Did you know that Communion services in Christian Science branch churches are very different from those at The Mother Church headquarters in Boston? Early on, communion services were major events at The Mother Church, including reading the names of new members and having them stand up. We’ll discuss why church founder Mary Baker Eddy decided to abolish Communion services in The Mother Church in 1908—while still preserving them in its branch churches with a special order of services. Joining us to discuss this history are Mike Hamilton, The Mary Baker Eddy Library’s executive manager, and Tom Kliewer, a member of the Library’s research team. We’ll also hear reflections from Christian Scientists on what they find meaningful about attending communion services in their branch churches today.

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Podcast guests

Headshot of podcast guest Mike HamiltonMichael Hamilton is executive manager of The Mary Baker Eddy Library. He came to the position following ten years in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. Prior to teaching, he served for 20 years as an active-duty US Navy chaplain, ministering to units in both the navy and marine corps. He holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research and writing focus is on American religions.


Headshot of podcast guest Tom KliewerTom Kliewer is a research associate with The Mary Baker Eddy Library. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Principia College and is passionate about Christian Science history. He is also the author of the Library’s July 2022 website article Christian Science Communion services, which is part of the “From the Collections” article series.


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