A series of tokens said to have originated in Switzerland, where it is claimed John Calvin introduced them about the year 1561 to exercise con- trol over such as presented themselves for Communion services. They were known as Abendmahl Pfennige.
The Liturgy drawn up for the Church of Scotland, circa 1635, has the following rubric prefixed to the Order for the ad- ministration of the Holy Communion: " So many as intend to be partakers of the Holy Communion shall receive these tokens from the minister the night before."
Spalding, Bannantyne Club Publica- tions (i. 77), states that they were used at the Glasgow Assembly of 1638, to wit : " Within the said Church, the Assembly thereafter sitts down ; the church door was straitly guarded by the toun, none had entrance but he who had ane token of lead, declaring he was ane covenanter."
The first church or sacramental token employed in America of which we have any authentic account, was used in the Welsh Run Church in Pennsylvania, which was founded in 1741, and the token is dated 1748. This church was generally known as the Lower West Conecheague Church, and the token bears the two let- ters C.C.
For Canada over two hundred varieties of the communion tokens are known, and a list of them has been compiled by R. W. McLachlan of Montreal.
See Also: Communion Tokens
Source: Frey's Dictionary (American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. 50, 1916)