Supper with children
Celebrating communion with children - is that even possible?
As early as 1980, our church council decided to also have children for communion
to allow. In doing so, he followed a recommendation from our regional synod
from 1979. Even if the sacrament with children in our church
Has been practiced for a long time, this is still an occasion to
Supper with children - some will certainly object a lot
The children do not understand what they are celebrating. They lack the right insight
into the "holy" part of the Lord's Supper. This attitude goes back to one sentence
From Paul: Anyone who takes part in the Lord's Supper unworthily is guilty of the
Body and blood of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:17)
But: The Lord's Supper does not live primarily from understanding, but from common celebration. Communion with God and with one another does not depend on our being able to reproduce any doctrines. Otherwise the mentally handicapped would not be able to take part in the Lord's Supper.
Aside from that, understand exactly what is going on at the sacrament. If you read the whole story in Paul, you will find that Paul also meant something else with his sentence. Namely, really untenable conditions where the rich have excluded the poor, etc.
What is the meaning of the confirmation then?
Yes, in the past the confirmation was also the admission to the Lord's Supper. But our confirmands go to the Lord's Supper a long time beforehand. And the confirmation becomes what it actually should be: a yes from the confirmand, the confirmand to the baptism that took place much earlier. And this yes will then be easier for them if they were able to practice this faith beforehand and feel accepted in the congregation - also when they receive the Lord's Supper.
Why should we let children partake of the sacrament already?
Children are baptized Christians. If we are baptizing our children, how can we withhold an important element of faith from them? Children are particularly receptive to both the affection they receive in the sacrament and the rejection they may experience. "Am I too small for Jesus?" a boy once asked. Such an experience lingers ...
Jesus calls the children to him.
"Let the children come to me and do not forbid them; for the kingdom of God belongs to them. Truly I say to you: Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it."
As a matter of course we justify the baptism of small children with this sentence. Why not also the sacrament with children?
The canonical side.
As early as 1979 our regional synod decided that there is no reason to keep children away from the Lord's Supper. She made the following rules:
There must be a corresponding church council resolution in the parish. That happened in Gochsheim around 1980.
The children should be prepared for this when they first go to the sacrament. The children should have reached school age. This rule was a compromise with those who insisted on understanding the sacrament rationally. Today, younger children are invited to the sacrament in many congregations. After all, one cannot really understand fellowship with God and with one another, but only experience and accept it. At its autumn meeting in 2000, our regional synod also spoke out in favor of removing this age limit.