Monday, April 16, 2007

"Early" Communion

Today, I rejoice.

After months of discussing, catechizing, and debating; the children of our congregation will be welcome at the table when their parents and the pastor agree that they are able to examine themselves, and that they know what Luther states should be required of all Christians to commune.

"After confession and instruction in the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper...."

from Christian Questions with Their Answers...Small Catechism
(LSB p. 329)

If you read my blog, you know that this is a dear subject to me. But I really haven't addressed it on a personal note. I've been very grieved that my son, who has long been well-catechized and is ready, has not been able to commune. I've kept that part out of the issue when I have written about it, but it has grieved me. I know what it did to me to be ready and desirous of communing, and to be held off, knowing I had five years before I could.

My husband loves his flock, and he didn't want his son's communing well before what was "normal" to be something that caused offense, and he also knew that there was no particular reason why any person should wait so long if they truly desired to partake. So that required a process of making it clear why this was a good thing, why it should be the parents' responsibility to train their children in the faith and recognize when their own children were ready to come to be communed. Then he would examine them, continue in teaching if necessary, and allow them to come to the table if they are ready.

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4 comments:

Marie N. said...

I am happy for you! In our household this was a momentous occasion but without pomp and circumstance.

Jane said...

This is wonderful. I am so thankful that our kids are reaping the benefit of this painfully slow change in thinking.

elephantschild said...

I rejoice with you! Kudos to your hubby for being gentle with his congregation on this, and teaching them!

Right now our Sparkle Kitty (nearly 5) walks up to communion with us & receives a blessing from Pastor. I'm going to continue to have her come with us. Phooey if I'm going to make her sit in the pew by herself, even if she's 9 and can't take communion. Perhaps change will come to our congregation as well, by the time she's a little older.

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Our congregation and many others that I know, do have a practice of bringing their children up for a blessing. After years of doing this, I am amazed that my mom used to expect me (or even more surprising, my brother) to sit quietly in the pew.

I think the blessing is a wonderful thing, and I do think it helps bring our children closer (and therefore more desirous of partaking in) to the sacramental life of the church.