Who let the dogs in?

imageWho is to receive the Lord’s Supper?

Martin Luther teaches, as Jesus teaches in the Holy Scriptures, that the Lord’s Supper is “the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and to drink.”

One of our readers, Matt Phillips, asked, “Is an Anglican communion even valid” after he read an article about an Anglican Vicar (Pastor/Priest) giving communion to a dog. You can read the article here:

Now for Matt and all the readers of the world, the simple answer is NO! I believe John Frahm, another BJS reader and I think, author, stated it this way:

No Abendmahl fur hunde which means: No communion for dogs! The member who contacted the Bishop probably should have gone directly to the Vicar first and inquired why he took the action he did during the service and give him a chance to explain. However, as a Lutheran who knows and believes what the Body and Blood of Christ is, I too would be enraged at this action and possibly get on the hotline to the upper management to make sure this would never happen again.

Let’s ask ourselves some questions based on this article.

  • What does it mean to claim the title Christian?
  • Where is Christianity today? (I mean *true* Christianity)
  • Has Christianity fallen so far from the truth that it is essentially “Do what you please” religion?
  • Is the Lutheran Church Christian or is she in the same position as the Anglican Church?
  • Are Lutheran pastors (generally speaking) doing just as goofy stuff as the Anglican Vicar?
  • Is Doctrine enough these days while people (pastors & congregations) do what they want to do without any repercussions (discipline)?
  • Why isn’t the Office of the Keys (the binding & loosing of sins) being used today?
  • Are the pastors afraid to carry out their duties?
  • Are the people afraid to be disciplined because they think it means they’re going to hell?
  • Has Christianity truly gone to the dogs?

In the article about the Anglican Vicar, the reader can see that one member is not afraid and does know the difference between right and wrong. The reader can also see the rest of the congregation sitting by getting their ears scratched and enjoying the show.

Has Christianity fallen so far that worship is no longer worship but just a show where any person, beast, or creature is allowed to come and receive the holy things of God?

Lord, have mercy.

Let us pray.

Come Lord Jesus, come quickly come.

Peace be with you.

p.s. I hope every reader reads their Small Catechism after reading the article about the Anglican Vicar. Read the Sixth Chief Part on the teaching of the Lord’s Supper.

Always under the cross of Christ,

Rev. John F. Wurst
Maple City, Michigan


Who let the dogs in? — 21 Comments

  1. The priest gave the Host – considered by Christians to represent the body of Jesus Christ – to an Alsatian cross called Trapper.

    A more careful reader has pointed out to me that if the wafer is considered to “represent” the body of Christ, all the dog got was bread.

    ITC, no cause for rage among those who believe in the Real Presence of Christ’s Body.

  2. According to a Toronto Star article, “Can a dog receive communion?

    St. Peter’s Anglican Church [in Toronto] has long been known as an open and inclusive place.

    So open, it seems, they won’t turn anyone away. Not even a dog.

    That’s how a blessed canine ended up receiving communion from interim priest Rev. Marguerite Rea during a morning service the last Sunday in June.

    According to the account [York-Scarborough Area (including St. Peter’s) Anglican Bishop Patrick] Yu heard, the man asked the reverend to give the dog a wafer. But Needham says she doesn’t recall the man making such a request. Instead, she said Rev. Rea instinctively leaned over and placed a wafer on the dog’s wagging tongue.

    “I think it was this natural reaction: here’s this dog, and he’s just looking up, and she’s giving the wafers to people and she just gave one to him,” said Needham. “Anybody might have done that. It’s not like she’s trying to create a revolution.”

    Days later, the church and diocese received a complaint from one parishioner, who felt the church offended the sacred ritual. The bread and wine are meant to represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ and are only to be given to those who have been baptized.

    Yu said when he spoke to Rev. Rea, she apologized for what she had done and said she would not do it again.

    “Unless there is any further evidence that she is giving communion to animals, the matter is closed . . . we are after all, in the forgiveness and repair business,” he said.

  3. The dog-serving St. Peter’s Anglican Church belongs to the liberal Anglican Church of Canada (ACC).

    However, another news article, “Dog’s Anglican communion leaves tongues wagging” identified the source of the comment (noted by Helen in Post #1) about communion:

    “Communion is a symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus’s body; he died for all of us,” said Cheryl Chang, director of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANIC). “But I don’t recall anything from the Scripture saying anything about Jesus dying for the salvation of our pets.”

    Cheryl Chang was a former trustee of an Anglican church whose congregation left the ACC (and their church building) to join the ANIC. She is currently special council for the ANIC, working with other Anglican congregations breaking away from the ACC to join the AINC, and trying to retain their church property through various Canadian court cases.

    The Anglican Network in Canada (ANIC) is a diocese in the pastrix-ordaining, communion-as-a-symbol Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), with whom the LCMS is having some ecumenical frolickings.

  4. So – Rev. Wurst: Considering bullet point #5 above – how would you answer your own question?

  5. Pr Wurst,

    To point #7, the answer is simple (and sad): They fear men more than they fear God.

  6. @Sandra Ostapowich #11

    comfort dogs are amazing. i’ve seen a couple chaplains with them as well. having worked with children, skilled nursing and hospice – i have nothing but good things to say about comfort dogs.

    i don’t think they should receive communion, be installed into an office, or be called ministers –
    but they’re definitely worth their weight in golden retrievers.

  7. The Lutheran pastors I know take their responsibility very seriously regarding communion.  They personally make sure the visitor is baptized, understands and accepts the Lutheran “real presence” understanding of the Lord’s Supper.    They don’t welcome dogs, and they don’t automatically exclude non-LCMS.  Is this “open communion” just like the Anglican vicar?

  8. @John Rixe #17
    and they don’t automatically exclude non-LCMS. Is this “open communion”

    It is, if they “automatically include non-LCMS” but the Pastor may exercise discretion, occasionally. It’s a pity he’s not supposed to exercise it when faced with some lcmess members, but it may come to that….

    @Abby #18
    @Nicholas #16
    You are much stronger than any pastor or layman I know.

    Anonymous talk on a list is not quite the same as serving a congregation. 🙁

  9. No Abendmahl fur hunde

    In some Missouri Synod churches there appear to be exceptions, such as for Abtreibung-befürworten-Hunde. For example, there is Our Savior Lutheran Church in Carbondale, IL, at least from 1974 through 2003. More recently there is Zion Lutheran Church in Bunker Hill, IL.

    And it is likely there are many other similar Missouri Synod Lutheran churches, especially since on February 16, 2012, LCMS President Matthew Harrison testified (under oath) (8:33-8:45) about the Missouri Synod congregations, “We represent a large church body. The constituents are in some way equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.” [emphasis added]

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