Three times a day

When Mother Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, was accused of not celebrating communion, she replied: “On the contrary, you have communion four times a year.  We have communion three times a day.”   A Shaker elder of a later generation, Calvin Green, elaborated on this understanding:

But the greatest practical evidence of genuine love and disinterested benevolence that can be manifested on earth, is found where all are of one heart and one soul; where the rich and the poor can meet together, and eat and drink at one table, and cheerfully partake of one common blessing and interest, and mutually share in each others’ comforts and afflictions, both in things spiritual and temporal.  Here souls, by eating and drinking together, in christian love and harmony, may daily partake of the Lord’s supper, according to the manner in which the primitive church partook of it. Here they may show forth the Lord’s death, in very deed, by their own example, in showing that he died to a selfish, partial nature; and that they have become partakers of that death, and have consequently risen with him, into that life which the world, with all its professions of religion, has never obtained.  (A Summary View of the Millennial Church, p.300, 1823)


2 Responses to “Three times a day”

  1. Alexis Says:


    I have long believed that we indie folk need to consciously abandon the restrictive Roman Catholic list of “seven sacraments” in our community we have “added” two more to the list:

    1) the sacrament of gathering (where two or more . . .)
    2) following suit with the PNC – the proclamation of the Gospel.

    It opens the door to a fascinating and vigorous exploration among us of what “is” sacrament – I think in so doing we might both challenge and reconsider some of these inherited sacramental models.

  2. John Says:

    Very interesting Alexis – do you discuss this in your book of canons (which I know I need to purchase from lulu….)?

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