Monday, March 31, 2008

Confirmation Memories

Since Confirmation season is now underway, we thought we would hearken back to the essays given by many of us as 14 year-olds, when we were paraded up to the front of church to each give our testimony or sermon to let the congregation know what Jesus, God, confirmation, or the Lord’s Supper meant to us after our few brief years of poor catechesis. (Any Lutheran congregation where this custom is observed has poor catechesis.)

Then, after doing our first preaching, as a reward, we were allowed to receive Christ’s Body and Blood. Maybe. If Confirmation was on a Communion Sunday that year, which it may not have been, because Confirmation Sunday gets a lot of visitors, and we don’t want to offend visitors. We’ll offend our own members by withholding the Sacrament of the Altar from them. In fact we’ll even defend the practice of only offering the Sacrament once or twice a month to our deaths, but we dare not offend those golden calves, those potential giving units, the visitors.

(Note: A very informal survey of pastors who are against an every-Sunday offering of the Lord’s Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation because they are afraid of offending visitors has not yet found one pastor who can give one example of one visitor who has ever been offended by the offering of the Sacrament. They have received questions about closed communion, which any pastor worth his maniple should be able to answer though not always leading to a cheery resolution. Besides, if you want visitors there every Sunday, which these pastors claim they do, then why would you want to offend them at all? Why have any Communion Sundays?)

5 comments:

Steven said...

This was the reason given for not having Communion on Easter at the LCMS congregation that I attend.

Anonymous said...

It's actually called "Close" Communion for those who believe the way we do. Have you not read 1 Cor.11:27-29 "Whoever eats the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks from the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats drinks judgment on himself."

Angry Lutherans said...

"Closed" or "Close", Anonymous. Either will do. What's your point?

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

I think we need to keep both. Close because it shows we care about each other and want to keep them in the true faith, and Closed because the early church held it in such high esteem that after everyone worshiped non-communicants were asked to leave, the doors were closed, and the body and blood were distributed. (Source: Elert, Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries)

Angry Lutherans said...

Amen, Dan.