HOLIER THAN THOU

A short introduction to Communion Tokens by John Whitmore

      For over two hundred years, tokens were usually required for admission to communion services in the Presbyterian Church, especially in Scotland, but there was never any question of a monetary value. The practice originated from a need to exclude informers at a time of state persecution, but then developed as a means to restrict admission to those considered worthy. Many of the earlier examples were locally produced and cryptic in style, but later issues usually include place, date and a biblical quotation or reference. Some indicate the name of the minister in charge. The tokens are usually struck in lead or a variety of white metal, and are often rectangular in shape.