The Offering in Church History

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Tom Hart, Jun 13, 2019.

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  1. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    There have been a few threads on this board about offerings and their place in worship. Today, passing the plate during the worship service still predominates in many churches, though many here would prefer a good old box at the back of the room.

    I would appreciate any sources that discuss the historical practice of the church, my particular interest being the first few centuries of the New Testament church, though any information about mediƦval or Reformation-era practice, or later, would also be welcome. I am curious about when and after what manner any collections were taken, for instance, whether they were taken during or outside of worship.
     
  2. iainduguid

    iainduguid Puritan Board Sophomore

    For much of church history, at least in England, churches were supported by obligatory tithes on crops and labor, which were brought into tithe barns. See briefly here: https://aprilmunday.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/medieval-church-tithes/. It was essentially a system of taxation (or be excommunicated).
    Often there was also a glebe, or farmland that came with the church, that he could either work himself or rent out. That's why in Jane Austen era England different parishes had different "livings" attached to them - predictable income that did not depend on the competence (or even presence) of the vicar. Up to the present day, people have sometimes bought houses and discovered later (to their cost) that along with the land they had a legal obligation to maintain the parish church structure.

    In such contexts, the only need for offerings was to collect additional monies to minister to the poor.
     
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  3. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    I too would be greatly interested, if there were a smaller size book for laymen that I could recommend for our deacons to read.

    We have had some discussion before about switching to a box in the front and back. In my reading of the book reformation worship, I noticed regular collection during the worship service was largely absent in the majority of the liturgies, with the exception of a collection for the poor which occurred sometimes at the very end of the service.
     
  4. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

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