After service this morning, Rev. Augustin held an education session for parents to discuss early communion at BLC.
“Early Communion” refers to permitting baptized children to begin receiving communion before confirmation. Rev. Augustin delivered a presentation by Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Truscott, which took us through biblical and historical views on early Communion. In summary:
- Documents of the early church make instruction and baptism requirements for communion
- Baptism is understood as the rite of admission to communion
- Once infants became the primary baptismal candidates, churches did not exclude them from communion (1 Cor 11 was no hindrance!)
- Later circumstances led to their exclusion from communion; infant communion had to be suppressed!
- ELCA, LCS and other Lutherans churches have moved to early communion
- At first, American Lutherans were concerned about avoiding the perception that confirmation/first communion gave full membership status
- Now ELCA emphasizes the idea that baptism admits one to the Supper regardless of one’s age
- LCS also emphasizes the relationship between baptism and first communion; talks about faith receiving the gifts of HC, rather than constituting basis of admission
Full slides are available here: Early Communion teaching – BLC