photo by spisharam
Our church took communion this past Sunday. After the trays of wafers had been passed around and we partook of remembering Christ’s body, the trays of grape juice were passed. Somewhere behind me a wee voice plaintively whispered, how come I don’t get one?
I didn’t turn around to see how old the child was, but the voice sounded like he or she was five or under. I began thinking - at what age do you let your child partake of holy communion, and why?
Because of our moving around we’ve been in all kinds of churches with all kinds of expectations. Some offered separate children’s services for the younger ones while others insisted that children, no matter the age, sit with their parents during the service. Some expressed preference that only those who had made a profession of faith could join in communion, while others never said anything about who could or couldn’t take part.
Except when our youngest two were babies, most of the time our children sat with us during the service. As I recall, we allowed our children to participate in communion only when we felt they could follow the ritual of taking the bread and juice together with the congregation, and not treat the celebration like a mini-snack time. We also spent time explaining to them, in as basic of terms as we could, what we were celebrating. We realized a lot of the explanation would be abstract, but we were trying to convey that holy communion was a special time of remembrance that we did because we loved Jesus. This discussion usually came after we got home from church and after we ourselves heard, how come I don’t get one?
How about you? When do (or did) you let your child participate in holy communion, and why? What kind of explanation, if any, did you offer for your choice? I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here; I think it’s mostly a matter of preference and/or possibly conviction. I’m just purely curious.
Choose one answer that fits best on the poll, and I’d love for you to elaborate in the comment section below. I’ll share the poll results on Saturday.
Please include a comment by clicking on the link below. That way you can elaborate on your thoughts.