How to Be Prepared to Take the Holy Supper

Holy Supper will be offered at two of our services this Sunday. Will you be ready to take it when it is offered? The teachings of the New Church are clear that we should prepare to take the Holy Supper.

Before people of the highest office and rank come to a dinner at the table of an emperor or monarch, they put on their best clothes and their badges of office in order to be allowed in and be well received. Why should we not have to prepare for the table of the Lord, who is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings (Revelation 17:14)? (True Christianity 724)

But what does appropriate preparation for the Holy Supper look like? I’ll share a few thoughts in this post but my first recommendation would be to read the chapter from True Christianity on Holy Supper (698-730), particularly the sections towards the end of the chapter about taking the Holy Supper worthily (719-730). I would also recommend reading the Rt. Rev. Peter Buss, Sr.’s 1975 New Church Life article, “Come Not to That Holy Table” (PDF).

We are taught that we should go through a more careful self-examination and repentance process, once or twice a year in connection with taking the Holy Supper (True Christianity 567) but I don’t think that this means that we should only take Holy Supper once or twice a year. The Lord told us to take Holy Supper “in remembrance of Him” (Luke 22:19) and we need to remember Him throughout the year. We also need to be fed by Him throughout the year and throughout the many states we go through. The angel of the Lord came to Elijah when he was fleeing from Jezebel and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” And Elijah did arise and eat twice and only then “he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God” (1 Kings 19:7,8). Holy Supper is not only to be eaten when repentance is over, when the journey is done. The only way we are going to have the strength for the journey of repentance in front of us is if we have been fed by the Lord’s love and wisdom.

We will be offering Holy Supper five times at our public worship services in Bryn Athyn this year. I hope that you consider taking it more than twice this year. If you would like to discuss Holy Supper and being worthy to take it or anything else connected to it, please get in touch with me or any of the other pastors on staff. (malcolm.smith@brynathynchurch.org)