The Historic Church of Scotland had a day of fasting before communion
Quotations from faithful Reformers and the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
Thomas Boston (On the matter of providential calls to fasting and humiliation)
It is observable that, whereas the feast of tabernacles was the most joyful of all the feasts the Jews had throughout the year, a solemn fast was appointed of God to be observed always before it, four free days only intervening [i.e., one day of fasting followed by four “free” days prior to the feast of tabernacles] (Lev 23:27, 34). For in the method of grace, none stand so fair for a lifting up as those who are most deeply humbled (Isa 40:4, Luke 18:14 & James 4:10). Wherefore, it is a laudable practice of our church, that congregations keep a congregational fast before the celebration of the feast of the sacrament of the Lord’s supper among them, in order to their preparation for a solemn approach unto God in that holy ordinance.
For the same reason, secret fasting by particular persons apart, and private fasting by families apart, especially such as do not have access to join in the public fast, would be very seasonable on such an occasion. And if those secret and private fasts could more generally obtain, and get place in congregations, some little time before the communion work did begin, it would be a token for good, and might prove like the noise and shaking among the dry bones, that ushered in the breathing on the slain, and the causing them to stand “up upon their feet” (Ezek 37:7, 10).
Thomas Watson (On The Beatitudes)
There are three special seasons of extraordinary mourning, when it should be as it were high-water in the soul: 1…, 2…, 3: Before the performing solemn duties of God’s worship, as fasting or receiving the Lord’s Supper. Christian, are you about to seek God in an extraordinary manner? ‘Seek him sorrowing’ (Luke 2:48). Would you have the smiles of God’s face, the kisses of his lips? Set open all the springs of mourning, and then God will draw nigh to you in an ordinance and say, ‘Here I am’ (Isaiah 58:9). When Jacob wept, then he ‘found God in Bethel’ (Hosea 12:4). ‘He called the name of the place Peniel, for (says he) I have seen God face to face’ (Genesis 32:30). Give Christ the wine of your tears to drink, and in the sacrament He will give you the wine of His blood to drink.
Introduction to J. Duncan’s sermons in the Pulpit and Communion Table (D. Brown, editor)
It may be added that a “Fast Day” is observed in all Presbyterian Churches, generally on the Thursday preceding the two statutory half-yearly celebrations of the Lord’s Supper…
A sermon by John Kennedy of the early Free Church of Scotland, on Jeremiah 6:16 (from the Free Presbyterian Magazine, January 1901)
Communion-tables are allowed to be filled by those who, on the Fast-day, rush away from the service, and join the crowds that seem to act as if they were bent on wringing judgments from the hand of God. And office-bearers in our Church join the deserters, and give to amusement a day which ought to be devoted to humiliation and prayer.
From the Free Presbyterian Magazine (October 1924) regarding the father of the late Mrs. Maclaine, Oban:
She told us on one occasion that [her father, an elder at the church in Dunoon] refused to work on the Fast-Day of the Communion season, and this led to his either losing his situation, or giving it up, and taking a farm outside of the town. Seeing that his reason was of this nature, we believe that instead of losing thereby, he got an hundredfold in this world, and now is forever entering into the joy of his Lord.