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Catholic Describes Communion Service in Calvin’s Church

What was the Communion service like in Calvin’s Geneva? One Catholic who attended a service gave the following description.

Three or four times a year, according to the will of the authorities, two tables are set up in the church, each covered with a tablecloth, and a lot of hosts are set on the left, and three or four cups or glasses on the right, with lots of pots full of either white or red wine below the table. And after the sermon the preacher comes down from the pulpit and goes to the end of the table on the side where the hosts are, and with his head uncovered and standing places a piece in each person’s hand, saying ‘Remember that Jesus Christ died for you’.

Each person eats his piece while walking to the other end of the table, where he takes something to drink from one of the Lords, or another person deputized for this task, without saying anything, while sergeants with their head uncovered pour the wine and provide additional hosts if they run out. Throughout all of this, somebody else reads from the pulpit in the vernacular with his head uncovered the gospel of Saint John, from the beginning of the thirteenth chapter, until everyone has taken their piece, both men and women, each one at their different table.[1]

[1] Description taken from Christ’s Churches Purely Reformed.


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