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The Lord’s own service

03 February 2017

February 2nd, 1917.

THE Dean of St Paul’s [William Inge] took part, on Tuesday, in the proceedings of the London Dio­cesan and Lay Evangelical Union, when addresses were given on “The Position of the Lord’s Supper in Divine Worship”. In the course of his remarks the Dean expressed his desire for a ready congregational Communion on one Sunday in the month. The suggestion is admir­able as far as it goes, but to our mind it does not go far enough. We should like to see such a Com­munion at least on every Sunday in the month, and this is the meaning and purpose of the movement for the restoration of the Lord’s own service to its rightful place of honour as the great service of the Lord’s own day. So long as Mattins is given the prefer­ence, as marked by the musical accessories, the pealing of the bells, and so forth, while the Mass is said plain and perhaps at an incon­venient hour, or even not said at all, it cannot be maintained that we are conform­ing to the Scriptural ideal of showing the Lord’s Death until He come.

We are at a loss to un­­derstand the Dean if he said, as reported in the Times, “It was a sad thing that the sacrament of brother­hood, which was intended to unite all Christians, should be the storm-centre of controversy and the very symbol of exclusiveness.” To restore the primitive standard is not pur­posely to raise a controversy, and the blame for making the trouble must rest with such associ­ations as the Union which the Dean was addressing. But even more puzzling is his expression, “the very symbol of exclusiveness”. The frequent celeb­­ra­tion of Holy Com­munion is the outcome of the Catholic Move­ment, and is in marked contrast with the old hole-and-corner Celebration in an almost empty church. Whose was the exclusive­ness? Per­haps the Dean’s address suffered from com­pression.

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