What is the proper order for the breaking of bread meeting?

What is the proper order for the breaking of bread meeting?

From 1 Corinthians 14:40 we know that godly order should characterize the Breaking of Bread. We are confident that the Word of God is a complete guide, and so we expect it to afford a pattern for this important and cherished gathering.

1 Corinthians 14 deals with speaking in tongues, but in doing so describes features of an assembly meeting. Paul equates "bless" with "giving of thanks" in verse 16, linking this gathering with what he describes in chapter 10:16, giving thanks for the cup and the bread. Thus, the gathering described in chapter 14 at least includes the Breaking of Bread. Prayer, blessing, giving thanks, and singing are part of that gathering (14:15-17). Verse 26 indicates that all were ready to participate and that a number did contribute.

Although 1 Corinthians 10, in keeping with the context, gives the moral order of blessing the cup (fellowship with God) and breaking the bread (fellowship with the assembly’s believers) (v 16), the chronological, historical order is in 11:23-29: breaking bread, then taking the cup.

Acts 20 records a gathering specifically for the breaking of bread. Verses 7-12 show that Paul concluded the assembly’s meeting to break bread by ministering to them from the Scriptures.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 teaches that material giving accompanied their gathering on the first day of the week.

Because God is a God of order, we conclude then that the believers gathered to break bread and, before doing so, their united songs and prayers of thanksgiving were consistent with the purpose of their gathering, to remember the Lord. Any opening of the Scriptures was likewise directed to this purpose. They then united in thanksgiving for the bread and all shared in the loaf. Following this, they united in blessing God for the cup and partook of it. At some point, after the believers carried out the intended purpose of breaking bread, they gathered together their material offering. Reading and teaching from the Word of God would appropriately conclude this meeting. Such ministry extended, was consistent with, or grew from the worship and devotion expressed in the breaking of bread.

D. Oliver