prayer, ‘Give us this day,’ or day by day, ‘our daily bread,’ of the spiritual food in the Holy Eucharist. Why daily nourishment should not be as necessary to our souls as to our bodies no good reason can be given.
If the Holy Communion was steadily administered whenever there is an Epistle and Gospel appointed, which seems to have been the original intention, I cannot help thinking that it would revive the esteem and reverence Christians once had for it, and would show its good effects in their lives and conversations. I hope the time will come when this pious and Christian practice may be renewed. In the meantime, let me beseech you to make good use of the opportunities you have; and let nothing but real necessity keep you from the heavenly banquet when you have it in your power to partake of it.
May the consideration of this subject have its proper effect upon every one of you! And the God of peace be with you, keep you in the unity of His Church, and in the bond of peace and in all righteousness of life, guide you by His Spirit through this world, and receive you to glory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
From “An Earnest Persuasive to Frequent Communion” by Samuel Seabury, quoted in Love’s Redeeming Work: The Anglican Quest for Holiness, compiled by Geoffrey Rowell, Kenneth Stevenson, and Rowan Williams (Oxford, 2001).