the weblog of Alan Knox

One Bread and One Cup

Posted by on Dec 31, 2009 in blog links, community, fellowship, ordinances/sacraments, unity | 6 comments

Dave Black is writing about the Lord’s Supper again (Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 3:50 pm):

I remain convinced, in an obscurantist sort of way of course (being the ultimate obscurantist), of the necessity of having one loaf of bread and one cup during the Lord’s Supper. If you will tolerate yet another reference to the sixteenth century Anabaptists, in 1541 Peter Riedemann wrote that the one loaf is formed by the grinding and mingling of many grains of wheat, and the wine exists only because many individual grapes have been crushed. “Thus, the meal … is a sign of the community of the body, in that each and every member declares himself to be of the one mind, heart and spirit of Christ.” The point is that, in the Lord’s Supper, individualism is given up for unity. Forgive me, but — isn’t that powerful?

Interestingly, churches often put emphases on the “Supper” that we can’t find in Scripture. For instance, can you find anything in Scripture that says it’s important for the bread in the Supper to be unleavened? What about only have “ordained” (whatever that means) people serve the “elements”?

No… but Scripture does say something about the one bread and one cup and the focus on unity, fellowship, and community.


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  1. 12-31-2009

    Two practical and non-theological observations.

    That’s going to be one big loaf or a lot of very small pieces.
    Eeeewwwww 147 people put their mouth on that?

  2. 12-31-2009


    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but just off the top of my head, the first Lord’s supper was the passover feast. So, wouldn’t it have been unleavened [passover feast] bread that Jesus broke? Not that the Scriptures require unleavened bread, but maybe some insist on it because that’s the bread used.

  3. 12-31-2009

    Additionally… if we use in the supper what was used in the upper room, that would mean unleavened bread and real wine. Right?

  4. 1-1-2010

    And maybe some herbal nut dip…

  5. 1-2-2010

    Interestingly, the Roman Catholics and Byzantines fought about this very issue. The Roman Catholics claimed it had to be unleavened, while the Byzantines claimed it had to be leavened. Roman Catholics see leaven as sin and impurity, while Byzantines saw leaven bread as a sign that Christ now fills all things.

    Yes, people do use one loaf…. I’m Byzantine Catholic and we use one loaf and one cup; we all eat and drink from it.

  6. 1-2-2010

    I’d have to say, from personal experience, that eating of one loaf and drinking of one cup is quite powerful. I recently had the opportunity to do this with my wife, my mother and my father. It was absolutely incredible and, I believe, holds great signifciance on many levels.

    This is once again an example of what can be done in small, “manageable” groups who gather together in intimacy. When the Body of Christ tries to mass-produce anything, nearly all spiritual power and significance is removed due to it’s inconvenience and time needed to be taken to do it correctly.