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1st Open communion within Anglicanism & 2nd...

Discussion in 'Scripture,Tradition,Reason-Anglican & Old Catholic' started by Tigger45, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. Julian of Norwich

    Julian of Norwich English Catholic

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    Baptized with water, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
     
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  2. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I won't express an opinion, since this isn't my group, but I've seen a practical case where this occurs. What do you do with an older child or young adult who hasn't been baptized, either because parents are not Christians or because the parents have baptist inclinations? In some cases it's not likely that they will be baptized until they're old enough to make an independent decision. But they may be Christian, and part of groups such as Sunday School or youth groups that participate in communion.
     
  3. Julian of Norwich

    Julian of Norwich English Catholic

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    Unfortunately, only HC to water baptized.
     
  4. Julian of Norwich

    Julian of Norwich English Catholic

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    It is a very important Sacrament to Anglicans (and other churches) with a meaning that shouldn't be relativized or shrugged off.

    Two of my grandchildren are teens now (who's mother-though baptized herself has become "spiritual") but don't drive yet, they've come to church with me and I've talked to them about Christianity and they've gone to a Christian school since pre-school. Every time it's time to receive the Eucharist I need to remind them to cross their hands over their chest. It's just the way it is. Even the Didache says that only those baptized receive the Eucharist.

    And Hedrick, I feel that this is not just something about Anglicanism, but about Christianity. You're perfectly welcome, as far as I'm concerned (and also very knowledgeable)!
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  5. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    My church (PCUSA) has the same policy, for roughly the same reasons: open communion but only if you're baptized. I agree with the reasons: communion is for members of the Church. I don't think we want to invite everyone who might be visiting, nor people who are sort of vaguely Christian but aren't prepared to commit to being part of the Church. But I also think there are cases where someone actually is a part of the Church and for reasons beyond their control isn't baptized.

    Older children really present odd issues. At a certain age parents tend to wait until they're old enough to go through confirmation class. It's not even clear how to baptize them. We recently had a family join, with a 12 year old daughter. They used what is effectively infant baptism. (She wasn't asked to take any vows.) That seemed really odd. I wouldn't recommend baptizing a kid that old unless she was willing to make a commitment, but I think if they take baptismal vows, they become adult members of the church.

    I'd be inclined to avoid legalism and just say that if someone is a real member of the church and it's not their fault they aren't baptized, I'd include them. (Perhaps we could use the Catholic approach: baptism of intent.)
     
  6. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    If they're a minor, you wait until their parents give consent or they come of age. If they're not a minor, you baptise them.

    The waiting phase can be difficult, but I'd tend to approach it as a time of intentional catechesis and preparation, and to make sure that that person knows that they're included in a way that fits their circumstances.
     
  7. Julian of Norwich

    Julian of Norwich English Catholic

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    Baptism of desire is just what I've been looking for as far as salvation. That's the main reason I've asked each of them every year if they want to be baptized. They used to say they weren't sure or whatever, but this year each of them said yes - Yay!

    But I still think they should wait until water baptism to receive Eucharist. Otherwise it's devaluing the Eucharist and I want them to be thoroughly aware of what the Eucharist is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
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  8. Tom8907

    Tom8907 New Member

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    Yes, they must agree to them but I thought with closed communion it was denomination only, regardless of whether you agree with the core tenants.
     
  9. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Stand by Ukraine Supporter

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    That’s true other than if that denomination is in communion with another denomination then parishioners can commune with either.
     
  10. LizaMarie

    LizaMarie Newbie

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  11. Julian of Norwich

    Julian of Norwich English Catholic

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    Tigger, the Didache in the 1st Cent. is the first that I've seen speaking of Eucharistic open communion. They are/were very emphatic about not allowing anyone unbaptized to receive HC.
     
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  12. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Stand by Ukraine Supporter

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    Coincidentally I just listened to the Didache last night. I think its a great peep hole into 1st century Christianity.
     
  13. JohnOCAW

    JohnOCAW New Member

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    I can't add to the historical comments made but I will add that I prefer a table open to anyone who professes Christ. I have always understood partaking of the Eucharist to be a healing practice and I can't imagine Jesus would refuse. I would however make sure the "Pauline Warning" is understood.
     
  14. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Tradition/tradition of the Church is that communion is limited to those who have been baptized in the name the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And yes, it is reasonable to consider someone could is baptized by intent.
    =======
    However, consider Quakers. They have no baptism. Are they Christian. If so, it seems wrong to deny them communion fun our churches. What about churches that have adult baptism? Are children to be excluded if a family comes to our churches.

    Sometimes the announcement is baptized or a member in good standing of a Christian church.
    ============
    These days, the issue of OPEN baptism seems to be more often applied to non-Christians. Is the Table an "open" invitation by Christ, or is it limited to those who are members of the Church. Should Christ be "allowed" to touch an unbeliever through communion, or are we to limit the actions of our Lord and Savior.

    Make no mistake, I would restrict communion to the baptized. That is the tradition of the Church. However, I am not as rule-bound as others, and believe that this is a reasonable question. Given our protocol, I would would do what Saddleback does. Perhaps we should have separate services for seekers, and restrict other services to Christians.

    Perhaps, if we wish to require the Pauline rule, than we might also require compliance to lots of other rules of the early Church. Sinners (for example, adulterers) were NOT allowed to commune.

    I think it quire rude to invite folks to dinner, and then no allow them to be served, and in fact walk over them so that we can be served.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  15. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    The Society of Friends, in particular (along with the Salvation Army) present us with a challenge between what it is to be Christian (the esse of Christianity as it were), and what it is to practice Christianity in such a way as to have the full benefit (the bene esse or plene esse of Christianity).

    I would argue that baptism belongs in that second category, and that it's not wrong for traditions which have retained it, to insist upon it.

    The administration of communion to children is a whole other can of worms, and in some ways much more complicated.

    The rule is a good thing, but we need to be sensitive to the times when the rule is not helpful in a particular circumstance (I say this, very aware that my own first communion was before my baptism, for particular pastoral reasons that were relevant at the time). But I think being very clear on why we have that rule, and what purposes it generally serves, will help us make wise calls about the times when some pastoral flexibility is called for.
     
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  16. Dewi Sant

    Dewi Sant Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  17. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I think, for the average communicant, they do not understand their reception of communion in a particular place to signify their assent to the doctrines of the relevant bishop.

    Speaking for myself, as someone who will receive communion when it is offered in churches other than my own, I think that a level of disagreement is fairly obvious to all (I think here, for example, of my visits to my husband's Church of Christ!); but I do not think receiving communion is "about" assent to doctrines in that way.
     
  18. Dewi Sant

    Dewi Sant Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
  19. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

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    I know that this is an older post, but I believe Tigger still posts here and I wanted to give another perspective on the issue of open communion. I think in most people's minds, closed communion is most commonly found in Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and confessional Lutheran denominations (such as the LCMS). I agree with the others who have posted here that being denied communion when one is a baptized Christian can be quite awkward when visiting one of these churches or even off-putting. I'm not saying that this is necessarily what I believe, but I completely understand, respect, and appreciate when a church takes a serious stand for what they believe and that they practice these beliefs (regarding closed communion), even when or if I do not agree.

    I spent about two years in an LCMS parish and, although I am a baptized and confirmed Anglican, I could not receive communion in this parish without Lutheran confirmation. Never once did I feel like I was unwanted or that something was wrong with me; however, the pastor kindly explained the seriousness of communion and the importance of understanding their doctrines and practices surrounding communion before being communed. The parish, pastor, and leadership were all very kind and I never felt like I was not good enough or their type of Christian. The Eastern Orthodox parish I visited much later, while not being quite as warm as the Lutherans, were still very welcoming and accepting of my family and myself and the priest took the time to explain their beliefs about communion to me. I really appreciated how both pastors cared enough about me to protect me from myself, as taking communion unworthily is pretty risky business. I am not saying I necessarily agree with all their reasoning, but they care enough to take these precautions and that is awesome.

    Although I empathize and hope for the day when all baptized Christians who subscribe to the Real Presence can commune with one another freely, I also understand and respect those who take communion as seriously as they do (like the Bible tells us too).

    It is also important to note that not all Anglicans practice open communion, though I believe the vast majority do. My own Anglican parish takes a sort of "middle way" approach to the issue. Anyone who has been confirmed by a bishop in apostolic succession is welcome to commune. Furthermore, baptized children who are unconfirmed but have plans to be confirmed and are close in age to confirmation are allowed to commune. The bishop explained to me, after I asked him about communing my son (who is 9), that the historic view of the Church is baptism and confirmation before communion, but a rubric allows children to be communed who meet the above criteria. I am not sure whether this rubric is in the 1928 Prayer Book or Anglican/American Missal (Albion I may need your help here, as I am still navigating my way around the '28 BCP), but this is what I was told. I personally have no problem with this approach as I find this "middle way" kind of avoids the extremes of going one way or the other. Furthermore, with unbaptized communion on the horizon for the Episcopal Church, I kind of appreciate the efforts of my parish to resist this sort of drift. I guess my fear is that baptism without confirmation could lead to a totally open communion of the unbaptized. After all, are we truly welcoming and caring when we seek to meet someone's needs of instant gratification rather than their spiritual well-being?

    I think one of the difficult aspects about this topic and many other topics is how do we tell when we are confusing our own hopes, wishes, and desires with the teachings of the Church? Is open communion more about us and our need to feel instantly accepted and gratified or is there something else going on here? I am as guilty as anybody when it comes to substituting what the Church historically teaches for what I personally think. No judgement on my end, just some food for thought.
     
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  20. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Historically, part of the reason for allowing communion before confirmation was that, in some places, episcopal visits might be few and far between; someone ready to be confirmed might wait years for the opportunity. This is seldom the case now, but the precedent remains.

    In Australia, a canon has been passed to allow baptised children who are not ready to be confirmed, but who are old enough to have some understanding and express desire to receive communion, to do so. My own daughter receives communion on that basis (at nine years old). I admit to mixed feelings about it, though, as I have seen the intent of the canon misused to allow even babies and toddlers to commune.
     
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