Paedocommunion?

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Lowly Layman, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    Did they? Jesus had only grown people at his Last Supper, no children. When the Apostles 'broke bread' together they were only themselves, with no children. The practice in the later church probably varied, but it's incotrovertible that our practice derives from the ancient tradition of the Latin Western Church. Even if the EO practice it, that's their business. They don't even have Confirmation, and we do. And more largely, if they have one view on this matter and we another, they're both equally valid, as, being a matter of Church Discipline, reasonable people can disagree and both remain christian.



    I don't have any view of Sacred Tradition. Just fyi.


    1) The larger scope in that story was, the Apostles held back children out of being unclean and not holy enough, to approach the Messiah. He told them that the children weren't less holy than someone else, which is true.

    2) The operative action in the Lord's Supper is not the coming to it, but the perceiving (Him in it). Perceiving Jesus in the flesh is trivial to do, and doesn't require faith or reason. Seeing him with the Mind of Faith in the reception of the Host is not trivial.

    The whole point behind the Western Church's holding children from communion is the claim that they aren't able to understand. Communion is an active sacrament, whereas Baptism is purely passive. One can be a sinner and wicked, and still be baptized. One can totally lack all faith and understanding, and be baptized. One cannot lack faith and understanding, and Commune. One cannot be a sinner and wicked, and commune. (That's why there is a General Confession before it.)
     
  2. Rev2104

    Rev2104 Active Member

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    On this I agree with spherelink.
    My last points are just mirroring what he said.
    What the EO does is not a concern of ours. They represent a different tradition of the Church. We are part of the western, we over the course of the first few centuries developed our own church discplines and traditions.
    You cannot take a line like Jesus saying let the children come and take it of context. Each line of scripture has to be read in context and in the fullness of all scriptures.
    The age of reason for Catholics is 7. It is there discipline. You have to be old enough to understand the catechism and be able to perform a confession.
     
  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure I follow your line of reasoning. You state that Anglicans shouldn't concern themselves with the Eastern Orthodox practices since the EO represents a different tradition. Then you defend your argument that Anglicanism should reject paedocommunion by pointing to the practices of the Roman Catholic Church, which itself is a different tradition from Anglicanism, and, moreover, is the only church whose practices are explicitly condemned by name in our formularies (see Article 22), further the epitome of catholic sacramental doctrine, Transubstantiation, is also condemned (see Article 28).
    Huh??
    I respectfully suggest you regroup and come back on that one.
    This is a heavy charge Rev, and one I take serious issue with. I do not intentionally twist scriptures or take them out of context, and just claiming that I've done this isn't proof that I have. Is shall attempt a defense on this front. I invite you to read Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 18 all record the instance of Our Lord's blessing of our children, as follows:

    "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there...Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence." (Matthew 19:1-2, 13-15)

    "And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again...And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them." (Mark 10:1, 13-16)

    "And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." (Luke 18:15-17)

    In this story each Evangelist records that parents following Jesus sought to have their small children brought into the presence of Jesus Christ, to commune and fellowship with him in an intimate way ("that he should touch them"). Well meaning disciples sought to prevent them from doing this. Spherelink claims this is because they thought the children were "dirty". I respectfully submit that nowhere was that stated so that is an extra-biblical assumption on his part so no further statement is necessary on that front. but what ever their reason, Jesus calls to them, and without qualification, clearly commands them "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." and then again "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." And then he blesses the children.

    Consider now that children of believers in some churches are brought to the altar to experience the intimate fellowship, communion and presence of the Risen Christ in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper and well meaning ministers seek to prevent them from doing so, just as the disciples attempted to do on the coasts of Judea all those years ago. This is not the practice of the Ancient church, as Saints Clement, Cyprian, and Augustine all attest. It is not the practice of a number of Christians today. It was not the practice of Western churches until the 12th century. Thus it would appear to me to be nothing more than a Medieval error and accretion, no different from those identified as "Romish" in Article 22. Now what is "out of context" about reminding the ministers and the churches doing this what Our Lord commands them just as he did to the disciples, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God"? Answer: Nothing.

    Anglicans do not believe in ex opere operato. Sacraments are efficacious only if they are received rightly, that is by faith. If the faith necessary to make the sacrament of baptism efficacious in infants may be spoken for by the believing parents who bring them, why doesn't the same apply to the other sacrament? I certainly see no scriptural evidence why it shouldn't.

    Notwithstanding the Roman Catholic regulation providing 7 as the alleged "age of reason", no such statement can be found in scripture and certainly nowhere related to the receipt of the Sacraments. Now that's something we can safely say is out of context since age of reason never shows up scripture at all, either in context or even in just text!

    The argument I hear over and over again from paedocommunion's opponents is an appeal to 1 Corinthians 11:27 -29: "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."

    So here, the sin of eating and drinking unworthily is connected not discerning the Lord's body. Spherelink and you Rev, say that infants cannot discern at all until they reach the age of reason, but neither has shown me from scripture what that age is. But clearly, this passage shows that age is no guarantee that communers will discern rightly since Paul is directing his comments to "a man" ie an adult, which I would presume is someone well past the purported age of reason.

    May I suggest that age has nothing to do with discernment, which both Psalm 119:125 and 1 Cor 12:10 show is a gift which comes God rather than an age to be attained. John the Baptist discerned the presence of Christ in utero. Neither is Faith received by age, but rather by God's gift, and it is precisely the faith of a little child that God wants.

    In short, show me in the context of all scriptures, where my reading of Christ's command is out of context. Just because you disagree with it doesn't cut it.
     
  4. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    Dear Lowly, I think you're drawing a harder juxtaposition between us and Rome than really exists. Don't forget that we are largely a Latin Western Church. We have Confirmation, a Rite which should have no sense in your view as its founded on the principle of the age of reason. Our liturgy is a modified Latin Sarum Rite. Our feast and fast days are based off the old pre-Reformation calendar. Our calendar of the most basic things like Christmas is a latin, not a greek one. Our views of theology and philosophy stem right out of Thomism (whose terms are embedded in our formularies). Really everything about us is Catholic, but purified of the incorrect accretions. We're reformed Catholic, not reformed Orthodox.
     
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  5. Rev2104

    Rev2104 Active Member

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    Again I agree with the fact that the exact number for age of reason has no baises in scripture.
    Logic, scripture and tradition thou all together give us the idea that giving the Eucharist to any one not formed at least in the faith is a bad idea. We do give it to children before there able to accomplished certain things and we practice closed communion. These both stem from the same idea.
    We are a Catholic church, a reformed one thou. We are a prouduct of the culture, language, and history of the latin western church.
     
  6. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry Rev, are you talking about an Anglican church or the RCC? Both TEC and ACNA as well as most of the continuing churches, the ones I've attended anyway, have open communion. The Episcopal parish I've attended my whole life practiced paedocommunion and allowed me to receive as soon as I could kneel at the rail and technically I was still a Methodist in those days. The same parish has also allowed my children to receive ever since they independently held out their hands for it. I wasn't even aware that children couldn't receive prior to confirmation in churches outside the RCC until I attended an APA parish. I started this thread initially because I was told by the priest that it was against tradition to have my kids receive at such a young age. First I'd heard of it so I wanted to get the reaction from the forum members. The mixed reaction here mimics what I've found on other sites which leads me to believe if it is a tradition in Anglicanism, it's hardly a universal one.
     
  7. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    I might argue it is a result of a lessened church discipline over the last 30-40 years. Again it is not a sinful practice so don't get my meaning wrong, it just hasn't been the norm in the Anglican churches, for good and salutary reasons. Just as open communion, which is not the Anglican norm.
     
  8. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    double post
     
  9. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Would somebody let me know what Augustine and the like had to say about all this?
     
  10. Fr. Bill

    Fr. Bill Member

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  11. Rev2104

    Rev2104 Active Member

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    This seems like a round about thing. There an answer you want ,but we will keep saying tradition and historical church.
    So open communion is not the norm, is against the norm. We believe what th bible teaches and what the historical church believes.
    Communion is not the norm of the western churches. We believe what the bible teaches and what the historical church believes.
    I submit to that authority not what this or that modern churh believes. It is not my ego or how I feel about this. My ego and my feelings are that of a sinful man. That is thr error of the modern church. Pride. Ego. How i feel. That I know better.