Children in Church

Parents who have grown up in other traditions often wonder why young children take Communion at St. John’s. Indeed even “cradle” Episcopalians often did not receive Communion for the first time until after Confirmation. This leaves some parents with a conundrum: how and when should we allow our children to receive?

In the Episcopal Church, in keeping with the practices of the ancient church, the emphasis is placed upon Baptism. Once an individual is baptized they are viewed as full members of the Body of Christ with access to the sacraments. Nothing “completes” Baptism – neither First Communion, nor Confirmation, nor reaching a certain age. This is why children are welcome to receive Holy Communion. This doesn’t mean that children are fully formed as Christians; none of us are. We spend our entire lives living into our Baptismal vows and entering into the mystery of Christ’s “real presence” in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. And, on a practical level, instruction about the meaning of Communion takes place at various points throughout the Sunday School curriculum.

That said, we do occasionally offer brief, conversational training sessions about communion geared toward young children. We discuss the nature of the sacrament, what happens, and why this is such a special “meal.” Please contact the parish office to find out when the next session will take place.

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