Do you commune at other churches?

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by zimkhitha, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    As a cradle Anglican, the question of communing at other churches has always lingered on my mind but I've never really followed through with enquiring about it. As is, I understand that I cannot take communion at a Roman Catholic Church as only RCC members can commune there (something my parish priest encourages us to respect). I did take communion once in a Pentecostal church and decided quietly that I would never do so again (I was a member at the time BUT never considered myself pentecostal or charismatic, a story for another day).

    The only church that ACSA is in full communion with (the last time I checked) is the Ethiopian Episcopal Church so I assume I can commune there. How about Methodist, Presybeterian and other mainline denominations? Do you take communion in their churches?

    I'm asking this question because I was listening to Ancient Faith Radio and the priest there explained that taking communion unites one with Christ, the church and its teachings and other Christians. Does the Anglican church have a standard rule on where and where not to take communion?
     
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  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I believe this is answered directly by whom your province is in communion with. That expression, in communion, goes beyond our interior feeling of fraternity to answer the canonical question of whom we commune with. Therefore unless the province happens to be in communion with Methodists or the Presbyterians (unlikely, as other Anglican provinces would have something to say about it), communing there goes against your own province's views on the matter.
     
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  3. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    Thanks anglican74, I just wish that such information could be expressed to us mere church members. Even the full communion with the EEC is not public knowledge, it is my poking around that made me aware. Anglicans here seem to think that they can commune wherever they are welcome.
     
  4. AngloTex

    AngloTex New Member

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    If I cannot receive at an Anglican parish, I can in good conscience receive at an LCMS or the other conservative Lutheran Church in my area. No episcopate, but I can get over that. My family is split evenly between Anglican and Lutheran. Clergy on both ends as well.
     
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  5. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Our great divines of the 16th & 17th centuries had difficulties about communion with non-episcopal Continental Protestant churches. Bishop Cosin seems to have been favourable towards receiving communion from the Dutch & Huguenots before the English Civil War, but afterwards he took a strong view against the validity of their Holy Orders. Others have been unsure. Some simply think the Anglican Church retains a mere "historic" episcopate and not the full apostolic "sacramental" episcopate -- rather like Superintendents in the German Lutheran Churchs. Essentially, receiving holy communion at any other Church depends on what you believe about holy orders and communion...

    AngloTex
    , why would you commune at an LCMS church? Simply being conservative isn't enough the point. They practice "closed communion", as far as I recall. I would just feel uncomfortable if I wasn't respecting their rules, just like zimkhitha receiving at a Roman Catholic church.
     
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  6. Joshua119

    Joshua119 Member

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    I think that this raises an interesting and important aspect of communion. Many of us here have experience with the RCC, and I think that most of us at least recognize them as a true church of Christ, even if we disagree with some of their teachings. I haven't seen a ton of posts here relating to the Lutheran Church, but I assume that the attitude is the same.

    So, if we go to a church that we are not personally in communion with, and then disrespect the rules of that church in order to take communion, are we showing our allegiance to Christ by taking communion regardless of the rules, or are we disrespecting Him by ignoring the rules of a church erected in His name?
     
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  7. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    While the national leadership of the LCMS calls for strict adherence to close communion, in a practical sense how "close communion" is defined at the congregational level varies widely. I visited a church that printed a number of questions in its bulletin that if you could answer yes to you could commune. It depends on the church and the pastor in large part.
     
  8. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The argument for universal reception is that Christ told us to do it in remembrance of Him. My argument for not receiving at other churches with closed communion is the injunction to follow love, peace, kindness, and mercy by Paul in Romans 14, especially these words:

    [...] none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. [...] Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. [...] For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. [...] Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. [...] All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

    This passage is about what not to eat or drink at a meal with other Christians, but it is primarily about not causing obstacles to faith in others, stumbling, and scandal. We must always be on the lookout for our Christian brothers and sisters, whatever their denomination. Most people, after all, are in earnest with their faith. "Will receiving communion at this church cause confusion, hurt, pain, or scandal to others? I had best not, then!"

    Interestingly, a side-point I often hear from R.C. priest friends is the distinction between "taking" and "receiving" holy communion. They insist that it should be called receiving. We don't "take" anything, as if we somehow have control over the sacrament. It may be a way of increasing the dignity of their priestcraft, but it may also be a way of saying: what you have, you received. It also implies receiving everything of Christ: not just the bread and wine (body & blood), but the whole Church in communion with Him. To the traditional R.C. mindset, that church is Rome. To receive that of which you are not a part is not consistent to them; thus, closed communion. Receiving the Eucharist at a R.C. church implies receiving all that Rome teaches.
     
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  9. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Surely the question is far too important than to just depend upon an individual church or pastor?
     
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