A Discussion on Communion of the Unbaptized in the Diocese of Connecticut

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* TheologyAnthropologySacramental TheologyBaptismEucharistTheology: Scripture

Posted July 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Pb wrote:

I am already thinking about the ordination of the unbaptized. All sacraments for all folks. After all it would be inclusive, bless the present reality of non-believing clergy and reflect contemporary secular opinion about ordination.

July 26, 4:55 pm | [comment link]
2. C. Wingate wrote:

I don’t have a problem with any given churchman’s position being based on “an unreflective repetition of tradition”. If one is not committed to thinking the thing through, repeating the teaching of the church is the obligatory alternative. Nobody is required to work every doctrine through; we are not all called to be theologians. And after all, it isn’t as though this hasn’t been talked to death, so that, GC having reaffirmed the traditional position, the average Episcopalian can have some assurance that this is the correct position.

July 26, 5:26 pm | [comment link]
3. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

It is like people coming to eat without washing their hands first.

Requirements to Implement the Resolution
Cost: $0 ı Materials: Information about canons, General Convention

Where does one begin?

July 26, 6:05 pm | [comment link]
4. tjmcmahon wrote:

C Wingate,
GC did NOT reaffirm the traditional position.  The traditional position is that any priest who intentionally gives communion to people he knows are not baptized, or any bishop who allows it, are brought to trial and deposed if found guilty.
GC could not even bring itself to use the same language as the canon or the BCP rubric.
All GC said is that baptism before communion is the “normative” practice.  “Normative” does not mean “required.”  They allowed plenty of wiggle room for the majority of TEC bishops who already allow the practice- they just didn’t want to cross the Rubicon of changing the canon at this convention, figuring they would loose enough pledge cards with gay marriage.

July 26, 7:37 pm | [comment link]
5. Ad Orientem wrote:

Glancing at some of the comments at the linked site, I can only marvel at the depth of theological discourse on display. It is a wonder that these people are not debating the issue in Koine Greek or Latin.

Christ’s invitation to share in the feast with one another seems pretty straight forward to me.  The call for dialog needs to be replaced with a call for action.  Let us make it so!  Our Lord accepts all who seek him and welcomes all to his table.

July 26, 8:11 pm | [comment link]
6. Stefano wrote:

While it would be tempting and easy to dismiss most of the comments at the posted link as what you’d expect from a reappraising diocese, I can report that at the parish church I frequent in a CP diocese the typical phrase heard is “This is the Lords table, and all are welcome”. No qualifiers or explanation. A most unhelpful habit and a long way from the Orthodox phrase “catechumens, away!”.

July 26, 11:31 pm | [comment link]
7. Ad Orientem wrote:

You nailed that one. I cannot even imagine how “unwelcome” some of these people would feel in an Orthodox parish where the chalice is jealously guarded. Traditionally catechumens were dismissed after the reading of the Gospel and the post Gospel petitions…

  Pray unto the Lord, ye catechumens.

  Lord, have mercy.

  Ye faithful, pray ye for the catechumens, that the Lord may have mercy upon them.

  Lord, have mercy.

  That He may teach them the word of truth;

  Lord, have mercy.

  That He may reveal to them the Gospel of righteousness.

  Lord, have mercy.

  That He may unite them unto His Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church;

  Lord, have mercy.

  Save them, have mercy upon them, preserve them, and protect them, O God, by Thy grace.

  Lord, have mercy.

  Bow your heads unto the Lord, ye catechumens.

  To Thee, O Lord.

Priest (in a low voice):
  O Lord, our God, Who dwellest on high and regardest the humble of heart; Who hast sent forth as the salvation of mankind Thine Only-begotten Son and God, our Lord Jesus Christ; look down upon Thy servants, the catechumens, who have bowed their heads before Thee; make them worthy in due season of the laver of regeneration. Unite them to thy Holy, Universal and Apostolic Church, and number them with Thy chosen flock.

  That they also with us may glorify Thy most honorable and majestic Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

  Lord, have mercy.

Dismissal of the Catechumens

  All ye catechumens, depart! Depart, ye catechumens! All ye that are catechumens, depart! Let no catechumens remain! But let us who are of the faithful, again and again, in peace pray to the Lord.

  Lord, have mercy.

After the dismissal of the catachumens only the faithful were allowed to attend the rest of the Liturgy. This was true in the West as well where the Mass was divided into two parts, the Mass of the catachumens and the Mass of the faithful.

Later in the Orthodox liturgy just before the recitation of the Creed and the consecration of the Holy Mysteries of the Altar the deacon or priest shouts..

  Guard the doors. Wisdom. Let us be attentive.

By custom after that only the Orthodox faithful are supposed to be in the church proper. Today very few parishes do this anymore, however it is still enforced at many monasteries. The non-Orthodox and catachumens are expected to stand in the narthax from that point forward.

When I was a catechumen making my retreat at St. Herman’s monastery after the dismissal of the catechumens I was asked to stand in the back of the church. Admittedly St. Herman’s is old school (no running water or electricity) but it was a wonderful experience. Here were monks who believed in something strongly enough to enforce rules and expect visitors and those seeking admission to the Church to abide by them. It also showed the great reverence and awe that held for the Holy Mysteries. Far from offending me it only made me yearn for admission to the chalice more fervently.

July 27, 12:08 am | [comment link]
8. MichaelA wrote:

The comparison between older Eastern Orthodox practice and TEC current trend is interesting.  What is the current practice or practices in ACNA?

I write plural since the various jurisdictions that have been melded into ACNA may have different practices, I don’t know. There are former TEC dioceses there as well as REC, CANA etc.

July 27, 4:01 am | [comment link]
9. Br. Michael wrote:

7, indeed.  Maybe this is something we need to restore along with the three year catachuminate for serious training before baptism.  I say this partly tongue in cheek and partly deadly serious.  In our striving to be “inclusive” we have created Christians that are a mile wide and an inch deep in their understanding of the faith.

So yes, let the catachumens depart so that on their baptism they will be fully prepared and properly thankful to receive the Body and Blood of Christ that was shed for the remission of sins.

July 27, 7:49 am | [comment link]
10. off2 wrote:


July 27, 2:00 pm | [comment link]
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