- From the very earliest ages of the Church it has been the custom to begin the devotions of the Lord's Day with the Holy Communion celebrated at an early hour. Through the influence of the Puritans in England this beautiful and helpful custom fell into abeyance for a while, but through the growing devotion of the revived Church both in England and America it has been restored. To-day there are very few parishes where the early Communion is not to be had, and the practice is growing and spreading as the result of increased knowledge of the Church's devotional system. The motive of the early Communion, especially on the Lord's Day, may be said to be twofold: First, the recognition of the Holy Communion as the distinctive act of worship for each Lord's Day, without taking part in which no primitive Christian would have been considered to have properly kept Sunday, and secondly, the reverent desire to receive fasting, or as Bishop Jeremy Taylor has said, "to do this honor to the Blessed Sacrament, that It be the first food we eat and the first beverage we drink on that day."
American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. William James Miller, M.A., B.D.. 1901.
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