Required Catechizing

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Puritan Board Freshman

I recently came across an article on the history of the Scottish church on Grange Press and in it Pastor Jonathan Mattule highlighting that ministers were supposed to catechize in their parish homes and an act regarding Sum of Saving Knowledge:

In August of 1639 the Assembly approved an “Act anent Ministers Catechizing, and Family Exercises.” The act demonstrates the concern of the gathered church, not just a few individual members, to ensure that each family would be instructed in the knowledge of God. It mandated that “every minister, besides his pains on the Lord’s day, shall have weekly catechising of some part of the paroch, and not altogether cast over the examination of the people till a little before the communion…” Within 10 years in August of 1648, the General Assembly reiterated that concern and enacted weekly catechizing, two sermons, and examination of parishioners

According to the Sum of Saving Knowledge forward the ministers were commanded to catechize in the parish homes every week.

Does anyone know why Presbyterians have not continued this practice?

Seems like they took it pretty seriously.

Here is a link to the article:

[URL='']Reformed and Evangelical: The Historical Context of "The Sum of Saving Knowledge" » Article Library » Grange Press
Thanks for that Ed. I've studied the Reformation for 20 years and I never knew about communion tokens.

I have a good friend who has a collection of tokens worth $Thousands, plus communion pitcher–and–serving–plates sets. And his collection of first-edition signed books by figures like Charles Hodge, Dabney etc., etc., dwarves the former collection.

An Aside – Those were the days when the Holy Supper was still under the jurisdiction of the elders, who alone had the final say as to who was and who was not to partake of the Supper. "That's our practice exactly," you may say, but I beg to differ. Now, the final decision to partake or not is in the hands of the man in the pew. This has been a huge and harmful transfer of power from the clergy to the laity. This has been a disaster, and few seem to notice.
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Hmmm is there any pastoral perspective as to why this practice is not found in churches today? Especially churches that try to follow the reformation fathers? The FCC takes the catechism very seriously but I am not aware of this level of seriousness in any of the churches. Are there any churches that still try and follow this strict adherence?
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