.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 58 : The Administration of the Lord's Supper

Paragraph 5 :

 

58-5. The table, on which the elements are placed, being decently covered, and furnished with bread and wine, and the communicants orderly and gravely sitting around it (or in their seats before it), the elders in a convenient place together, the minister should then set the elements apart by prayer and thanksgiving.
The bread and wine being thus set apart by prayer and thanksgiving, the minister is to take the bread, and break it, in the view of the people, saying:
That the Lord Jesus Christ on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, gave it to His disciples, as I, ministering in His name, give this bread to you, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me”
(Some other biblical account of the institution of this part of the Supper may be substituted here.)
Here the bread is to be distributed. After having given the bread, he shall take the cup, and say:
In the same manner, He also took the cup, and having given thanks as has been done in His name, He gave it to the disciples, saving, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Drink from it, all of you.”
While the minister is repeating these words, let him give the cup.

[DIGEST : Changes to this paragraph have been adopted in 1975 [M3GA, 3-89, p. 96], technically though not actually in 1981 [M9GA, 9-65, Item 6, p. 140] and lastly in 2004 [M32GA, 32-11, Item 1, p. 43-45].
The paragraph text originally adopted in 1973 followed that of PCUS 1933 and that text dated back to the PCUS revisions to the Directory for Worship enacted in 1929. The first subsequent PCA change in 1975 then included some of the wording from the Scottish Directory for the Publick Worship of God (1645), such that "properly covered" became "decently covered". The opening sentence already echoed the Scottish Directory, but with these 1975 changes, the parallel is clearer and more evident. The latest change to our PCA text, adopted in 2004, deleted the word "broken"from the sentence "Take, eat; this is My body..."


Note : BCO 58-5 is the only place in the Book of Church Order where wine is mentioned. Click here to view the acts and deliverances of other Presbyterian denominations on the use of fermented wine.

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
PCA 2004, M32GA, 32-11, Item 1, p. 43-45 removed the word "broken" from the text. See below under Overtures.
. . . The bread and wine being thus set apart by prayer and thanksgiving, the minister is to take the bread, and break it, in the view of the people, saying:
That the Lord Jesus Christ on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, gave it to His disciples, as I, ministering in His name, give this bread to you, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me”
(Some other biblical account of the institution of this part of the Supper may be substituted here.)
. . .

PCA 1975, M3GA, 3089, p. 96
[adopting the Report of the Constitutional Documents Committee]

58-5. The table, on which the elements are placed, being decently covered, and furnished with bread and wine, and the communicants orderly and gravely sitting around it (or in their seats before it), the Elders in a convenient place together, the Minister should then set the elements apart by prayer and thanksgiving.
The bread and wine being thus set apart by prayer and thanksgiving, the Minister is to take the bread, and break it, in the view of the people, saying:
"Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the same night in which he was betrayed, having taken bread, and blessed and broken it, gave it to his disciples, as I, ministering in his name, give this bread unto you, saying [here the bread is to be distributed]. Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me” (ASV)
After having given the bread, he shall take the cup, and say:
After the same manner our Saviour also took the cup, and having given thanks, as hath been done in his name, he gave it to the disciples saying [while the minister is repeating these words let him give the cup], This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins, drink ye all of it."

3. PCA 1973, Adopted text, XII-4, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, M1GA (1973), Appendix, p. 160.
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, Proposed text
1. PCUS 1933, XII-4 (§359)

The table, on which the elements are placed and properly covered, being furnished with bread and wine, the communicants orderly and gravely assembled, the Elders together in a convenient place, the minister should then set the elements apart, by prayer and thanksgiving.
The bread and wine being thus set apart by prayer and thanksgiving, the minister is to take the bread, and break it in the view of the people, saying:
"Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the same night in which He was betrayed, having taken bread, and blessed and broken it, gave it to His disciples; as I, ministering in His name, give this bread to you, saying (here the bread is to be distributed), 'Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of Me.' "
After the same manner our Saviour also took the cup, and having given thanks, as hath been done in His name, He gave it to the disciples saying (while the minister is repeating these words let him give the cup), 'This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins; drink all ye of it.' "
It is recommended that the minister be served before the people; and that he serve the Elders after they have served the people.

3. PCUS 1927 Proposed, Minutes of General Assembly, pp. 127-128.
[Last sentence is as found in PCUS 1933]
2. PCUS 1925 (Revised edition), XI-5 (§351) -
[has "Elders" and "Minister" capitalized]
1. PCUS 1894, XI-5
The table, on which the elements are placed, being decently covered, and furnished with bread and wine, and the communicants orderly and gravely sitting around it (or in their seats before it), the elders in a convenient place together, the minister should then set the elements apart, by prayer and thanksgiving.
The bread and wine being thus set apart by prayer and thanksgiving, the minister is to take the bread, and break it, in the view of the people, saying:
"Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the same night in which he was betrayed, having taken bread, and blessed and broken it, gave it to his disciples; as I, ministering in his name, give this bread unto you ; saying [here the bread is to be distributed], Take, eat ; this is my body, which is broken for you ; this do in remembrance of me."
After having given the bread, he shall take the cup, and say —
"After the same manner our Saviour also took the cup, and having given thanks, as hath been done in his name, he gave it to the disciples, saying [while the minister is repeating these words let him give the cup], This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins ; drink all ye of it."
For the sake of order it is recommended that the minister be served after the people; and that he then serve the elders.

PCUSA 1839, VIII-5
The table, on which the elements are placed, being decently covered, the bread in covenient dishes, and the wine in cups, and the communicants orderly and gravely sitting around the table, (or in their seats before it,) in the presence of the minister ; let him set the elements apart, by prayer and thanksgiving.
The bread and wine being thus set apart by prayer and thanksgiving, the minister is to take the bread, and break it, in the view of the people, saying, in expressions of this sort :—
"Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the same night in which he was betrayed, having taken bread, and blessed and broken it, gave it to his disciples ; as I, ministering in his name, give this bread unto you ; saying, [here the bread it to be distributed] Take, eat : this is my body, which is broken for you : this do in remembrance of me."
After having given the bread, he shall take the cup, and say—
"After the same manner our Saviour also took the cup ; and having given thanks, as hath been done in his name, he gave it to the disciples ; saying, [while the minister is repeating these words let him give the cup] This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins, drink ye all of it."
The minister himself is to communicate, at such time as may appear to him most convenient.
The minister may, in a few words, put the communicants in mind—
"Of the grace of God, in Jesus Christ, held forth in this sacrament ; and of their obligation to be the Lord's ; and may exhort them to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called ; and, as they have professedly received Christ Jesus the Lord, that they be careful so to walk in him, and to maintain good works."
It may not be improper for the minister to give a word of exhortation also to those who have been only spectators, reminding them—
"Of their duty ; stating their sin and danger, by living in disobedience to Christ, in neglecting this holy ordinance ; and calling upon them to be earnest in making preparation for attending upon it, at the next time of its celebration."
Then the minister is to pray and give thanks to God,
"For his rich mercy, and invaluable goodness, vouchsafed to them in that sacred communion ; to implore pardon for the defects of the whole service ; and to pray for the acceptance of their persons and performances ; for the gracious assistance of the Holy Spirit, to enable them, as they have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so to walk in him ; that they may hold fast that which they have received, that no man take their crown ; that their conversation may be as becometh the gospel ; that they may bear about with them, continually the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in their mortal body ; that their light may so shine before men, that others, seeing their good works, may glorify their Father who is in heaven."
The collection for the poor, and to defray the expense of the elements, may be made after this ; or at such other time as may seem meet to the eldership.
Now let a psalm or hymn be sung, and the congregation dismissed, with the following or some other gospel benediction :
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Directory for the Publick Worship of God (1645), "Of the Celebration of the Communion"

After this exhortation, warning, and invitation, the table being before decently covered, and so conveniently placed, that the communicants may orderly sit about it, or at it, the minister is to begin the action with sanctifying and blessing the elements of bread and wine set before him, (the bread in comely and convenient vessels, so prepared, that, being broken by him, and given, it may be distributed amongst the communicants; the wine also in large cups,) having first, in a few words, shewed that those elements, otherwise common, are now set apart and sanctified to this holy use, by the word of institution and prayer.

OTHER COMPARISONS :

Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1827, Book III, Chapter III, Section VII, II-5.
After this exhortation, warning and invitation, the table being before decently covered, and so conveniently placed, that the communicants may orderly sit about it, or at it, the minister is to begin the action with sanctifying and blessing the elements of bread and wine set before (the bread in comely and convenient vessels, so prepared, that, being broken by him, and given, it may be distributed amongst the communicants ; the wine also in large cups,) having first, in a few words, shewed that those elements, otherwise common, are now set apart and sanctified to this holy use, by the word of institution and prayer.

Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Directory for Worship (2011), III, C, 6, pp. 154-155.
6. Partaking of the Elements.
After prayer and thanksgiving the minister shall take the bread, saying in the following or like words:
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, as I, ministering in his name, give this bread to you.
The minister shall then break bread and give it to the people. The bread may be eaten either upon reception of it, or in unison when all have been served, as the session may judge most conducive to edification. The minister may continue, before the bread is eaten, saying:
Our Lord Jesus said, "Take, eat, this is my body, which is for you; this do in remembrance of me."
Having given the bread, the minister shall take the cup and give it to the people, saying in the following or like words:
In the same manner, our Savior also took the cup, and having given thanks as has been done in his name, he gave it to his disciples, as I ministering in his name give this cup to you.
The minister shall then give the cup, as in the distribution of the bread. The minister may continue, before the cup is drunk, saying:
Our Lord Jesus said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for many for the remission of sins; drink of it, all of you."

COMMENTARY:
[none available at this time]

OVERTURES (both approved and declined):
1990 - Overture 14 from Presbytery of the Southwest [M18GA, 18-53, III, Item 6, p. 124.]
"Amend BCO 58-5 by Replacing 'Wine' With 'Fruit of the Vine' "
Whereas, the Biblical phrase "fruit of the vine" is broader than the word "wine", and
Whereas, many PCA churches do not use wine in the Lord's Supper,
Therefore, be it resolved that the General Assembly amend BCO 58-5 Line 2 and 6 by replacing the word "wine" with the phrase "fruit of the vine."
Adopted at the Stated Fall Meeting of Southwest Presbytery on September 23, 1988. (Received 6/2/89 in the Stated Clerk's Office--too late for the 17th GA.)
Attested by: /s/ Charles E. Turner, Stated Clerk.
Recommendation : That Overture 14 from Southwest Presbytery be answered by this assembly in the negative. Adopted.
Grounds :The language of the Book of Church Order is drawn from WCF 29-3 and LC Q. 168 and 169. Approving such an overture would put our BCO in conflict with the Westminster Standards. If such a change in wording is contemplated, an amendment should first be made to the Standards.

2003
- Overture 21 from Ascension Presbytery [M31GA, 31-57, III, Item 14, p. 205-208.]

 



©PCA Historical Center, 12330 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO, 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]