Lord's Supper: Distributing the Elements Separately or Together

Not open for further replies.


Puritan Board Graduate
Behind the discussion of intinction I have noticed another concern. There seems to be an objection to the minister speaking the words of institution at once and the communicants then taking elements at the same time. Is it permissible for the minister to set apart the bread and wine together and then have the elements distributed at the same time?

The relevant section of the PCA BCO reads:

58-5. The table, on which the elements are placed, being decently covered,
and furnished with bread and wine, and the communicants orderly and
gravely sitting around it (or in their seats before it), the elders in a convenient
place together, the minister should then set the elements apart by prayer and

The bread and wine being thus set apart by prayer and thanksgiving,
the minister is to take the bread, and break it, in the view of the people,

That the Lord Jesus Christ on the same night in which
He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He
broke it, gave it to His disciples, as I, ministering in His name,
give this bread to you, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body
which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." (Some other
biblical account of the institution of this part of the Supper may be
substituted here.)

Here the bread is to be distributed. After having given the bread, he
shall take the cup, and say:

In the same manner, He also took the cup, and having
given thanks as has been done in His name, He gave it to the
disciples, saving, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood,
which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Drink from it,
all of you."

While the minister is repeating these words, let him give the cup.

Chapter 58 of the BCO has "been given full constitutional authority." Does this rule out the practice outlined above?

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
I would think that such a preference (serving separately or serving together) falls under the preference of the church officials.


Puritan Board Professor
The preface to the BCO is important. As Jesus is head of the Church and this act should not bind any conscience except by what the Lord has called for, Scripture is key in showing what is commanded and also what should be done by good and necessary consequence. Thus, Church Polity (BCO) comes under the authority of Scripture.

I have laid out what Scripture plainly teaches in a post I have already linked: Response to the Dissent from Ohio Presbytery’s Intinction Report « Johannes Weslianus

The practice is out of accord with Scripture.


Puritan Board Graduate
Thanks Andrew. I read your post soon after posting, and it deals with with the subject well.
Not open for further replies.