Session Series: Paedocommunion
Session beers are low in ABV and can be drunk in quick secession. In this theme, our "Session Series" consists of short post that let you get on with your day or read the entire series.
Paedocommunion is the practice of permitting young children to the Lord’s table to participate in the Lord’s Supper. The practice remains the standard in the Eastern Orthodox Church where they even permit newborn infants to the table. In the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed tradition the practice is the minority view with few adherents. Typically these traditions require a profession of faith (sometimes an age appropriate confessions) before permitting a baptized individual to the table. The term “fencing the table” is often used when describing this practice. This term is also used when dealing with church discipline, denominational disagreements, and other situations that result in table barring.
Apart from historical arguments (John Calvin’s will be addressed in this series), the Scriptural arguments against paedocommunion are few. However, most firmly believe 1 Corinthians 11 is explicit and dogmatic on this ecclesiological practice (will be addressed in this series). It is based upon this text that the Westminster Larger Catechism states, “the Lord's supper is to be administered often…only to such as are of years and ability to examine themselves” (Question 177). With this in mind we’ll look at some historical considerations for paedocommunion, John Calvin, Exodus, and the infamous 1 Corinthians 11.