Historical Notes on the Ending of Communion Services at the Mother Church


After a communion service in June of 1908, Mary Baker Eddy asked the Mother Church to abolish their communion service, but also advised that these services continue in the branch churches. This was approved and became part of the Manual of the Mother Church that same year.


The Manual does not explain this direction, but the case was that thousands of Christian Scientists were leaving their branch churches in the communion season to come to Boston and be part of the communion service at the Mother Church. Mrs. Eddy was concerned that if this were to continue, that over time the meaning of the communion service would be lost. This was brought out in the letter Mrs. Eddy wrote to the First Reader of the Mother Church. She explained: “The Mother Church communion season was literally a communion of branch church communicants which might in time lose its sacredness and merge into a meeting for greetings.”


In other communications the thought was made clear that the abolishing of the communion service at the Mother Church was not an abolishing of communion, but a reminder to spiritualize our sense of communion and keep it as “communion universal and divine.”



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