The Communion Token arose among Huguenots persecuted by French authorities in the 16th century. Called mereaux, these tokens operated as a signal that the possessor was a co-religionist.

Communion tokens in hand

The communion token granted one entry to the communion rites of a particular congregation.

The Presbyterians in Scotland incorporated them most thoroughly and it was among the Scots that the token of fellowship became endowed with ritual, rite and reverence all its own, carrying its use from the period in which it and fellowship were awarded based upon works (knowledge of catechism and a correspondingly informed behavior) to the era when salvation was seen as a matter of grace alone, requiring the intercession only of the Almighty.

Although the Communion Token did eventually fade from use it’s descendant’s can be found in the membership tokens of fraternal organizations, most notably the Masons.