Disclaimer: This article is not against the practice of early communion, as it still can reflect faithful instruction, examination, and pastoral care.
I have recently been looking into communion practices. I have written a lot of things in the past about open communion and cannot understand that absolute lack of pastoral care involved in such practice. In examining infant communion I find some similarities. Here are some of the similarities in the practices that I find:
- Lack of instruction (the unity of confession for communion suffers)
- Lack of examination (lacking in the sense of pastoral examination of what the person believes but also in the sense of AC XXV). Even our own LSB has some basics for examination in its early communion rite. Infant communion seems to snub that uniform rite.
- Basing decisions to commune upon desires (perceived desires in the case of infant communion)
- Confusion over the distinctions between our Lord’s chosen means of grace
For those who advocate infant communion, what reasons do you have? I know a good number of pastors that I respect that have advocated or hinted at the practice, I guess I am wondering why.
How do you treat 1 Cor 11:28?
What about Luther’s teaching in the Large Catechism?
What about AC XXV’s teaching and examination and absolution?
Does the practice of infant communion downplay Baptism and the Word? The best place for each mean of grace is exactly where God’s Word puts it. Each is different in respect to whom they apply to. Many people advocating for infant communion seem to not maintain any distinction between the Word, Baptism, or the Lord’s Supper.
How can we justify infant communion and yet also condemn open communion?
Does advocating infant communion only make offering early communion harder?
How does infant communion express itself in Synodical relationships? By this I mean to ask how our bonds of love to our fellow congregations are honored by such a practice. In our mobile society we should consider this. Early communion has been accepted by its inclusion into LSB.
I am hoping that some honest, open communication can occur in the comments.