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Friends Day: May 4, 2019
Friends Day participants will have the exceptional opportunity to partake of the Holy Eucharist on Saturday, May 4, at the site of Jamestown’s 1608 church, the first in English North America.
    Today at Bruton Parish Church we practice open communion, but that was hardly the case in 1607 when the first communion was cele-brated at Jamestown. The settlers likely used the third revision of the Book of Common Prayer adopted in 1559 that was in use for nearly 100 years. The communion service was probably delivered from the 1604 slightly revised version. That service established the conditions under which members could receive communion.The opening paragraphs set the stipulations:
So many as intend to be partakers of the Holy Communion shall signify their names to the Curate over night, or else in the morning afore the beginning of Morning Prayer, or immediately after.
And if any of those be an open and notorious evil liver, so that the Congregation by him is offended, or have done any wrong to his neighbours by word or deed; the Curate having knowledge thereof, shall call him and advertise him, in any wise not to presume to the Lord’s Table, until he have openly declared himself to have truly repented and amended his former naughty life, that the Congregation may thereby be satisfied, which afore were offended; and that he have recompensed the parties, whom he hath done wrong unto, or at the least declare himself to be in full purpose so to do, as soon as he conveniently may.
The same order shall the Curate use with those betwixt whom he perceiveth malice and hatred to reign; not suffering them to be partakers of the Lord’s Table, until he know them to be reconciled. And if one of the parties so at variance be content to forgive from the bottom of his heart all that the other hath trespassed against him, and to make amends for that he himself hath offended; and the other party will not be persuaded to a godly unity, but remain still in his frowardness and malice; the Minister in that case ought to admit the penitent person to the Holy Communion, and not him that is obstinate.
    The first communion service was celebrated by the colonists’ Chaplain, Rev’d Robert Hunt, shortly after they arrived in May, 1607.  A sail was strung among some trees over the communion elements. Bruton’s Rector, Rev’d Goodwin, celebrated the Eucharist in 1907 with a reenactment on the three hundredth anniversary of the first.
    Following the May 4 service Friends Day participants will pause at the memorial dedicated in 1907 to Rev’d Hunt and that first communion service.
    Space is fast filling up for Friends Day. If you have not done so, make your reservations today by contacting Hilary Cooley at either hcooley@brutonparish.org or calling (757) 345-2252.
Last Published: February 26, 2019 12:26 PM