Title: First Church of Deerfield Pewter Flagon
Creator: Thomas Lupton
Museum Label: English church authorities permitted only silver vessels to hold communion wine at Church of England services. They relaxed this rule after 1603, and this pewter flagon held communion wine for the Deerfield, Massachusetts, church in the 1680s. Like other Protestant churches, the Church of England believed the wine and bread used at the Lord's Supper to be symbolic of rather than the actual transubstantiated body and blood of Christ. Although they considered themselves part of the Church of England, the Puritans disapproved of that Church's open communion for all worshippers. They chose instead to allow only people who made a public profession of faith and formally joined a church to share the Lord's Supper.