Recently I have been doing some reading about children and Holy Communion. One of the most helpful things I read was this blog by Margaret Pritchard Houston:
As we were preparing to admit six children to Holy Communion before Confirmation, our curate turned to me and said, ‘So we admit them at age 7? Explain this to me theologically.’
And I had to explain that I couldn’t – that the only reason we do admission to Holy Communion at 7 is that we’re not allowed to do it from baptism, that our policy is more a compromise than a coherent theological principle.
She goes on to answer the following questions:
- If we admit children to communion at baptism, then what is confirmation for?
- Children are allowed to participate in other ways, aren’t they? They can come to Jesus through Sunday School and worship without receiving communion until they’re older.
- Wanting it doesn’t mean they should have it. They don’t understand what it means, and that’s crucial to receiving the sacrament.