How often should we have the Lord's Supper? Should it be given every week? Is there any biblical grounds for every week?


The scriptural key to determining frequency of the Lord’s Supper is regulated by the biblical phases “as often as you drink” (1 Cor. 11:25) and “as often as you eat” (1 Cor. 11:26). Passover, which was replaced by the Lord’s Supper (cf. 1 Cor. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:19) was once per year (Num. 9:3-5; 28:16) but was for a longer duration (seven days). So, there is no biblical requirement or consensus for how often we should have the Lord’s Supper, except that it should be “often.” Does this mean “often" like the Jews celebrated Passover, or does it mean every Sunday worship? Some churches do it weekly, others monthly, still others quarterly, and some once per year. Calvin thought that the Table should be available far more often than once a year or quarterly and wrote enthusiastically for it to be weekly.

The Westminster Directory of Public Worship puts it this way:

The communion, or supper of the Lord, is frequently to be celebrated; but how often, may be considered and determined by the ministers, and other church-governors of each congregation, as they shall find most convenient for the comfort and edification of the people committed to their charge. And, when it shall be administered, we judge it convenient to be done after the morning sermon.

The ignorant and the scandalous are not fit to receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

Where this sacrament cannot with convenience be frequently administered, it is requisite that publick warning be given the sabbath-day before the administration thereof: and that either then, or on some day of that week, something concerning that ordinance, and the due preparation thereunto, and participation thereof, be taught; that, by the diligent use of all means sanctified of God to that end, both in publick and private, all my come better prepared to that heavenly feast.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).